Jump to content
George_S

PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic infestation

Recommended Posts

Hi, I have a Dell Latitude E6430 laptop running Win 10  64bit.

I use EMSISOFT Anti-Malware continualloy and Malwarebytes about 1/week.

Malwarebytes reports the PUP.Optional.MindSpark.Generic  quite frequently.  I quarrantine all the entries (usually between 126 and 132) and delete them but it keeps coming back.

How can I eliminate this and prevent it recurring

Regards

George_S

 

image.thumb.png.6fe3b338acaa3c2c50505bdae4c950a1.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi George_S :)

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? :)

Follow the instructions in the thread below, and provide me both FRST logs (FRST.txt and Addition.txt) and the Malwarebytes log. You can attach them in your next post, or copy/paste their content.

https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/9573-im-infected-what-do-i-do-now/
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Goerge_S,

Are you still with me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Aura,

Apologies for delayed response, Today (Monday am) is the first time I have had comms access.

I ran the Malwarebytes threat scan as advised.  No threats since I quarantined the last bunch.  I have included the latest threat scan and the provious one with the MindSpark entries

I then ran the Fubar and attach the Fubar.txt and the Additions. txt

Regards

George

PS:  I hope these are OK

 

FRST.txt

Addition.txt

mALWAREBYTES SCAN 2018-06-08.txt

Malwarebytes prev results.txt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know this Google Chrome extension? If not, we'll remove it using FRST.

CHR Extension: (Scanguard Safe Search) - C:\Users\georg\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\kkljlnkimgcfmiklhilenokeckdiiepf [2018-04-25]

Also, what Malwarebytes detected and removed in the original scan is a Google Chrome extension, though from what I can see, it hasn't come back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi AUra,

the MindSpark with chrome references has come back numerous times in the past year or so.  I have always assumed that it is being dropped onto my system during internet browsing. My wife looks up chrocheting and knitting patterns etc quite frequently (pinterest etc)  no idea if this can be the source.

Regards

George_S

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LdH4gmf.pngGoogle Chrome - Remove Extension/App

  • In Google Chrome, enter chrome://extensions in the address bar and press on Enter
  • In the Extensions page, uninstall these (by clicking on the little garbage can icon on their right)
    • Scanguard Safe Search
  • If you don't see the extension listed, it means that it's installed as an App. So enter chrome://apps in the address bar and press on Enter
  • From the Apps page, look for the app, right-click on it and select Remove from Chrome

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.

  • Download the attached fixlist.txt file, and save it on your Desktop (or wherever your FRST.exe/FRST64.exe executable is located)
  • Right-click on the FRST executable and select Spcusrh.pngRun as Administrator (for Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 users)
  • 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

fixlist.txt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Aura,

I removed the extension Scanguard from Chrome

Then ran Frst64.exe using the fixlist then did restart as instructed

Herewith the fixlog.txt

Is there anything I can add to the firewall to block this Scanguard from re-appearing, if this is the source of the MindSpark pups?

Hope all is now well

Regards

George_S

 

Fixlog.txt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really. A firewall won't prevent a rogue Google Chrome extenstion from reinstalling itself, it's not made for that.

What I'll do is check back with you in 72h, and see if the MindSpark PUP and/or ScanGuard extension came back. Is that good?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Aura,

Tx for all your expert assistance.

I ran a MB threat scan just now with no threats detected.

Qeustions:-

  1. I presume I can delete the items in quarantine now.
  2. Do you have any advice re suppression of advertisements on Chrome

Regards

George_S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote
  1. I presume I can delete the items in quarantine now.

You can, yes.

Quote
  1.  Do you have any advice re suppression of advertisements on Chrome

If by suppression of ads in Google Chrome, you mean adblocking, then yes, you should use uBlock Origin.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ublock-origin/cjpalhdlnbpafiamejdnhcphjbkeiagm?hl=en

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Aura,

Have deleted all items from quarantine and installed uBlock Origin.  FIrst impression is that there is quite a bit of overhead when loading a URL in Chrome but TWT!

Ran MB  just now and 0 threats

Thank you for your assistance,

Regards

George_S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem George you're welcome! Were there any other issues tro address?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem George, you're welcome!

