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Discussion Starter #1
Hi People,

It appears I've been hijacked and can't see what it is that is doing it. The symptoms are I'm being diverted to a search page every time I try to get into Hotmail and Yahoo mail (The search page seems to be linked to findtop.net) plus my homepage keeps getting reset to about:blank every time I close IE.

I've tried Ad Aware, S&D and even a Trend Micro online adware engine but no luck. Here's a fresh hijackThis logfile - all help much appreciated.

Thanks . . . .

-------------------------------------------------
Logfile of HijackThis v1.99.1
Scan saved at 14:58:34, on 28/08/2005
Platform: Windows XP (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 (6.00.2600.0000)

Running processes:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spoolsv.exe
C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\INSTAN~1.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\System32\pctspk.exe
C:\Program Files\Adaptec\Easy CD Creator 5\DirectCD\DirectCD.exe
C:\Program Files\iRiver\iHP100\iHPDetect.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgcc.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgamsvr.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgemc.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Works Shared\wkcalrem.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgupsvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Belkin\Belkin Wireless Network Utility\WLService.exe
C:\wanadoo\wanadooconnectionkit\atdialler1.exe
C:\Program Files\Belkin\Belkin Wireless Network Utility\WLanCfgG.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\slserv.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\wuauclt.exe
C:\Program Files\Hijack This\HijackThis.exe

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar = http://www.wanadoo.co.uk/iesearch/default.htm
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://www.wanadoo.co.uk
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page = C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\blank.htm
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Window Title = Microsoft Internet Explorer provided by Wanadoo
O2 - BHO: AcroIEHlprObj Class - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 5.0\Reader\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.ocx
O3 - Toolbar: &Radio - {8E718888-423F-11D2-876E-00A0C9082467} - C:\WINDOWS\System32\msdxm.ocx
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SystemTray] SysTray.Exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [InstantAccess] C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\INSTAN~1.EXE /h
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [RegisterDropHandler] C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\REGIST~1.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [PCTVOICE] pctspk.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AdaptecDirectCD] C:\Program Files\Adaptec\Easy CD Creator 5\DirectCD\DirectCD.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iHP-100] C:\Program Files\iRiver\iHP100\iHPDetect.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AVG7_CC] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgcc.exe /STARTUP
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AVG7_EMC] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgemc.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\RunServices: [RegisterDropHandler] C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\REGIST~1.EXE
O4 - Global Startup: Microsoft Works Calendar Reminders.lnk = ?
O4 - Global Startup: Microsoft Office.lnk = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\OSA9.EXE
O4 - Global Startup: Wanadoo Connection Kit.lnk = C:\wanadoo\wanadooconnectionkit\atdialler1.exe
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\MSMSGS.EXE
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\MSMSGS.EXE
O14 - IERESET.INF: START_PAGE_URL=http://www.wanadoo.co.uk
O16 - DPF: {6414512B-B978-451D-A0D8-FCFDF33E833C} (WUWebControl Class) - http://v5.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/v5consumer/V5Controls/en/x86/client/wuweb_site.cab?1119226058769
O16 - DPF: {9A9307A0-7DA4-4DAF-B042-5009F29E09E1} (ActiveScan Installer Class) - http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/as5/asinst.cab
O23 - Service: AVG7 Alert Manager Server (Avg7Alrt) - GRISOFT, s.r.o. - C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgamsvr.exe
O23 - Service: AVG7 Update Service (Avg7UpdSvc) - GRISOFT, s.r.o. - C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgupsvc.exe
O23 - Service: Belkin 54g Wireless USB Network Adapter (Belkin 54g Wireless USB Network Adapter Service) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Belkin\Belkin Wireless Network Utility\WLService.exe
O23 - Service: SmartLinkService (SLService) - - C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\slserv.exe
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ignore the SP2 bit under my username. As you can see from the logfile - its XP Pro SP 1 (parents computer, not mine)
 

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TSF Security Team, Emeritus
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26,363 Posts
Have HijackThis fix this entry:

R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page = C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\blank.htm


then delete this file - C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\blank.htm


