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PUPs Keep Reappearing - Another Local Computer Potentially Infected

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When I installed a program, even after removal there are unwanted PUPs that keep reappearing. At the same time, my other laptop may also have been affected by this, and HackToolKMS have been detected by malwarebytes and is slowing it down even after removal as well. Here are the logs for this computer with the PUPs.

 

Addition.txt FRST.txt

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Hi,   :welcome:

My name is Maurice. I will be helping and guiding you, going forward on this case.

Let me know what first name you prefer to go by.

Please know that on this thread, we will work on only just one machine.   The one for which you supplied the report above.

Please follow my directions as we go along.  Please do not do any changes on your own without first checking with me.

If you will be away for more than 3 consecutive days,  do try to let me know ahead of time, as much as possible.

 

Please only just attach   all report files, etc  that I ask for as we go along.    Please do all that I list below, as first steps.

You mad no mention at all of the specific PUP detail   ( it would help to get all the Malwarebytes history  ....or at minimum a copy of the last Scan report).

I would like you to do things in the following order.

[    1   ]

The Microsoft Safety Scanner  is a free Microsoft stand-alone virus scanner that  can be used to scan for & remove malware or potentially unwanted software from a system.

The download links & the how-to-run-the tool are at this link at Microsoft

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/intelligence/safety-scanner-download

 

Let me know the result of this.

The log is named MSERT.log 

the log will be at  %SYSTEMROOT%\debug\msert.log   which in most cases is

C:\Windows\debug\msert.log

Please attach that log with your reply.


[    2    ]

I would appreciate  getting some key details from this machine in order to help you forward.
 NOTE: The tools and the information obtained is safe and not harmful to your privacy or your computer, please allow the programs to run if blocked by your system.

 

Do have patience while the report tool runs.  It may take several minutes.  Just let it run & take its time.  You may want to close your other open windows so that there is a clear field of view.

Download Malwarebytes Support Tool
    
    
    Once the file is downloaded, open your Downloads folder/location of the downloaded file
    Double-click mb-support-1.5.4.760.exe  to run the report
        You may be prompted by User Account Control (UAC) to allow changes to be made to your computer. Click Yes to consent.
        
    Place a checkmark next to Accept License Agreement and click Next
    You will be presented with a page stating, "Get Started!"

    Do NOT use the button “Start repair” !
    Click the Advanced tab on the left column
    
    Click the Gather Logs button
    
    A progress bar will appear and the program will proceed with getting logs from your computer
   
    Upon completion, click a file named mbst-grab-results.zip will be saved to your Desktop. Click OK
    Please attach the ZIP file in your next reply.

 

Please know I help here as a volunteer.  and that I am not on 24 x 7.

Help on this forum is one to one.   Again, please be sure to ONLY attach report files  with your reply (s)  as we go along.  Do not do a copy / paste into main body.

Thank you,

Sincerely.

 

 

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Hi Maurice, you can call me Ethan. Thank you for the prompt reply.

My operating system is Windows 10 Home. Processor: Intel Core i3-1700U CPU @2.40GHz 64 bit hp laptop. Let me know if you need more details.

I attached the scan history with the list of PUPs for malwarebytes. 

For the microsoft safety scanner results, what might be useful to know is that I had previously put the listed partially-removed malware on the allow list on windows defender. Afterwards, I installed malwarebytes and since removed PUPs continuously. Because I can't access windows defender allow list with malwarebytes installed, should I uninstall malwarebytes in an attempt to remove the said partially-removed malware? 

I have also uploaded the malwarebytes scan history including the PUPs and the grab results.

 

Scanhistory.txt mbst-grab-results.zip msert.log

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No, do not uninstall Malwarebytes.   Please just follow my guidance as we go along.   It is going to take a few rounds to get some things cleaned out.

What Malwarebytes found and removed are a few P U P  ( potentially unwanted "add-ons" )  that also hapen to be related to Chrome history.

Please keep going down this list and do as much as you can.   But in any event, keep on going down the list.

