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Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)

microsoft.public.internetexplorer.general






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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-2009
Steve Emerson
 

Posts: n/a
Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)
Anyone know of an Explorer-specific malware and how to deal with it?

As of about two months ago my wife's Explorer commenced a "cannot
display web page" notice for all URLs entered. Firefox worked and works
fine, ditto Outlook express.

This is a Dell Inspiron laptop running XP. First step: we downloaded and
installed the current IE 8, same outcome.

Since then we did many other recommended steps, including:

Deleted Internet temporary files.
Deleted browsing history.
Ran in "no add-ons" mode.
Decommissioned all add-ons.
Verified that the three boxes under LAN settings were unchecked.
At this point the recommendation was to uninstall IE. We downloaded and
ran the uninstaller wizard. Then did a new install of the most recent
IE 8 download.

We continue to get the same result: Cannot display web page.

In conversation with support for a large ISP, support person said he was
aware of an IE-specific malware but, short of doing a fresh install of
the entire system, knew of no way to fix it.

Free utilities from malwarebytes.org and superantispyware are sometimes
recommended. Any hope for those? Other ideas?

(The IE 8 installer does a lengthy malware search as part of process.)

Many thanks.

Steve.
Reply With Quote
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-2009
PA Bear [MS MVP]
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)
Careful with your short-hand, please: Explorer = Windows Explorer to us,
Steve.

Upgrading in hopes of fixing an ongoing problem is seldom a good idea. Did
she upgrade from IE6 or IE7 to IE8? Is the machine running WinXP SP2 or
WinXP SP3?

What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is the
subscription current? What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?
What third-party firewall (if any)?

Has a Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this machine
(e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when the machine was
purchased)?

Is Automatic Updates enabled and working (as far as you know)?
--
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002


Steve Emerson wrote:
> Anyone know of an Explorer-specific malware and how to deal with it?
>
> As of about two months ago my wife's Explorer commenced a "cannot
> display web page" notice for all URLs entered. Firefox worked and works
> fine, ditto Outlook express.
>
> This is a Dell Inspiron laptop running XP. First step: we downloaded and
> installed the current IE 8, same outcome.
>
> Since then we did many other recommended steps, including:
>
> Deleted Internet temporary files.
> Deleted browsing history.
> Ran in "no add-ons" mode.
> Decommissioned all add-ons.
> Verified that the three boxes under LAN settings were unchecked.
> At this point the recommendation was to uninstall IE. We downloaded and
> ran the uninstaller wizard. Then did a new install of the most recent
> IE 8 download.
>
> We continue to get the same result: Cannot display web page.
>
> In conversation with support for a large ISP, support person said he was
> aware of an IE-specific malware but, short of doing a fresh install of
> the entire system, knew of no way to fix it.
>
> Free utilities from malwarebytes.org and superantispyware are sometimes
> recommended. Any hope for those? Other ideas?
>
> (The IE 8 installer does a lengthy malware search as part of process.)
>
> Many thanks.
>
> Steve.


Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-2009
Kai Schaetzl
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)
use internet options, advanced, reset
Uninstall your virus scanner or personal firewall, if you have any.

Kai
--
Helpsites about Windows: http://www.mvps.org
IE repair script: http://iefaq.info

Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2009
Steve Emerson
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)
In article <#EujHWwtJHA.3816@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl>,
"PA Bear [MS MVP]" <PABearMVP@gmail.com> wrote:

> Careful with your short-hand, please: Explorer = Windows Explorer to us,
> Steve.


Noted. (I'm a Mac guy.)

> Upgrading in hopes of fixing an ongoing problem is seldom a good idea. Did
> she upgrade from IE6 or IE7 to IE8?


Most likely 7, but not 100% sure. Any way to find out?

> Is the machine running WinXP SP2 or WinXP SP3?


It's running whatever the following becomes when automatic updates
modify it:

"Microsoft« Windows« XP Home EditionWHXP" installed by Dell in May 2005.

> What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is the
> subscription current? What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?
> What third-party firewall (if any)?


No suite, no subscription, no firewall except at the ISP if any.

There is some pre-installed anti-spyware app. I don't know for sure
whether it runs automatically. I have run it manually.


