I haven't been able to get near my computer for a while now, everything has been down. Some nasty little thing calling itself "Virtumonde" decided to worm (pardon the pun!) itself into the registry.
What is your worst nightmare when dealing with spyware and viruses? I'll tell you what mine is, for the damn thing to keep reappearing after a virus and spyware scan. Which, incidentally is exactly what happened.
The trouble with spyware scans is that they take so damn long. But a lot of the time they take so long because you have been infected with spyware. So scanning can take most of the day. Then you "fix" all the problems, restart, and the problems reappear like magic. Black magic.
After installing CA internet protection, I got rid of Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware. I'm not too fussed about Ad-Aware because the only version available now is the 2007 version which is resource hungry and my GOD does-it-slow-things-down. CA Internet protection also slows things down to almost a standstill. They have a fantastic anti-virus (VET) - I seriously think this is one of the best. Their spyware protection is pretty good, it seems to pick up some things that Symantec anti-spyware misses. The firewall, anti-spam and internet surf protect are bloat factor - I uninstalled them.
But...you can't do without Spybot S&D in my opinion. It's free and you can download it from Safer Networking. This is the only program I have found that consistently picks up what the other spyware scans miss out. P.S. Never download an anti-spyware problem from a flashing ad or sponsored link. Always check PC world ratings and various other feedback about the program before downloading.
I have been combing over the registry and using various programs like Vundofix. This program is supposed to fix what the other programs can't. For some reason it didn't work for me but I have read many blogs and forum posts about how Vundofix had worked for them.
Beware if you open IE or Opera or Firefox and your usual pages have unusual ads on them. Be especially wary if an ad disappears, then reappears as a flashing box saying "You have won!!!" or "You are the 999,999th visitor! Click here!". Sometimes they try to look like windows error messages, sometimes naked people holding telephones appear. Which is quite frightening when you were just trying to do a search on Ebay.
After combing through the registry (and a little help from my Obi Wan nerd!) it seems the problem has finally gone. Spybot S&D is a permanent fixture now and in conjunction with CA spyware protection, it should be ok.
Spyware Adware Bastards