When researching this problem, I ran across several postings for an anti-malware program that I had never heard of. I hesitated to use it, as apparently you cannot believe everything you read on the internet, so I tried the manual method which took some time.
After that I talked to some colleagues who had seen similar infections, and they tried the program with no ill-effects. So, I used it yesterday. And it worked. And, it made me wish that I had someone that I could trust to point me in the correct direction. So, here I am, to help you: my two constant readers (Hi, mom!).
Now, please note the following:
- These should not replace a reputable antivirus (AV) program. While they all have problems and suffer from bloat (I’m looking at you, Symantec), they are better than nothing. In fact, I look at AV programs as the flu shot; it is their best guess as to where the infections are heading, but sometimes you still get sick.
- As of this date (8/20/2008), these are programs that I have used without issue. This is not to say that there won’t be problems with future releases.
- All of the programs are “scan on demand” programs, and in fact I turn off the auto-protect on the first one, as it tends to be more annoying than helpful.
- Not a single lick of protection in the world will protect you from a user who is determined to ignore the warning signs.
With that being said, here we go:
- Spybot Search and Destroy: This is typically my first go-to program. The scans can take forever, but it is often updated and is free. That being said, toss the maker a couple of bucks, as it has saved the bacon of many a techie.
- Malware Bytes: This is the program I mentioned at the top of the hour that I ran across in forum postings. I tried it, and it worked. The quick scan is pretty quick and seemed to clean up the machine entirely. The free version is on-demand only, and seems to be pretty good.
- Smitfraud Fix: This (and the next one) are not for the faint-of-heart. You have to boot into Safe Mode and has the potential of toasting your machine. If you wondered what Safe Mode was, then this is certainly not the tool for you.
- ComboFix: Again, not to be used lightly. But, it is fast and it has pulled me from the fire more than once.
There you go. These are the programs that get the Ben Seal of Approval ™.
Now I just need to go find that blog posting about how antivirus is the root of all evil…..