  1. Go to Start> Run - type cleanmgr (this starts Windows DiskCleanup)
  2. Select Drive C: & click the 'OK' button
  3. Select the following options:
    • Temporary Internet Files
      [*] Recycle Bin
      [*] Temporary Files
  4. Click the 'OK' button

Next, Perform an online scan with Internet Explorer with Kaspersky WebScanner

Next Click on Launch Kaspersky Anti-Virus Web Scanner

You will be promted to install an ActiveX component from Kaspersky, Click Yes.
  • The program will launch and then begin downloading the latest definition files:
  • Once the files have been downloaded click on NEXT
  • Now click on Scan Settings
    • In the scan settings make that the following are selected:
      • Scan using the following Anti-Virus database:
        • Standard
      • Scan Options:
        • Scan Archives
        • Scan Mail Bases
  • Click OK
  • Now under select a target to scan:Select My Computer
  • This will program will start and scan your system.
  • The scan will take a while so be patient and let it run.
  • Once the scan is complete it will display if your system has been infected.
    • Now click on the Save as Text button:
  • Save the file to your desktop.
Copy and paste that information in your next post along with a fresh copy of HijackThis log.

* Turn off the real time scanner of any existing antivirus program while performing the online scan
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply. Here's a new log file and results of virus scan:

---------------------------------------
Logfile of HijackThis v1.99.1
Scan saved at 13:33:14, on 29/08/2005
Platform: Windows XP (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 (6.00.2600.0000)

Running processes:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spoolsv.exe
C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\INSTAN~1.EXE
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgamsvr.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\pctspk.exe
C:\Program Files\Adaptec\Easy CD Creator 5\DirectCD\DirectCD.exe
C:\Program Files\iRiver\iHP100\iHPDetect.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgcc.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgemc.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgupsvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Works Shared\wkcalrem.exe
C:\wanadoo\wanadooconnectionkit\atdialler1.exe
C:\Program Files\Belkin\Belkin Wireless Network Utility\WLService.exe
C:\Program Files\Belkin\Belkin Wireless Network Utility\WLanCfgG.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\slserv.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\wuauclt.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\wuauclt.exe
C:\Program Files\Hijack This\HijackThis.exe

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar = http://www.wanadoo.co.uk/iesearch/default.htm
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://www.wanadoo.co.uk
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Window Title = Microsoft Internet Explorer provided by Wanadoo
O2 - BHO: AcroIEHlprObj Class - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 5.0\Reader\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.ocx
O3 - Toolbar: &Radio - {8E718888-423F-11D2-876E-00A0C9082467} - C:\WINDOWS\System32\msdxm.ocx
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SystemTray] SysTray.Exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [InstantAccess] C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\INSTAN~1.EXE /h
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [RegisterDropHandler] C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\REGIST~1.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [PCTVOICE] pctspk.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AdaptecDirectCD] C:\Program Files\Adaptec\Easy CD Creator 5\DirectCD\DirectCD.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iHP-100] C:\Program Files\iRiver\iHP100\iHPDetect.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AVG7_CC] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgcc.exe /STARTUP
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AVG7_EMC] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgemc.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\RunServices: [RegisterDropHandler] C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\REGIST~1.EXE
O4 - Global Startup: Microsoft Works Calendar Reminders.lnk = ?
O4 - Global Startup: Microsoft Office.lnk = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\OSA9.EXE
O4 - Global Startup: Wanadoo Connection Kit.lnk = C:\wanadoo\wanadooconnectionkit\atdialler1.exe
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\MSMSGS.EXE
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\MSMSGS.EXE
O14 - IERESET.INF: START_PAGE_URL=http://www.wanadoo.co.uk
O16 - DPF: {0EB0E74A-2A76-4AB3-A7FB-9BD8C29F7F75} (CKAVWebScan Object) - http://www.kaspersky.com/downloads/kws/kavwebscan_unicode.cab
O16 - DPF: {6414512B-B978-451D-A0D8-FCFDF33E833C} (WUWebControl Class) - http://v5.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/v5consumer/V5Controls/en/x86/client/wuweb_site.cab?1119226058769
O16 - DPF: {9A9307A0-7DA4-4DAF-B042-5009F29E09E1} (ActiveScan Installer Class) - http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/as5/asinst.cab
O23 - Service: AVG7 Alert Manager Server (Avg7Alrt) - GRISOFT, s.r.o. - C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgamsvr.exe
O23 - Service: AVG7 Update Service (Avg7UpdSvc) - GRISOFT, s.r.o. - C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgupsvc.exe
O23 - Service: Belkin 54g Wireless USB Network Adapter (Belkin 54g Wireless USB Network Adapter Service) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Belkin\Belkin Wireless Network Utility\WLService.exe
O23 - Service: SmartLinkService (SLService) - - C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\slserv.exe

