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I believe I'm infected with a rootkit

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I'll run any diagnostics you ask and provide all logs, but here's the whole story first:

It all started about a month ago when my laptop's internal hard drive (not stock. I replaced the HDD about a year prior) started randomly giving me BSOD's out of nowhere. I can't remember what the BSOD said, but it was more than one error message, usually something that lead me to believe it was a hardware issue. I figured my HDD was simply in bad shape from not being defragged lately, so I started running defrag and chkdisk as much as I could (between BSOD's). One day, my girlfriend received a text message from a number that had been harassing her, giving her my location, which is impossible to discover, unless someone indeed had gained access to my system. I spoke to a professional with more experience with hardware and malware than myself, and he told me that fragmentation is a file issue, not an HDD issue, and as such I should stop wasting my time with that and start getting my files off the HDD, just in case. At the same time, my touchpad also started randomly having issues, which lead me to suspect that it could be a BIOS/rootkit/low-level issue. When I told said professional about my possible attacker, he said "Knowing that, I would have had the entire system rebuilt last week." I told him that, financially, that wasn't an option, so he gave me a few tips to get rid of potential rootkits, like backing up all my files, excluding any and all executables, then formatting my hard drive and repartitioning it, to remove the MBT. I did that, but at the time I had a different issue as well. My HDD would randomly become inaccessible, which no doubt caused some of the BSOD's. I would boot and not find it in my boot order. Try to recover, same thing, no drives found. So I pulled out my old (stock) internal HDD and started using it temporarily. I also installed Windows (8.1, same as on all my bootable media) on an external, booted from it and tried to diagnose the faulty hard drive, to no avail. When I would get lucky and have it show up, I pulled as much data as I can off of it and did as much repairs as possible before it disappeared again. That hard drive was wiped clean, repartitioned and left for a bit, all was fine. I installed Windows on it, and the next day it disappeared again. So I gave up on it and started using my external, until it stopped booting from that too. File-wise, the external is fine. But as of the last time I tried booting from it, it either didn't show up in the boot order or gave me bootrec error messages (I can't remember).

For the past week or two, I've been content booting from my stock internal hard drive, and the external for the files that are on it, with no issues. Until a few days ago, during inspection, I accidentally tore my touchpad's ribbon and had to get a mouse. I got two for good measure, one wired one wireless. The wireless one is all over the place (aim-wise) and the wired one has precise, rarely-rash aim, but the clicking is all over the place (either double clicks when I click, or doesn't click at all, or clicks when I don't want it to). Today, 2-3 days after I started using a mouse, I randomly started hearing continuous system beeps, at about 0.5 s intervals, that do not stop until I click and hold shift for about 10 seconds. The keyboard is also completely unresponsive during the beeping. And when the beeping stopped, clicking shift (to capitalize, while typing) would give me an extra letter. For example, capitalizing S would type SW, D gives me DE, etc. I'm not sure if this, or the mouse issues, or the touchpad issues are in any way relevant, but I thought I'd mention them just in case.

So, amidst my frustration with my laptop that is becoming increasingly tedious to use, I decided to start checking for rootkits (even though I'm running the stock HDD, which should be clean). I ram MBAR and GMER and got nothing (well GMER gave me a few results, but none were red, and I could account for at least half of them). So I hooked up my external HDD and ran both again, only to get a BSOD saying CRITICAL_STRUCTURAL_CORRUPTION which, upon googling, turned out to be a driver issue. I open up my event log and I see thirty six entries, over the course of three minutes, saying "The device, \Device\Harddisk0\DR0, has a bad block."

Curiouser and curiouser. I run MBAR again, and now it's giving me a DDA driver error. I'm guna let GMER run and then restart. I'm also guna run chkdisk on boot and see what that tells me.

It might be noteworthy to mentiont that the reason I had replaced this (stock) HDD was because I had dropped the laptop (about an inch) while it was hibernating and the HDD just stopped working. I was less experienced at the time and decided to just set it aside. I'm not sure how I got it working again when I needed it, but I think I just formatted C and reinstalled Windows.

