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What should I be looking for?

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  • What should I be looking for?

    I noticed while at work today that I could not access any of my Alpha webpages. When I got home did I have a BIG SURPRISE. Something got into the system, changed all the User Account Passwords (deleted my account) and added about 5 new accounts. One was, another was Temp and another had something to do with sql. I was able to get in via the Safe Mode using the Admin account. I tried to delete the UNWANTED accounts under computer mgmt but they are still there when I reboot.

    Along with the Account Settings ALL of my history for passwords etc are gone. In addition, nearly 2/3's of my icons on the start up page are gone. I am using Win XP pro. I can start programs from the Programs option but the system is acting like I just loaded the programs and is asking for re-activation. Luckly enough the Alpha Server is working.

    Any idea of what happened and what I should be looking for? I am using Microsoft Essentials for the virus detection.


  • #2
    Re: What should I be looking for?

    That sounds nasty. Here is a suggestion:
    1. Create a new user admin account - don't log into it!
    2. Shut the machine down completely - don't reboot.
    3. Wait a minute.
    4. Start up and access the new account - don't open the old account.
    5. Run MSSE's - run a full system scan.
    6. Download Malware Bytes free version.
    7. Run a full system scan w MB's.

    Hopefully this will detect/eliminate virus/malware.

    Log into your original account and fix what needs to be fixed.
    AlphaBase Solutions, LLC


    • #3
      Re: What should I be looking for?

      Thank you Peter...last night I went into Computer Management and deleted the Users that I did NOT create...everything was working fine. Got up this morning and BINGO, 5 new User Accounts were created....I will definitely try your suggestions...


      • #4
        Re: What should I be looking for?

        Peter, I don't know what happened but I cannot find this thread on the message board. I am sending this via the response from your post.

        Anyway, just to keep you informed, I downloaded the Malware software you suggested and loaded it on a couple of computers.

        1. Work computer - while running the software I received a "read drive error" not able to get this computer up and running
        2. The original computer that I created the post for. While running full scan the system stopped and went back to the login screen and the Admin User Account was gone and the only User was "ichromepress" Of course I do NOT know the password therefore I am locked out of my system.

        the login window appears even with Safe Mode so I am dead in the water....other than reloading windows, do you have any suggestions? Right I have 4 computers down for one reason or another. Don't ask me what I think of computers....


        • #5
          Re: What should I be looking for?

          I don't know, Phil. This sounds like something I have never seen before. Microsoft now has a very responsive and knowledgeable security help phone number - at least that's been my experience. You should be able to find the # somewhere on the MSSE's site.
          AlphaBase Solutions, LLC


          • #6
            Re: What should I be looking for?

            Originally posted by Phil Rolf View Post
            other than reloading windows, do you have any suggestions? Right I have 4 computers down for one reason or another.
            Reloading windows using known to be clean software installation disks is the recommended method in your situation.

            How I would handle this is to shut the computer down.

            Remove the harddrive from the case and install it into another computer that is working and clean of malware/viruses.

            Backup the hard drive from the bad computer, I am assuming you have a routine backup procedure in place and thus have previous backups as well.

            Once the backup is complete, format the hard drive. Remove it from the temp computer, and re-install it in the original computer.

            Install Windows, Install your preferred anti-virus software. Update the anti-virus software, update windows. Schedule windows to routinely check for new updates and download them.

            Re-install applications; update applications as they are installed.

            Run anti-virus scan on your backup file (depending on back up type this may not be effective and can be skipped)

            Restore only the needed data.

            Once you are back up and running on the computer and have all your data restored ( you are running anti-virus scans on the data as its being restored, right?), Delete all of the old backup as they will have rements of the infection.

            Use secure passwords on all of your accounts, do not re-use passwords across multiple systems. Use a password manager to help you remember the passwords.


            • #7
              Re: What should I be looking for?

              That's a plan that I was considering. I have a USB interface where I can attach to the bad drive, attach to a good computer via USB and I can download the files. The bad part about this is the reloading of all the software....what a PIA. But I have no choice...



              • #8
                Re: What should I be looking for?

                A Trojan is a blockade set up by the UAC ie Admin has no rights. Every time when attempting to access the system responds to the trojan. Malware does not help at this time also because the process is aborted. Not easy to solve, but with some patience it can be remedied. Therefore you need a recovery CD from an antivirus vendor. Start with a computer, disconnect everything including the Internet and your local network, follow the instructions provided. Scanning is a lengthy and difficult process, so be patient. After the first shit has been cleaned up try run Malware again without connection to the lan or internet. Possible option you have ti run the rescue disk twice before you have succes. Buy Malware Pro for all you workstations that gives realtime protection beside your aniti virus software.
                Last edited by bea2701; 08-25-2011, 05:03 AM.


                • #9
                  Re: What should I be looking for?

                  I work with Ghost images combined with Deep Freeze that basically freezes my C: drive give it a try! (don't forget to redirect your data folders to another partition or you will loose ALL your work upon reboot)

                  Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand


                  • #10
                    Re: What should I be looking for?

                    Things were not going well in the troubleshooting so I made the executive decision to format the drive and re-load windows. That is what I did and the system is now up and operational.

                    I want to thank everyone for their input on this...

                    PS I am going to be extra careful on the software that I download...


                    • #11
                      Re: What should I be looking for?

                      Originally posted by Phil Rolf View Post
                      Things were not going well in the troubleshooting so I made the executive decision to format the drive and re-load windows. That is what I did and the system is now up and operational.

                      I want to thank everyone for their input on this...

                      PS I am going to be extra careful on the software that I download...

                      Good to hear that you've solved a lesson for the future. Another tip:
                      It's not just what you download from the Internet more machines you just hit from the outside Internet. Only if you have more than enough preventive measures you have any warranty. Advice from Frank [Clipper87] about Deep Freeze take this to heart.