-----------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
KASPERSKY ON-LINE SCANNER REPORT
Monday, August 29, 2005 13:29:23
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, (Build 2600)
Kaspersky On-line Scanner version: 5.0.67.0
Kaspersky Anti-Virus database last update: 29/08/2005
Kaspersky Anti-Virus database records: 137433
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scan Settings:
Scan using the following antivirus database: standard
Scan Archives: true
Scan Mail Bases: true

Scan Target - My Computer:
A:\
C:\
D:\
E:\

Scan Statistics:
Total number of scanned objects: 106282
Number of viruses found: 2
Number of infected objects: 6
Number of suspicious objects: 0
Duration of the scan process: 6567 sec

Infected Object Name - Virus Name
C:\WINDOWS\Downloaded Program Files\a.exe Infected: Virus.Win32.Implinker.a
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Works Shared\wkcalrem.exe Infected: Virus.Win32.Implinker.a
C:\Program Files\Adaptec\Easy CD Creator 5\DirectCD\Directcd.exe Infected: Virus.Win32.Implinker.a
C:\Program Files\iRiver\iHP100\iHPDetect.exe Infected: Virus.Win32.Implinker.a
C:\Documents and Settings\Paul Fursland\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\EDFO9SFQ\popup[1].htm Infected: Trojan.JS.NoClose.c
C:\System Volume Information\_restore{A13EE339-C49D-4F18-9A3A-CA3781535145}\RP222\A0016020.rbf Infected: Virus.Win32.Implinker.a

Scan process completed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh, and I couldn't find the file called "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\blank.htm" despite having 'show hidden folders' enabled . . . . :4-dontkno
 

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Discussion Starter #7
sUBs,

That program is a work of genius! It seems to have cleared it all up - I can now get into Yahoo and Hotmail and my homepage is now my own again!

Thank you very much for your help - much appreciated :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here she is, it looks like its deleted a few things. Seems to be a VERY useful little programme that!

Thanks again

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Logfile of HijackThis v1.99.1
Scan saved at 15:05:20, on 29/08/2005
Platform: Windows XP (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 (6.00.2600.0000)

Running processes:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spoolsv.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgamsvr.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgupsvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Belkin\Belkin Wireless Network Utility\WLService.exe
C:\Program Files\Belkin\Belkin Wireless Network Utility\WLanCfgG.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\slserv.exe
C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE
C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\INSTAN~1.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\System32\pctspk.exe
C:\Program Files\Adaptec\Easy CD Creator 5\DirectCD\DirectCD.exe
C:\Program Files\iRiver\iHP100\iHPDetect.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgcc.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgemc.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Works Shared\wkcalrem.exe
C:\wanadoo\wanadooconnectionkit\atdialler1.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\wuauclt.exe
C:\Program Files\Hijack This\HijackThis.exe

