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Search Engine Results Redirection Malware Removal

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Re: Search Engine Results Redirection Malware Removal

Unread postby zwief » June 6th, 2010, 7:09 pm

Hi Dakeyras,

Thanks so much for all your help. I greatly appreciate it. :)

Regarding the current state of the machine, I understand that I should reformat and reinstall my OS. It also may well still be compromised, no?

Also, all the passwords for my banking, websites, ftp accounts and various website accounts that were stored on this machine or stored on shared volumes that this machine had access to are potentially compromised, correct?

This is greatly disappointing. I see that I have many, many hours of work ahead of me.

This is the second time I've had such a situation in the past four months. I'm starting to think I should abandon this operating system. I have always used at least two anti-virus packages for the past few years and I still get infected. It appears that the simple act of visiting a website is enough to completely compromise my machine.

Unfortunately, like a large portion of the computer using public my work requires a lot of web research. I can't just stop visiting new websites.

Do you have any suggestions for avoiding this trial in the future? Should I be looking at non-Windows based solutions?

Your thoughts and input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,

Zwief
zwief
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Re: Search Engine Results Redirection Malware Removal

Unread postby Dakeyras » June 7th, 2010, 6:21 am

Hi. :)

Thanks so much for all your help. I greatly appreciate it. :)
You're welcome!

Regarding the current state of the machine, I understand that I should reformat and reinstall my OS. It also may well still be compromised, no?
It all depends on the actual method of a reformat and reinstallation of the Windows operating system done. If the hard-drive is completely wiped and all partitions reset/over-written nothing should survive that in theory as in say a Master Boot Record infection for example. We can run a check for this if you so wish.

Also, all the passwords for my banking, websites, ftp accounts and various website accounts that were stored on this machine or stored on shared volumes that this machine had access to are potentially compromised, correct?
Unfortunately this is a distinct possibility.

This is greatly disappointing. I see that I have many, many hours of work ahead of me.
Aye I appreciate it is and tedious indeed but were online safety is concerned it is prudent. For example both myself and wife use online banking etc and if it was one of my machines and or her laptop I would not hesitate to perform a reformat and reinstallation of the Windows operating and change all passwords used.

Note: When creating a new password use a series of both random upper/lower case letters and include some random alpha numerics also.

A example would be: THi85S13IsA7Eg <---Do not use this one zwief , merely a invented example for yourself.

This is a good test for the strength of any passwords created: Password Checker

This is the second time I've had such a situation in the past four months. I'm starting to think I should abandon this operating system. I have always used at least two anti-virus packages for the past few years and I still get infected. It appears that the simple act of visiting a website is enough to completely compromise my machine.
I will quite gladly provide some advice about this if you so wish.

Let myself know your overall decision and I in turn will assist/advise etc to the best of my abilities.
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Dakeyras
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Re: Search Engine Results Redirection Malware Removal

Unread postby zwief » June 7th, 2010, 5:32 pm

Hi Dakeyras,

Thanks for helping me out so much. I'm going to make a donation shortly. I assume I can find this under the "support us" link, no?

My overall decision is a clean install. I'll delete the partition of my main drive, recreate it and reinstall everything. I figure it will take about two days. :( No choice really, though.

But what concerns me more is that after doing so I will still be vulnerable. I do not know how I became infected and don't know what steps to take to prevent this from occurring again.

I'm thinking I should go out and buy a Mac and hope that they never become popular enough to warrant the same level of criminal attention paid to the Windows OSes.

Your advice on how to prevent infections and preferred operating systems would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,

Zwief
zwief
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Posts: 10
Joined: June 2nd, 2010, 5:45 pm

Re: Search Engine Results Redirection Malware Removal

Unread postby Dakeyras » June 8th, 2010, 7:16 am

Hi. :)

Thanks for helping me out so much. I'm going to make a donation shortly. I assume I can find this under the "support us" link, no?
Your're welcome! Donate link >Here<

I'm thinking I should go out and buy a Mac and hope that they never become popular enough to warrant the same level of criminal attention paid to the Windows OSes.
My actual knowledge of Apple Mac Operating Systems is somewhat sparse to say the least being totally honest but I am aware they just as vulnerable to malware also if not kept up-to date security patch wise. Its a urban legend if you will that they cannot become infected. The criminals who create/peddle malware will do so regardless these days and most unfortunately this is the case.

Next:

Below is some advice about what to install/safety advice after the format and the reinstallation of the Windows operating system.

Reformat and Reinstallation Advice:

This is a excellent resource I recommend reading:- How to prevent Malware

  • Use an Anti Virus Software - It is very important that your computer has an anti-virus software running on your machine. This alone can save you a lot of trouble with malware in the future.
    Here are some free Anti Virus programs which I recommend to use:
    • Antivir PersonalEditionClassic
      • Free anti-virus software for Windows.
      • Detects and removes more than 50,000 viruses. Free support.
    • avast! 4 Home Edition
        • Anti-virus program for Windows.
        • The home edition is freeware for noncommercial users.
    • Update your Anti Virus Software - It is imperative that you update your Anti virus software at least once a week (Even more if you wish). If you do not update your anti virus software then it will not be able to catch any of the new variants that may come out.
    • Use a Firewall - I can not stress how important it is that you use a Firewall on your computer. Without a firewall your computer is susceptible to being hacked and taken over. Simply using a Firewall in its default configuration can lower your risk greatly.
      Here are some free Firewalls which I recommend to use:
      (Use only one, and disable your Windows Firewall)
    Note: Only ever have installed/use one Anti-Virus application and Software Firewall. Otherwise a system conflict will occur and this also lessens overall online protection!
  • Keep your system updated- Microsoft releases patches for Windows and other products regularly:
  • Make your Internet Explorer more secure - This can be done by following these simple instructions:
    • From within Internet Explorer click on the Tools menu and then click on Options.
    • Click once on the Security tab
    • Click once on the Internet icon so it becomes highlighted.
    • Click once on the Custom Level button.
      • Change the Download signed ActiveX controls to Prompt
      • Change the Download unsigned ActiveX controls to Disable
      • Change the Initialise and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe to Disable
      • Change the Installation of desktop items to Prompt
      • Change the Launching programs and files in an IFRAME to Prompt
      • Change the Navigate sub-frames across different domains to Prompt
      • When all these settings 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.
    • Next press the Apply button and then the OK to exit the Internet Properties page.
  • Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware - Download it from here
    The tutorial on how to use MBAM is located here
  • Install WinPatrol - Download it from here
    You can find information about how WinPatrol works here
  • Install SpywareBlaster - SpywareBlaster will added a large list of programs and sites into your Internet Explorer settings that will protect you from running and downloading known malicious programs.
    Download it from here
    The tutorial on how to use Spyware Blaster is located here
  • 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.

Importance of Regular System Maintenance:

I advice you read both of the below listed topics as this will go a long way to keeping your Computer performing well after the format and the reinstallation of the Windows operating system.

Help! My computer is slow!

Also so is this:

What to do if your Computer is running slowly

Follow the above and the potential for your computer becoming infected again will reduce dramatically. Any questions feel free to ask OK!
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Re: Search Engine Results Redirection Malware Removal

Unread postby Dakeyras » June 9th, 2010, 8:18 am

Since we have done all we can, this topic is now closed.

We are pleased we could help you resolve your computer's malware issues.

If you would like to make a comment or leave a compliment regarding the help you have received, please see Feedback for Our Helpers - Say "Thanks" Here.
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