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Unknown, persistent malware?


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Dear Emsisoft Team,

some weeks ago I decided to transform an old, unused desktop in a test pc and to install windows enterprise 8.1, a AV, Virtualbox and windows enterprise 8.1 on it.
I installed windows, then right after Avast IS, then after 30 days Avast free both with max/hardened protection settings,I updated Avast and then updated Windows. I then istalled Sanboxie, EMET 5.1, Emsisoft Emergency kit, Hitmanpro, Norton power eraser, Malwarebytes.
Same on the VM.
Some days ago I decided to download some registry/system monitor programs.
I was online with Firefox under sandboxie, both updated. EMET was on with recommended settings and Avast in hardened mode.
Suddenly while downloading a file, Avast alerted me a file was infected (evo-gen or generic malware); I asked to get more infos and Avast froze.
Sandboxie was slow but could empty the cache and close the program.
EMET 5.1 disappeared, no icon nor program in memory (checked with process hacker and task manager). Same after restart! I cannot repair it since framework 3.5 or later is missing now....

Hitmanpro didn't detect anything. Kaspersky's TDDSK after some time needed to start, nothing. Gmer froze; Emsi froze.
I started NPE that restarted my desktop. No sign of Norton after restart. I restarted Norton that restarted the PC. This time Norton could update and scan and found nothing. Same for Gmer and Malwarebytes.

I started the pc with rescue disks created with another PC (new one).
Esets froze many times, sometimes switched to a command/text mode and showed many lines, also "kernel tried to execute NX-protected page - exploit attempt? (Uid: 0) Unable to handle kernel paging request at f3fdb628......

Sometimes pc suddenly turnes off.
Bitdefender froze during scan as Kaspersky rescue 10 and Gdata (all latest available versions).
Avira rescue disk managed to update and check the hd and found nothing.
I thought at a hardware problem too. Memory test: passed 2.5 scans and 4.5 Hrs of time. Disk test ok. Power supply changed, same issues.
I have the feeling my samsung S4 restarts too often (2-3 times in the last 10 days) and my internet connection is (very) slow sometimes (also when and after I tried to update the definition of ESET from rescue disk; download was fast the first times, then way slower the last ones).
Did I get some persistent, undetected, terrible malware that hides in Bios, Firmware, Router? I hope you can help me!

thank you in advance for your help!

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I just tried to run Emsisoft: it started and I tried to run an update (definitions 4 days old).

It told me, update done, but  nothing happened, no new definitions were downloaded.

Then a window told me that I could get a Emsi E Kit key at 50% discount.

I reinstalled the old copy. It copied the files but didn't start, I also couldn't start it.

I downloaded a new version , installed it but I couldn't start it again.

Fbar run, files were created but I cannot upload them. I cannot install Flash.

I'll cut&paste the 2 .txt as a report generated by roguekiller after "infection"...sorry for that.

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We do not ask for for most of the logs you provided. You should not be runnign tools that you were not asked to run.

All posters requesting Malware Removal assistance are required to follow all procedures in the thread titled START HERE, if you don't we are just going to send you back to this thread also read the Emsisoft Support Forums Terms of Use

To Highlight a few:

  • If you are seeking help make sure to only create one thread per problem at a time. Multiple threads about the same problem will get closed.
  • To keep the threads clean please don't post the content of log or report files directly in your reply. Instead attach any reports or logs you were asked to submit as a file attachment.
  • Don't use any kind of "l33t" speak or slang and always keep in mind that most of the other people here don't speak English as their native language.
  • Asking for help is only allowed in the forums. Requesting help via PM or mail is prohibited.
  • Because of the potential for harm only selected members as well as our employees are allowed to offer help in the malware removal sections of the forum. If you have a strong malware fighting background and want to help please contact Emsi, Fabian Wosar and Kevin Zoll (yes, all three of them) via forum PM
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Hi Kevin,


I read the thread and I attached all files I could since suddenly after I started looking for help online and to write  the summary of my last weeks the HD started to fail and it's very difficult and rare to be able to access it....very suspicious at least...sorry for the confusion and the many messages but I didn't want to loose the (maybe last) chance to upload documents that might be helpful (that were created right after the alert was displayed).


I'll try to upload emsis 's logs created on 14 December right after all started (only 2 registry keys were found, the "DISABLETASKMGR and the DISABLEREGISTRYTOOLS")  unless I manage to boot the pc and to scan with the new database.

