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My laptop (Windows 8.1, 64-bit) recently was infected with what I believe is the smartservice rootkit/virus.  I somehow disabled its ability to prevent MBAR/Malwarebytes from opening, so I can (and have) scanned with them to no avail.

The infection seems to be in two folders located at AppData\Local\pwdacnz and AppData\Local\cwaitrx.  It manifests itself as a multiple Windows Process Manager (32 bit) entries which are all named pshlxct.exe

I have also used Roguekiller, Adwcleaner, FRST, GMER, TDSSkiller (didn't work) and Rkill.  Roguekiller was able to detect and (I think) delete pwdacnz and cwaitrx at first but when I restated my computer the folders re-appeared.

 

I recently ran windows update and my windows security should be updated, if that matters at all.

 

Here are my FRST logs.  Here's my mbar log as well.  I have access to a USB drive and clean computer.

FRST.txt

Addition.txt

mbar-log-2018-05-06 (19-33-45).txt

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***This is an automated reply***

Hi,

Thanks for posting in the Malware Removal for Windows Help forum. Being infected is not fun and can be very frustrating to resolve, but don't worry because we have a team of experts here help you!!

Note: Please be patient. When the site is busy it can take up to 48 hours before a malware removal helper can assist you. If no one has replied to your new topic after 48 hours please contact a Moderator or Administrator to let them know.

 

First, if you haven't done so, please run a Threat Scan with the latest version of Malwarebytes. This may resolve your malware infection issue without the need for additional support. Click "Reveal Hidden Contents" below for details:

Spoiler

Malwarebytes can detect and remove most malware with no further actions required for free.

If you do not have Malwarebytes, please download it here and install. Be sure to post back the log as shown below.

  1. Open Malwarebytes for Windows
  2. To the left, click Scan > Scan Types.
    image.png
  3. Select Threat Scan. Threat Scan is the most thorough and recommended scan method available.
    image.png
  4. Click Start Scan

Next, if you're still experiencing issues after running Malwarebytes, then technical logs will be required to assist you. Click "Reveal Hidden Contents" below and follow the instructions to run the Farbar Recovery Scan Tool:

Spoiler

Don't use any temporary file cleaners unless requested - this can cause data loss and make a recovery difficult.

Please download the Farbar Recovery Scan Tool here and save it to your desktop. Note: You need to run the version compatible with your system. You can check here if you're not sure if your computer is 32-bit or 64-bit

  1. Double-click to run it. When the tool opens click Yes to the disclaimer.
  2. Press the Scan button.
    _frst_scan.jpg.d10e66dc03e35ede4fdcba12b
  3. It will make a log (FRST.txt) in the same directory the tool is run. Please copy and paste it to your reply.
  4. The first time the tool is run, it also makes another log (Addition.txt). If you've run it before it may not and you may need to select it manually.

Finally, attach the Malwarebytes Threat Scan, FRST.txt and Additional.txt logs to your reply and Follow this topic to get notified when an expert has replied. Click "Reveal Hidden Contents" below for details.

Note: If you are unable to attach files, please copy and past the contents of the requested files in your Reply instead. 

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To save attachments, please click the link as shown below. You can click and drag the files to this bar or you can click the choose files, then browse to where your files are located, select them and click the Open button.

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Please Note the Following:

  • One of our expert helpers will give you one-on-one assistance when one becomes available.
  • Refrain from making any further changes to your computer (such as Install/Uninstall programs, using special fix tools, delete files, edit the registry, etc...) unless advised by a malware removal helper. Doing so can result in system changes which may hinder the attempts by a helper to clean your machine.
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Troubleshooting Tips

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Hi chelbrine :)

My name is Aura and I'll be assisting you with your malware issue. Since we'll be working together, you can call me Aura or Yoan, which is my real name, it's up to you! Now that we've broke the ice, I'll just ask you a few things during the time we'll be working together to clean your system and get it back to an operational state.

