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Possible malware infection, computer suddenly very slow


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Hello @Insequent 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:    @Insequent

 

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.

  • Removing pesky malware can be an involved set of tasks over separate runs. Have much patience. Follow my directions. 
  • 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 Microsoft SmartScreen to download 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 of all private data.
  • Do not run online games while your case is ongoing. Do not do any free-wheeling of 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 unless requested.
  • 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.  
  • If your system is running Discord, or P2P Torrent software, please be sure to Exit out of it while this case is on-going.


Do these two steps so that ALL Folders & Files are set to SHOW, plus also, Turn OFF Windows Fast start.

Show-Hidden-Folders-Files-Extensions
https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/299345-show-hidden-folders-files-extensions/

Disable-Fast-Startup
https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/299350-disable-fast-startup/
 

  • Next, please restart Windows

  • Please be patient and stick with me until I give you the "all clear" or otherwise indicate all is good

 

 

 

Please follow the steps below

[ 1 ]

Please make sure you setup exclusions between Malwarebytes and Bitdefender

Malwarebytes for Windows antivirus exclusions list
https://support.malwarebytes.com/hc/en-us/articles/360038522974-Malwarebytes-for-Windows-antivirus-exclusions-list

 

[ 2 ]

Please go to Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features, Uninstall a program

Then right-click and uninstall the following

  • Bonjour 
  • CCleaner  (computer experts no longer recommend this program)  

 

[ 3 ]

Please do some research on Lastpass - the company has had multiple attacks in the past few years. Make up your own mind if you wish to continue using the product or not

 

[ 4 ]

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\Greg\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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  • Root Admin

Thank you for the log @Insequent

Overall it ran well but was unable to set everything back.

Please 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

That was able to find and remove an entry that was disabling Windows Defender

Please run the following now @Insequent

 

 

Please run the following ESET Online Scanner and perform a Full Scan

 

Click the following link to save the installer for ESET Online Scanner

https://download.eset.com/com/eset/tools/online_scanner/latest/esetonlinescanner.exe

  • It will start a download of "esetonlinescanner.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 started. 
  • When presented with the initial ESET screen, click on "Get Started". Read and accept the Terms of use
  • On the "Before we start..." screen chose if you want to send anonymous data and if you want to provide feedback or not, then click Continue
  • When prompted for scan type, Click on the Full Scan button
  • Enable  ( select )   the radio selection "Enable ESET to detect and quarantine potentially unwanted applications"   and click the Start scan button.
  • Have patience.  The entire process may take a few hours or more.
  • 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 and give it a name and location you remember.
  • If something was removed and you know it is a false postive, you may click on the blue ”Restore cleaned files”  ( in blue, at the bottom).
  • Press Continue when all done.  You should click to turn off the offer for “periodic scanning”.
  • Enable "Delete application data on closing" - You do not need to submit feedback unless you want to. Simply ignore and close the program.

 

Note: If you do need to do a File Restore from ESET please follow the directions below

[KB2915] Restore files quarantined by the ESET Online Scanner version 3

https://support.eset.com/en/kb2915-restore-files-quarantined-by-the-eset-online-scanner

 

Please attach the ESET scan log you saved at the end to your next reply

 

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  • Root Admin

Okay, that's  a good thing. ESET found no infections as well.

Let's do one more round of scans to double-check. If the computer is still slow after this then we may need to consider doing a clean install of Windows.

 

 

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 uninstall or remove the Preinstalled software if found. Uncheck any items listed as Preinstalled
  • 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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Hi, I completed steps 1 and 2. After reboot, my computer, using either Edge or Chrome, couldn’t reach the forums.malwarebytes.com site. I get an error that says “Hmmm…can reach this page”. I can google other sites (news sites, etc., but when I click the link, get the same error msg. Strange. Any thoughts on this? 

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  • Root Admin

You could have some type of infection blocking on purpose but I didn't see it in the previous log.

Try changing your DNS server settings.

 

 

 

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

 

 

If that does not help, try power cycling your router

 

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  • Root Admin

Okay, let's go ahead and run another 3rd party antivirus scanner and see if they can find anything.

 

 

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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  • Root Admin

Nothing found. It's 1 AM for me so I"m leaving, but please try running the ESET scanner now.

