Can not get rid of this Google Redirect Virus
Posted on 2012-03-22
One of our employees has the Google redirect virus. If I run malwarebytes it would detect the virus and and remove it but being as it is a boottime virus it would return and soon as I restarted the computer. I read on the internet that tds killer and hitman pro would clear the virus permenatly.
I installed hitman pro and it removed the virus and now the virus has not shown up but when using google it still redirects me to these fraudulent web sites. Tds killer also does not find anything now but the redirect still exists.
Things I have tried..
Tried to get avast to do a boot time scan but it wouldn't work
and I tried manually removing the virus with the steps below
Im desperate... dont want to reformat and reinstall windows.
Steps for Removal of Google Redirect Virus
The first place to address when removing the Google Redirect virus is in your PC’s Local Area Network (LAN) settings. The reason for this is to ensure the virus isn’t redirecting your PC’s browser traffic through a malicious proxy server.
To check your LAN settings:
In Internet Explorer:
a) Open your browser and select Tools>Internet Options, followed by the ‘Connections’ tab.
b) Click on the ‘LAN settings’ button.
c) In the next window, ensure the option ‘ Use a proxy server for your LAN’ is unchecked.
d) Select ‘OK’ and close.
a) Open your browser and select Tools>Options
b) Click on the ‘Advanced’ tab and then the ‘Network’ tab, followed by ‘Settings’
c) In the next window, ensure the ‘No Proxy’ radio button is selected.
d) Click ‘OK’ and close.
The steps above might vary slightly depending on the browser version you use, but in the main should be similar to the above.
Checking LAN settings in Internet Explorer 8 & Firefox 3.6.x
Check your PC’s DNS Settings
Having checked that your browser traffic is not being redirected through a malicious proxy, the next step is to ensure the Google Redirect virus has not altered your PC’s DNS settings. Domain NameServers (DNS) perform a role akin to an internet telephone book to resolve browser requests and direct users to the correct website.
To check your PC’s DNS settings:
a) Open Control Panel via Start>Control Panel
b) Double-click the ‘Network Connections’ icon and right-click ‘Local Area Connection’ icon.
c) Select ‘Properties’ from the menu and highlight the ‘Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)’ option.
d) Click ‘Properties’ and in the next window ensure the option ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’ radio button is selected.
Click ‘OK’ and close.
Checking your PC’s DNS settings
Check Windows HOSTS File
It is possible that the Google Redirect virus has modified your PC’s HOSTS file.
The Windows HOSTS file contains a list of computer IP addresses which is accessed whenever a user types in a web address to their browser.
The browser will check the HOSTS file to see if the typed address exists in the HOSTS file and if so, direct the user to the relevant site.
If the address doesn’t exist in the HOSTS file, the browser will ask the user’s ISP DNS server for the web address and once obtained will direct the user to the site.
The Windows HOSTS file is a standard .TXT file and can be found in C:WindowsSystem32driversetcunder the name ‘hosts’. There is also a file called ‘lmhosts’ – make sure you select the HOSTS file! There is usually no file association with the HOSTS file, so open it by right-clicking (or double-clicking) the file and selecting ‘Open With’ followed by Notepad.
An unmodified HOSTS file should only contain the IP address 127.0.0.1 localhost. If there are other entries in the HOSTS file, remove them and then resave the file.
These checks can be applied to any suspected malware infestation, not just the Google Redirect variant. There are many viruses, malware applications and other nasties which can target any or all of the above so its always a good idea to check each one.
Killing Running Processes
Your chances of removing the Google Redirect virus greatly increase if you can ensure there are no running processes other than those which Windows requires to run. To do this, you can either boot your PC intoSAFE MODE (keep pressing F8 right before Windows loads, the choose: Safe Mode), or download and run the RKill tool.
RKill is a freeware tool which kills active malware processes to allow malware removal tools to do their job. Note that RKill does NOT remove malware on its own, but simply stops malware processes from running.
You can download RKill from here.
Disable the Virus Hook
The Google Redirect virus typically installs itself as a service on your PC, so in order to remove it we have to first disable the service and stop it from running. To do this go to Start>Control Panel>System>Hardware>Device Manager>View>Show Hidden Devices…
Once there, scroll down to the option for ‘Non-plug and Play Drivers’ and click the ‘+’ icon to expand the driver list. Here look for the device ‘TDSSserv.sys’ and click ‘Disable’. Don’t uninstall it, as you will have to reboot the PC which will reinstall it.
You can also use the free TDSSKiller tool by Kaspersky Labs to disable and remove the malicious service.
Once you have disabled the service using either method, you can restart your computer.
Perform an Anti-Malware scan
Anyone have any other ideas?