[   1   ]

Use Chrome browser   to go to https://www.google.com/settings/chrome/sync and sign into your account.
Scroll down until you see the "reset sync" button and click on the button
At the prompt click on "Ok".

[   2   ]

for Chrome, while Chrome is running:
Press & hold SHIFT+CTRL+Del keys  on keyboard to get menu for clearing browsing data:

Check mark the line  "Browsing history"

Check mark the line "Download history"

Check mark the lined "Cached images and files"
and press Clear Data button  ( in blue )

[   3   ]

After that, make real sure that Chrome is "NOT" set to reload the pages from the last session

Go into the settings menu of Chrome by first clicking  the control icon of Chrome on upper right of the adress bar

Then look deeper in SETTINGS

image.png.bfcbff4c25a7a1a131de4b71555efd0c.png

 

Make real sure it is "NOT" set to "continue where you left off"

.

[   4   ]

See this article on our Malwarebytes Blog
https://blog.malwarebytes.com/security-world/technology/2019/01/browser-push-notifications-feature-asking-abused/

 

You want to disable the ability of each web browser on this machine from being able to allow "push ads". That means Chrome, Firefox, or Edge browser (on Windows 10), or on Opera.

Scroll down to the tips section "How do I disable them".

[   5   ]

I suggest you install the Malwarebytes Browser guard for Chrome.

To get & install the Malwarebytes Browser Guard extension for Chrome,

 

Open this link in your Chrome   browser: 

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/malwarebytes/ihcjicgdanjaechkgeegckofjjedodee

 

Then proceed with the setup.

 

[   6    ]

I  would suggest to download, Save, and then run Malwarebytes ADWCLEANER.

Please close Chrome and all other open web browsers after you have saved the Adwcleaner and before you start Adwcleaner scan.

Adwcleaner  detects factory Preinstalled applications too!

 

Please download  Malwarebytes AdwCleaner  https://downloads.malwarebytes.com/file/adwcleaner
 

Be sure to Save the file first, to your system.  Saving to the Downloads folder should be the default on your system.

 

Go to the folder where you saved Adwcleaner. Double click Adwcleaner  to start it.

At the prompt for license agreement, review and then click on I agree.

 

You will then see a main screen for Adwcleaner. ( if you do not see it right away, minimized the other open windows, so you can see Adwcleaner).

Then click on Dashboard button.

Click the blue button "Scan Now".

 

allow it a few minutes to finish the Scan.   Let it remove what it finds.

NOTE:  When it comes to the section "

Pre-installed applications

 

You can skip that.

Please find and send the Adwcleaner "C" clean report.

In Adwcleaner, click the "Reports" button.  Look at the list of reports for the latest date & type "Clean".

Double Click that line & it will open in Notepad.   Save the file to your system and then Attach that with your reply.

 

That C clean report will be the one with the most recent Date and time at folder  C:\AdwCleaner\Logs

Thanks.  Keep me advised.

 

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Thank you for the report & the info status.   Lets go ahead and do these next.

[   1    ]

The Microsoft Safety Scanner  is a free Microsoft stand-alone virus scanner that  can be used to scan for & remove malware or potentially unwanted software from a system.

The download links & the how-to-run-the tool are at this link at Microsoft

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/intelligence/safety-scanner-download

 

Let me know the result of this.

The log is named MSERT.log 

the log will be at  %SYSTEMROOT%\debug\msert.log   which in most cases is

C:\Windows\debug\msert.log

Please attach that log with your reply.


[     2     ]

I would like you to do a new scan with Malwarebytes for Windows.  One of the major goals here is to have it remove all that it detects.  If it finds anything that is.

Start Malwarebytes from the Windows  Start menu.

Click Settings ( gear icon)   at the top right of Malwarebytes window.   We want to see the SETTINGS window.