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar = http://www.wanadoo.co.uk/iesearch/default.htm
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://www.google.co.uk/
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://www.wanadoo.co.uk
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Window Title = Microsoft Internet Explorer provided by Wanadoo
O2 - BHO: AcroIEHlprObj Class - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 5.0\Reader\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.ocx
O3 - Toolbar: &Radio - {8E718888-423F-11D2-876E-00A0C9082467} - C:\WINDOWS\System32\msdxm.ocx
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SystemTray] SysTray.Exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [InstantAccess] C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\INSTAN~1.EXE /h
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [RegisterDropHandler] C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\REGIST~1.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [PCTVOICE] pctspk.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AdaptecDirectCD] C:\Program Files\Adaptec\Easy CD Creator 5\DirectCD\DirectCD.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iHP-100] C:\Program Files\iRiver\iHP100\iHPDetect.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AVG7_CC] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgcc.exe /STARTUP
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AVG7_EMC] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgemc.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\RunServices: [RegisterDropHandler] C:\PROGRA~1\TEXTBR~1.0\Bin\REGIST~1.EXE
O4 - Global Startup: Microsoft Works Calendar Reminders.lnk = ?
O4 - Global Startup: Microsoft Office.lnk = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\OSA9.EXE
O4 - Global Startup: Wanadoo Connection Kit.lnk = C:\wanadoo\wanadooconnectionkit\atdialler1.exe
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\MSMSGS.EXE
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\MSMSGS.EXE
O14 - IERESET.INF: START_PAGE_URL=http://www.wanadoo.co.uk
O16 - DPF: {0EB0E74A-2A76-4AB3-A7FB-9BD8C29F7F75} (CKAVWebScan Object) - http://www.kaspersky.com/downloads/kws/kavwebscan_unicode.cab
O16 - DPF: {6414512B-B978-451D-A0D8-FCFDF33E833C} (WUWebControl Class) - http://v5.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/v5consumer/V5Controls/en/x86/client/wuweb_site.cab?1119226058769
O16 - DPF: {9A9307A0-7DA4-4DAF-B042-5009F29E09E1} (ActiveScan Installer Class) - http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/as5/asinst.cab
O23 - Service: AVG7 Alert Manager Server (Avg7Alrt) - GRISOFT, s.r.o. - C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgamsvr.exe
O23 - Service: AVG7 Update Service (Avg7UpdSvc) - GRISOFT, s.r.o. - C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVGFRE~1\avgupsvc.exe
O23 - Service: Belkin 54g Wireless USB Network Adapter (Belkin 54g Wireless USB Network Adapter Service) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Belkin\Belkin Wireless Network Utility\WLService.exe
O23 - Service: SmartLinkService (SLService) - - C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\slserv.exe
 

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TSF Security Team, Emeritus
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26,363 Posts
Kaspersky do have some nice tools.

Now, lets clean up the temp folders. Malware has a habit of hiding there

Please download & install CleanUp.exe.
Run Cleanup! using the following configuration:

1. Click Options...
2. Set the slider to Standard CleanUp!
3. Uncheck the following:
  • Delete Newsgroup cache
    [*]Delete Newsgroup Subscriptions
    [*]Scan local drives for temporary files
4. Click OK
5. Press the CleanUp! button to start the program. Reboot/logoff when prompted.
* CleanUp! will not create any backups!!



After you have done that, Get up from your chair & do a little wiggle like this little fella here -> :wiggle2: ...

Your system is clean. Let's keep it clean by following these simple steps:


  1. CLEAR & RESET SYSTEM RESTORE'S CACHE
    Go to Start >> Run - type sysdm.cpl & press Enter
    • Select the System Restore Tab
    • Tick on the checkbox - Turn off System Restore on all drives
    • Click Apply
    Turn it back 'On' by unticking the same checkbox & click OK


  2. DISABLE THE VIEWING OF SYSTEM FILES
    From Windows Explorer, go to Tools>Folder Options> View tab.
    • Untick - Show hidden files and folder
    • Tick - Hide file extensions for known types
    • Tick - Hide protected operating system files
    Click Yes to confirm & then click OK


  3. SECURING INTERNET EXPLORER
    From within Internet Explorer click on the Tools menu and then click on Internet Options.
    • Select the Security tab
      • Click once on the Internet icon so it becomes highlighted.
      • Select Custom Level .
        • Change 'Download signed ActiveX controls' to Prompt
        • Change 'Download unsigned ActiveX controls' to Disable
        • Change 'Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe' to Disable
        • Change 'Installation of desktop items' to Prompt
        • Change 'Launching programs and files in an IFRAME' to Prompt
        • Change 'Navigate sub-frames across different domains' to Prompt
        • When all these changes have been made, click on the OK button.
      • If it prompts you as to whether or not you want to save the settings, press the Yes button.
    • Select OK to exit the Internet Properties page.