  • As you'll notice, the logs we are asking for here are quite lenghty, so it's normal for me to not reply exactly after you post them. This is because I need some time to analyse them and then act accordingly. However, I'll always reply within 24 hours, 48 hours at most if something unexpected happens
  • As long as I'm assisting you on Malwarebytes Forums, in this thread, I'll ask you to not seek assistance anywhere else for any issue related to the system we are working on. If you have an issue, question, etc. about your computer, please ask it in this thread and I'll assist you
  • The same principle applies to any modifications you make to your system, I would like you to ask me before you do any manipulations that aren't in the instructions I posted. This is to ensure that we are operating in sync and I know exactly what's happening on your system
  • If you aren't sure about an instruction I'm giving you, ask me about it. This is to ensure that the clean-up process goes without any issue. I'll answer you and even give you more precise instructions/explanations if you need. There's no shame in asking questions here, better be safe than sorry!
  • If you don't reply to your thread within 3 days, I'll bump this thread to let you know that I'm waiting for you. If you don't reply after 5 days, it'll be closed. If you return after that period, you can send me a PM to get it unlocked and we'll continue where we left off;
  • Since malware can work quickly, we want to get rid of them as fast as we can, before they make unknown changes to the system. This being said, I would appreciate if you could reply to this thread within 24 hours of me posting. This way, we'll have a good clean-up rhythm and the chances of complications will be reduced
  • I'm against any form of pirated, illegal and counterfeit software and material. So if you have any installed on your system, I'll ask you to uninstall them right now. You don't have to tell me if you indeed had some or not, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Plus, this would be against Malwarebytes Forums's rules
  • In the end, you are the one asking for assistance here. So if you wish to go a different way during the clean-up, like format and reinstall Windows, you are free to do so. I would appreciate you to let me know about it first, and if you need, I can also assist you in the process
  • I would appreciate if you were to stay with me until the end, which means, until I declare your system clean. Just because your system isn't behaving weirdly anymore, or is running better than before, it doesn't mean that the infection is completely gone
    This being said, I have a full time job so sometimes it'll take longer for me to reply to you. Don't worry, you'll be my first priority as soon as I get home and have time to look at your thread


This being said, it's time to clean-up some malware, so let's get started, shall we? :)

iO3R662.pngFarbar Recovery Scan Tool (FRST) - Fix mode
Follow the instructions below to execute a fix on your system using FRST, and provide the log in your next reply.

  • Right-click on the FRST executable and select Spcusrh.pngRun as Administrator (for Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 users)
  • Copy/paste the following inside the text area:
    Start::
    CMD: bcdedit.exe /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes
    CMD: bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled yes
    End::
    
  • Click on the Fix button
    NYA5Cbr.png
  • On completion, a message will come up saying that the fix has been completed and it'll open a log in Notepad
  • Copy and paste its content in your next reply

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For the next part, you'll need to download the FRST executable a clean computer, and move them on your USB Flash Drive. That USB can only be inserted in the infected computer if it is either shutdown, or in the Windows RE. Otherwise, the infection will mess with the files on the USB and you'll have to restart.

iO3R662.pngFarbar Recovery Scan Tool (FRST) - Recovery Environment Scan
Follow the instructions below to download and execute a scan on your system with FRST from the Recovery Environment, and provide the logs in your next reply.

Item(s) required:

  • USB Flash Drive (size depend on if you have to create a USB Recovery or Installation media)
  • Another computer (clean of infection)
  • CD/DVD (optional: only needed if you need to create a Recovery or Installation media and your USB Flash Drive is too small)

Preparing the USB Flash Drive

  • Download the right version of FRST for your system from a clean computer:
    • FRST 32-bit
    • FRST 64-bit
      Note: Only the right version will run on your system, the other will throw an error message. So if you don't know what your system's version is, simply download both of them, and the one that works is the one you should be using.
  • Move the executable (FRST.exe or FRST64.exe) on your USB Flash Drive

