[Not curable - Ramnit] Trojan.FakeAlert.H, TrojanHorseHider, PC becoming unstable

By discostu · 7 replies
Nov 6, 2011
  1. Hi and thanks for your time. I have a real problem here.
    First of all, AdAware is in overdrive, constantly performing scans because it is detecting malicious processes. Each time it detects hundreds of infected files, including "Ramnit.a!dam"
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan finds two files, one of them is "Trojan.Fake.Alert.H". One is a registry entry. When these are removed, they are back after next startup.
    I also had AVG installed but that was constantly flagging up hundreds of files as infected - I uninstalled it as the computer was unusable, and I wondered if it was conflicting with AdAware. AVG detected "Trojan Horse Hider" and hundreds of files with "Win32/Zbot.G" (or similar).

    I have tried to use ComboFix, but apparently with no effect.

    Edit: all anti-virus websites are blocked, and I am unable to update any virus program i already have.


    Many thanks,

    p.s. - I run Windows XP.
  2. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 54,262   +383

    I'm afraid I have very bad news.

    You're infected with Ramnit file infector virus.

    Win32/Ramnit.A is a file infector with IRCBot functionality which infects .exe, and .HTML/HTM files, and opens a back door that compromises your computer. Using this backdoor, a remote attacker can access and instruct the infected computer to download and execute more malicious files. The infected .HTML or .HTM files may be detected as Virus:VBS/Ramnit.A. Win32/Ramnit.A!dll is a related file infector often seen with this infection. It too has IRCBot functionality which infects .exe, .dll and .HTML/HTM files and opens a back door that compromises your computer. This component is injected into the default web browser by Worm:Win32/Ramnit.A which is dropped by a Ramnit infected executable file.

    -- Note: As with most malware infections, the threat name may be different depending on the anti-virus or anti-malware program which detected it. Each security vendor uses their own naming conventions to identify various types of malware.
    With this particular infection the safest solution and only sure way to remove it effectively is to reformat and reinstall the OS.

    Why? The malware injects code in legitimate files similar to the Virut virus and in many cases the infected files (which could number in the thousands) cannot be disinfected properly by your anti-virus. When disinfection is attempted, the files often become corrupted and the system may become unstable or irreparable. The longer Ramnit.A remains on a computer, the more files it infects and corrupts so the degree of infection can vary.

    Ramnit is commonly spread via a flash drive (usb, pen, thumb, jump) infection where it copies Worm:Win32/Ramnit.A with a random file name. The infection is often contracted by visiting remote, crack and keygen sites. These type of sites are infested with a smörgåsbord of malware and a major source of system infection.

    In my opinion, Ramnit.A is not effectively disinfectable, so your best option is to perform a full reformat as there is no guarantee this infection can be completely removed. In most instances it may have caused so much damage to your system files that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. Further, your machine has likely been compromised by the backdoor Trojan and there is no way to be sure the computer can ever be trusted again. It is dangerous and incorrect to assume the computer is secure even if your anti-virus reports that the malware appears to have been removed.

    Many experts in the security community believe that once infected with this type of malware, the best course of action is to wipe the drive clean, reformat and reinstall the OS. Please read:
    Backdoors and What They Mean to You

    This is what Jesper M. Johansson at Microsoft TechNet has to say: Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do?.

    Important Note:: If your computer was used for online banking, has credit card information or other sensitive data on it, you should disconnect from the Internet until your system is cleaned. All passwords should be changed immediately to to include those used for banking, email, eBay, paypal and any online activities which require a username and password. You should consider them to be compromised. You should change each password using a clean computer and not the infected one. If not, an attacker may get the new passwords and transaction information. Banking and credit card institutions should be notified of the possible security breach. Failure to notify your financial institution and local law enforcement can result in refusal to reimburse funds lost due to fraud or similar criminal activity.
  3. discostu

    discostu TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks very much for your quick response. I read a similar thread on here and was hoping against all odds that I wouldn't have the same problem.

    Is there anything I can safely copy onto CD/USB drive and put onto another computer? I was thinking mainly documents and mp3s. I can live with sacrificing video files and everything else.

    Finally, could you point me in the direction of a [Edit: first-timer]'s guide for reformatting/re-installing Windows XP. As far as I am aware I have every CD that came with my PC, although it is nearly 5 years old.

    Thanks again,
  4. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 54,262   +383

    You can backup you data to USB flash drive.
    Then BEFORE sticking that drive to any computer install the following on that computer...

    Download, and run Flash Disinfector, and save it to your desktop (Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, scroll down)

    *Please disable any AV / ScriptBlockers as they might detect Flash Disinfector to be malicious and block it. Hence, the failure in executing. You can enable them back after the cleaning process*

    • Double-click Flash_Disinfector.exe to run it and follow any prompts that may appear.
    • The utility may ask you to insert your flash drive and/or other removable drives. Please do so and allow the utility to clean up those drives as well.
    • Hold down the Shift key when inserting the drive until Windows detects it to keep autorun.inf from executing if it is present.
    • Wait until it has finished scanning and then exit the program.
    • Reboot your computer when done.
    Note: As part of its routine, Flash_Disinfector will create a hidden folder named autorun.inf in each partition and every USB drive that was plugged in when you ran it. Do not delete this folder...it will help protect your drives from future infection by keeping the autorun file from being installed on the root drive and running other malicious files.

    Windows Vista and Windows 7 users
    Flash Disinfector is not compatible with the above Windows version.
    Please, use Panda USB Vaccine, or BitDefender’s USB Immunizer

    Now put the stick in and scan it with your AV program.


    As for reinstallation...
    If you have some recovery CD, put it in, restart computer, boot to the CD and follow on-screen instructions.
    If your CD is just full Windows XP CD follow this guide: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html
  5. discostu

    discostu TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again. On the off chance I can't find my XP CDs... Am I stuck?

    p.s. is backing up to a memory card a no-no?
  6. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 54,262   +383

    You may have recovery partition on your computer.
    What brand of computer is it?
  7. discostu

    discostu TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's a Dell. I have the back-ups for Microsoft Office and the Dell printer all together, I would imagine if I had a back-up CD it would have been with them.
  8. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 54,262   +383

    On Dell's computer you should be able to access recovery partition (if present) by pressing CTRL+F11 at Dell's logo screen.

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