I understand your possible excitement upon reading this and thinking "About time we got someone with a rootkit!" but try to remember, at the end of the day, while I'd love to help you guys out, I just wanna return to activities without having a new (seemingly-hardware) issue pop up every other day with all sorts of new and colorful error messages. Thanks in advance.

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  • 1 month later...
  • Root Admin

Hello and :welcome:

Please read the following and post back the logs when ready and we'll see about getting you cleaned up.

General P2P/Piracy Warning:

If you're using
Peer 2 Peer
software such as
uTorrent, BitTorrent
or similar you must either fully uninstall them or completely disable them from running while being assisted here.

Failure to remove or disable such software will result in your topic being closed and no further assistance being provided.

If you have
illegal/cracked software, cracks, keygens etc
. on the system, please remove or uninstall them now and read the policy on

Before we proceed further, please read all of the following instructions carefully.
If there is anything that you do not understand kindly ask before proceeding.
If needed please print out these instructions.
  • Please do not post logs using CODE, QUOTE, or FONT tags. Just paste them as direct text.
  • If the log is too large then you can use attachments by clicking on the More Reply Options button.
  • Please enable your system to show hidden files: How to see hidden files in Windows
  • Make sure you're subscribed to this topic:
    • Click on the Follow This Topic Button (at the top right of this page), make sure that the Receive notification box is checked and that it is set to Instantly

    [*]Removing malware can be unpredictable...It is unlikely but things can go very wrong! Please make sure you Backup all files that cannot be replaced if something were to happen. You can copy them to a CD/DVD, external drive or a pen drive [*]Please don't run any other scans, download, install or uninstall any programs unless requested by me while I'm working with you. [*]The removal of malware is not instantaneous, please be patient. Often we are also on a different Time Zone. [*]Perform everything in the correct order. Sometimes one step requires the previous one. [*]If you have any problems while following my instructions, Stop there and tell me the exact nature of the issue. [*]You can check here if you're not sure if your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit [*]Please disable your antivirus while running any requested scanners so that they do not interfere with the scanners. [*]When we are done, I'll give you instructions on how to cleanup all the tools and logs [*]Please stick with me until I give you the "all clear" and Please don't waste my time by leaving before that. [*]Your topic will be closed if you haven't replied within 3 days [*](If I have not responded within 24 hours, please send me a Private Message as a reminder)

RKill is a program that was developed at BleepingComputer.com that attempts to terminate known malware processes
so that your normal security software can then run and clean your computer of infections.
When RKill runs it will kill malware processes and then removes incorrect executable associations and fixes policies
that stop us from using certain tools. When finished it will display a log file that shows the processes that were
terminated while the program was running.

As RKill only terminates a program's running process, and does not delete any files, after running it you should not reboot
your computer as any malware processes that are configured to start automatically will just be started again.
Instead, after running RKill you should immediately scan your computer using the requested scans I've included.

Please download Rkill by Grinler from one of the links below and save it to your desktop.

Link 2

  • On Windows XP double-click on the Rkill desktop icon to run the tool.
  • On Windows Vista/Windows 7 or 8, right-click on the Rkill desktop icon and select Run As Administrator
  • A black DOS box will briefly flash and then disappear. This is normal and indicates the tool ran successfully.
  • If not, delete the file, then download and use the one provided in Link 2.
  • If it does not work, repeat the process and attempt to use one of the remaining links until the tool runs.
  • If the tool does not run from any of the links provided, please let me know.
  • Do not reboot the computer, you will need to run the application again.

Backup the Registry:
Modifying the Registry can create unforeseen problems, so it always wise to create a backup before doing so.
  • Please download ERUNT from one of the following links: Link1 | Link2 | Link3
  • ERUNT (Emergency Recovery Utility NT) is a free program that allows you to keep a complete backup of your registry and restore it when needed.
  • Double click on erunt-setup.exe to Install ERUNT by following the prompts.
  • NOTE: Do not choose to allow ERUNT to add an Entry to the Startup folder. Click NO.
  • Start ERUNT either by double clicking on the desktop icon or choosing to start the program at the end of the setup process.
  • Choose a location for the backup.
    • Note: the default location is C:\Windows\ERDNT which is acceptable.

