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conduit based toolbar and strange processes


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hello ,


this is a friend's machine that is running XP/SP3 , with MWB and AVG .

super antispyware and an eset online scan were run ... these found and removed a few items .


a symptom of an infection is the running of several incidences of "svchost.exe" (as shown in task manager) that cause the cpu to "max out" ... the size is around 70K .

stopping the maxed svchost will allow the comp to run somewhat normally ... after some time , another svchost will start (maxed out) , again , stopping this process will result in the comp running ok ...

after a few more such incidents these svchosts will stop being created for a long time or until re-boot .


also , "windows update" appears to be broken ... it does not finish the initialization after an hour .

there are two or three yellow shields in the lower right taskbar with an exclamation point ... opening these indicates three files ready to be downloaded .

these seem to be tied in with the "svchost" in task manager in some way .

i have not attempted to install the supposed updates as they may be part of a bogus representation .


attached are the two requested files .


many thanks in advance ,





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Hello and post-32477-1261866970.gif


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Download AdwCleaner by Xplode from here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/ and save to your Desktop.


  • Double click on AdwCleaner.exe to run the tool.
  • Vista/Windows 7/8 users right-click and select Run As Administrator
  • Click on the Scan button.
  • AdwCleaner will begin...be patient as the scan may take some time to complete.
  • When it's done you'll see: Pending: Uncheck any elements you don't want removed.
  • Now click on the Report button...a logfile (AdwCleaner[R0].txt) will open in Notepad for review.
  • Look over the log especially under Files/Folders for any program you want to save.
  • If there's a program you want to save, just uncheck it from AdwCleaner.
  • If you're not sure, post the log for review.
  • If you're ready to clean it all up.....click the Clean button.
  • After rebooting, a logfile report (AdwCleaner[s0].txt) will open automatically.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that logfile in your next reply.
  • A copy of that logfile will also be saved in the C:\AdwCleaner folder.
  • Items that are deleted are moved to the Quarantine Folder: C:\AdwCleaner\Quarantine
  • To restore an item that has been deleted (if necessary):
  • Go to Tools > Quarantine Manager > check what you want restored > now click on Restore.




Please download aswMBR from here: http://files.avast.com/files/rootkit-scanner/aswmbr.exe ( 4.5MB ) save to your desktop.


  • Double click the aswMBR.exe icon, and click Run.
  • There will be a short delay before the next dialog box comes up.  Please just wait a minute or two.
  • When asked if you'd like to “download the latest Avast! virus definitions", click Yes.
  • Typically this is about a 100MB download so depending on your connection speed it can take a short while to download and become ready.
  • Click the Scan button to start the scan once the update has finished downloading
  • On completion of the scan, click the save log button, save it to your desktop, then copy and paste it in your next reply.


Note: There will also be a file on your desktop named MBR.dat zip up that file and attach to your reply...




Download Farbar Recovery Scan Tool and save it to your desktop.


Note: You need to run the version compatible with your system (32 bit or 64 bit). If you are not sure which version applies to your system download both of them and try to run them. Only one of them will run on your system, that will be the right version.

  • Double-click to run it. When the tool opens click Yes to disclaimer.
  • Press Scan button.
  • It will make a log (FRST.txt) in the same directory the tool is run. Please copy and paste it to your reply.
  • The first time the tool is run, it makes also another log (Addition.txt). Please attach it to your reply.


Let me see those logs....

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howdy ...


after running adwcleaner and re-booting , one of those "extra" svchosts popped up in task manager ... i killed it ... none have shown since (or is that "yet") .


there is still a single "updates are ready for your computer" shield in the lower right taskbar .


also (i forgot to mention this) ... initially the task bar , desktop folders and such would change color and/or style a minute or so after booting ... not so now .


the rest of the programs ran without a hitch .






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Download attached fixlist.txt file and save it to the Desktop, or the folder you saved FRST into.

NOTE. It's important that both FRST and fixlist.txt are in the same location or the fix will not work.


Run FRST and press the Fix button just once and wait.

The tool will make a log on the Desktop (Fixlog.txt). Please post it to your reply.




Delete any versions of Combofix that you may have on your Desktop, download a fresh copy from the following link :-




  • Ensure that Combofix is saved directly to the Desktop <--- Very important
  • Disable all security programs as they will have a negative effect on Combofix, instructions available here  http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic114351.html if required. Be aware the list may not have all programs listed, if you need more help please ask.
  • Close any open browsers and any other programs you might have running
  • Double click the combofix.gif icon to run the tool (Vista or Windows 7 users right click and select "Run as Administrator)
  • Instructions for running Combofix available here http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-combofix if required.
  • If you are using windows XP It might display a pop up saying that "Recovery console is not installed, do you want to install?" Please select yes & let it download the files it needs to do this. Once the recovery console is installed Combofix will then offer to scan for malware. Select continue or yes.
  • When finished, it will produce a report for you. Please post the "C:\ComboFix.txt" for further review


****Note: Do not mouseclick combofix's window while it's running. That may cause it to stall or freeze ****


Note: ComboFix may reset a number of Internet Explorer's settings, including making it the default browser.

Note: Combofix prevents autorun of ALL CDs, floppies and USB devices to assist with malware removal & increase security. If this is an issue or makes it difficult for you -- please tell us when you reply. Read here  http://thespykiller.co.uk/index.php?page=20 why  disabling autoruns is recommended.



    If Combofix detects any Rootkit/Bootkit activity on your system it will give a warning and prompt for a reboot, you must allow it to do so.
    If Combofix reboot's due to a rootkit, the screen may stay black for several minutes on reboot, this is normal
    If after running Combofix you receive any type of warning message about registry key's being listed for deletion when trying to open certain items, reboot the system and this will fix the issue (Those items will not be deleted)


Post the log in next reply please...






