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adware removal

Posted on 2015-02-11
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Last Modified: 2015-02-12
This is a laptop running Windows 8.1 and IE11. Following some downloads of free games by grandchildren I was left with some unwanted adware and BHOs on the machine. In particular it was impossible to search or visit websites without unwanted pages, ads, videos and sponsored links appearing. I ran a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware which cleared most of it but there were two enabled entries left in the Manage Addons section of IE which looked very suspicious as they were obviously misspelt words. When I tried to disable these I found that the Enable and Disable buttons were grayed out. I subsequently did some Googling and found that I could right click the entries, choose "More Information" and then copy the information there. By pasting the info into Notepad I could copy the Class ID and use this in the registry to delete any entries referring to the addons.

I did this for both entries and they did indeed disappear from IE. For a couple of days everything was fine until suddenly today the ads and unwanted web pages started popping up again. I knew I had not downloaded anything in the meantime but when I looked in the Manage Addons window again there were two new entries, both misspelt but different words to the ones before and once again it is not possible to disable them as the buttons for this are grayed out.

The names of the current suspect Addons are 'loWrrate' and 'offErapP' but I suspect the names mean nothing as the previous ones which I removed had different but similarly unintelligible names. The names appear to refer to marketing terms, Low Rate and Offer App, and the previous ones were of a similar nature. I imagine the misspelling is to confuse adware removal programmes.

Again I have done a full scan with Malwarebytes and also Spybot S&D but nothing is detected. I am currently running a full scan with Windows Defender but nothing to see at this point. Quite obviously there must be something left on the computer that is reinstating these BHOs even when they have been removed and generating new names each time. The only indication I have of what it might be are a few entries in the quarantine section of Windows Defender referring to "adware:win32/saverextension". It appears to have quarantined this particular infection several times over the last few days including today. But if that is the case then why are the BHOs appearing and why can they not be disabled or removed.

I would be very grateful for any expert help so that I can put a stop to this.
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Question by:grigorovsky
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Expert Comment

by:Sudeep Sharma
ID: 40603751
Hi grigorovsky,

Please run the following and post the logs for further analysis of your system.

I would recommend to scan the system with the tools mentioned below and in the sequence they are mentioned and post the logs

Make sure you DO NOT REBOOT the system after running tools in point 1 & 2.

1. RogueKiller/TheKiller
2. Adwcleaner
3. TDSSKIller

RogueKiller:
http://www.adlice.com/softwares/roguekiller/

Adwcleaner
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/dl/125/

TDSSKiller
http://media.kaspersky.com/utilities/VirusUtilities/EN/tdsskiller.exe


I would also recommend you to go through the articles from Younghv and RPG for  the future reference

Basic Malware Troubleshooting
http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_1940.html

Rogue-Killer-What-a-great-name
http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_4922.html

Stop-the-Bleeding-First-Aid-for-Malware
http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_5124.html

So in your next reply post the RogueKiller logs, Adwcleaner and TDSSKIller Logs

Sudeep
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 40603947
Ok but in the meantime how can I un-grey the disable button for these two BHOs there must be a registry entry that controls whether the enable\disable buttons can be used or not?
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Accepted Solution

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Sudeep Sharma earned 500 total points
ID: 40603967
The tools mentioned above would take care of it.

Please run them and let us know how does it look.

Thanks,
Sudeep
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Author Comment

by:grigorovsky
ID: 40605349
I used Sysinternals Autoruns to remove the BHOs. I have also scanned again with Malwarebytes and Spybot S&D and installed Kaspersky Internet Security and run a full system scan.  A few things came up which have been removed. I also found some rogue folders in the Programme Files folder. All of them had odd misspelt names and included two which had the same name as the rogue BHOs. I have deleted them all and all seems well. I think the greying out of the enable/disable buttons is achieved by adding the CLSID of the BHO to the registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\PreApproved .

Things are running fine at the moment. I have accepted Sudeep's solution as I am sure this would have worked also.
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