Unfortunately last time I was able to start the hd and windows Emsi didn't load. I could download and install the new version but still not start Emsi.....nothing happened....


Should I try to clone the HD by using a rescue disk or it is better to wait since I might infect the new HD too?


Did you find anythig suspect in the files I uploaded?


thank you!

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I m really concerned also because this would be the second system that failed in the last 6 months...last September a laptop started having problems....Windows was rebooting/ shutting down in a loop.

I managed to stop it and to reset windows using an older restore point.

The next day the laptop was dead, no signs of life at all, no lights, no bios, nothing.

This is the second case....could be a bad chance as very very suspicious.

What do you suggest me to do to be 100% (or as much as possible) sure?

What infos/files do you need from the old HD?

Pls let me know how I should proceed, what to do.



thank you and nice week-end!!


P.S. The Hd that is failing now is not the one from the old laptop...the one in the old laptop was a brand new one....

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I forgot that I run a smart hd test from a rescue cd, the computerbild rescue cd6, and tge smart quick test said no error were found....

What happened whith Emet, how coild it disappear?

Why could I download and install Emsisoft but not tun it (all under windows)?

Last time I could start the pc, suddenly Avast free is not activated anymore even though it was before......very strange....

As said, I m really concerned some new malware is hiding in bios, router,firmware, ....or is still undetected....

I hope you can help!!!

Thank you

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Though it is theoretically possible to create firmware malware, it is not logistically feasible.

You could have an infected router, and the best way to clear that is to disconnect the router from the computer, reset it to the factory default settings, and reconfigure the router.

Read carefully and follow these steps.

  • Download TDSSKiller and save it to your Desktop.
  • Double-click on TDSSKiller.exe to run the application.


  • Click Change parameters


  • Check the boxes next to Verify Driver Digital Signature and Detect TDLFS file system, then click OK


  • Click on the Start Scan button to begin the scan and wait for it to finish.

    NOTE: Do not use the computer during the scan!

  • During the scan it will look similar to the image below:


  • When it finishes, you will either see a report that no threats were found like below:


    If no threats are found at this point, just click the Report selection on the top right of the form to generate a log. A log file report will pop which you can just close since the report file is already saved.

  • If any infection or suspected items are found, you will see a window similar to below:


    • If you have files that are shown to fail signature check do not take any action on these. Make sure you select Skip. I will tell you what to do with these later. They may not be issues at all.
    • If Suspicious objects are detected, the default action will be Skip. Leave the default set to Skip.
    • If Malicious objects are detected, they will show in the Scan results. TDSSKiller automatically selects an action (Cure or Delete) for malicious objects
    • Make sure that Cure is selected. Important! - If Cure is not available, please choose Skip instead. Do not choose Delete unless instructed to do so.
  • Click Continue to apply selected actions.
  • A reboot may be required to complete disinfection. A window like the below will appear:


    Reboot immediately if TDSSKiller states that one is needed.

  • Whether an infection is found or not, a log file should have already been created on your C: drive (or whatever drive you boot from) in the root folder named something like TDSSKiller.2.1.1_27.12.2009_14.17.04_log.txt which is based on the program version # and date and time run.
  • Attach this log to your next reply.
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Hello Kevin,


thank you!

I made some test during the week-end. The HD passed an extensive Smart test. Memory is fine too. Apparently the Motherboard is the one that has a problem....the second within 6 months in two pcs....


In case of a Bios rootkit, a scan started from a rescue cd should/could detect some malicious software on the HD or do bios rootkits only (re)infect HDs after boot from the infected Motherboard/Bios (and so be detected only on a running OP system)?


I'll try to start windows and to run TDDSkiller on the old PC....in case it's not possible, does it make sense to scan the HD with TDDSkiller in another PC?

In case of a Bios rootkit, since both PCs have a Phoenix Bios, starting the "new" desktop with the "infected" Hd could infect the "new" Bios? Is this possible even if highly unprobable or impossible since different pcs/motherboards  with different Bios versions?



Thank you!

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What about medroni, cidox, Tdss, and their new variants/new versions etc...isn't it possible to get infected by them before a signature/detection is available?


In case of a Bios rootkit, a scan started from a rescue cd should/could detect some malicious software on the HD or do bios rootkits only (re)infect HDs after boot from the infected Motherboard/Bios (and so be detected only on a running OP system)?


