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Old 02-15-2012, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
5,819 posts, read 9,211,044 times
Reputation: 11585

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I did a very stupid thing the other day. I received an e-mail with a PDF "invoice" attached. I clicked the PDF and it wouldn't open, it had an error message.

I then started to get worried so I googled "PDF Virus" and learned that it is a popular way to spread malware/trojons or whatever.

I only have Adobe reader installed on my system. I always keep it updated so I have the latest release. I read that this helps to prevent PDF infections.

I am currently using microsoft security essentials combined with "threatfire" (this combination was recommended by a PCworld writer). The reason I am using a "free" version of AV is it is still rated close to the paid for AV systems.

Neither of these programs detected the problem. I downloaded "Malwarebytes" and it caught a Win32PDF trojan and it allowed me to remove it. I was still not convinced so I followed a procedure recommended by this site;
Security Tango™

Specifically I used this procedure;
Security Tango™

This involved cleaning out all the temp files, downloading several different tools, rebooting into safe mode and running the tools. This procedure did not find anything wrong. (As I mentioned, the scan by Mawarebytes found one and removed it).

STILL not convinced entirely I downloaded the free versions of AVG antivirus and Avast anti-virus and scanned with each program. Neither of these found anything in their scans.

So, in summary I have scanned my system with eight different virus programs. One identified and claimed to have removed the threat. I ran that same program again after scanning with the other eight programs and it came up clean.

I am still concerned. My questions is, do you think the infection is gone or do I need to reformat? If I need to reformat I am thinking I would be better off just upgrading my laptop due to its age and performance issues. I would really like to hold off on any upgrade for a while due to cash flow though......
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:54 AM
 
2,182 posts, read 4,706,348 times
Reputation: 1206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
I am currently using microsoft security essentials combined with "threatfire" (this combination was recommended by a PCworld writer). The reason I am using a "free" version of AV is it is still rated close to the paid for AV systems.
Most of us recommend free AV solutions, like MSE. Paid does not mean better protected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
STILL not convinced entirely I downloaded the free versions of AVG antivirus and Avast anti-virus and scanned with each program. Neither of these found anything in their scans.
Why is it you are not convinced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
I am still concerned. My questions is, do you think the infection is gone or do I need to reformat? If I need to reformat I am thinking I would be better off just upgrading my laptop due to its age and performance issues. I would really like to hold off on any upgrade for a while due to cash flow though......
I don't, but it sounds like you think you need to. If it will put you at ease, go for it. I definitely wouldn't buy a new laptop over it though. Reformatting is free.

Running 8 different anti-malware tools and you're not convinced it's gone?
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
5,819 posts, read 9,211,044 times
Reputation: 11585
I guess I just need someone that knows more about these things to tell me I am probably OK. I tend to worry a bit about things like this.


I know there are no garuntees but if after running it through the steps I did is a pretty good sign it is gone then I would be more confident it is. I am currently re-running the "MalewareBytes" scan that first identified the problem and removed it to see if it finds anything else. I guess if it comes up clean I will have more confidence in it being gone.

The reason I would upgrade my computer rather than reformat is my current system is on the edge of uselessness. It is going on five years old, it has a slow processor and only 2gb of ram. On top of that the DVD drive doesn't work and the keys on the keyboard have lost thier letters. (this is the second keyboard I have worn out on this laptop)

If I reformatted I might get another year out of this system and have to reinstall everything on a new one.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,076,702 times
Reputation: 1632
Quote:
I am still concerned. My questions is, do you think the infection is gone or do I need to reformat? If I need to reformat I am thinking I would be better off just upgrading my laptop due to its age and performance issues. I would really like to hold off on any upgrade for a while due to cash flow though......
Get MSE and forget it. My opinion.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Wasilla Alaska
119 posts, read 201,386 times
Reputation: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
I guess I just need someone that knows more about these things to tell me I am probably OK. I tend to worry a bit about things like this.


I know there are no garuntees but if after running it through the steps I did is a pretty good sign it is gone then I would be more confident it is. I am currently re-running the "MalewareBytes" scan that first identified the problem and removed it to see if it finds anything else. I guess if it comes up clean I will have more confidence in it being gone.

The reason I would upgrade my computer rather than reformat is my current system is on the edge of uselessness. It is going on five years old, it has a slow processor and only 2gb of ram. On top of that the DVD drive doesn't work and the keys on the keyboard have lost thier letters. (this is the second keyboard I have worn out on this laptop)

If I reformatted I might get another year out of this system and have to reinstall everything on a new one.
How does reformatting increase your RAM, give you a faster processor, fix your DvD Drive, or fix the keyboard letters?

If 8 different programs say there's nothing, either there is nothing, or you have something that 8 different programs can't even detect.

Don't run more than one antivirus (note there is a difference between antivirus and anti-spyware/malware programs) on the same system. If you left all of those AV programs on then you'll have issues related to them not playing nice together.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
5,819 posts, read 9,211,044 times
Reputation: 11585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Tech Solutions View Post
How does reformatting increase your RAM, give you a faster processor, fix your DvD Drive, or fix the keyboard letters?