    [*]Make sure that at least the first two check boxes are selected. [*]Click on OK [*]Then click on YES to create the folder. [*]Note: if it is necessary to restore the registry, open the backup folder and start ERDNT.exe

Please run a Threat Scan with MBAM.  If you're unable to run or complete the scan as shown below please see the following:  MBAM Clean Removal Process 2x
When reinstalling the program please try the latest version.

Right click and choose "Run as administrator" to open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and from the Dashboard please Check for Updates by clicking the Update Now... link
Open up Malwarebytes > Settings > Detection and Protection > Enable Scan for rootkit and Under Non Malware Protection set both PUP and PUM to Treat detections as malware.
Click on the SCAN button and run a Threat Scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware by clicking the Scan Now>> button.
Once completed please click on the History > Application Logs and find your scan log and open it and then click on the "copy to clipboard" button and post back the results on your next reply.
Please download RogueKiller and save it to your desktop.

You can check here if you're not sure if your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit

  • RogueKiller 32-bit | RogueKiller 64-bit
  • Quit all running programs.
  • For Windows XP, double-click to start.
  • For Vista,Windows 7/8, Right-click on the program and select Run as Administrator to start and when prompted allow it to run.
  • Read and accept the EULA (End User Licene Agreement)
  • Click Scan to scan the system.
  • When the scan completes Close the program > Don't Fix anything!
  • Don't run any other options, they're not all bad!!
  • Post back the report which should be located on your desktop.

Thank you

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  • 1 month later...
  • Root Admin

Very sorry for the delay. The site has been very busy and there has been more demand for support than we were able handle for a while there.
I'm just now getting back to see if you still need help or not. If you do please reply back and let me know and I'll go ahead and assist you.

Thank you

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Thank you for replying and I apologize for not noticing your reply sooner. Since OP, I have removed the possibly infected internal hard drive and started using my old internal hard drive, which has since given out. Once I received the Windows warning to backup my files, I did just that, and started using Windows To Go off my external hard drive.


General P2P/Piracy Warning:

A friend of mine has used P2P to crack/install pirated software, but to the best of my knowledge, all such files have been deleted after completing their task, but I could be wrong and they may still be on my HDD.

This is the MBAM log for my external, which is presumably healthy:

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Protection, 8/22/2014 9:30:11 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Malware Protection, Starting, 
Protection, 8/22/2014 9:30:11 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Malware Protection, Started, 
Protection, 8/22/2014 9:30:11 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Malicious Website Protection, Starting, 
Protection, 8/22/2014 9:30:12 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Malicious Website Protection, Started, 
Update, 8/22/2014 9:30:38 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Manual, Rootkit Database, 2014.2.20.1, 2014.8.21.1, 
Update, 8/22/2014 9:31:02 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Manual, Malware Database, 2014.3.4.9, 2014.8.22.3, 
Detection, 8/22/2014 9:31:03 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Malicious Website Protection, IP,, i.bigmir.net, 51138, Outbound, C:\Program Files (x86)\Hotspot Shield\bin\FBW.exe, 
Detection, 8/22/2014 9:31:03 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Malicious Website Protection, IP,, i.bigmir.net, 51138, Outbound, C:\Program Files (x86)\Hotspot Shield\bin\FBW.exe, 
Protection, 8/22/2014 9:31:04 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Refresh, Starting, 
Protection, 8/22/2014 9:31:04 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Malicious Website Protection, Stopping, 
Protection, 8/22/2014 9:31:04 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Malicious Website Protection, Stopped, 
Protection, 8/22/2014 9:31:11 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Refresh, Success, 
Protection, 8/22/2014 9:31:11 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Malicious Website Protection, Starting, 
Protection, 8/22/2014 9:31:11 AM, SYSTEM, ACE-EXTERNAL, Protection, Malicious Website Protection, Started, 

But even though MBAM said the scan came back clean, it apparently did find something: nwyark.jpg

The only logfile I found on my desktop (after carrying out all of the steps in order) was Rkill.txt. If necessary I'll repeat the last step.Rkill.txt
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  • 1 month later...
  • Root Admin

Due to the lack of feedback this topic is closed to prevent others from posting here. 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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