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Rootkits, Cannot Open Windows Update Page and Hitman Pro - 19/10/2010

Yowsers...took a long time this.

Got a Laptop infested with AV8, one on the countless variations of the "I look like an AntiVirus program but all I want is your money" malware programs.  As usual MalwareBytes got rid of it no problem and the laptop worked fine after that.  It's routine for me, if there is time, for me to scan the whole machine, usualy with malwarebytes and Avast or AVG.  That showed no prolems.

But the PC would not connect to Windows Update.  The rest of the internet surfing was just fine, but anything Windows Update related just would not connect.  I checked all the Internet Explorer settings, reset Internet Explorer, reinstalled Internet Explorer, cleared all of the MSCONFIG startup programs and most of the services and a whole ot of other things I thought might just work.  All to no avail.

After trawling the internet I found a few suggestions that if after all else has failed, check for rootkits.  Rootkits are seriously hidden malicious programs.  They don't like windows updates as this may effect the way they work or possible cause the rootkit to be removed, so the block updates.

And the recommended program to remove them?

Hitman Pro

I thought the "Pro" bit would mean I'd have to pay for it, but you can use it for free once on a PC or take a 30 day trial.  I just ran it once on the PC.  It does not even install, but runs directly and scans the PC quite quickly, certainly a lot quicker than MalwareBytes or Avast.  It found many irrelevant cookies, that's fine, but it also found a rootkit in the Master Boot Record!  That's serious, it takes a proper geek to write something into the Master Boot Record.

It completed the scan, and removed the issues.  I can now update the laptop just fine.  There's a couple of issues now with updating .Net 3.5, but that's for another day.


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