> Has a Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this machine
> (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when the machine was
> purchased)?


Free trial from McAfee preinstalled, never activated since.

>
> Is Automatic Updates enabled and working (as far as you know)?


Yes it is, on both counts.

Thanks, Robear -- any thoughts now?

Steve.


> ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
> MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002
>
>
> Steve Emerson wrote:
> > Anyone know of an Explorer-specific malware and how to deal with it?
> >
> > As of about two months ago my wife's Explorer commenced a "cannot
> > display web page" notice for all URLs entered. Firefox worked and works
> > fine, ditto Outlook express.
> >
> > This is a Dell Inspiron laptop running XP. First step: we downloaded and
> > installed the current IE 8, same outcome.
> >
> > Since then we did many other recommended steps, including:
> >
> > Deleted Internet temporary files.
> > Deleted browsing history.
> > Ran in "no add-ons" mode.
> > Decommissioned all add-ons.
> > Verified that the three boxes under LAN settings were unchecked.
> > At this point the recommendation was to uninstall IE. We downloaded and
> > ran the uninstaller wizard. Then did a new install of the most recent
> > IE 8 download.
> >
> > We continue to get the same result: Cannot display web page.
> >
> > In conversation with support for a large ISP, support person said he was
> > aware of an IE-specific malware but, short of doing a fresh install of
> > the entire system, knew of no way to fix it.
> >
> > Free utilities from malwarebytes.org and superantispyware are sometimes
> > recommended. Any hope for those? Other ideas?
> >
> > (The IE 8 installer does a lengthy malware search as part of process.)
> >
> > Many thanks.
> >
> > Steve.

Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2009
PA Bear [MS MVP]
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)
The only way to find out if she upgraded from IE6 or IE7 to IE8 would be to
uninstall IE8 and find out.

How to uninstall or remove Internet Explorer 8
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957700

Right-click on My Computer | select Properties | What WinXP version is
displayed on the resulting General tab?

If there is no resident anti-virus application and there is not a firewall
enabled, not even the Windows Firewall, God only knows what's infected the
machine!

In this case, the only way I would attempt to resolve the problem is...

Backup the personal data, then do a format & clean install of Windows.
Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT fix this!

After the clean install, you'll have the equivalent of a "new computer" so
take care of everything on the following page before otherwise connecting
the machine to the internet or a network and before using a USB key that
isn't brand-new or hasn't been freshly formatted:

5 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online
http://www.microsoft.com/protect/com...nced/xppc.mspx

Also see.

Steps To Help Prevent Spyware
http://www.microsoft.com/protect/com...e/prevent.mspx
--
~PA Bear


Steve Emerson wrote:
>> Careful with your short-hand, please: Explorer = Windows Explorer to us,
>> Steve.

>
> Noted. (I'm a Mac guy.)
>
>> Upgrading in hopes of fixing an ongoing problem is seldom a good idea.
>> Did
>> she upgrade from IE6 or IE7 to IE8?

>
> Most likely 7, but not 100% sure. Any way to find out?
>
>> Is the machine running WinXP SP2 or WinXP SP3?

>
> It's running whatever the following becomes when automatic updates
> modify it:
>
> "Microsoft« Windows« XP Home EditionWHXP" installed by Dell in May 2005.
>
>> What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is the
>> subscription current? What anti-spyware applications (other than
>> Defender)? What third-party firewall (if any)?

>
> No suite, no subscription, no firewall except at the ISP if any.
>
> There is some pre-installed anti-spyware app. I don't know for sure
> whether it runs automatically. I have run it manually.
>
>
>> Has a Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this machine
>> (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when the machine was
>> purchased)?

>
> Free trial from McAfee preinstalled, never activated since.
>
>>
>> Is Automatic Updates enabled and working (as far as you know)?

