Another Client with a spyware infection… This lady uses a dialup connection & eventually couldn’t do any web browsing.
Funnily enough, she had norton interner security (and anti virus) running, but this malware ran rings around it… the second computer in 2 weeks with norton helpless at stopping spyware.
Anyway, I spend 90 minutes doing the usual: disable malware startups within the registry, startup folder, etc. but every few minutes, a web page would spontaneously pop up anyway… At least the computer was mostly working, but if I left it as is, it would have gotten worse over time anyway.
Client agrees I can take the computer & work on it from the office.
After a lot of investigation, I find I’m dealing with “look2me”… & all the forums are full of helpful suggestions, none of which seem to work for my particular situation… run programs like adaware, ewido, spybotSD, etc, start in windows safe mode, blah blah blah.
No matter what I did, the spyware was re-appearing. I even knew which file was the culprit, but it was “in use by windows” from when windows starts, so it cannot be deleted, & it changes name after every reboot… so deleting it at reboot time is no use… and of course any deleted files or registry entries would get re-created (sometimes within a matter of seconds)
I got a good idea of what was going on by using hijackthis (http://www.spywareinfo.com), regedit, l2mfix, and the symantec page on look2me.
I even upgrade XP from SP0 to SP2
I also found that there are so many variants of this little critter… no wonder anti-spyware programs can’t control it… antispyware rely on malware “signatures”… similar antivirus programs… the malware people can generate new variants faster than any anti-malware company can keep up… maybe someone should tell them to adopt a heuristic approach… so that all current & future variants can be dealt with.
Anyway, I figure out how to interpret the output from l2mfix, & tell the difference between legitimate files & registry entries, & bad ones.
It seems like L2M rotates between 4 different (seemingly random) filenames after every reboot. The registry entry for the current active dll file can be deleted, but it gets recreated.
But there are 8 other registry entries, which seem to “control” the 4 dll files… So I delete these 8 entries while in safe mode (I wouldn’t have been happy if there were 200 entries!). They don’t reappear, so I empty out the temp, prefetch, & ie cache folders. Then I schedule killbox to delete any undeletable “bad” dll at booot time.
I’m not sure what else I can do… its 4am, & I’m a wee bit tired, so I decide to reboot into safe mode again & see what happens… I notice that my deleted entries have remained deleted, the “reappearing” registry entry is gone, and there are no bad dll files left in the system32 folder…
I run ewido, spybot & adaware, just to be sure, then I reboot to normal windows mode. Still no signs of L2M, so I do a defrag & let the computer (with Maxthon running) go for the rest of the night. The next morning, there are no signs of malware, so I declare the computer exorcised of deamons, & return it to its family.
Can someone please make a decent anti-malware program?
I hope future malware problems I encounter will be easier… otherwise I might have to take the “lazy” way out & recommend system rebuilds as a solution… not the most elegant solution, but it make better use of my time.