|I also got myself tagged with a nasty that simply would NOT go away. NOTHING helped... I was watching my files vanishing before my eyes and many, many versions of IE were running. Here's what I did - ( I have Norton 360 and this new SmitFraud virus which calls itself WindowsXPRecovery ( or Vista, 7 etc) walked thru it like tissue paper.|
It also went thru my company server which has every fail-safe we could think of. If you own any Norton anti-virus you can ask their 24/7 chat techs to help - they'll ghost in and find & fix the problem. In my case, this virus was so powerful Norton ended up putting me thru to their top level geeks ($130 bucks) and it took them days of working in shifts to tear apart my main computer and pull out the virus line by line. It was VERY frustrating! I have to admit it, they did their job - i'm now invisible on line, and I've learned lesson 2
2) When surfing the Net, unless you absolutely MUST use a log on that is NOT set as an adminstrator! NEVER go wandering around the net as an administrator or these viruses will grab your system and make short work of everything you've got.
3) Use Firefox or Altavista instead of IE. IE has more holes than cheesecloth. You have less chance of invasion using these other search engines ( the USMC uses Altavista quite a bit). Firefox's latest version now has an awesome set of free add-ons that are a 'set' if you want them all, or you can download just the things you want that really protect your system from invasion, changes to your system, etc.
4) BACK-UP! I now have a 1/2 TB backup drive ($59 bucks at BJs) that plugs into my computer. I NEVER surf with it plugged in, and it has a full back up of my system. I also keep ALL financial data. passwords, purchase codes etc off my main computer. Then, if trouble strikes I can easily reformat my computer and reload everything from the back up drive. I also keep a copy of my drivers and keys on Mozy.com (free 2gb storage) which has saved me a number of times.
5) go to Symantec.com and download Power Eraser ( I kept a copy on CD)- which does a super deep scan (takes all night for most computers) & removes the most hardened embedded malware. Also get the Norton Bootable Recovery Program - which is makes an excellent recovery disk for when everything falls apart.
I got them free. Power Eraser found little bits of this and that hiding in my registry and inside inocuous programs. (If you don't have a Norton antivirus program to get your foot in the door, they're pretty cheap - 14.95 will get you in the door and able to use the techies. Try Ebay - I've seen some versions for 5 bucks, or borrow the disk/key from a friend.
Good Luck - and may all the people who spend time writing malware wake up to find the Feds at their door. FYI - anytime someone sends you spam, malware etc forward it to email@example.com - They really do go after the bad guys.