>
> Yes it is, on both counts.
>
> Thanks, Robear -- any thoughts now?
>
> Steve.
>
>
>> ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
>> MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002
>>
>>
>> Steve Emerson wrote:
>>> Anyone know of an Explorer-specific malware and how to deal with it?
>>>
>>> As of about two months ago my wife's Explorer commenced a "cannot
>>> display web page" notice for all URLs entered. Firefox worked and works
>>> fine, ditto Outlook express.
>>>
>>> This is a Dell Inspiron laptop running XP. First step: we downloaded and
>>> installed the current IE 8, same outcome.
>>>
>>> Since then we did many other recommended steps, including:
>>>
>>> Deleted Internet temporary files.
>>> Deleted browsing history.
>>> Ran in "no add-ons" mode.
>>> Decommissioned all add-ons.
>>> Verified that the three boxes under LAN settings were unchecked.
>>> At this point the recommendation was to uninstall IE. We downloaded and
>>> ran the uninstaller wizard. Then did a new install of the most recent
>>> IE 8 download.
>>>
>>> We continue to get the same result: Cannot display web page.
>>>
>>> In conversation with support for a large ISP, support person said he was
>>> aware of an IE-specific malware but, short of doing a fresh install of
>>> the entire system, knew of no way to fix it.
>>>
>>> Free utilities from malwarebytes.org and superantispyware are sometimes
>>> recommended. Any hope for those? Other ideas?
>>>
>>> (The IE 8 installer does a lengthy malware search as part of process.)
>>>
>>> Many thanks.
>>>
>>> Steve.


Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-07-2009
Steve Emerson
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)
In article <e78WiZxtJHA.2776@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl>,
"PA Bear [MS MVP]" <PABearMVP@gmail.com> wrote:

> The only way to find out if she upgraded from IE6 or IE7 to IE8 would be to
> uninstall IE8 and find out.
>
> How to uninstall or remove Internet Explorer 8
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957700


I still have the downloaded "uninstaller" so I might use it. In any
case, will do.

> Right-click on My Computer | select Properties | What WinXP version is
> displayed on the resulting General tab?


Need a day or so on this. Will report back then.

> If there is no resident anti-virus application and there is not a firewall
> enabled, not even the Windows Firewall, God only knows what's infected the
> machine!


In light of your comment, I expect Windows Firewall actually is in
place. Will report.

Thanks for the help, meanwhile (and to Kai).

--Steve.

> In this case, the only way I would attempt to resolve the problem is...
>
> Backup the personal data, then do a format & clean install of Windows.
> Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT fix this!
>
> After the clean install, you'll have the equivalent of a "new computer" so
> take care of everything on the following page before otherwise connecting
> the machine to the internet or a network and before using a USB key that
> isn't brand-new or hasn't been freshly formatted:
>
> 5 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online
> http://www.microsoft.com/protect/com...nced/xppc.mspx
>
> Also see.
>
> Steps To Help Prevent Spyware
> http://www.microsoft.com/protect/com...e/prevent.mspx
> --
> ~PA Bear
>
>
> Steve Emerson wrote:
> >> Careful with your short-hand, please: Explorer = Windows Explorer to us,
> >> Steve.

> >
> > Noted. (I'm a Mac guy.)
> >
> >> Upgrading in hopes of fixing an ongoing problem is seldom a good idea.
> >> Did
> >> she upgrade from IE6 or IE7 to IE8?

> >
> > Most likely 7, but not 100% sure. Any way to find out?
> >
> >> Is the machine running WinXP SP2 or WinXP SP3?

> >
> > It's running whatever the following becomes when automatic updates
> > modify it:
> >
> > "Microsoft« Windows« XP Home EditionWHXP" installed by Dell in May 2005.
> >
> >> What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is the
> >> subscription current? What anti-spyware applications (other than
> >> Defender)? What third-party firewall (if any)?

> >
> > No suite, no subscription, no firewall except at the ISP if any.
> >
> > There is some pre-installed anti-spyware app. I don't know for sure
> > whether it runs automatically. I have run it manually.
> >
> >
> >> Has a Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this machine
> >> (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when the machine was
> >> purchased)?

> >
> > Free trial from McAfee preinstalled, never activated since.
> >
> >>
> >> Is Automatic Updates enabled and working (as far as you know)?

