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Windows powershell.exe getting detected as Trojan or Malware


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Hello

Recently, powershell.exe in the Windows folder has been being detected by Malwarebytes as either a Trojan, or Malware(as the title says), and I'm not sure what to do about it, as I have run multiple "advanced" scans of my system, and they don't say anything is wrong.

Below is the summary of one of the reports detecting a website(which seems to be powershell.exe as far as I can tell, but I am nowhere near an expert on this) as Trojan.

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Protection Event Date: 8/25/23
Protection Event Time: 2:24 AM
Log File: 12736072-4310-11ee-aa43-002b67f9a297.json

-Software Information-
Version: 4.5.32.271
Components Version: 1.0.2051
Update Package Version: 1.0.74417
License: Premium

-System Information-
OS: Windows 10 (Build 19045.3324)
CPU: x64
File System: NTFS
User: System

-Blocked Website Details-
Malicious Website: 1
, C:\Windows\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe, Blocked, -1, -1, 0.0.0, ,

-Website Data-
Category: Trojan
Domain:
IP Address: 194.26.135.180
Port: 15647
Type: Outbound
File: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

(end)

Also, powershell.exe is being detected as this every 30 seconds - 1 minute, and will give a similar report of either being a Trojan, or Malware

 

As of writing, I am in the middle of using the Microsoft Security Scanner to do a full scan of my entire system.

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Hello @Maxim and :welcome::

While you are waiting for the next qualified/approved malware removal expert helper to weigh in on your topic, and even though you may have run the following Malwarebytes utility, or its subsets, please carefully follow these instructions:

  1. Download the Malwarebytes Support Tool.
  2. In your Downloads folder, open the mb-support-x.x.x.xxx.exe file.
  3. In the User Account Control (UAC) pop-up window, click Yes to continue the installation.
  4. Run the MBST Support Tool.
  5. In the left navigation pane of the Malwarebytes Support Tool, click Advanced.
  6. In the Advanced Options, click only Gather Logs. A status diagram displays the tool is Getting logs from your computer.  WARNING: Do Not click the Repair System under Advanced unless requested to by a Malwarebytes support agent or authorized helper.
  7. A zip file named mbst-grab-results.zip will be saved to the Public desktop, please attach that file in your next reply to this topic. Please do NOT copy and paste.

For the short time between when you post the diagnostic logs, and when your helper weighs in, please take no further self-directed remedial actions that will invalidate the diagnostic logs you will have posted.

Thank you.

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  • Root Admin

Hello  and  :welcome:    @Maxim

 

My screen name is AdvancedSetup and I will assist you with your system issues.
 

Let's keep these principles as we proceed. Make sure to read the entire post below first.

  • Please follow all steps in the provided order and post back all requested logs
  • Please attach all log files to your post, unless otherwise requested
  • Temporarily disable your antivirus or other security software first. Make sure to turn it back on once the scans have been completed.
  • Temporarily disable Microsoft SmartScreen to download the software below if needed. Make sure to turn it back on once the scans are completed.
  • Searching, detecting, and removing malware isn't instantaneous and there is no guarantee to repair every system.
  • Before we start, please make sure that you have an external backup, not connected to this system, of all private data.
  • Do not run online games while the case is ongoing. Do not do any free-wheeling or risky web-surfing.
  • Only run the tools I guide you to use. Please don't run any other scans, download, install or uninstall any programs while I'm working with you.
  • Cracked, Hacked, or Pirated programs are not only illegal but also can make a computer a malware victim.
  • Having such programs installed is the easiest way to get infected. It is the leading cause of ransomware encryption. It is at times also a big source of current Trojan infections.
  • If there are any on the system you should uninstall them before we proceed.
  • Please be patient and stick with me until I give you the "all clear". We don't want to waste your time, please don't waste ours.
  • If your system is running Discord, please be sure to Exit it while this case is ongoing.

 

To begin, please do the following

Dr.Web CureIt!

Please download the Dr.Web CureIt! anti-virus utility
https://free.drweb.com/

 

You will need to send them an email to obtain a link to download the scanner, please do so

  • The downloaded file will normally have a unique name such as:  q7a9tr4p.exe
  • Close all open applications and locate the downloaded file and double-click to run it
  • The program will take a moment to launch and bring up the License and Update screen
  • Place a check mark to agree to the terms and then click on the Continue button
  • Click the underlined link Select objects for scanning
  • On the top left click the Scanning objects that should automatically check all objects
  • Click the small wrench and make sure there is a check on Automatically apply actions to threats
  • Then click the large button on bottom right Start scanning
  • Once the scan has completed there will be a link named Open report click that and a log named cureit.log should open in Notepad
  • The log is saved in the folder named Doctor Web in the top of your user profile folders
  • Please attach that log on your next reply

 

 

 

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  • Root Admin

Thank you for the log

Please restart the computer one more time. Then run the following @Maxim

 

 

Let's go ahead and run a couple of scans and get some updated logs from your system.