Boot in the Recovery Environment

  • To enter the Recovery Environment with Windows Vista and Windows 7, follow the instructions below:
    • Restart the computer
    • Once you've seen your BIOS splashscreen (the computer manufacturer logo), tap the F8 key repeatedly until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears
    • Use the arrow keys to select Repair your computer, and press on Enter
    • Select your keyboard layout (US, French, etc.) and click on Next
    • Click on Command Prompt to open the command prompt
      Note:If you can't access the Recovery Environment using the F8 method above, you'll need to create a Windows installation or repair media. It can be made on the computer itself or another one running the same version of Windows as the one you plan to use it on. For more information, check out this tutorial on SevenForums.
  • To enter the Recovery Environment with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, follow the instructions in this tutorial on EightForums
    Note:If you can't access the Recovery Environment using the method above, you'll need to create a Windows installation or repair media. It can be made on the computer itself or another one running the same version of Windows as the one you plan to use it on. For more information, check out this tutorial.
  • To enter the Recovery Environment with Windows 10, follow the instructions in this tutorial on TenForums
    Note:If you can't access the Recovery Environment using the method above, you'll need to create a Windows installation or repair media. It can be made on the computer itself or another one running the same version of Windows as the one you plan to use it on. For more information, check out this tutorial on TenForums.
  • Once in the Windows RE, plug the USB Flash Drive in the computer

Once in the command prompt

  • In the command prompt, type notepad and press on Enter
  • Notepad will open. Click on the File menu and select Open
  • Click on Computer/This PC, find the letter for your USB Flash Drive, then close the window and Notepad
  • In the command prompt, type e:\frst.exe (for the x64 version, type e:\frst64.exe and press on Enter
  • Note: Replace the letter e with the drive letter of your USB Flash Drive
  • FRST will open
  • Click on Yes to accept the disclaimer
  • Click on the Scan button and wait for the scan to complete
  • A log called FRST.txt will be saved on your USB Flash Drive. Attach it in your next reply

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It's still safe to use :) Now you should be able to install and run a scan with Malwarebytes.

j1Bynr2.pngMalwarebytes - Clean Mode

  • Download and install the free version of Malwarebytes
    Note: If you have Malwarebytes already installed, you don't need to install it again. Simply start from the next bullet point
  • Once Malwarebytes is installed, launch it and let it update his database. You might have to click on the little arrow by Scan Status in the middle right pane for it to do so
  • Once the database update is complete, click on the Scan tab, then select the Threat Scan button and click on Start Scan
  • Let the scan run, the time required to complete the scan depends of your system and computer specs
  • Once the scan is complete, make sure that the first checkbox at the top is checked (which will automatically check every detected item), then click on the Quarantine Selected button
    • If it asks you to restart your computer to complete the removal, do so
  • Click on Export Summary after the deletion (in the bottom-left corner) and select Copy to Clipboard. Paste the content in your next reply


 
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Good :) Now let's do a sweep with AdwCleaner and RogueKiller.

zcMPezJ.pngAdwCleaner - Fix Mode

  • Download AdwCleaner and move it to your Desktop
  • Right-click on AdwCleaner.exe and select Spcusrh.pngRun as Administrator (for Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 users)
  • Accept the EULA (I accept), then click on Scan
  • Let the scan complete. Once it's done, make sure that every item listed in the different tabs is checked and click on the Clean button. This will kill all active processes
    V7SD4El.png
  • Once the cleaning process is complete, AdwCleaner will ask to restart your computer, do it
  • After the restart, a log will open when logging in. Please copy/paste the content of that log in your next reply

RQKuhw1.pngRogueKiller

  • Download the right version of RogueKiller for your Windows version (32 or 64-bit)
  • Once done, move the executable file to your Desktop, right-click on it and select Spcusrh.pngRun as Administrator (for Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 users)
  • Click on the Start Scan button in the right panel, which will bring you to another tab, and click on it again (this time it'll be in the bottom right corner)
  • Wait for the scan to complete
  • On completion, the results will be displayed
  • Check every single entry (threat found), and click on the Remove Selected button
  • On completion, the results will be displayed. Click on the Open Report button in the bottom left corner, followed by the Open TXT button (also in the bottom left corner)
  • This will open the report in Notepad. Copy/paste its content in your next reply

Your next reply(ies) should therefore contain:

  • Copy/pasted AdwCleaner clean log
  • Copy/pasted RogueKiller clean log

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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 topic with your request.

This applies only to the originator of this topic. Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread.

Thanks

 

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