> >
> > Yes it is, on both counts.
> >
> > Thanks, Robear -- any thoughts now?
> >
> > Steve.
> >
> >
> >> ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
> >> MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002
> >>
> >>
> >> Steve Emerson wrote:
> >>> Anyone know of an Explorer-specific malware and how to deal with it?
> >>>
> >>> As of about two months ago my wife's Explorer commenced a "cannot
> >>> display web page" notice for all URLs entered. Firefox worked and works
> >>> fine, ditto Outlook express.
> >>>
> >>> This is a Dell Inspiron laptop running XP. First step: we downloaded and
> >>> installed the current IE 8, same outcome.
> >>>
> >>> Since then we did many other recommended steps, including:
> >>>
> >>> Deleted Internet temporary files.
> >>> Deleted browsing history.
> >>> Ran in "no add-ons" mode.
> >>> Decommissioned all add-ons.
> >>> Verified that the three boxes under LAN settings were unchecked.
> >>> At this point the recommendation was to uninstall IE. We downloaded and
> >>> ran the uninstaller wizard. Then did a new install of the most recent
> >>> IE 8 download.
> >>>
> >>> We continue to get the same result: Cannot display web page.
> >>>
> >>> In conversation with support for a large ISP, support person said he was
> >>> aware of an IE-specific malware but, short of doing a fresh install of
> >>> the entire system, knew of no way to fix it.
> >>>
> >>> Free utilities from malwarebytes.org and superantispyware are sometimes
> >>> recommended. Any hope for those? Other ideas?
> >>>
> >>> (The IE 8 installer does a lengthy malware search as part of process.)
> >>>
> >>> Many thanks.
> >>>
> >>> Steve.

Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2009
Steve Emerson
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)
Have a few answers now, below (access has been limited):

In article <#EujHWwtJHA.3816@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl>,
"PA Bear [MS MVP]" <PABearMVP@gmail.com> wrote:

> Careful with your short-hand, please: Explorer = Windows Explorer to us,
> Steve.
>
> Upgrading in hopes of fixing an ongoing problem is seldom a good idea. Did
> she upgrade from IE6 or IE7 to IE8?


IE 7. Which is what's there now; I've uninstalled IE8 (again).

> Is the machine running WinXP SP2 or
> WinXP SP3?


SP3.

But unfortunately its Firewall was unchecked and not in effect.

> What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is the
> subscription current?


Again, nothing current in a subscription.

> What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?


Spyware Doctor. At last scan, it detected nothing.


> What third-party firewall (if any)?


Something from McAfee may be in place, although I've only noticed it
when I get the message "such and such application is now trying to
access the Internet. Allow?", meaning my own applications.


> Has a Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this machine
> (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when the machine was
> purchased)?


Free trial yes, McAfee.


> Is Automatic Updates enabled and working (as far as you know)?


Yes.

Also:

I ran the Malwarebytes app yesterday and it found 6 things, four of them
billed as "adware," two that weren't and seemed to pertain to alerts as
to whether a firewall was down; sounded ominous.

Defender, now installed, found nothing, running after Malwarebytes.

Working with IE 7, I then, ultimately, returned it to all factory
settings. Lest this wouldn't do it, I also cleared all temporary
Internet files and browsing history. (Although one scanner did later
find Explorer temporary internet files, possibly for pre-IE 7 versions?)
Too, I started it up in "no add ons mode."

In all cases, I still got the "cannot display Web page" screen.

One thing -- the Internet connection for this machine now frequently
needs to be selected manually. The machine goes offline for no apparent
reason and Control Panels/Network Settings has to be gone into.

Sometimes IE will pop up a screen prompting me that it wants to use
dial-up. (There's a DSL connection in place.)

Once the connection has been manually selected, Firefox and Outlook
Express go online and IE still "can't display web page," but still....
IE seems to dig down much deeper into the OS than Firefox does.

Anything to be suspicious of there?

