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Infected with searchassist/conduit


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I seem to have picked up conduit/searchassist virus(?). It started when my search engine was hijacked by conduit. I was able to remove the conduit program but now have searchassist.com hyperlinks, pop-up ads, and new tabs opening with 'surveys'. 

I can't seem to copy/pasted the dds.txt and attach.txt reports so I attached them. Thanks for any help you can give.





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Hi and Welcome!!   
My name is Jeff. I would be more than happy to take a look at your malware results logs and help you with solving any malware problems you might have. Logs can take a while to research, so please be patient and know that I am working hard to get you a clean and functional system back in your hands. I'd be grateful if you would note the following:

  • The fixes are specific to your problem and should only be used for the issues on this machine.
  • It's often worth reading through these instructions and printing them for ease of reference.
  • If you don't know or understand something, please don't hesitate to say or ask!! It's better to be sure and safe than sorry.
  • Please reply to this thread. Do not start a new topic.
  • If you happen to have a flash drive/thumb drive please have that ready in the event that we need to use it.
  • Please be sure to subscribe to the topic if you have not already done so.

IMPORTANT NOTE : Please do not delete, download or install anything unless instructed to do so.
DO NOT use any TOOLS such as Combofix or HijackThis fixes without supervision. Doing so could make your system inoperable and could require a full reinstall of your operating system and losing all your programs and data.

Having said that....   YBCQLm4.gif   Let's get going!!  

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LlJESjW.jpgMalwarebytes Anti-Rootkit
Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit and save it to your desktop.

  • Be sure to print out and follow the instructions provided on that same page.
  • Caution: This is a beta version so please be sure to read the disclaimer and back up all your data before using.
  • Scan your system for malware
  • If malware is found, please go to the MBAR folder and then copy/paste the contents of the MBAR-log-***.txt file to your next reply.

If there is no malware found, please let me know as well.

81mYIKe.jpg  AdwCleaner
Please download AdwCleaner by Xplode 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.
  • After the scan has finished, click on the Report button...a logfile (AdwCleaner[R0].txt) will open in Notepad for review.
  • The contents of the log file may be confusing. Unless you see a program name that you know should not be removed, don't worry about it. If you see an entry you want to keep, let me know about it.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that logfile in your next reply.
  • A copy of all logfiles are saved in the C:\AdwCleaner folder which was created when running the tool.


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Hi there!!   :)
Download Combofix from either of the links below, and save it to your desktop.  
Link 1
Link 2
**Note:  It is important that it is saved directly to your desktop**
If you get a message saying "Illegal operation attempted on a registry key that has been marked for deletion", please restart your computer.

IMPORTANT - Disable your AntiVirus and AntiSpyware applications, usually via a right click on the System Tray icon. They may otherwise interfere with our tools. If you have difficulty properly disabling your protective programs, refer to this link here
Right-Click and Run as Administrator on ComboFix.exe & follow the prompts.

  • When finished, it will produce a report for you.
  • Please post the C:\ComboFix.txt for further review.
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Good to hear!  Let's get a check for anything else hiding in there....

Please open Malwarebytes, update it and then run a Quick Scan.  Save the log that is created for your next reply.
ESET Online Scanner

Go here to run an online scannner from ESET. Windows Vista/Windows 7 users will need to right click on their Internet Explorer shortcut, and select Run as Administrator

  • Note: For browsers other than Internet Explorer, you will be prompted to download and install esetsmartinstaller_enu.exe. Click on the link and save the file to a convenient location. Double click on it to install and a new window will open. Follow the prompts.
  • Turn off the real time scanner of any existing antivirus program while performing the online scan
  • Tick the box next to YES, I accept the Terms of Use.
  • Click Start
  • When asked, allow the activex control to install
  • Click Start
  • Make sure that the option Remove found threats is unticked and the Scan Archives option is ticked.
  • 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 scan to finish
  • When the scan is done, if it shows a screen that says "Threats found!", then click "List of found threats", and then click "Export to text file..."
  • Save that text file on your desktop. Copy and paste the contents of that log as a reply to this topic.
  • Close the ESET online scan, and let me know how things are now.


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Run the following...

  • Please open Notepad (Start -> Run -> type notepad in the Open field -> OK) and copy and paste the text present inside the code box below:

    C:\Users\Cindy Landess-Arjes\Documents\APNSetup.exe
    C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\AskToolbarInstaller-ASI2-V6[1].7z
    C:\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\AskToolbarInstaller-ASI2-V6[2].7z
    C:\Windows\SysWOW64\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\AskToolbarInstaller-ASI2-V6[1].7z
    C:\Windows\SysWOW64\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\AskToolbarInstaller-ASI2-V6[2].7z

  • Save this as CFScript.txt and change the "Save as type" to "All Files" and place it on your desktop.
  • Very Important! Temporarily disable your anti-virus, script blocking and any anti-malware real-time protection before following the steps below. They can interfere with ComboFix or remove some of its embedded files which may cause "unpredictable results".
  • Referring to the screenshot above, drag CFScript.txt into ComboFix.exe.
  • ComboFix may request an update; please allow it.
  • ComboFix will now run a scan on your system. It may reboot your system when it finishes. This is normal.
  • When finished, it shall produce a log for you. Copy and paste the contents of the log in your next reply.

