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modelwork.org Trojan


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Hi guys I have a new Malwarebytes message continually popping up starting today the 25th.

Message relates to blocking modelwork.org as a trojan see below

This occurs when I begin to type anything into the search box in the Google Chrome browser on my Windows 10 laptop?

Can anyone advise what this is about please and what I need to do? Should I be worried? 

Have run MBAM scan and Defender scan of program files(x86) as well as Defender offline scan with nothing reported?

Thanking you in anticipation

AussieWayne

 

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Protection Event Date: 25/05/2021
Protection Event Time: 11:48
Log File: 503181c0-bcfb-11eb-81c1-70f3955f6860.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.3.0.98
Components Version: 1.0.1292
Update Package Version: 1.0.40868
Licence: Premium

-System Information-
OS: Windows 10 (Build 19041.985)
CPU: x64
File System: NTFS
User: System

-Blocked Website Details-
Malicious Website: 1
, C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe, Blocked, -1, -1, 0.0.0, , 

-Website Data-
Category: Trojan
Domain: modelwork.org
IP Address: 5.149.254.180
Port: 443
Type: Outbound
File: C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe

(end)

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Thank you for the guidance.

I have checked each of my gmail addresses and none of them have Sync turned on so not sure if I should still follow your instructions in full?

I seem to have this problem no matter which personality I log in as?

Please advise

Thank you

 

 

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  • Root Admin

Please run the following steps and post back the logs as an attachment when ready.
Temporarily disable your antivirus or other security software first. Make sure to turn it back on once the scans are completed.
Temporarily disable Microsoft SmartScreen to download software below if needed. Make sure to turn it back on once the scans are completed.
If you still have trouble downloading the software please click on Reveal Hidden Contents below for examples of how to allow the download.

 

Spoiler
 
 
 
 

 

Spoiler

 

When downloading with some browsers you may see a different style of screens that may block FRST from downloading. The program is safe and used hundreds of times a week by many users.

Example of Microsoft Edge blocking the download

image.png

image.png

image.png

 

 



STEP 01

  • If you already have Malwarebytes installed then open Malwarebytes and click on the Scan button. It will automatically check for updates and run a Threat Scan.
  • If you don't have Malwarebytes installed yet please download it from here and install it.
  • Once installed then open Malwarebytes and select Scan and let it run.
  • Once the scan is completed make sure you have it quarantine any detections it finds.
  • If no detections were found click on the Save results drop-down, then the Export to TXT  button, and save the file as a Text file to your desktop or other location you can find and attach that log on your next reply.
  • If there were detections then once the quarantine has completed click on the View report button, Then click the Export drop-down, then the Export to TXT  button, and save the file as a Text file to your desktop or other location you can find and attach that log on your next reply.
  • If the computer restarted to quarantine you can access the logs from the Detection History, then the History tab. Highlight the most recent scan and double-click to open it. Then click the Export drop-down, then the Export to TXT  button, and save the file as a Text file to your desktop or other location you can find and attach that log on your next reply.
  • If Malwarebytes won't run then please skip to the next step and let me know in your next reply that the scanner would not run.

STEP 02

Please download AdwCleaner by Malwarebytes and save the file to your Desktop.

  • Double-click to run the program
  • Accept the End User License Agreement.
  • Wait until the database is updated.
  • Click Scan Now.
  • When finished, if items are found please click Quarantine.
  • Your PC should reboot now if any items were found.
  • After reboot, a log file will be opened. Attach or Copy its content into your next reply.

RESTART THE COMPUTER Before running Step 3

STEP 03
Please download the Farbar Recovery Scan Tool 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

  • Double-click to run it. When the tool opens, click Yes to disclaimer.
  • Press the Scan button.
  • It will make a log (FRST.txt) in the same directory the tool is run. Please attach it to your reply.
  • The first time the tool is run, it also makes another log (Addition.txt). If you've, run the tool before you need to place a check mark here each time
  • Please attach the Additions.txt log to your reply as well.
  • On your next reply, you should be attaching frst.txt and additions.txt to your post, every time.

