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IE default home page changes to about:blank and Artemis!

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I am hoping one of you good people out there might help me. The default home page IE is set to open in is periodically being changed to about:blank. I change it back in Internet Options but then sooner or later it happens again. I am aware that this is virus behaviour. I have no idea what else may be happening in the background or what other changes may have been made.


I have a DELL XPS 8500 computer running Windows 8.1 with all Microsoft updates installed.


Recently my virus scanner (McAfee) has detected and quarantined several instances of the Artemis! Trojan. I then had it delete them from the quarantine area. I have since run MBAM scanner and quarantined some items it classified as PUPs (just in case). I have since run scans with MBAM and McAfee which are clear but am not sure if there is more I need to do to remove the effects of the infection or whether it may have transferred onto any USB attached storage devices. I also don't know if the IE home page issue is due to this virus (Trojan) but it did seem to start at around the same time.


I have run Hijackthis and the log from this and MBAM scan log are attached.


Thanks in anticipation.

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Hello and post-32477-1261866970.gif


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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.



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Thanks for your reply.


It's a 64 bit system - forgot to mention that!


Here's the log - attached because I couldn't get it to paste in-line. There was another file called additions which I haven't included - let me know if you need that also.


Sorry I didn't respond to you sooner but was expecting to get an alert if anyone posted a reply so didn't revisit immediately!




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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) or the folder it was ran from. Please post it to your reply.




Open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and from the Dashboard please Check for Updates by clicking the Update Now... link.


When update completes Select > 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.




Download AdwCleaner by Xplode onto your Desktop.

Double click on Adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.
Click on Scan
Once the scan is done, click on the Clean button.
You will get a prompt asking to close all programs. Click OK.
Click OK again to reboot your computer.
A text file will open after the restart. Please post the content of that logfile in your reply.
You can also find the logfile at C:\AdwCleaner[sn].txt. Where n in the scan reference number




thisisujrt.gif Please download Junkware Removal Tool to your desktop.

Shut down your protection software now to avoid potential conflicts.
Run the tool by double-clicking it. If you are using Windows Vista, 7, or 8; instead of double-clicking, right-mouse click JRT.exe and select "Run as Administrator".
The tool will open and start scanning your system.
Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system's specifications.
On completion, a log (JRT.txt) is saved to your desktop and will automatically open.
Post the contents of JRT.txt into your next message.


let me see those logs, Also let me know if there are any remaining issues or concerns....





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Done all that. Logs attached.


I found I had to uninstall and reinstall Google Toolbar afterwards but it now seems fine.


My only other query is this... I use Acronis True Image Home edition as my backup tool. It is configured to do a daily incremental backup so I imagine there are (or were) infected files in the backup chain. Would the scans find infected files within the backup (.tib) file? Perhaps I should just delete the current chain and restart a fresh one to be on the safe side.


Likewise, what about email attachments in an Outlook .pst file?


I do full disc image backups about monthly so the last one was before the Artemis! infection and will do another soon now it seems my system is cleaned.


Otherwise I am hoping you will be confirming that the system is clean.

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Regarding ACRONIS, yep I would delete any backups that were created during the time your system had issues, probably best to wait until I give the all clear, a poisoned backup can be better that none at all if needed...


Regarding emails with attachments, common sense is the required trump card, if received emails have attachments that you neither recognize or trust; Delete every time.....


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


Run Eset Online Scanner


**Note** You will need to use Internet explorer for this scan - Vista and Windows 7/8 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.
Select "Change" next to Current scan targets A new window will open, select any extra drives, Flash drives etc as required.
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 in next reply.


Thank you,



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Here are the ESET scan results. A number seem to relate to bundled Ask toolbar in installer packages and I don't want to break the installer of the wanted application if deleting these could have that effect. I am careful to remember to UNCHECK the install Ask toolbar option which often comes with freeware.

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There is only a couple of entrie that requires attention,  the rest are are ok...

Download OTM from either of the following links and save to your Desktop: (If your security alerts to OTM, either accept the alert or turn off security to allow OTM to run)


Double click OTM.exe to start the tool. Vista or Windows 7 users accepy UAC alert. Be aware all processes will be stopped during run, also Desktop will disappear, this will be put back on completion.... If your security alerts to OTM either, accept the alert or turn off security until OTM completes...

  • Copy the text from the code box belowbelow to the clipboard by highlighting ALL of them and pressing CTRL + C (or, after highlighting, right-click and choose Copy). Ensure to start with and include the colon before Files :Files

    :Filesipconfig /flushdns /cC:\Program Files (x86)\InstallConverter bundle uninstallerC:\Windows\Installer\639a0a2.msi:Commands[EmptyTemp]
  • Return to OTMoveIt3, right click in the "Paste Instructions for Items to be Moved" window (under the yellow bar) and choose Paste.
  • Click the red btnmoveit.png button.
  • Copy everything in the Results window (under the green bar) to the clipboard by highlighting ALL of them and pressing CTRL + C (or, after highlighting, right-click and choose copy), and paste it in your next reply.
  • Close OTM

Note: If a file or folder cannot be moved immediately you may be asked to reboot the machine to finish the move process. If you are asked to reboot the machine choose Yes.

If the machine reboots, the Results log can be found here:


Where mmddyyyy_hhmmss is the date of the tool run.


Let me see that log, also give an update on any remaining issues or concerns....

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Here is the OTM log.


System seems to be behaving normally with the exception of occasional strange behaviour which has been happening for some time with my Wi-Fi connection where it occasionally adds the suffix 2 to the network / router name (a range extender) when connecting and won't connect to the internet (i.e. limited). Sometimes it shows as a Public network instead of the private profile. Resetting the routers normally resolves the issue. I don't know if anything done just now might resolve this or whether it is a totally unconnected issue...



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Run the following to clean up:


Download "Delfix by Xplode" and save it to your desktop.


"Delfix link mirror"


Double Click to start the program. If you are using Vista or higher, please right-click and choose run as administrator


Make Sure the following items are checked:


    Activate UAC
    Remove disinfection tools
    Create registry backup
    Purge System Restore
    Reset system settings


Now click on "Run" and wait patiently until the tool has completed.


The tool will create a log when it has completed. We don't need you to post this.


Part of the routine will be to create a registry back up with ERUNT,  the back up will be created here:




When all is known to be well with your system you can delete that back up folder if you consider it as not needed...




Regarding the router, can you reset the password/login details, doe that make any difference?




Read the following link to fully understand PC security and best practices, you may find it useful....





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