Then click the Security tab.   Look for the section "Automatic Quarantine".   Be sure it is clicked On   ( to the far right side)

 

Then scroll down to the section Potentially Unwanted items.   We need the next 2 lines   ( for P U P  & for P U  M)  to be set to "Always ( Recommended) ".

You can make the change by clicking on the down-arrow selection list-control.   We want all P U P  &  P U M to be marked for removal.

 

Next, click the small x on the Settings line   to go to the main Malwarebytes Window.

Next click the blue button marked Scan.

When the scan phase is done, be real sure you Review and have all detected lines items check-marked on each line on the left. That too is very critical.

Then click on Quarantine selected.

Then, locate the Scan run report;  export out a copy;  & then attach in with your  reply.

See https://support.malwarebytes.com/hc/en-us/articles/360038479194-View-Reports-and-History-in-Malwarebytes-for-Windows-v4

 

 

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It may be a very good idea to get the Brave browser, which is a much better browser than the Chrome, and once it is installed, to stop using Chrome.   And only use Brave browser.

By installing the Brave brwser, it will transfer the saved passwords & logins from Chrome into Brave.

See https://brave.com

Get the Brave browser from there.   Save the setup file to disc first, before running the setup.

.

Next,   get & install the Malwarebytes Browser Guard extension for BRAVE,

 

Open this link in your BRAVE   browser: 

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/malwarebytes/ihcjicgdanjaechkgeegckofjjedodee

 

Then proceed with the setup.

.

NEXT

I would suggest a free scan with the ESET Online Scanner
Go to https://www.eset.com/us/home/online-scanner/

Look on the right side of the page.  Click Scan Now
It will start a download of "esetonlinescanner_enu.exe"
Save the file to your system, such as the Downloads folder, or else to the Desktop.

Go to the saved file, and double click it to get it started.
When presented with the initial ESET options, click on "Computer Scan".

Next, when prompted by Windows, allow it to start by clicking Yes

When prompted for scan type, Click on Full scan
Look at & tick  ( select )   the radio selection "Enable ESET to detect and quarantine potentially unwanted applications"   and click on Start scan button.

Have patience.  The entire process may take an hour or more. There is an initial update download.
There is a progress window display.
You should ignore all prompts to get the ESET antivirus software program.   ( e.g.  their standard program).   You do not need to buy or get or install anything else.

When the scan is completed, if something was found, it will show a screen with the number of detected items.  If so, click the button marked “View detected results”.

Click The blue “Save scan log” to save the log.

If something was removed and you know it is a false finding, you may click on the blue ”Restore cleaned files”  ( in blue, at bottom).

Press Continue when all done.  You should click to off the offer for “periodic scanning”.

 

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Is it possible to skip switching to Brave browser for now or is it mandatory to proceed to the next step?

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You can get Brave later on.   Just please finish / do the scan with ESET scan.

 

The reason I mentioned the Brave browser is because Chrome is the hardest to clean up.  More than any other web browser, Chrome is makes things harder.

Brave is a much more sturday browser.  It is free.  I highly recommend it.

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ESET did not scan any threats. See attached.

Also another thing to note is that malwarebytes automatically scanned/quarantined nothing 12 hours ago. This is usually when the PUPs are detected daily, so I wonder if it is resolved. What do you think?

ESET-Scanresults.txt

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Thanks for the ESET scan report.   The result is very very excellent.

 

This next pass is one final attempt to cleanout some history areas of Chrome.

Please Close and Save any open work you may have open.

Please close as many un-needed app-windows that you yourself may have open at this point.   So you can have a clear field of view.

 

This custom script is for  Awsomeoper    only / for this machine only.

Close and save any open work files before starting this procedure. 

 

Please Close and save any open work files before you start this next step.  It will involve a Windows Restart at the end of it.

I am sending a   custom Fix script which is going to be used by the FRST64 tool. They will both work together as a pair.

Please RIGHT-click the (attached file named) FIXLIST and select SAVE  link AS and save it directly ( as is) to the  Downloads  folder

The tool named FRST64.exe   tool    is already on the Downloads folder

Start the Windows Explorer and then, to the Downloads folder.