 

Thanks

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  • Root Admin

Please go to Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features and uninstall the following

Bonjour
CCleaner
(most experts no longer recommend the use of this program)
 

 

 

Push Notifications on your browser appear to be enabled.

https://blog.malwarebytes.com/security-world/technology/2019/01/browser-push-notifications-feature-asking-abused/

Turn notifications on or off - Google Chrome

Web Push notifications in Firefox

 

 

 

Please download the attached fixlist.txt file and save it to the Desktop or location where you ran FRST from.
NOTE. It's important that both files, FRST or FRST64, and fixlist.txt are in the same location or the fix will not work.

Please make sure you disable any real time antivirus or security software before running this script. Once completed make sure you re-enable it.

NOTICE: This script was written specifically for this user, for use on this particular machine. Running this on another machine may cause damage to your operating system that cannot be undone.

Run FRST or FRST64 and press the Fix button just once and wait.
If the tool needs a restart please make sure you let the system restart normally and let the tool complete its run after restart.
The tool will make a log on the Desktop (Fixlog.txt) or wherever you ran FRST from. Please attach or post it to your next reply.

Note: If the tool warned you about an outdated version please download and run the updated version.

NOTE-1:  This fix will run a scan to check that all Microsoft operating system files are valid and not corrupt and attempt to correct any invalid files. It will also run a disk check on the restart to ensure disk integrity. Depending on the speed of your computer this fix may take 30 minutes or more.

NOTE-2: As part of this fix all temporary files will be removed. If you have any open web pages that have not been bookmarked please make sure you bookmark them now as all open applications will be automatically closed. Also, make sure you know the passwords for all websites as cookies will also be removed. The use of an external password manager is highly recommended instead of using your browser to store passwords.

The following directories are emptied:

  • Windows Temp
  • Users Temp folders
  • Edge, IE, FF, Chrome and Opera caches, HTML5 storages, Cookies and History
  • Recently opened files cache
  • Flash Player cache
  • Java cache
  • Steam HTML cache
  • Explorer thumbnail and icon cache
  • BITS transfer queue (qmgr*.dat files)
  • Recycle Bin

Important: items are permanently deleted. They are not moved to quarantine. If you have any questions or concerns please ask before running this fix.

The system will be rebooted after the fix has run.

fixlist.txt

Thanks

 

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  • Root Admin

Sorry for the delay. The system did not appear to alert me you had replied.

It's past midnight here. I will review your logs in the morning and get back to you.

Please try Firefox or Opera browser and let me know if the issue remains or not.

Thanks

 

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  • Root Admin

Yes, exactly my point. The issue resides within Google Chrome

If you don't have or use Sync that's fine. Ignore that portion, but there is still a lot of areas to clean Google Chrome, including removing all the extensions and making sure all is clean. The slowly reinstall the extensions and see if things remain clean, one-by-one.

Please review these procedures more extensively until Google Chrome comes back clean on scans or browsing.

https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/258938-resetting-google-chrome-to-clear-unexpected-issues/

Keep me posted @AussieWayne

 

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  • Solution

Ok so we have success with the modelwork.org message not popping up anymore.

I was following your instructions in preparing to completely reset Google Chrome to default.

I exported bookmarks and passwords and policies as a backup. 

I removed all the extensions and the message still popped up upon opening a new tab.

So I next removed three search engine selections Yahoo, Bing and Ecosia? This leaves only Google and Duck Duck Go installed

Then tested again and the problem was solved👍 without having to go to the drastic step of a complete reset.

I believe that it was most likely this ecosia engine which I have never heard of before and I do not know how it installed itself on my computer?

I have continued to test with opening and closing new Chrome windows and tabs and so far all is good.

I have reinstalled all my extensions and some new ones as well and this has not recreated the problem.

 

I would like to thank you for your valuable support and guidance through this procedure as it has been most helpful and successful.

