[Not curable - Ramnit] Vista machine virus/rootkit infected

By poshgerm
Mar 6, 2011
  1. Vipre started warning of Virus.W32 on files like msvcs80.dll, msvcs71.dll
    Also when trying to access some sites on the Internet, would be taken to Gomeo site instead.
    Then things started to get worse, when trying to start a browser, firefox or IE or Chrome, would be presented by a windows asking which program to use to open the program and quoting files like run32.dll.

    Ran Kaspersky tdsskiller which found Rootkit.Win32.TDSS.tdl4 and hopefully removed it.

    Have now removed Vipre and tried installing AVG free 2011 which when it started up flagged a lot of EXE files as infected with Win32.Ramnit.A and Win32.Ramnit.H
    and others.

    Can someone help me cleanup my Windows Vista PC?
  2. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 54,256   +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. poshgerm

    poshgerm TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Major drag, huh?

    Thanks Broni, for the advice, has taken me a couple of days to get over the dissapointment. Anyway, I don't particularly want to flatten the Vista PC and reinstall, but I know it may come to that in the end.

    Here's a question for you, I have a couple of USB hard drives and USB memory keys that have been connected to this Vista PC in the past, what needs to be done with respect to these?

    For the moment, I have disconnected the system from the internet and switched Windows Firewall to 'not accept incoming connections'. I am now working my way back in time, removing (uninstalling) the applications that have been loaded onto it - paying particular attention to .exe, html / htm and dll files. What if I pared the system down to the bare minimum disk footprint again and then scan and re scan with several different free AV programs. Then I could maybe give it to the kids to use for games etc and don't use it for any personal / financial transactions…
  4. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 54,256   +383

    As I said, your only safe option is to format the drive and reinstall Windows.
    Short of that, I really can't advice on any other option.

    As for USB devices, you can scan them with any AV program on any other working computer, but make sure, you install this first...

    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
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