TapVirus Scare

I had a bit of a fright this morning; AVG (free) kept saying that it had found an infected object but it wouldn’t put it in the Virus Vault where it should go. I was bothered because I don’t do viruses, I consider myself too smart for that (lookout, the sky is falling in). I see a few go past in email and I used to have trouble when my anti-spam system kept a copy of recent emails in plain text (it now keeps them in a database, so that is resolved). I have just installed a trial of Prevx so wondered if that may have triggered something but I don’t think so.

Some analysis and a few blunders later I discovered.

  • The infected file was in C:\System Volume Information\_restore{DF9 …a lot of hex… F08}\RP108\A0024948.exe. If I remember rightly this is the System Restore area. I don’t recognise the file name, perhaps System Restore mangles them?
  • This accounts for why my working (LUA) account could not vault it, because I don’t have access.
  • It is reported as I-Worm/Stration.DJC. This is normally distributed by ICQ (which I don’t use) but has been seen recently in spam email—I am unlikely to have executed any attachments.

The blunder was that (in a panic) I deleted the system restore area before scanning the system; I seem to drop out of Security Analyst mode when I come home. Anyway I did a full system scan and a run of the Kaspersky Online Scanner for good measure. Nothing else was found.

What I don’t understand is

  • How it got there. I thought System Restore was backing up things that changed during an install so that you could back them out later. If that is the case, it should have been live on my system before whatever install replaced it and there should be some other traces left.
  • Why AVG should have been looking there in Resident Shield mode anyway. I thought it only checked files that you accessed, and that is not likely to be one of them.

It will, no doubt, remain a mystery.

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