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Multiple instances of programs in task manager, but online when connected to internet

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My problem is very insidious, and also very weird. As soon as I connect to the internet, my CPU is flooded by multiple instances of ctfmon.exe, about 17 to 20 instances in the Task Manager. They appear only for a moment before disappearing again, but then multiples instances of explorer.exe (the Windows Explorer, not Internet Explorer) pop up, using anywhere from 25% to 60% of my CPU. Sometimes, even multiple instances of dllhost.exe pop into the Task Manager as well. At this point, my malware removal and prevention steps have taken me through running in Safe Mode and running Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Spybot - Search and Destroy, and even Windows Malware Removal Tool. These programs find no infected files, and say the computer is clean.


Doing research has been hell. I have to continually disable and enable my network adaptor to keep from being overrun, but I have succeeded somewhat. A lot of the forums I have looked at say this is a rootkit issue; one person even started deleting registry keys (I have absolutely no intention of playing that type of Russian Roulette). I saw an entry here, linked at http://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?/topic/140963-multiple-instances-of-explorerexe-in-task-manager/, and the solution went very far, but the user stopped responding near the end, and thus the topic was closed. Instead of just blindly following that topic, I have decided to post here myself to find out what should be done in my case.


Any assistance would be appreciated. My smartphone is currently unaffected, so I will be receiving e-mail updates by following my thread on here, and I will turn my adaptor back on to receive instructions and continue to debug this issue. Thank you very much for your time.

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Hello Xanatrix and :welcome:! My name is Borislav and I will be glad to help you solve your malware problem.

Please note:

  • If you are a paying customer, you have the privilege to contact the help desk at Consumer Support. If you choose this option to get help, please let me know.
  • I recommend you to keep the instructions I will be giving you so that they are available to you at any time. You can save them in a text file or print them.
  • Make sure you read all of the instructions and fixes thoroughly before continuing with them.
  • Follow my instructions strictly and don’t hesitate to stop and ask me if you have any questions.
  • Post your log files, don't attach them. Every log file should be copy/pasted in your next reply.
  • Do not perform any kind of scanning and fixing without my instructions. If you want to proceed on your own, please let me know.
Please follow the instructions here and then post your log files in a new reply in this thread:


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  • 3 weeks 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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