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Email taken over by virus - Win7

Posted on 2013-12-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
My friend lives several thousand miles away.  He got a virus that has taken over his email and is sending out spam.  He runs Win7 Premium 64 Bit on an Acer Aspire M3400 desktop computer.  We think he got the virus by opening an email and clicking on a link.  When I originally set up his computer (via Logmein), I set up two ids, one administrative and the other standard.  This is supposed to be more secure. He got the virus on the standard id.  I set up Thunderbird email for him and I can see the hundreds of emails that have been sent.  He has Avast Internet Security and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro.

When he told me about this two days ago I got onto the Administrative id and ran an Avast scan.  It found nothing.  I ran a Malwarebytes scan.  That found a lot of stuff that I cleaned out.  I also ran Trend-Micros housecall and Kaspersky TDSSKiller. They found nothing. Today his ISP called and said his computer was still sending out hundreds of emails.

Even if he did click on a bad link, why didn't Avast Internet Security and Malwarebytes protect him? Why didn’t I find anything when I ran all those scans?  Do I have to run them from the same id that got the virus?  What can I do to find and eliminate the virus?

Thanks,
Al
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Question by:alanlsilverman
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Steven Harris earned 150 total points
ID: 39720342
Even if he did click on a bad link, why didn't Avast Internet Security and Malwarebytes protect him?

The reality is that no single program is available that can remove all threats from your computer while protecting you from new ones, and technically speaking, it is not recommended to have two antivirus programs running simultaneously. In most cases, it is impossible to run more than one software at a time due to conflicts that may lead to freezes and application failures, or that malware will get through the 'defenses' because the two programs are more worried about what each other are doing.

With that said, I would recommend running an 'arsenal-scan' (using multiple software scanners) from both Safe Mode and Normal Operations Mode (through both Profiles), using Malwarebytes, ADWCleaner, ComboFix, etc.

It is also very possible that the malware is infecting the single profile and the services running that threat are only started within that profile.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39720362
alanlsilverman--
It may be best to create a new email user account and ditch the one that is send out the emails.  Back up your Contacts first.
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Author Comment

by:alanlsilverman
ID: 39720364
Thanks.  I'm going to put this on hold for a bit.  I want to talk to my friend's ISP.  The email he opened might have been a red herring.   It might be that his email was hacked at the server level and they didn't get into his computer after all.  
Thanks,
Al
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by:jcimarron
jcimarron earned 200 total points
ID: 39720387
alanlsilverman--
And sometimes a hacker does not send from the computer named as the sender, but uses that address to send from another PC. This happens when a friend's Contact list is stolen and the hacker uses the addresses in the list.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 150 total points
ID: 39720932
it can be a rootkit, so run roguekiller :  http://majorgeeks.com/RogueKiller_d6983.html                  Roguekiller
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Author Closing Comment

by:alanlsilverman
ID: 39727066
I spoke with techies at my friend's ISP.  There's no way to know for sure but the spammers probably got into their servers because my friend didn't have a strong enough password for his email. He changed it.   nobus, I ran roguekiller along with everything else and didn't find anything.  That's the first time I heard of that utility.  Do you think it's better than TDSSKILLER for rootkits?
Thanks,
Al
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by:nobus
ID: 39727330
i don't know if it's better than any other; i only post the tools i use, and know they're ok
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