Since there are no signs of infection anymore in your logs, and you just told me that there are no more issues left to address, I guess we're done here. We'll wrap it up by running DelFix to delete the tools and logs that were used in this clean-up.

BWuhenj.pngDelFix
Follow the instructions below to download and execute DelFix.

  • Download DelFix and move the executable to your Desktop
  • Right-click on DelFix.exe and select Spcusrh.pngRun as Administrator (for Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 users)
  • Check the following options :
    • Activate UAC
    • Remove disinfection tools
    • Create registry backup
    • Purge system restore
    • Reset system settings
  • Once all the options mentionned above are checked, click on Run
  • After DelFix is done running, a log will open. Please copy/paste the content of the output log in your next reply

Qt25440.pngTips, tricks, advice and recommendations

Now it's time to give you some tips, tricks, advice and recommendations on how to protect your system and prevent you from being infected in the future. This is where I'll explain basic security measures that you should take to protect and harden your system, and also make sure it stays as safe and secure as possible against hackers and malware. You are free to ignore the recommendations listed below, although I obviously do not recommend it. If you have any questions about one of the points covered in the speech below, feel free to ask me your questions here directly so I can answer them and guide you.

Windows Updates

Keeping Windows up to date is one of the first steps in having a safe and secure system. The Security Updates that Windows receives are meant to fix exploits and flaws in it that makes it more secure and not exploitable by hackers. In order to do that, you should always install the Security Updates, known as "Important Updates" on your Windows system. These updates are released on the second Tuesday of every month, but some are also released before if they are emergency/critical Security Updates. Let's make sure that you have all your Important Updates and Recommended Updates installed and that your Windows Updates are set to be installed automatically.

Keeping your programs up-to-date

Like keeping Windows updated, keeping your installed programs up-to-date is another important step in having a safe and secure system. Outdated programs can be exploited by hackers and malware to infect a system and take it over. This is especially true today with the rise of Exploit Kits (and also 0-days) which is one of the biggest attack vectors to distribute malware. Therefore, you should always keep vulnerable programs like Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Shockwave Player, Java, Silverlight, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, VLC Media Player, etc. updated to their most recent version (even better, you don't have to install them if you don't use them). Programs like eF2jhaz.pngUCheck, SUMo and y5YE7At.pngHeimdal Free will scan your system for outdated programs, and help you identify them, as well as update them.

Anti-Virus

Note: The programs listed below are all free to use or they have some sort of trial. Some of them have a paid version that provides more features, while a lot of other good programs only have a paid version but aren't listed there (such as Kaspersky and ESET Antivirus products).

Anti-Malware, Anti-Exploit and Anti-Ransomware

Having a decent security setup (which also includes an Antivirus) is the most crucial step to protect a system. These programs are additional layers of defence that will prevent a system from being infected, or if it somehow ends up infected, help mitigate the infection and remediate it. Fortunately, the new Malwarebytes 3 bundle all these layers in one, easy to use and efficient product. Malwarebytes 3 offers Malware, Web, Exploit and Ransomware protection modules that works together in order to keep your system protected and stop an infection at multiple level.

  • j1Bynr2.pngMalwarebytes - Comes with a free trial of the Premium version for 14 days, after which it reverts back to the Free version

Note: Please note that only the Premium version of Malwarebytes 3 offers real-time protection (Malware, Web, Exploit and Ransomware). The free version only allows you to scan your system for threats and remove them.

Firewall

Starting in Windows Vista, the Windows Firewall greatly improved and will satisfy the needs of most users. If you do not have an Internet Suite Antivirus program (which includes a firewall) and you want to use a 3rd party firewall, you can consider the options below.

  • 7p3JzTS.pngGlassWire - Has both a free and paid version (with different packages)
  • MQIMh6k.pngWindows Firewall Control - Gives you more control over your Windows Firewall
  • 5RXGshU.pngTinyWall - Lightweight firewall implementing the Windows Firewall and giving you more control over it

Web Browsers and Web Browsing

Web Browsers could be considered as the closest door between a malware and your system. This is where most malware goes through to infect a system, and therefore it should be the program(s) you want to secure the most. There are two ways of going about it: hardening your web browser via extensions, and having good browsing habits. 