Please make the following changes.

 

  • Temporarily disable your antivirus real-time protection or other security software first if it blocks or interferes with the scans or downloads.. Make sure to turn it back on once the scans are completed.
  • Temporarily disable Microsoft SmartScreen to download software below only if needed. Make sure to turn it back on once the scans are completed.
  • Disable-Fast-Startup
  • Show-Hidden-Folders-Files-Extensions

 


Next, run these steps and post back the logs as an attachment when ready.


[ 1 ]

Malwarebytes for Windows

  • If you already have Malwarebytes installed then open Malwarebytes and click on the small gear icon, then click on the "Check for updates" button on the General tab.
  • After any updates, click the middle Scan button from the main page. It will automatically 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 us know in your next reply that the scanner would not run.

[ 2 ]

Malwarebytes AdwCleaner

  • Please download Malwarebytes AdwCleaner and save the file to your Desktop or Downloads folder.
  • Double-click to run the program - Malwarebytes AdwCleaner guide
  • Accept the End User License Agreement.
  • Wait until the database is updated.
  • Click Scan Now.
  • DO NOT remove Vendor / Manufacturer software
  • When finished, if items are found please click Quarantine to finish the cleaning process.
  • Your PC should reboot now if any items were found.
  • After reboot, a log file will be opened. Attach that log to your next reply.
     
  • If No Detections are found, Click Skip Basic Repair

    WARNING: Do Not click the Run Basic Repair button unless instructed to by a Malwarebytes support agent or authorized helper


 

RESTART THE COMPUTER Before running Step 3

[ 3 ]

Gather MBST Logs

Please do the following so that we may take a closer look at your system for any possible infections.

NOTE: The tools and the information obtained are safe and not harmful to your privacy or your computer, please allow the programs to run if blocked by your system.

  • Download the Malwarebytes Support Tool
  • In your Downloads folder, open the mb-support-x.x.x.xxx.exe file
  • In the User Account Control pop-up window, click Yes to continue the installation
  • Run the MBST Support Tool
  • In the left navigation pane of the Malwarebytes Support Tool, click Advanced
  • In the Advanced Options, click Gather Logs. A status diagram displays the tool is Getting logs from your machine
  • A zip file named mbst-grab-results.zip will be saved to the Public desktop, please upload that file on your next reply

    WARNING: Do Not click the Repair System under Advanced unless requested to by a Malwarebytes support agent or authorized helper

 

Thank you

 

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  • Root Admin

Please do the following steps @Maxim

[ 1 ]

Your current DNS Servers:  192.168.2.1

Please consider changing your default DNS server settings. Please choose one provider only

DNS is what lets users connect to websites using domain names instead of IP addresses

Pick just one of these 4 providers. And be aware that you need to modify 1 time for IPv4 & a 2nd pass for IPv6

  • Google Public DNSIPv4   8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4   IPv6   2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844
  • CloudflareIPv4   1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1   IPv6   2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001
  • OpenDNSIPv4   208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220  IPv6  2620:119:35::35 and 2620:119:53::53
  • DNSWATCHIPv4   84.200.69.80 and 84.200.70.40   IPv6  2001:1608:10:25::1c04:b12f and 2001:1608:10:25::9249:d69b


The Ultimate Guide to Changing Your DNS Server
https://www.howtogeek.com/167533/the-ultimate-guide-to-changing-your-dns-server/

Here is a YouTube video on Changing DNS settings if needed

 

[ 2 ]

Please run the following fix

 

NOTE: Please read all of the information below before running this fix.

  • 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.

Once the fix has been completed, please attach the file FIXLOG.TXT to your next reply

Farbar program:   FRSTEnglish.exe

Save the attached file:  FIXLIST.TXT to this folder C:\Users\2maxi\Downloads\

NOTE. It's important that both files, FRSTEnglish.exe, 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.

 

 

Run the Farbar program with Admin rights and press the Fix button just once and wait.

The fix may possibly take up to 60 minutes to complete

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 named Fixlog.txt in the same folder you ran the Farbar program from. Please attach that log on your next reply.

 

  1. NOTE:  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.
  2. NOTE: 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 may be automatically closed.
                Also, make sure you know the passwords for all websites as cookies may possibly be removed in some cases, but not all cases.
  3. NOTE: As part of this fix, it will also reset the network to default settings including the firewall. If you have custom firewall rules you need to save please export or save them first before running this fix.

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
  • Discord 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

Thank you for the log @Maxim it ran well and removed a lot of unwanted items.