If 8 different programs say there's nothing, either there is nothing, or you have something that 8 different programs can't even detect.

Don't run more than one antivirus (note there is a difference between antivirus and anti-spyware/malware programs) on the same system. If you left all of those AV programs on then you'll have issues related to them not playing nice together.
Yeah, that's my point- reformatting would be a waste of time considering the general condition of the computer. Like I said if I had to reformat I would just go ahead and upgrade the computer.

I'm kind of disappointed with the keyboard quality of laptops. I have been through two keyboards due to the lettering wearing off. Replacement boards cost 99 bucks and replacement keys are even LESS cost effective. On the "bright side" my typing skills are improving because I have to know where the keys are rather than SEEING them

I guess I am convinced it is gone. You have a point- either its a really good virus that eight anti-virus programs can't find or its gone.....
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Wasilla Alaska
119 posts, read 201,386 times
Reputation: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
Yeah, that's my point- reformatting would be a waste of time considering the general condition of the computer. Like I said if I had to reformat I would just go ahead and upgrade the computer.

I'm kind of disappointed with the keyboard quality of laptops. I have been through two keyboards due to the lettering wearing off. Replacement boards cost 99 bucks and replacement keys are even LESS cost effective. On the "bright side" my typing skills are improving because I have to know where the keys are rather than SEEING them

I guess I am convinced it is gone. You have a point- either its a really good virus that eight anti-virus programs can't find or its gone.....
Just keep on top of it with the regular prescribed maintenance of keeping your system up to date, and running regular scans. If there was something on there that was new enough to be "un-killable" then one of your programs should have offered you the option of putting it in "the vault" or something of that nature.

Quality AV/AM programs don't just look for specific known viruses/malware (although they do that as well) they also sniff around looking for things that COULD be causing trouble, and try to either kill them or disable them by placing them "In the vault".

If you REALLY want to go for another scan I know Avast has an option to do a pre-boot scan, but I've never used it myself. Other programs do this too, but as for where to find that feature I'm not sure because I have only run Avast for years now. I'm 99% certain that Kaspersky offers the option to burn a CD that scans before booting. I'd only run a feature like this if I could pinpoint the problem, or things were getting REALLY crazy, and couldn't dig it out with any of the other tools in the toolbox myself, but if you want to give it a try then godspeed Mr. or Ms. Wartrace

Also if you're feeling particularly ambitious you could open your task manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) and Google all of those processes. Make sure that you have the option selected to show processes for all users. If I suspect something has gone goofy I do that and Google any that I'm not familiar with right off the top of my head, like manufacturer software packages for your video/sound/printer/etc or proprietary software that came pre-installed. Frequently bad ones will have names that are even crazier looking than the rest (if you see a process called something like h4h4h4x3d you're probably in for some cleanup. =P)

Sometimes looking at the processes first off if you suspect issues that can't be fixed by your programs can give you directions on how to dig that junk out of there manually.

If it was me I'd be content with 8 different scans though, the above info is probably best filed under "Things to know for next time" or "Fecal Matter Has Collided With Blades of Rotary Based Air Circulation Device" info.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:59 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
6,385 posts, read 10,843,546 times
Reputation: 5589
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wartrace View Post
Yeah, that's my point- reformatting would be a waste of time considering the general condition of the computer. Like I said if I had to reformat I would just go ahead and upgrade the computer.
Re-formatting is relatively a minor operation and typically, it is best to install the version of Windows that it came with so you wouldn't have to worry about hardware specs being adequate or device drivers being compatible or not. Either way, your call I guess.

Quote:
I'm kind of disappointed with the keyboard quality of laptops. I have been through two keyboards due to the lettering wearing off. Replacement boards cost 99 bucks and replacement keys are even LESS cost effective. On the "bright side" my typing skills are improving because I have to know where the keys are rather than SEEING them
Why don't you get like a $5 USB PC keyboard and be done with it?

[/quote]
I guess I am convinced it is gone. You have a point- either its a really good virus that eight anti-virus programs can't find or its gone.....[/quote]

From my personal experience with virus infections (which is very little ), the user will likely to be experiencing 1 or more of the following on the infected system hinting him/her that something is wrong:
A- Noticeably slower overall performance, slow to boot/shutdown or even logging on. Slow Internet/network connection.Web pages not opening, giving errors, getting re-directed.
B- Operating system and/or applications giving error(s), even getting Blue Screen of Death. Unable to open programs, etc.
C-
Relocated/renamed/missing shortcuts, files, folders, new/unrecognized files and folders.

Are you still experiencing any of the above?

For future reference, remember no shipping company would send you a notification e-mail with any attachment, PDF or otherwise but if you get an e-mail that appear to be legit but still not sure. Save the file on your desktop then head over to VirusTotal to upload the file and have them scan it with a bunch of different known, reputable scanner for free:
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:39 PM
 
2,245 posts, read 3,625,240 times
Reputation: 2132
To the OP: Do you have any new startup entries?
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
5,819 posts, read 9,211,044 times
Reputation: 11585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Visit a Library View Post
To the OP: Do you have any new startup entries?
No I don't but thanks for mentioning that I should look at them, I hadn't thought to check.
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