Kindest regards

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  • Root Admin

Excellent, glad you were able to track it down and get the issue resolved. Now if I can only convince you to stop using Google Chrome 😁

I will go ahead then and close your topic soon and wish you well. Have a great rest of your weekend.

I'd recommend you bookmark the following link and read and review as you have time. It will help you manage your data and privacy much better going forward in your life while on the computer.

https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/258363-tips-to-help-protect-from-infection/

 

Is there anything else I can assist you with then before we close up here?

Thanks @AussieWayne

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I have been toying with the idea of changing to Firefox for a while. It's just that I am so ingrained into the Google Chrome world?

Could I use Firefox with Google as the search engine or is that not improving things much?

I have Firefox installed with DuckDockGo but I don't think the search results are as broad as with Google.

What do you think?

Also any recommendations to replace my much loved CCleaner that was removed in this cleansing process?

Thank you

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  • Root Admin
Posted (edited)

I don't want to be too political but let's just say that Google doesn't really sell too many products but is the 10th largest company in America. They get that wealth by knowing everything they can about you and selling it.

If you're okay with that model and that they do know so much about you  that's okay too. At least you're aware. Most people don't have any understanding of how much they and some others know about your every move on the computer.

 

Part of the same issue with CCleaner. Avast has been caught more than once selling user data they collect with one or more of their tools

Is CCleaner Safe? Not Quite. And We Show You How to Replace It
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/stop-using-ccleaner-windows/

 

Again, read up on some of this and don't just take my word for it. My preference would be Firefox with either Startpage or DuckDuckGo as the search engine and Startup page.

 

 

Edited by AdvancedSetup
updated information
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Ok once again thank you so much for all your advice and guidance, it has been very helpful.

I am reading my way through your last two links and will move to Firefox with DuckDuckGo as the search engine and see if it works for me.

It's quite involved because I have to export import all bookmarks and then somehow work out which is the best password manager from your links or do you think it would be safe enough if I imported my passwords (about 200) into Firefox and relied on the beefed up security provided by switching to Firefox??

The theoretical problem I have with using password managers is that if someone manages to get just one master password then they own me as they have unfettered access to everything that I have that does not have a further 2FA attached?

I only use these passwords from my laptop (not android phone or iPad) which is pretty well secured at all times in one of two places ie home or small office.

 

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  • Root Admin

I have been using Keepass now for about 15 years. I do not use on a smartphone and I don't share with any other computers or store it online.

Nothing is 100% - if your computer is infected, or compromised then yes someone could get access to your passwords. If you think you might be infected then don't open your database. Check and clean your computer.

I have a 36 character master password that I have memorized. To date I've not read or heard of a successful attack on the actual database. Social engineering or an infected computer or physical access to your system while the database is open, but those are the same things that would affect other password mangers or Google Chrome too.

Yes, no doubt all of this is more work, but in the long run you'll know much more about your computer and how to minimize the amount of potential privacy theft that could lead to someone attempting to take over your identity.

Gaining knowledge and  education about all of this is a good thing. Then you're more informed to decide what you want or don't want.

 

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Ok thank you I will leave it at that as I think that you would have much more important things to do.

I am working my way through all your advice and the links you have provided and will definitely end up with an improved safety profile by the time I have finished. I will run Firefox with DuckDuckGo for a while with the bookmarks and passwords imported and see how I go?

I will investigate an external password manager but the thought of having to go and visit say 200 websites to then manually change the current passwords that I have set seems a bit daunting but.............

Sorry one last question arises from writing this : Could I just use the current passwords imported into Firefox which encrypts them and turn on he Primary (master) password to protect unwanted access? Is this not so very similar to using say KeePass??

If happy then I will eventually delete Google Chrome all together.

 

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  • Root Admin

It is reasonably safe to use Firefox to store the password but nothing quite on the level of Keepass or 1Password

I'm pretty sure you can export all the current names and passwords into a list. I've not done it in a long time, but I believe it's possible.

Take care - I'll close your topic now as the system is cleaned up now.

Cheers

 

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  • Root Admin

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.

Please review the following for Tips to help protect from infection

Thank you

 

 

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