I'll try to start windows and to run TDDSkiller on the old PC....in case it's not possible, does it make sense to scan the HD with TDDSkiller in another PC?


Merry Christmas!!

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Any piece of malware, that does not have signatures can go undetected by AV engines, that is why we employ heuristics and behavioral models. If something matches the behavior of malware, the we are going to flag it as suspicious.

You can always scan a drive from one system by connecting it to another system.

Why are you so obsessed with BIOS infections. They do not occur in the wild. Any malware that has the capability to infect BIOS is highly targeted at specific systems and BIOS versions. The average PC user will not be exposed to these types of attacks.

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I m not obsessed with bios, router viruses ....but I suddenly lost a laptop few months ago, now a desktop MB is dying ...smartphones are rebooting too ofter for my experience, internet is slow sometimes...weird things happened on the desktop before it decided not to boot anymore....and I cannot find what it is....all programs I used crashed, stopped working or do not find anything

It can be that I m am over "sensible " as that something is hiding and is still unknown, undetected.

I don t like this idea and cannot accept the doubt..nor to close my eyes and keep going as nothing happened....I think you understand.

Little is known/public about bios, usb, router infections and about what to do to prevent, detect, cure these infections....who gets one will have a hard time to find it out, to detect and cure it...I wonder if I m in this situation...

I ll connect the hd to another desktop and scan it with Tddskiller and post the report.

Merry Christmas!

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luckily I managed to start the old desktop and to run this scan.

i couldn t download the TDSSkiller from the link above, got " http error 503. The service is unavailable" message.

I run a copy I had on the hd downloaded before from bleepingcomputer.com or from Kaspersky.com

The scan took 20 minutes...

thank you!


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Avast's free subscripton is still expired (why?) and I cannot renew it...apparently I cannot connect to internet....I tried to run the install program and saw a message telling me Avast was corrupted, I think avadtSP.exe and to run avastclear or something similar...1 second later the desktop turned off, like if I unplugged the power cord.....strange coincidence again....

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I remembered another issue I had before..the first time I set up the test pc as described in my first post, while updating windows and programs in the VM, Avast found Cidox.c in 3 snapshots. Since I had a backup and the malware found was in the VM s snapshot, I tried to recover the image by macrium Reflex but couldn t since the hd was locked.(?)... I formatted and reinstalled windows and programs from scratch. Then I had the problems described here.

Can't it be a new variant of malware not detected yet by Tddskiller? Anything else I can do, scan with? Too many strange things happened.....I hope there is more than can be done to be more on the safe side....

thank you

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Download avz4.zip from here

  • Unzip it to your desktop to a folder named avz4
  • Double click on AVZ.exe to run it.
  • Run an update by clicking the Auto Update button on the Right of the Log window: AVZupdate.jpg
  • Click Start to begin the update

    Note: If you receive an error message, chose a different source, then click Start again

  • After the update, from the "File" menu, choose "Standard Scripts"
  • Put a check next to item 2: Advanced System Analysis
  • Click Execute selected scripts
  • At the next prompt, click the OK button
  • Let the scan run and click "OK" when the completion prompt pops up
  • Now Close out of the Standard Scripts window, and exit AVZ
  • Navigate to the avz4 folder and locate the folder LOG
  • Inside the LOG folder you will find virusinfo_syscheck.htm, virusinfo_syscheck.htm and virusinfo_syscheck.zip
  • Attach the Compressed file, virusinfo_syscheck.zip, to your next reply.
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Corrupted by hardware failures/many sudden shut down or by malware, by malware that caused the failures/shutdowns?

AVZ4 marked many files are suspicious and one is marked as corkow.f...what is the cause of all problems ?

Many strange things happened in the last 6 month, too many to be a (bad) coincidence...or?

If it's malware related, why did no program detect anything till AVZ4? What can I do now? Are other devices also infected now? How can I test these (other pcs, smartphones, tvs , blu-ray players,etc)?

If ithis is caused by hw (motherboard ) failure, f.e, how could I get the cidox.c in the VM with a newly installed system just used till then to update windows, the VM, Defender, and the AV in the VM? Then, how could Emet disappear after Avadt found a gen virus in a file I was downloading and then Avast stop working snd get disactivated?

Than you again for your help

Happy new Year!

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