Help with unknown virus
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Thread: Help with unknown virus

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Unhappy Help with unknown virus

    There is a virus (possibly trojan) on my mum's laptop. The only thing that it appears to do is that when my mum is typing an email in Outlook Express it will randomly insert '1QA\' and 'zzzzzzzz' into the typing field. The laptop is running Windows ME.

    - Searched here and found nothing.
    - Searched at Symantec and found nothing.
    - Searched at Mcafee and found nothing.
    - Nothing dodgy (as far as I can tell) in the Run keys (Run, RunOnce etc.) in the registry.
    - Got latest virus definitions for Norton AntiVirus 2002, but it does not detect anything.

    I initially thought it was just a trojan a la Sub7, but when I searched Google it returned with a site where someone had experienced the exact same problem ('1QA\' and 'zzzzzzzz' being typed in). Unfortunately there was not further information on the site. Does anyone have any ideas as to what this could be, or what I might be able to do to get rid of it?

    -toad

  2. #2
    Hi mom!
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    Some thoughts:

    Installed a new virus scanner, and that find something?

    Disconnect the laptop from any network, and see if the problem persists. If it does, you can rule out a trojan.

    If a trojan is not ruled out, try looking for trojans trough one of the methods mentioned in this thread (by alittlebitnumb)

    Did you install all windows updates? Maybe it's some weird bug.

    If all else fails, and you decide to reinstall, I seriously recommend using any other operating system than Windows ME. Both Windows 98 (which is a little bit older) and Windows 2000 or more stable. If your mother isn't very computer literate, and the machine is strong enough, you could consider installing Windows XP - it's quite user-friendly, after everything is installed...

    Good luck!
    I wish to express my gratitude to the people of Italy. Thank you for inventing pizza.

  3. #3
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    one the page your talking about she also mentions aaaaaaa. searching for this +1qa leads to quite a few macro discriptions.

    try an online virus scan norton could have been affected by it
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

  4. #4
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    As Tedib1 suggested... Do an free online virus scan at the URL http://housecall.antivirus.com
    and see what that turns up.

  5. #5
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    Also try Sophos, you can get a free trial with definitions and no restrictionsSophos
    We used this trial to sweep our servers and it found around 8-10 backdoors and virii that McAfee's did not, including unix backdoors and such. It's always a good thing to have multiple scanners around.
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  6. #6
    I'd rather be fishing DjM's Avatar
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    I did a google search on "1QA and zzzzzzzz" and it came back with 3 hits. All of them seem to refer to a Japanese character set. This may mean you have a keyboard problem, you might want to check the settings.


    Cheers:
    DjM

  7. #7
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    Disconnected laptop from network and it is still occurring. So it isn't a trojan. Tried Sophos Evaluation version and it did not detect anything. Tried online virus scan (Housecall) and it did not detect anything. I also tried AVG 6.0 Free Edition and it also did not detect anything. I ran one more scan with Norton for good measure - still nothing. Regional settings and keyboard settings are all good as well. Couldn't find macros in Outlook Express so not sure what is happening there.

    It really is quite an odd thing, I have seen it happen on several more occasions since I posted it here. Sometimes it turns caps lock on, sometimes it goes to the drop-down menu in the new message box. Anyways, since I can't fix it, I will have to format - thanks a heap for all your trouble people, it is much appreciated

    -toad

  8. #8
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    A friend introduced me to a great little anti-virus program called AVG. It is a free download that you can get at grisoft.com. From what I have seen that makes this program different from some of the more well known anti-viruses is that the other programs look for known viruses. AVG looks for characteristics that are common in viruses. You have to tell it to “use heuristics” to do this but it is easy to find in the control center.

    I have put this program on 2 computers. Both computers had existing anti-virus programs on them. Before installing the program on both computers I upgraded the existing anti-virus and ran it. Both programs found 0 viruses. When AVG was installed, updated and ran it found 3 viruses on 1 computer and over 5000 on the other computer. All of the viruses appeared to be from a virus called the love letter and copied files form the computer and added the extension “.vbs” on it.

    Try this to find out if there is a virus on your computer. I also have a program that is a Trojan hunter that but do not have that link handy. If this does not fix your issue I will hunt for the link to that download.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I installed AVG on the laptop, set it to use heuristics and then did a virus scan. I also typed stuff in Outlook Express until it started inserting characters, and AVG still didn't pick it up. I will have to format, which isn't much trouble thankfully since most of the important stuff is backed up. Thanks for all your suggestions

  10. #10
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
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    Just a thought Powaertoad...
    Did ya try new keyboard drivers?.. ie delete the keyboard in Device manager and restart the lappie?

    worth a go b4 reinstalling

    Cheers U02
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

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