Thanks again,
Steve


> --
> ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
> MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002
>
>
> Steve Emerson wrote:
> > Anyone know of an Explorer-specific malware and how to deal with it?
> >
> > As of about two months ago my wife's Explorer commenced a "cannot
> > display web page" notice for all URLs entered. Firefox worked and works
> > fine, ditto Outlook express.
> >
> > This is a Dell Inspiron laptop running XP. First step: we downloaded and
> > installed the current IE 8, same outcome.
> >
> > Since then we did many other recommended steps, including:
> >
> > Deleted Internet temporary files.
> > Deleted browsing history.
> > Ran in "no add-ons" mode.
> > Decommissioned all add-ons.
> > Verified that the three boxes under LAN settings were unchecked.
> > At this point the recommendation was to uninstall IE. We downloaded and
> > ran the uninstaller wizard. Then did a new install of the most recent
> > IE 8 download.
> >
> > We continue to get the same result: Cannot display web page.
> >
> > In conversation with support for a large ISP, support person said he was
> > aware of an IE-specific malware but, short of doing a fresh install of
> > the entire system, knew of no way to fix it.
> >
> > Free utilities from malwarebytes.org and superantispyware are sometimes
> > recommended. Any hope for those? Other ideas?
> >
> > (The IE 8 installer does a lengthy malware search as part of process.)
> >
> > Many thanks.
> >
> > Steve.

Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2009
PA Bear [MS MVP]
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)
What does "returned it to all factory settings" mean? What did you do, what
did you use to do it, and how did you do it?

Personally, I wouldn't allow the machine to be connected to the internet
without doing a format & clean install, Steve.

Steve Emerson wrote:
> Have a few answers now, below (access has been limited):
>
>> Careful with your short-hand, please: Explorer = Windows Explorer to us,
>> Steve.
>>
>> Upgrading in hopes of fixing an ongoing problem is seldom a good idea.
>> Did
>> she upgrade from IE6 or IE7 to IE8?

>
> IE 7. Which is what's there now; I've uninstalled IE8 (again).
>
>> Is the machine running WinXP SP2 or
>> WinXP SP3?

>
> SP3.
>
> But unfortunately its Firewall was unchecked and not in effect.
>
>> What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is the
>> subscription current?

>
> Again, nothing current in a subscription.
>
>> What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?

>
> Spyware Doctor. At last scan, it detected nothing.
>
>> What third-party firewall (if any)?

>
> Something from McAfee may be in place, although I've only noticed it
> when I get the message "such and such application is now trying to
> access the Internet. Allow?", meaning my own applications.
>
>> Has a Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this machine
>> (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when the machine was
>> purchased)?

>
> Free trial yes, McAfee.
>
>> Is Automatic Updates enabled and working (as far as you know)?

>
> Yes.
>
> Also:
>
> I ran the Malwarebytes app yesterday and it found 6 things, four of them
> billed as "adware," two that weren't and seemed to pertain to alerts as
> to whether a firewall was down; sounded ominous.
>
> Defender, now installed, found nothing, running after Malwarebytes.
>
> Working with IE 7, I then, ultimately, returned it to all factory
> settings. Lest this wouldn't do it, I also cleared all temporary
> Internet files and browsing history. (Although one scanner did later
> find Explorer temporary internet files, possibly for pre-IE 7 versions?)
> Too, I started it up in "no add ons mode."
>
> In all cases, I still got the "cannot display Web page" screen.
>
> One thing -- the Internet connection for this machine now frequently
> needs to be selected manually. The machine goes offline for no apparent
> reason and Control Panels/Network Settings has to be gone into.
>
> Sometimes IE will pop up a screen prompting me that it wants to use
> dial-up. (There's a DSL connection in place.)
>
> Once the connection has been manually selected, Firefox and Outlook
> Express go online and IE still "can't display web page," but still....
> IE seems to dig down much deeper into the OS than Firefox does.
>
> Anything to be suspicious of there?
>
>> Steve Emerson wrote:
>>> Anyone know of an Explorer-specific malware and how to deal with it?
>>>
>>> As of about two months ago my wife's Explorer commenced a "cannot
>>> display web page" notice for all URLs entered. Firefox worked and works
>>> fine, ditto Outlook express.
>>>
>>> This is a Dell Inspiron laptop running XP. First step: we downloaded and
>>> installed the current IE 8, same outcome.
>>>
>>> Since then we did many other recommended steps, including:
>>>
>>> Deleted Internet temporary files.
>>> Deleted browsing history.
>>> Ran in "no add-ons" mode.
>>> Decommissioned all add-ons.
>>> Verified that the three boxes under LAN settings were unchecked.
>>> At this point the recommendation was to uninstall IE. We downloaded and
>>> ran the uninstaller wizard. Then did a new install of the most recent
>>> IE 8 download.
>>>
>>> We continue to get the same result: Cannot display web page.
>>>
>>> In conversation with support for a large ISP, support person said he was
>>> aware of an IE-specific malware but, short of doing a fresh install of
>>> the entire system, knew of no way to fix it.
>>>
>>> Free utilities from malwarebytes.org and superantispyware are sometimes
>>> recommended. Any hope for those? Other ideas?
>>>
>>> (The IE 8 installer does a lengthy malware search as part of process.)
>>>
>>> Many thanks.
>>>
>>> Steve.


Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 04-10-2009
Steve Emerson
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)
In article <ecQRBaWuJHA.3928@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl>,
"PA Bear [MS MVP]" <PABearMVP@gmail.com> wrote:

> What does "returned it to all factory settings" mean? What did you do, what
> did you use to do it, and how did you do it?


That may not be the exact wording, but there's a panel within IE 7 that
allows you to do that. It may use the term "default." It comes with a
warning about all the things you'll lose/override if you do it, and a
phrase to the effect "only do this if the browser has become unusable."
The panel may be one that is accessed from Tools/Internet Options. (That
PC is elsewhere at present.)

> Personally, I wouldn't allow the machine to be connected to the internet
> without doing a format & clean install, Steve.


Yes, OK. You are sure there's nothing in this? --

> > One thing -- the Internet connection for this machine now frequently
> > needs to be selected manually. The machine goes offline for no apparent
> > reason and Control Panels/Network Settings has to be gone into.
> >
> > Sometimes IE will pop up a screen prompting me that it wants to use
> > dial-up. (There's a DSL connection in place.)
> >
> > Once the connection has been manually selected, Firefox and Outlook
> > Express go online and IE still "can't display web page," but still....
> > IE seems to dig down much deeper into the OS than Firefox does.


Many thanks,
Steve.


> Steve Emerson wrote:
> > Have a few answers now, below (access has been limited):
> >
> >> Careful with your short-hand, please: Explorer = Windows Explorer to us,
> >> Steve.
> >>
> >> Upgrading in hopes of fixing an ongoing problem is seldom a good idea.
> >> Did
> >> she upgrade from IE6 or IE7 to IE8?

> >
> > IE 7. Which is what's there now; I've uninstalled IE8 (again).
> >
> >> Is the machine running WinXP SP2 or
> >> WinXP SP3?

> >
> > SP3.
> >
> > But unfortunately its Firewall was unchecked and not in effect.
> >
> >> What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is the
> >> subscription current?

> >
> > Again, nothing current in a subscription.
> >
> >> What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?

> >
> > Spyware Doctor. At last scan, it detected nothing.
> >
> >> What third-party firewall (if any)?

> >
> > Something from McAfee may be in place, although I've only noticed it
> > when I get the message "such and such application is now trying to
> > access the Internet. Allow?", meaning my own applications.
> >
> >> Has a Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this machine
> >> (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when the machine was
> >> purchased)?

> >
> > Free trial yes, McAfee.
> >
> >> Is Automatic Updates enabled and working (as far as you know)?

