Problems with PC

Discussion in 'Online Security' started by whistler, May 1, 2008.

  1. whistler

    whistler

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    I asked a "friend" to set up my computer a year ago. :eek: However, he has been "updating" it since then and kept telling me he was giving me access to do things, that I obviously did not have access to do (installations, updates, changes, etc.). This person kept telling me that he allowed for it and that he didn't have time to make sure I could and blamed the computer itself. :confused:The relationship ended and the person had access to the system since then.
    Since that point, I have lost all administrative privileges and they seem to be set to him, instead. He would/will not give me the Administrator password. When he left, he disabled all user access to installing, updating or anything else. I don't have access to update my SpyBot, Ad-Aware or install any other software or updates and now I believe my system has been compromised.:mad:

    The problem is (and this is why I post a new thread) I believe I have various types of malware on my computer yet I can't seem to remove it using the recommendations here. I also don't know what else to look for but I know I have Virtumonde and I've seen reference to a Trojan in Spybot, too. :eek:

    My question is three-fold:
    1. How to I remove the immediate threat to my computer's safety since I have no administrator access to downloads? My Spybot now stalls and I have no access to add any other removal software. Virtumonde, at the least, is on my system now. I have tried to follow the suggestions at virtumonde.dll but most of them require installing software or updates. I have tried removing keys from the registry, turning off processes and removing .dll and .exe files but the processes tell me I don't have access to stop them (only the ones, it seems, from the malware) and the .dll's aren't pulling up - only showing up in Spybot notices for a few days. Today, Spybot stalls and is unresponsive and Ad-Aware can't be updated and hasn't been updated in thirty days.

    2. Is the only way to get my administrator rights back to clear the hard drive, backing up my photos and moving documents onto online storage, screening those for virus and malware (how would I do that) and then to start from scratch in the installation and setup process? If so, I'll see if I can find instructions on how to do that here. Would it be better/safer just to replace the entire hard drive or fdisk it?
    Background: I know skeletal information about computer hardware and have a small bit of common sense. A long, long time ago, I could put pieces together and make them work but I don't know much on how to get the computer setup besides through installation of software, installing firewalls, working in the registry, and definitions for safe browsing and the like to avoid compromise of my computer.
    Is the easiest way to fix no. 2 to just fdisk? What are the pros and cons?

    3. It is possible a hardware keylogger is installed on my system, if these are legitimately in existence. I recently had someone malicious on my system. How would I locate a hw keylogger and where would it be? Is it even a problem since I'm using wireless through my friend/neighbor?

    Thanks so much. I am very concerned that my personal passwords, account information and other information are being sent to another party and don't know how to stop it ASAP since I can't even stop the excess processes that seem to be running. Spybot is completely disabled now. It crashes every time I try to start it up, even to look at the logs.

    Any suggestions are appreciated and if I messed up and should have posted this elsewhere or missed some resources, please feel free to direct me.

    PS: My computer is a Dell Latitude D600, btw. running Windows XP Professional and using Firefox as browser. As I mentioned above, protection is Ad-Aware, Spybot and Anti-Vir. Otherwise, I am your standard ignoramus.:p
     
  2. rjfvillarosa

    rjfvillarosa Moderator Staff Member

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    Considering everything you have said, the best thing you can do is backup all your personal files, on CD/DVD, pendrive or even online if it is only photo's.
    Then do a full reinstall/recovery of your system. it sounds to me like your "friend" is being vindictive or malicious. Don't take any chances clean the machine right out and start again.
    We can help you with the cleaning and reinstall process and setting it all back up again.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  3. whistler

    whistler

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    Yeah, you are right..

    Thank you so much for your help, wisdom and encouragement. Unfortunately, I thought that might be the case and was hoping to avoid it.
    Unfortunately, I think you are right about this "friend". I want to see it in a different way but I just do not find a way to see it. Are there such things as hardware keyloggers? How do you verify they are or are not on your system?

    Thanks for the encouragement. I have Windows XP and he took the CD. I have to save up my pennies to get it to reinstall because I need at least some form of Windows for my professional work. The cheapest I could find XP for was $185. Is there another place that I can find it for less or is it suggested that if I'm just running office, graphical programs and e-mailing and accessing the internet, that I choose another type? I guess it doesn't have to be XP.

    I still have an Ubuntu version so I guess I could use that though I don't really like it. Are there other Linux OS graphical interfaces that are better or more user friendly?

    I would like to create more than one user profile and I would like to load both a linux graphical interface and Windows as is the case now. It seems this is going to be very difficult but I so greatly appreciate the offer for help.

    So.. I will purchase the software and hardware that I need and then I can get help on how to do everything? How can I get help while doing it if the system is down, is there a line by line on how to do it?

    I don't have a way of backing up the information on CD/DVD. Is there another method that I can purchase? What about those portable devices that you can plug in, can that go into your Port much as you would with your printer? I am not sure what they are technically called but I have heard them spoken of as thumb drives. How would I go about checking those files for malware so I don't end up importing them along with malware?
     
  4. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    You can buy XP Home OEM for about 90 bucks, XP Pro OEM for 140. No need to buy the full retail version.
     
  5. rjfvillarosa

    rjfvillarosa Moderator Staff Member

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    Does this machine not have the recovery application?
    See here for instructions Dell
     
  6. ThePoor

    ThePoor

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    you can download BartPE and burn it to the cd and boot from. From there you can reset any password..CMOS, windows...
     
  7. shadowpr

    shadowpr I like me

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  8. whistler

    whistler

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    Thanks!

    Hi everyone!
    I read all of your replies.
    So, I have thought - I just will replace the hard drive for $80. Will that fix most of my problems?
    Then I just need to reinstall everything?
    Can anyone run me through how to do that? Installing the software should be easy - it's more help with setting up users, admin privelages, adding firewalls and other protections to make sure that we can't get another trojan.

    Also, are Ad-Aware (paid version) and Spybot (same thing) good protection or must I get something else?

    I.E. I am prepared to get another hard drive, install it asap and everything will be wiped clean. Might not be able to get back to this site for awhile and I'm.. just a little bit more knowledgeable about computers than a lay person in any given office (i.e. not much).

    PS.. I'm still working on checking out the links you all provided. :)
     
  9. Kuch

    Kuch

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    You shouldn’t have to buy another HDD unless there is something wrong with your current one. When you reinstall XP, it will format beforehand and the fresh install should eliminate all your problems.

    For protection, I suggest Spybot Search and Destroy, SUPER Antispyware, Windows Defender, AVG Antivirus, and Spyware Blaster. All the programs and free and should lock down your system without hogging your resources. CCleaner is good for erasing your tracks and clearing up temp files.

    If you don’t want to shell out for the Microsoft Office programs, you can always use Open Office, which is also free.
     
  10. Pcfreakske2000

    Pcfreakske2000

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    @Kuch : I used to use SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard as well, but I bought Webroot Spy Sweeper recently and it works fine to protect me from spyware.
     
  11. Pcfreakske2000

    Pcfreakske2000

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    I forgot to mention that I also use some freeware anti-spyware applications as well, here's a list :


    - Ad Aware 2007

    - Spybot Search & Destroy

    - SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition

    - Malwarebytes Anti- Malware ( free version, without real-time protection )

    - Malwarebytes Rogue Remover Free
     

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