Hardening your web browser means to install extensions that will help it protect itself (and your system on the same occasion) against Exploit Kits, MiTM attacks, etc. but also you at the same time. Here are a few extensions that I recommend you to install.

  • uBlock Origin: Efficient multi-purpose blocker that is lightweight on RAM and CPU usage (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera and most Chromium and Firefox-based browsers)
  • HTTPS Everywhere: Extension that converts your HTTP (unencrypted) requests to HTTPS (encrypted) ones (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera)
  • Web of Trust: Website reputation, rating and review extension that will help you quickly identify bad and suspicious sites from good ones (every web browsers)
  • NoScript: NoScript is a script blocker (Java, Flash, JavaScript, etc.) for Mozilla Firefox and Firefox-based browsers (Mozilla Firefox and Firefox-based web browsers)
  • uMatrix: For advanced users, a point and click matrix-like extensions that allow you to control requests done on a webpage (based on source, destination and type) (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera)
  • LastPass: Secure password manager allowing you to create, manage, and use passwords you save in your LastPass account (every web browser)

As for safe browsing habits, you can find tons of guides, tutorials, articles, etc. online that will highlight the basics you need to follow (only visit websites you trust, do not click on ads, do not download files from untrusted sources, use a password manager, always verify the URL of a website and make sure it's correctly typed, etc.), and even what you can do if you want to take it a step further (create a fake email address for spam emails, browse the web in a privacy mode, etc.). Here are a few:


As you can see, there are plenty of resources out there. Simply Googling "good browsing habits" or "safe browsing habits" should allow you to find a lot of them.

Other recommendations

Even if you follow every recommendation that I listed here, in the end, it's also your job to be careful when browsing the web and downloading files if you don't want to get infected. Therefore, if you use your brain (common sense) when browsing the web, downloading programs and files, etc., you have far less chances to get infected by a malware. If for example you're not sure if a website is legitimate or not, or if a file is safe to download and execute, or if a program looks "too good" to be free, I suggest you to avoid going to that website, downloading that file or using that program.

Here are a few guides, tutorials, articles, etc. that you could read in order to learn more about computer protection and security to improve your current computer protection setup but also improve your good web browsing and computer usage practices :


gRvSooB.pngThe End!

And that's it! Now that you know more about how to protect your computer and secure it, you're good to go back to your online activities, but in a safe and secure way! You are also free to stay on the forums and ask for help in different topics if you ever need to. Just make sure that you post your question/issue in the right section to get the best assistance possible. And if you ever get infected again (which I hope you wont!), you can always comeback in this section to get another checkup with one of our trained malware removal member.

Do you have any questions before I close this thread? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Aura

Tx for the useful info

herewith the Delfix log

and Thank you again

Regards

George_S

# DelFix v1.013 - Logfile created 12/08/2018 at 17:22:12
# Updated 17/04/2016 by Xplode
# Username : georg - JNB-ELB-SOLG
# Operating System : Windows 10 Enterprise  (64 bits)

~ Activating UAC ... OK

~ Removing disinfection tools ...

Deleted : C:\FRST
Deleted : C:\AdwCleaner
Deleted : C:\RegBackup
Deleted : C:\Users\georg\Desktop\Addition.txt
Deleted : C:\Users\georg\Desktop\Fixlog.txt
Deleted : C:\Users\georg\Desktop\FRST.txt
Deleted : C:\Users\georg\Desktop\FRST64 (1).exe
Deleted : C:\Users\georg\Desktop\FRST64.exe
Deleted : C:\Users\georg\Downloads\Addition.txt
Deleted : C:\Users\georg\Downloads\AdwCleaner.exe.hnoi8xc.partial
Deleted : C:\Users\georg\Downloads\adwcleaner_7.0.8.0.exe
Deleted : C:\Users\georg\Downloads\FRST.txt
Deleted : C:\Users\georg\Downloads\FRST64.exe
Deleted : HKLM\SOFTWARE\AdwCleaner

~ Creating registry backup ... OK

~ Cleaning system restore ...

Deleted : RP #22 [Scheduled Checkpoint | 08/03/2018 11:35:38]

New restore point created !

~ Resetting system settings ... OK

########## - EOF - ##########

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem George, you're welcome!

Stay safe :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This site uses cookies - We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.