RIGHT click on  FRST64    and select RUN as Administrator and allow it to proceed.  Reply YES when prompted to allow to run.

  to run the tool. If the tool warns you the version is outdated, please download and run the updated version.

IF Windows prompts you about running this, select YES to allow it to proceed.

 

IF you get a block message from Windows about this tool......

click line More info information on that screen

and click button Run anyway on next screen.

 

on the FRST window:
Click the Fix button just once, and wait.

image.png.b7f6b4a5c4fe80918c108b68d5bb180d.png

 

PLEASE have lots and lots of patience when this starts. You will see a green progress bar start. Lots of patience. This run here should be fairly quick.
If you receive a message that a reboot is required, please make sure you allow it to restart normally.
The tool will complete its run after restart.
When finished, the tool will make a log ( Fixlog.txt) in the same location from where it was run.

Please attach the FIXLOG.txt with your next reply later, at your next opportunity   

 

Fixlist.txt

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Thanks for the Fixlog report.   How are things at this point?

I would still recommend that you install the Brave browser and only use it.   Otherwise, use only the Edge browser built in with Windows 10.

Let me know ehere your situation stands.

Sincerely.

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Just did another scan with malwarebytes. No detections at all again so it looks good so far. I will update you tomorrow for another scan to see if the PUPs do come back.

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Hello.  Just checking up.  How  is the status today?

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Hey Maurice, it worked out! No pups came back since. 

Thank you so much for your help. 

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You are very welcome.  That is great news.

To remove the FRST64 tool & its work files, do this.  Go to your DESKTOP.  Do a RIGHT-click on FRST64.exe & select RENAME & then change it to UNINSTALL.

Then run that ( double click on it)  to begin the cleanup process.

.

Cleanup for the other tools I had you get.

Delete MSERT.exe

Delete mb-support-1.5.4.760.exe   on the Downloads folder

Delete  mbst-grab-results.zip  on the Desktop

delete the ESET download file    esetonlinescanner_enu.exe

Adwckeaner you may keep & use as needed on-demand to check for adwares.

.

I am glad to have helped you.   I am marking the case for closure.

 

The first best practice of computer safety is to have backups of the system.  Make regular periodic backups to offline removable media.
Backup is your best friend.

It is not enough to just have a security program installed. Each pc user needs to practice daily safe computer and internet use.

Best  practices & malware prevention:
Follow best practices when browsing the Internet, especially on opening links coming from untrusted sources.
First rule of internet safety: slow down & think before you "click".
Never click links without first hovering your mouse over the link and seeing if it is going to an odd address ( one that does not fit or is odd looking or has typos).

Free games & free programs are like "candy". We do not accept them from "strangers".

Never open attachments that come with unexpected ( out of the blue ) email no matter how enticing.
Never open attachments from the email itself. Do not double click in the email. Always Save first and then scan with antivirus program.

 

Pay close attention when installing 3rd-party programs. It is important that you pay attention to the license agreements and installation screens when installing anything off of the Internet. If an installation screen offers you Custom or Advanced installation options, it is a good idea to select these as they will typically disclose what other 3rd party software will also be installed.
Take great care in every stage of the process and every offer screen, and make sure you know what it is you're agreeing to before you click "Next".

Use a Standard user account rather than an administrator-rights account when "surfing" the web.
See more info on Corrine's SecurityGarden Blog http://securitygarden.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_7.html


Dont remove your current login. Just use the new Standard-user-level one for everyday use while on the internet.

 
Do a Windows Update.

Make certain that Automatic Updates is enabled.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12373/windows-update-faq

 

Keep your system and programs up to date. Several programs release security updates on a regular basis to patch vulnerabilities. Keeping your software patched up prevents attackers from being able to exploit them to drop malware.

For other added tips, read "10 easy ways to prevent malware infection"
.

I wish you all the best.  Stay safe.

Sincerely,

Maurice

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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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