  4. ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE
    It is very important that you have anti-virus software running on your machine. This alone can save you a lot of trouble with malware in the future.

    See this link for a listing of some online & their stand-alone antivirus programs:

    Virus, Spyware, and Malware Protection and Removal Resources

    It is imperative that you update your Antivirus software at least once a week (Even more if you wish). If you do not update your antivirus software then it will not be able to catch any of the new variants that may come out.


  5. FIREWALL
    Without a firewall your computer is succeptible to being hacked and taken over. Simply using a Firewall in its default configuration can lower your risk greatly. A tutorial on Firewalls and a listing of some available ones can be found here.


  6. Microsoft Windows Update
    Visit windowsupdate.com regularly. This will ensure your computer always has the latest security updates. If there are new updates to install, install them immediately, reboot your computer, and revisit the site until there are no more critical updates.


  7. SPYBOT - SEARCH & DESTROY
    Download and install Spybot - Search & Destroy with its TeaTimer option. This will provide realtime spyware & hijacker protection on your computer alongside your virus protection. You should also scan your computer with the program on a regular basis just as you would an antivirus software. A tutorial on installing & using this product can be found here


  8. AD-AWARE
    Download and install Ad-Aware. You should use this program to scan your computer on a regular basis just as you would an antivirus software in conjunction with Spybot. A tutorial on installing & using this product can be found here


  9. SPYWAREBLASTER
    SpywareBlaster prevents the installation of malicious ActiveX, adware, browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted software. Blocks spyware/tracking cookies & restricts the actions of potentially unwanted sites.

    Unlike other programs, SpywareBlaster does not have to remain running in the background. A tutorial on installing & using this product can be found here


  10. IE-SPYAD
    IE/Spyad places more than 4000 dubious websites and domains in the IE Restricted list. This severely impair attempts to infect your system. It basically prevents any downloads (Cookies etc) from the sites listed, although you will still be able to connect to the sites. A tutorial on installing this product can be found here


  11. MVPS HOST FILE
    The MVPS Hosts file replaces your current HOSTS file with one that will restrict known ad sites form serving you unsolicited advertisements. Basically, this prevents your coputer from connecting to those sites by redirecting them to 127.0.0.1 which is the IP of your local computer. It can be downloaded here - MVPS Hosts file
Update all these programs regularly. Make sure you update all the programs I have listed regularly. Without regular updates you WILL NOT be protected when new malicious programs are released.

Follow this list and your potential for being infected again will reduce dramatically. Here are some additional utilities that will further enhance your safety.
  • Trillian or Miranda-IM - These are Malware free Instant Messenger programs which allow you to connect to multiple IM services in one program! (AOL, Yahoo, ICQ, IRC, MSN)

  • Weather Watcher - Free taskbar weather program that is free, malware free, and resource light.

  • Firefox - Use this alternate browser. Whilst Internet Explorer is not a bad browser, almost every exploit crafted is targeted to take advantage of an IE weakness.

  • Sun's Java - It's much more secure than Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine.

  • Google Toolbar - Get the free google toolbar to help stop pop up windows.

  • CleanUP! - Cleans temporary files from IE and Windows, empties the recycle bin and more. Great tool to help speed up your computer and knock out those nasties that like to reside in the temp folders.

  • Winpatrol - Download and install the free version of Winpatrol.
    A tutorial for this product is located here:
    Using Winpatrol to protect your computer from malicious software
To find out more information about how you got infected in the first place and some great guidelines to follow to prevent future infections you can read this article by Tony Klein

After doing all these, your system will be optimised against future threats.

It's okay to delete the Hijack This folder in a couple weeks if everything is working okay.
Have a safe & happy computing day.


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