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Acknowledged.exe / Biden.exe


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Good afternoon everyone,

First time visit to the forum, looks like a place full of knowledge and helpful people!  I am a seasoned tech, spend a lot of time on the PC and all that jazz... I was looking to help someone yesterday and opened a file that I obviously shouldn't have.  Made more and more apparent as the day went on.  I noticed two programs that kept popping up and running,  Acknowledged.exe and Biden.exe. They are playing little sound bytes in the background.  I open the locations and delete the programs after I ended the task but they kept coming back.  I noticed at this time my real-time protection was turned off, for Windows Defender.  I downloaded and ran Malware Bytes Free edition let it clean the drive and uninstalled it.  Tried to turn my real time protection back on, but it said this was "controlled by my organization".  I found the reg key blocking that and deleted it and got Defender back to normal.  However it is not finding these programs.  I had to step away for a bit and when I returned my computer was playing these sound bites again... It was late and I had to work this morning so I powered it down and figured I would take another stab at it after work today,  any assistance is greatly apprecaited. 

 

Thanks,

Tom

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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 an 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:

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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.

    auto-reply-scan-types2.jpg.86e24e955a95d
     
  3. Select Threat Scan. Threat Scan is the most thorough and recommended scan method available.

    auto-reply-scan-types1.jpg.f4eee0e0c9375
     
  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:

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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.d79beccbb6e66628e557f6c28
     
  3. It will make a log (FRST.txt) in the same directory the tool is run. Please attach or 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. Before submitting your reply, be sure to enable "Notify me of replies" like so:   notify me.jpeg
 

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Troubleshooting Tips

 

 

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Hello TomSpgh113 and welcome to Malwarebytes,

Continue with the following:

Download Farbar Recovery Scan Tool and save it to your desktop.

Alternative download option: http://www.techspot.com/downloads/6731-farbar-recovery-scan-tool.html

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.

If your security alerts to FRST either, accept the alert or turn your security off to allow FRST to run. It is not malicious or infected in any way...

Be aware FRST must be run from an account with Administrator status...
 
  • Double-click to run it. When the tool opens click Yes to disclaimer.(Windows 8/10 users will be prompted about Windows SmartScreen protection - click More information and Run.)
  • Make sure Addition.txt is checkmarked under "Optional scans"
    user posted image
     
  • Press Scan button to run the tool....
  • It will make a log (FRST.txt) in the same directory the tool is run. Please copy and paste it to your reply.
  • The tool will also make a log named (Addition.txt) Please attach that log to your reply.


Let me see those logs in your reply...

Thank you,

Kevin....
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Hello Tom,

You`re logs indicate smartservice infection, you will need access to a spare PC and USB flashdrive 4GB or above. Do the following first on your sick PC:

Open FRST, copy/paste the following inside the text area of FRST. Once done, click on the Fix button. A file called fixlog.txt should appear on your desktop or the folder you saved FRST to. Attach it in your next reply.

Start::
CMD: bcdedit.exe /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes
CMD: bcdedit.exe /set {default} recoveryenabled yes
End::

user posted image

Next,

Boot up your spare PC plug in the flash drive, navigate to that drive, right click on it direct and select format. Quick option is adequate...

Next,

On that same PC downoad and save FRST to same Flash drive, make sure to get the correct version, if you are unsure d/l and save both, only the correct one will run. Do not plug Flash Drive into sick PC until booted to Recovery Environment.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/farbar-recovery-scan-tool/

Next,

Boot sick PC to Recovery Environment, if you are unsure of that action have a read at the following link, maybe bookmark for future reference...

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2294-boot-advanced-startup-options-windows-10-a.html

Next,

From the Windows 10 Tutorial you should get access to the Advanced Startup Options at boot for Windows 10

user posted image


From that window select "Troubleshoot"


user posted image


From the next window select "Advance Options"


user posted image


From that Window select "Command Prompt"

Ensure to plug the flash drive into a USB port... You should now be in Recovery Environment with the Command Prompt Window open......

Continue with the following:
 
  • Select Command Prompt
  • In the command window type in notepad and press Enter.
  • The notepad opens. Under File menu select Open.
  • Select "Computer" or "My PC" and find your flash drive letter and close the notepad.
  • In the command window type E:\frst64 or E:\frst depending on your version. Press Enter Note: Replace letter E with the drive letter of your flash drive.
  • The tool will start to run.
  • When the tool opens click Yes to disclaimer.
  • Press Scan button.
  • It will make a log (FRST.txt) on the flash drive. Please copy and paste it to your reply.