 

Please copy this file to your Desktop to make it easier to find in Safe Mode

C:\Users\2maxi\Downloads\FRSTEnglish.exe 

 

 

Start in Safe mode:

  • Press the Windows icon on the keyboard together with the letter I, to get into the Settings.
  • Choose Update and Security.
  • From the menu at the left, choose Recovery.
  • Under the title Advanced startup at the right, choose Restart now.
  • From the window that will appear choose Troubleshoot and then Advanced options.
  • Choose Startup Settings and then Restart.
  • Press number 5, for choosing Safe mode with networking.
  • You will know that you are in Safe mode, if the background is black and Safe mode is written at the four corners of the screen.


After that:

Please do the following to run a FRST fix.

NOTICE: This script was written specifically for this user. Running it on another machine may cause damage to your operating system

  • Select the entire contents of the code box below, from the "Start::" line to "End::", including both lines. Right-click and select "Copy ". No need to paste anything to anywhere.

 

Start::
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender: [DisableAntiSpyware] Restriction
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender: [DisableAntiVirus] Restriction
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender: Restriction
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate: Restriction
End::

 

  • Right-click on FRST64 on your Desktop, to run it as administrator. When the tool opens, click "yes" to the disclaimer.
  • Press the Fix button once and wait.
  • FRST will process fixlist.txt
  • When finished, it will produce a log fixlog.txt on your Desktop.
  • Post the log in your next reply.
 
Thank you
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  • Root Admin

Yes, that ran correctly @Maxim same program. When it's named FRSTEnglish it attempts to provide back more English strings when it's run on a foreign language computer.

 

Let me have you run the following now.

 

Microsoft Safety Scanner

Please make sure you Exit out of any other program you might have open so that the sole task is to run the following scan.   
That goes especially for web browsers, make sure all are fully exited out of and messenger programs are exited and closed as well
 

STEP 1

Please set File Explorer to SHOW ALL folders, all files, including hidden ones.  Use OPTION ONE or TWO of this article

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/7078-turn-off-show-all-folders-windows-10-navigation-pane.html

STEP 2

I suggest a new scan for viruses & other malware. This may take several hours, depending on the number of files on the system and the speed of the computer.

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

 

Look on the Scan Options & select the FULL scan.

Then start the scan. Have lots of patience. It may take several hours.

  • Once you see it has started, take a long long break;  walk away.  Do not pay credence if you see some intermediate early flash messages on the screen display.  The only things that count are the End result at the end of the run.
  • The scan will take several hours.  Leave it alone. It will remove any other remaining threats as it goes along.  Take a very long break, do your normal personal errands .....just do not use the computer during this scan.

This is likely to run for many hours as previously mentioned  ( depending on the number of files on your machine & the speed of the hardware.)

The log is named MSERT.log  and the log will be at C:\Windows\debug\msert.log

Please attach that log with your next reply.

 

It is normal for the Microsoft Safety Scanner to show detections during the scan process.

It is scanning for basically all bread crumbs or traces of files and registry entries that "might" be or have been part of some infection or previous infection.

That DOES NOT mean the computer is infected. Once the scan has been completed it uploads the log to their Cloud service which then uses Artificial Intelligence to determine if in fact any of the traces are an infection or not.

Then it writes into the log on your computer what it found.

 

Thank you

 

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  • Root Admin

Thank you. That looks good.

Please get me both new Farbar scan logs

 

Please download 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). Please attach it to your reply as well.

Thank you

 

 

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  • Root Admin

Please run this new FIX for Farbar as before @Maxim

 

Please run the following fix

 

NOTE: Please read all of the information below before running this fix.

  • 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.

Once the fix has been completed, please attach the file FIXLOG.TXT to your next reply

Farbar program:   FRST64.exe

Save the attached file:  FIXLIST.TXT to this folder C:\Users\2maxi\Downloads\

NOTE. It's important that both files, FRST64.exe, 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.

 

 

Run the Farbar program with Admin rights and press the Fix button just once and wait.

The fix may possibly take up to 60 minutes to complete

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 named Fixlog.txt in the same folder you ran the Farbar program from. Please attach that log on your next reply.

 

  1. NOTE:  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.
  2. NOTE: 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 may be automatically closed.
                Also, make sure you know the passwords for all websites as cookies may possibly be removed in some cases, but not all cases.
  3. NOTE: As part of this fix, it will also reset the network to default settings including the firewall. If you have custom firewall rules you need to save please export or save them first before running this fix.