 

 

 

Please run the following ESET Online Scanner and perform a Full Scan

 

Click the following link to save the installer for ESET Online Scanner

https://download.eset.com/com/eset/tools/online_scanner/latest/esetonlinescanner.exe

  • It will start a download of "esetonlinescanner.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 started. 
  • When presented with the initial ESET screen, click on "Get Started". Read and accept the Terms of use
  • On the "Before we start..." screen chose if you want to send anonymous data and if you want to provide feedback or not, then click Continue
  • When prompted for scan type, Click on the Full Scan button
  • Enable  ( select )   the radio selection "Enable ESET to detect and quarantine potentially unwanted applications"   and click the Start scan button.
  • Have patience.  The entire process may take a few hours or more.
  • 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 and give it a name and location you remember.
  • If something was removed and you know it is a false postive, you may click on the blue ”Restore cleaned files”  ( in blue, at the bottom).
  • Press Continue when all done.  You should click to turn off the offer for “periodic scanning”.
  • Enable "Delete application data on closing" - You do not need to submit feedback unless you want to. Simply ignore and close the program.

 

Note: If you do need to do a File Restore from ESET please follow the directions below

[KB2915] Restore files quarantined by the ESET Online Scanner version 3

https://support.eset.com/en/kb2915-restore-files-quarantined-by-the-eset-online-scanner

 

Please attach the ESET scan log you saved at the end to your next reply

 

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  • Root Admin

No infection found.

Please run the following @Insequent

 

 

 

SecurityCheck by glax24              


I would like you to run a tool named SecurityCheck to inquire about the current security update status of some applications.
CheckSecurity is a utility for quickly checking for the presence of vulnerable applications

  • Temporarily disable Microsoft SmartScreen to download the software
  • Download SecurityCheck by glax24: https://tools.safezone.cc/glax24/SecurityCheck/SecurityCheck.exe
  • If SmartScreen blocks the file from running click on More info and Run anyway
  • This tool is safe.   Smartscreen is overly sensitive. You can check the VirusTotal scan of the tool from here
  • Right-click  with your mouse on the Securitycheck.exe  and select "Run as administrator"  and reply YES to allow to run & go forward
  • Wait for the scan to finish. It will open a text file named SecurityCheck.txt Close the file.  Attach it with your next reply.
  • You can find this file in a folder called SecurityCheckC:\SecurityCheck\SecurityCheck.txt

Checked parameters:

  1. User Account Control (UAC).
  2. Service pack.
  3. IE version.
  4. Automatic OS update. Sets of critical KB patches when updating is disabled.
  5. Antivirus, firewall, other security utilities.
  6. Versions of Java, Oracle Virtualbox.
  7. Version of Adobe Flash Player, Adobe AIR.
  8. Versions of Adobe Reader, Acrobat Reader DC, Foxit Reader.
  9. Versions of media players (iTunes, AIMP, foobar2000).
  10. Versions of messengers (Skype, Pidgin).
  11. Versions of installed browsers (Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Yandex, SeaMonkey).
  12. Versions of mail programs (The Bat, Thunderbird).
  13. Checking running processes and security program services
  14. Searching for installed Adware programs and optimizer programs (More than 5000).

Thank you

 

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  • Root Admin

Please uninstall, update, or otherwise address the following as appropriate for  your system

 

 

Then restart the computer and check for Windows Updates and install any security updates found.

 

Is the computer still slow?

 

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Hi AdvancedSetup,

I've uninstalled or updated the four programs you listed.  The computer is running much better; back to normal.  

Can you tell me where I can learn more about the Fabar tool and how to interpret the results?  Thanks again for all your time and patience with this process.

Best,

Greg

 

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  • Root Admin

You're quite welcome for the help @Insequent

The following link will help you to understand the tool better and what it can do, but it does not go into why or what is good or bad and if it should be changed or removed. That is up to the  user of the tool.

It's an amazing tool and can do wonders in the hands of the well trained. On the other hand it can be quite dangerous in the hands of someone careless of how they use the tool.

 

FRST Tutorial - How to use Farbar Recovery Scan Tool
https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/781976/frst-tutorial-how-to-use-farbar-recovery-scan-tool/



 

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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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 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 to help you better protect your computer and privacy Tips to help protect from infection

Thank you

 

 

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