CAUTION: Do not mouse-click ComboFix's window while it is running. That may cause it to stall.
Post the new log and let me know if you are having any more malware related problems.   :)

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Please move ComboFix from your Downloads folder to your Desktop and then repeat my last set of instructions....be sure to let me know how your system is running too.  :)

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No...you have not screwed up anything.  :)  If ComboFix is in your Downloads folder, I would like for you to move it to your Desktop by either dragging the ComboFix icon there or by cut/paste.


Once you have ComboFix on your Desktop, go ahead and run my instructions from post 11 again.  :)

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Providing there are no other malware related problems...
This infection appears to have been cleared, but I can not give you any absolute guarantees.  As a precaution, I would go ahead and change all of your passwords as this is especially important after an infection.

The following will implement some cleanup procedures as well as reset System Restore points:
Press the Windows key + R and this will open the Run text box.  Copy/paste the following text into the Run box as shown and click OK.
  Combofix /Uninstall
  (Note: There is a space between the ..X and the /U that needs to be there.)

81mYIKe.jpg  AdwCleaner
Double click on AdwCleaner.exe to run the tool again.

  • Click on the Uninstall button.
  • Click Yes when asked are you sure you want to uninstall.
  • Both AdwCleaner.exe, its folder and all logs will be removed.


Any of the logs that you created for use in the forums or remaining tools that have not yet been removed can be deleted so they aren't cluttering up your desktop. If you did not have Malwarebytes Antimalware before, I would keep it and run it weekly.
Here are some tips to reduce the potential for spyware infection in the future:
1. Make your Internet Explorer more secure - This can be done by following these simple instructions:

  • From within Internet Explorer click on the Tools menu and then click on Options.
  • Click once on the Security tab
  • Click once on the Internet icon so it becomes highlighted.
  • Click once on the Custom Level button.
  • Change the Download signed ActiveX controls to Prompt
  • Change the Download unsigned ActiveX controls to Disable
  • Change the Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe to Disable
  • Change the Installation of desktop items to Prompt
  • Change the Launching programs and files in an IFRAME to Prompt
  • Change the Navigate sub-frames across different domains to Prompt
  • When all these settings have been made, click on the OK button.
  • If it prompts you as to whether or not you want to save the settings, press the Yes button.
  • Next press the Apply button and then the OK to exit the Internet Properties page.

2. FireFox  If you use Firefox, I recommend installing the following add-ons to help make your Firefox browser more secure:
AdBlock Plus 
3. Use and update an anti-virus software - I can not overemphasize the need for you to use and update your anti-virus application on a regular basis.  With the ever increasing number of new variants of malware arriving on the scene daily, you become very susceptible to an attack without updated protection.
4. Firewall
Using a third-party firewall will allow you to give/deny access for applications that want to go online. Without a firewall your computer is susceptible to being hacked and taken over. Simply using a firewall in its default configuration can lower your risk greatly.   **There are firewalls that could be downloaded and used but I would personally only recommend using one of the following below:
Online Armor Free
Agnitum Outpost Firewall Free
Comodo Firewall Free
5. Make sure you keep your Windows OS current.  Windows XP users can visit Windows update  regularly to download and install any critical updates and service packs. Windows Vista/7 users can open the Start menu > All Programs > Windows Update > Check for Updates (in left hand task pane) to update these systems.  Without these you are leaving the back door open.
6. WOT (Web of Trust) As "Googling" is such an integral part of internet life, this free browser add on warns you about risky websites that try to scam visitors, deliver malware or send spam. It is especially helpful when browsing or searching in unfamiliar territory. WOT's color-coded icons show you ratings for 21 million websites, helping you avoid the dangerous sites.  WOT has an add-on available for Firefox, Internet Explorer as well as Google Chrome.
7. Finally, I strongly recommend that you read Miekiemoes' great advice How to prevent malware.
Please reply to this thread once more if you are satisfied so that we can mark the problem as resolved.

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I really appreciate all the help you have given me. I have a box that pops up when I reboot. It's labeled RunDLL and the text reads "There was a problem starting C:\Users\Cindy Landess-Arjes\AppData\Local\BackgroundContainer\BackgroundContainer.dll The specified module cound not be found" Is this anything to worry about? Other than that, everything seems to be running very well.

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Ok let's check something....it's a leftover task from the malware that is trying to run but because the actual malware was removed this task can't find the file now.
Let's do this...

  • Open Control Panel
  • Open Administrative Tools
  • Open Task Scheduler
  • Click on 'Task Scheduler Library'
  • scroll thru the list until you find 'BackgroundContainer'
  • right click on the entry
  • click on 'Delete' on the menu that pops up.
  • close all windows, reboot computer

Let me know if you still have the problem.   :)

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I did the above and the box didn't pop back up. The computer is running a little slow. I installed the Online Armor firewall. Would this be the cause of it running a slower? Thanks again for all the help. You are very good at what you do to get me through all of this. :)

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I did the above and the box didn't pop back up.

Well done!!   :)

The computer is running a little slow. I installed the Online Armor firewall. Would this be the cause of it running a slower?

That is possible yes.....honestly....since you have Windows 7, the standard Windows firewall is good enough.  It monitors both inbound and outbound traffic already.  If you would like to uninstall Online Armor (as much as I like it) from your system, you should be just fine still.   :)

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