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
  • Discord 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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Hello

These were the results of the command prompt

SERVICE_NAME: vss
        TYPE               : 10  WIN32_OWN_PROCESS
        START_TYPE         : 3   DEMAND_START
        ERROR_CONTROL      : 1   NORMAL
        BINARY_PATH_NAME   : C:\WINDOWS\system32\vssvc.exe
        LOAD_ORDER_GROUP   :
        TAG                : 0
        DISPLAY_NAME       : Volume Shadow Copy
        DEPENDENCIES       : RPCSS
        SERVICE_START_NAME : LocalSystem

C:\Users\2maxi>sc queryex vss

SERVICE_NAME: vss
        TYPE               : 10  WIN32_OWN_PROCESS
        STATE              : 1  STOPPED
        WIN32_EXIT_CODE    : 1084  (0x43c)
        SERVICE_EXIT_CODE  : 0  (0x0)
        CHECKPOINT         : 0x0
        WAIT_HINT          : 0x0
        PID                : 0
        FLAGS              :

I will start the fix and post the results soon.

Thanks.

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  • Root Admin

Yes, it's fine to be out of Safe Mode

 

Please go ahead and run the following now. That log was good

 

 

Please download and run the following Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool 2020 and save it to your Desktop.

(Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool version 20.0.10.0 was released on November 9, 2021)

Download: Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool

https://devbuilds.s.kaspersky-labs.com/devbuilds/KVRT/latest/full/KVRT.exe

How to run a scan with Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool 2020
https://support.kaspersky.com/15674

How to run Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool 2020 in the advanced mode
https://support.kaspersky.com/15680

How to restore a file removed during Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool 2020 scan
https://support.kaspersky.com/15681

 


Select the  image.png  Windows Key and R Key together, the "Run" box should open.

user posted image

Drag and Drop KVRT.exe into the Run Box.

user posted image

C:\Users\{your user name}\DESKTOP\KVRT.exe will now show in the run box.

image.png

add -dontencrypt   Note the space between KVRT.exe and -dontencrypt

C:\Users\{your user name}\DESKTOP\KVRT.exe -dontencrypt should now show in the Run box.
 
image.png


That addendum to the run command is very important, when the scan does eventually complete the resultant report is normally encrypted, with the extra command it is saved as a readable file.

Reports are saved here C:\KVRT2020_Data\Reports and look similar to this report_20210123_113021.klr
Right-click direct onto that report, select > open with > Notepad. Save that file and attach it to your reply.

To start the scan select OK in the "Run" box.

A EULA window will open, tick all confirmation boxes then select "Accept"

image.png

In the new window select "Change Parameters"

image.png

In the new window ensure all selection boxes are ticked, then select "OK" The scan should now start...

user posted image

When complete if entries are found there will be options, if "Cure" is offered leave as is. For any other options change to "Delete" then select "Continue"

user posted image

When complete, or if nothing was found select "Close"

image.png

Attach the report information as previously instructed...
 
Thank you
 
 

 

 

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Hello

As of now, the constant notifications by Malwarebytes about powershell.exe have stopped, and powershell no longer launches on startup. This was the main problem, and as far as I can tell they have been fixed. Thank you very much for the help.

Thank you.

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  • Root Admin

You're quite welcome. @Maxim Please review the following for clean up and try to implement at least some of the recommendations, especially backup to an external drive.

 

 

Let's go ahead and do some clean-up work and remove the tools and logs we've run.

Please download KpRm by kernel-panik and save it to your desktop.

  • right-click kprm_(version).exe and select Run as Administrator.
  • Read and accept the disclaimer.
  • When the tool opens, ensure all boxes under Actions are checked.
  • Under Delete Quarantines select Delete Now, then click Run.
  • Once complete, click OK.
  • A log will open in Notepad titled kprm-(date).txt.
  • Please attach that file to your next reply. (not compulsory)

 

  1. Recommend using a Password Manager for all websites, etc. that require a password. Never use the same password on more than one site.
    https://www.howtogeek.com/240255/password-managers-compared-lastpass-vs-keepass-vs-dashlane-vs-1password/
  2. Make sure you're backing up your files https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/136226-backup-software/
  3. Keep all software up to date - PatchMyPC - https://patchmypc.com/home-updater#download
  4. Keep your Operating System up to date and current at all times - https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-update-faq-8a903416-6f45-0718-f5c7-375e92dddeb2
  5. Further tips to help protect your computer data and improve your privacy: https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/258363-tips-to-help-protect-from-infection/ 
  6. Please consider installing the following Content Blockers for your Web browsers if you haven't done so already. This will help improve overall security

Malwarebytes Browser Guard

uBlock Origin

 

Further reading if you like to keep up on the malware threat scene: Malwarebytes Blog  https://blog.malwarebytes.com/

Hopefully, we've been able to assist you with correcting your system issues.

Thank you for using Malwarebytes

 

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