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SAS exited with no problem ...

i had a little difficulty with turning off AVG entirely ...

i did as the referenced page instructed , turning off each component individually and then turning off AVG protection (et al) "until next restart" .

there was a pop-up warning in combofix about this , but i chose to ignore it and move forward ... perhaps this is a "normal" condition that is an erroneous report ?

combofix ran to completion with no snags (that are evident) .


so far , so good ...

that cpu sucking svchost has not reared its ugly head (yet) .



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Thanks for those logs, ok we continue:


We need to run an online AV scan to ensure there are no remnants of any infection left on your system, this scan can take several hours to complete, it is very thorough and well worth running, please be patient and let it complete:

Run Eset Online Scanner

**Note** You will need to use Internet explorer for this scan - Vista and win 7 right click on IE shortcut and run as admin

Go to Eset web page http://www.eset.com/us/online-scanner/ to run an online scan from ESET.

  • Turn off the real time scanner of any existing antivirus program while performing the online scan
  • click on the Run ESET Online Scanner button
  • Tick the box next to YES, I accept the Terms of Use.
    Click Start
  • When asked, allow the add/on to be installed
    Click Start
  • Make sure that the option Remove found threats is unticked
  • Click on Advanced Settings, ensure the options
  • Scan for potentially unwanted applications, Scan for potentially unsafe applications, and Enable Anti-Stealth Technology are ticked.
    Click Scan
  • wait for the virus definitions to be downloaded
  • Wait for the scan to finish

When the scan is complete

  • If no threats were found
  • put a checkmark in "Uninstall application on close"
  • close program
  • report to me that nothing was found

If threats were found

  • click on "list of threats found"
  • click on "export to text file" and save it as ESET SCAN and save to the desktop
  • Click on back
  • put a checkmark in "Uninstall application on close"
  • click on finish

close program

copy and paste the report here



Download Security Check by screen317 from either of the following:
http://screen317.spywareinfoforum.org/SecurityCheck.exe or http://screen317.changelog.fr/SecurityCheck.exe
Save it to your Desktop. (If your security alerts either accept the alert, or turn the security off while Secuirity Check runs)
Double click SecurityCheck.exe (Vista or Windows 7 users right click and select "Run as Administrator") and follow the onscreen instructions inside of the black box. Press any key when asked.
A Notepad document should open automatically called checkup.txt; please post the contents of that document.

Let me see those two logs, also tell me if any remaining issues or concerns..



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Go here http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/welcome/ and have Adobe Flashplayer checked. Accept new version if required.

There maybe an offer of Google Chrome etc, untick those options if offered...




Go here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/downloads/ie-8 and update IE to version 8, you will need to enter your chosen language and OS




Run Malwarebytes,  Open > Settings Tab > Scanner Settings > Under action for PUP > Select: Show in Results List and Check for removal.

Please Update and run a Quick Scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware,

Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected on any found items.

Post the produced log, also let me know if any remaining issues or concerns

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We need to remove FRST, first it is very important to deal with its Quarantine folder using FRST itself..

OK, we continue:

Delete any fixlist.txt file previously used, continue:


Download attached fixlist.txt file and save it to the Desktop, or the folder you saved FRST into.

NOTE. It's important that both FRST and fixlist.txt are in the same location or the fix will not work.


Run FRST and press the Fix button just once and wait.

The tool will make a log on the Desktop (Fixlog.txt). That will confirm the removal action, delete if successful. 



Delete FRST.exe from your Desktop or the folder it was saved to, navigate to and delete its folder C:\FRST




Remove Combofix now that we're done with it

  • Please press the Windows Key and R on your keyboard. This will bring up the Run... command.
  • Now type in Combofix /Uninstall in the runbox and click OK. (Notice the space between the "x" and "/")
  • Please follow the prompts to uninstall Combofix.
  • You will then receive a message saying Combofix was uninstalled successfully once it's done uninstalling itself.

The above procedure will delete the following:

  • ComboFix and its associated files and folders.
  • VundoFix backups, if present
  • The C:_OtMoveIt folder, if present
  • Reset the clock settings.
  • Hide file extensions, if required.
  • Hide System/Hidden files, if required.
  • Reset System Restore.

It is very important that you get a successful uninstall because of the extra functions done at the same time, let me know if this does not happen.



  • Download OTC by OldTimer from here http://oldtimer.geekstogo.com/OTC.exe or here http://www.itxassociates.com/OT-Tools/OTC.exe and save to your Desktop.
  • Double click OTC_Icon.jpg icon to start the program.
    If you are using Vista or Windows 7 accept UAC
  • Then Click the big CleanUp.jpg button.
  • You will get a prompt saying "Begining Cleanup Process". Please select Yes.
  • Restart your computer when prompted.
  • This will remove tools we have used and itself.


Any tools/logs remaining on the Desktop or downloads folder can be deleted.


Let me know if those steps complete, also if any remaining issues or concerns...



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i did some further digging and all looks good .

thanks for the help man .

my friend is happy ... i have tried to tell her in the past "no toolbars and other assorted crap" plus "read and understand before pressing the buttons" .



heh ... i called her and told her that she can pick up the comp tomorrow ... she was excited and then she said that her other comp is exhibiting the same symptoms .

(it seems that both machines have started giving *intolerable fits* about the same time)

i told her that each machine is like a person ... and just because a problem may look the same does not make it so .

i can hardly wait . <_<:lol::P;)


thanks again ... if i don't see you in the future , i'll see you in the pasture .

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  • Root Admin

Glad we could help. :)

If you need this topic reopened, please send a Private Message to any one of the moderating team members. Please include a link to this thread with your request. This applies only to the originator of this thread.

Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread. Thanks!

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