TechSpot

Internet not working after Spyware

By Function
Aug 4, 2008
  1. It all started when I was browsing My Computer and got a pop up to get Anti-Spyware software. I realized that I needed just that, because the popup itself was spyware. So I hit Ctrl + Alt + Del to get rid of all the spyware that had been running already and started ridding my computer of that nasty stuff.

    I terminated all the processes and I still had the popup while browsing my computer. So I figured it was a DLL that was injected into explorer. I restarted my computer into safe mode, looking for signs of programs that wanted to start with my computer. I erased some registry entries and deleted some obviously corrupt programs.

    I restarted with a normal boot. As soon as I got back in, I realized my internet wasn't working. Hmm... Maybe my router went down.

    My sister's laptop was working fine though (which is wireless, while I'm wired) Hmmm....

    I tried accessing my router. No go.

    I realized that something was seriously up.

    I spent hours removing every last bit of spyware and viruses on my computer with the use of Kaspersky, MalwareByte's Anti-Malware, and Smitfraud, all in safe mode. I got rid of over a dozen EXEs, and half a dozen registry keys, plus half a dozen DLLs in Internet Explorer and Explorer. It seemed there would be nothing stop my computer from working perfectly.

    As soon as I restarted, I saw my internet was still not working. All the spyware was gone, but the damage was done and my internet wouldn't start working any time soon.

    Since then, I still can't get a single page to load or ping request to come back. Here are the symptoms. I don't know what to do next:

    • Absolutely no pages load. Firefox tells me "Address Not Found."
    • My computer is unable to connect to my router's DHCP server for an IP address. It becomes Automatic Private Address 169.254.x.x, Subnet Mask 255.255.0.0, unless I specify a specify a static lan address, in which case the LAN icon has a yellow exclamation point on it stating "Limited or no connectivity" (even though I was using the same exact static address just yesterday) - No other computers on this network have the same IP address
    • When a static address is assigned, the router's address loads a blank white page with no content. All other webpages continue to give me Address Not Found
    • Pinging all internet addresses gives no response. Only 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.1.100 (my static address) give results. Oddly, though, the result says
    Code:
    C:\>ping 192.168.1.1
    
    Pinging °ÿ with 32 bytes of data:
    
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=127
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=127
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=127
    Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=127
    
    Ping statistics for     :
        Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
        Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms
    I don't understand why the address of the router becomes °ÿ

    Pinging localhost gives the following result

    Code:
    C:\>ping localhost
    
    Pinging VAL-MAIN [°ÿ] with 32 bytes of data:
    
    Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
    Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
    Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
    Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
    
    Ping statistics for     :
        Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
        Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms
    With the same °ÿ

    Here's what I've tried doing:
    • I've tried removing the driver for my LAN card from Device Manager and reinstalling the drivers without it working.
    • I've tried going through the Set up a home or small office network wizard but it always says it was unable to complete the wizard at the end
    • The router is still accessible from other computers in the house

    I'm very scared I need to reinstall windows because of this spyware I picked up. What else can I try?
     
  2. Function

    Function TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I booted into a ubuntu live cd and saw that my internet was connected from the first second of being booted. I have no choice but to repair windows, it seems.

    PS: Host file looked fine and event viewer showed nothing out of the ordinary
     
  3. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    That °ÿ is the telltale sign that the WINSOCK catalog is corrupted. Simply enter this command at a command prompt:

    netsh winsock reset catalog


    Or download Winsockfix
     
  4. Function

    Function TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The command fixed the computer perfectly. Thank you.
     
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Thanks for the update :grinthumb
     
  6. donnaencino

    donnaencino TS Rookie

    same problem - easy fix

    my son had the exact same problem -- ran a spyware detection program and deleted files and suddenly IE would not work. But everything else on his computer was fine, and my wireless connection was fine. And he was connected, but just not communicating. I decided he clobbered something in the IE8 software, so just installed from an AOL cd I had lying around and it worked perfectly. He then downloaded both IE8 and Firefox (jic--to avoid future issues) and deleted AOL. Note -- I had to do this circuitous route since I could not copy either IE8 or Firefox from my computer to a cd for him -- the cds must be ordered. At least so far, everything is working perfectly again for him. :) hope this helps others
     
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