Leave the infected PC in Recovery mode, post the produced log from your flash drive via the spare PC....

Thank you,

Kevin..

 

 

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Thanks foor those logs TomSpgh113, continue:

Boot your sick PC back to normal mode, then....

Download Malwarebytes version 3 from the following link:

https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/thankyou/

Double click on the installer and follow the prompts. If necessary select the Blue Help tab for video instructions....

When the install completes and is updated do the following:

Open Malwarebytes, select > "settings" > "protection tab"

Scroll down to "Scan Options" ensure Scan for Rootkits and Scan within Archives are both on....

Go back to "DashBoard" select the Blue "Scan Now" tab......

When the scan completes deal with any found entries... Then select "Export Summary" then "Text File (*.txt)" name that log and save , you can copy or attach that to your reply...

Next,

Run FRST one more time, ensure all boxes are checkmarked under "Whitelist" but only Addition.txt under "Optional scan" Select scan, when done post the new logs. "FRST.txt" and "Addition.txt"

Let me see those logs in your reply...

Thank you,

Kevin...
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Kevin,

Thank you again.

I had to run the MB scan twice, for some reason it froze up about a half hour in the first time.  It had found 27 items that I quarantined and then I ran the scan again.  The second time it took about 5 hours and completed, finding an additional 10 items.  I quarantined those and rebooted as requested.  Attached you will find both log files and the FRST and Addition logs.

 

Thanks,

Tom

MBlog2nd.txt

MBlog1st.txt

Addition.txt

FRST.txt

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Thanks for those logsTomSpgh113, continue:

Download attached fixlist.txt file (end of reply) and save it to the Desktop, or the folder you saved FRST into. "Do not open that file when running FRST fix"
NOTE. It's important that both FRST and fixlist.txt are in the same location or the fix will not work.

Open 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.

Next,

Download AdwCleaner by Malwarebytes onto your Desktop.

Or from this Mirror
 
  • Right-click on AdwCleaner.exe and select user posted imageRun 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 the active processes
  • 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


Next,

Download Microsoft's " Malicious Software Removal Tool" and save direct to the desktop

Ensure to get the correct version for your system....

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/malicious-software-removal-tool-details.aspx


Right click on the Tool, select “Run as Administrator” the tool will expand to the options Window
In the "Scan Type" window, select Quick Scan
Perform a scan and Click Finish when the scan is done.


Retrieve the MSRT log as follows, and post it in your next reply:

1) Select the Windows key and R key together to open the "Run" function
2) Type or Copy/Paste the following command to the "Run Line" and Press Enter:

notepad c:\windows\debug\mrt.log

The log will include log details for each time MSRT has run, we only need the most recent log by date and time....

Let me see those logs in your reply, also tell me if there are any remaining issues or concerns....

Thank you,

Kevin..

fixlist.txt

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Kevin,

Please find attached the log files you requested.  I haven't noticed any additional issues, but work has had me so busy (I have a separate work machine) that I haven't got to use this machine that much.  Pretty much only the times I have sat down to carry out your instructions and reply, which will be changing in the near future. 

I understand all the steps you had me carry out, but never the order in which to carry them out I guess and where to look for these terrible infections.  

Thank you for what you do! 

mrt.log

Fixlog.txt

AdwCleaner[C00].txt

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Unless you have remaining issues or concerns run the following to clean up:

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

Or use the following if first link is down:

"Delfix link mirror"

If your security program alerts to Delfix either, accept the alert or turn your security off.

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:

 
  • Remove disinfection tools <----- this will remove tools we may have used.
  • Purge System Restore <--- this will remove all previous and possibly exploited restore points, a new point relative to system status at present will be created.
  • Reset system settings <--- this will reset any system settings back to default that were changed either by us during cleansing or malware/infection


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.

Any remnant files/logs from tools we have used can be deleted…

Next,

Read the following links to fully understand PC Security and Best Practices, you may find them useful....

Answers to Common Security Questions and best Practices

Do I need a Registry Cleaner?

Take care and surf safe

Kevin... user posted image
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Glad we could help.

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 thread.Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread.

Thanks

 

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