> >
> > Yes.
> >
> > Also:
> >
> > I ran the Malwarebytes app yesterday and it found 6 things, four of them
> > billed as "adware," two that weren't and seemed to pertain to alerts as
> > to whether a firewall was down; sounded ominous.
> >
> > Defender, now installed, found nothing, running after Malwarebytes.
> >
> > Working with IE 7, I then, ultimately, returned it to all factory
> > settings. Lest this wouldn't do it, I also cleared all temporary
> > Internet files and browsing history. (Although one scanner did later
> > find Explorer temporary internet files, possibly for pre-IE 7 versions?)
> > Too, I started it up in "no add ons mode."
> >
> > In all cases, I still got the "cannot display Web page" screen.
> >
> > One thing -- the Internet connection for this machine now frequently
> > needs to be selected manually. The machine goes offline for no apparent
> > reason and Control Panels/Network Settings has to be gone into.
> >
> > Sometimes IE will pop up a screen prompting me that it wants to use
> > dial-up. (There's a DSL connection in place.)
> >
> > Once the connection has been manually selected, Firefox and Outlook
> > Express go online and IE still "can't display web page," but still....
> > IE seems to dig down much deeper into the OS than Firefox does.
> >
> > Anything to be suspicious of there?
> >
> >> Steve Emerson wrote:
> >>> Anyone know of an Explorer-specific malware and how to deal with it?
> >>>
> >>> As of about two months ago my wife's Explorer commenced a "cannot
> >>> display web page" notice for all URLs entered. Firefox worked and works
> >>> fine, ditto Outlook express.
> >>>
> >>> This is a Dell Inspiron laptop running XP. First step: we downloaded and
> >>> installed the current IE 8, same outcome.
> >>>
> >>> Since then we did many other recommended steps, including:
> >>>
> >>> Deleted Internet temporary files.
> >>> Deleted browsing history.
> >>> Ran in "no add-ons" mode.
> >>> Decommissioned all add-ons.
> >>> Verified that the three boxes under LAN settings were unchecked.
> >>> At this point the recommendation was to uninstall IE. We downloaded and
> >>> ran the uninstaller wizard. Then did a new install of the most recent
> >>> IE 8 download.
> >>>
> >>> We continue to get the same result: Cannot display web page.
> >>>
> >>> In conversation with support for a large ISP, support person said he was
> >>> aware of an IE-specific malware but, short of doing a fresh install of
> >>> the entire system, knew of no way to fix it.
> >>>
> >>> Free utilities from malwarebytes.org and superantispyware are sometimes
> >>> recommended. Any hope for those? Other ideas?
> >>>
> >>> (The IE 8 installer does a lengthy malware search as part of process.)
> >>>
> >>> Many thanks.
> >>>
> >>> Steve.

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 04-10-2009
PA Bear [MS MVP]
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Explorer-specific malware? (IE 8 currently)
OK, you were referring to Resetting IE's Advanced Options (RIES):
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/923737

Windows is what's infected, not IE, so a Reset isn't going to help here.

And no, the fact that OE and other browsers can connect does not make any
difference. Backup the personal data, then do a format & clean install of
Windows. Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT
fix this!

After the clean install, you'll have the equivalent of a "new computer" so
take care of everything on the following page before otherwise connecting
the machine to the internet or a network and before using a USB key that
isn't brand-new or hasn't been freshly formatted:

5 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online
http://www.microsoft.com/protect/com...nced/xppc.mspx

Also see:

Steps To Help Prevent Spyware
http://www.microsoft.com/protect/com...e/prevent.mspx

Rogue Security Software - Microsoft Security:
http://www.microsoft.com/protect/com...ses/rogue.mspx
--
~PA Bear

Steve Emerson wrote:
> In article <ecQRBaWuJHA.3928@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl>,
> "PA Bear [MS MVP]" <PABearMVP@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> What does "returned it to all factory settings" mean? What did you do,
>> what did you use to do it, and how did you do it?

>
> That may not be the exact wording, but there's a panel within IE 7 that
> allows you to do that. It may use the term "default." It comes with a
> warning about all the things you'll lose/override if you do it, and a
> phrase to the effect "only do this if the browser has become unusable."
> The panel may be one that is accessed from Tools/Internet Options. (That
> PC is elsewhere at present.)
>
>> Personally, I wouldn't allow the machine to be connected to the internet
>> without doing a format & clean install, Steve.

>
> Yes, OK. You are sure there's nothing in this? --
>
>>> One thing -- the Internet connection for this machine now frequently
>>> needs to be selected manually. The machine goes offline for no apparent
>>> reason and Control Panels/Network Settings has to be gone into.
>>>
>>> Sometimes IE will pop up a screen prompting me that it wants to use
>>> dial-up. (There's a DSL connection in place.)
>>>
>>> Once the connection has been manually selected, Firefox and Outlook
>>> Express go online and IE still "can't display web page," but still....
>>> IE seems to dig down much deeper into the OS than Firefox does.

>
> Many thanks,
> Steve.
>
>
>> Steve Emerson wrote:
>>> Have a few answers now, below (access has been limited):
>>>
>>>> Careful with your short-hand, please: Explorer = Windows Explorer to
>>>> us,
>>>> Steve.
>>>>
>>>> Upgrading in hopes of fixing an ongoing problem is seldom a good idea.
>>>> Did
>>>> she upgrade from IE6 or IE7 to IE8?
>>>
>>> IE 7. Which is what's there now; I've uninstalled IE8 (again).
>>>
>>>> Is the machine running WinXP SP2 or
>>>> WinXP SP3?
>>>
>>> SP3.
>>>
>>> But unfortunately its Firewall was unchecked and not in effect.
>>>
>>>> What anti-virus application or security suite is installed and is the
>>>> subscription current?
>>>
>>> Again, nothing current in a subscription.
>>>
>>>> What anti-spyware applications (other than Defender)?
>>>
>>> Spyware Doctor. At last scan, it detected nothing.
>>>
>>>> What third-party firewall (if any)?
>>>
>>> Something from McAfee may be in place, although I've only noticed it
>>> when I get the message "such and such application is now trying to
>>> access the Internet. Allow?", meaning my own applications.
>>>
>>>> Has a Norton or McAfee application ever been installed on this machine
>>>> (e.g., a free-trial version that came preinstalled when the machine was
>>>> purchased)?
>>>
>>> Free trial yes, McAfee.
>>>
>>>> Is Automatic Updates enabled and working (as far as you know)?
>>>
>>> Yes.
>>>
>>> Also:
>>>
>>> I ran the Malwarebytes app yesterday and it found 6 things, four of them
>>> billed as "adware," two that weren't and seemed to pertain to alerts as
>>> to whether a firewall was down; sounded ominous.
>>>
>>> Defender, now installed, found nothing, running after Malwarebytes.
>>>
>>> Working with IE 7, I then, ultimately, returned it to all factory
>>> settings. Lest this wouldn't do it, I also cleared all temporary
>>> Internet files and browsing history. (Although one scanner did later
>>> find Explorer temporary internet files, possibly for pre-IE 7 versions?)
>>> Too, I started it up in "no add ons mode."
>>>
>>> In all cases, I still got the "cannot display Web page" screen.
>>>
>>> One thing -- the Internet connection for this machine now frequently
>>> needs to be selected manually. The machine goes offline for no apparent
>>> reason and Control Panels/Network Settings has to be gone into.
>>>
>>> Sometimes IE will pop up a screen prompting me that it wants to use
>>> dial-up. (There's a DSL connection in place.)
>>>
>>> Once the connection has been manually selected, Firefox and Outlook
>>> Express go online and IE still "can't display web page," but still....
>>> IE seems to dig down much deeper into the OS than Firefox does.
>>>
>>> Anything to be suspicious of there?
>>>
>>>> Steve Emerson wrote:
>>>>> Anyone know of an Explorer-specific malware and how to deal with it?
>>>>>
>>>>> As of about two months ago my wife's Explorer commenced a "cannot
>>>>> display web page" notice for all URLs entered. Firefox worked and
>>>>> works
>>>>> fine, ditto Outlook express.
>>>>>
>>>>> This is a Dell Inspiron laptop running XP. First step: we downloaded
>>>>> and
>>>>> installed the current IE 8, same outcome.
>>>>>
>>>>> Since then we did many other recommended steps, including:
>>>>>
>>>>> Deleted Internet temporary files.
>>>>> Deleted browsing history.
>>>>> Ran in "no add-ons" mode.
>>>>> Decommissioned all add-ons.
>>>>> Verified that the three boxes under LAN settings were unchecked.
>>>>> At this point the recommendation was to uninstall IE. We downloaded
>>>>> and
>>>>> ran the uninstaller wizard. Then did a new install of the most
>>>>> recent
>>>>> IE 8 download.
>>>>>
>>>>> We continue to get the same result: Cannot display web page.
>>>>>
>>>>> In conversation with support for a large ISP, support person said he
>>>>> was
>>>>> aware of an IE-specific malware but, short of doing a fresh install of
>>>>> the entire system, knew of no way to fix it.
>>>>>
>>>>> Free utilities from malwarebytes.org and superantispyware are
>>>>> sometimes
>>>>> recommended. Any hope for those? Other ideas?
>>>>>
>>>>> (The IE 8 installer does a lengthy malware search as part of process.)
>>>>>
>>>>> Many thanks.
>>>>>
>>>>> Steve.


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