I have reason to believe that my Windows XP desktop has been infected with some sort of malware. My wife's AOL e-mail account was hacked. I know that because I received an e-mail from her yesterday that she did not send. Her password had been stored on the computer's hard drive so the malware may have obtained it from there. Another indication of malware is that McAfee firewall has been turning itself off periodically for about the past week or so. I'm able to turn it back on, but after about an hour or so I'll come back to my computer and find that it has turned off again for no apparent reason.
I have changed my wife's AOL password (using a different computer in case the malware is also tracking keystrokes) and have changed other passwords that may have been entered using that computer so hopefully the damage has been limited to just that AOL account. However, I still need to deal with the suspected malware.
I am planning to run a full virus scan this weekend, but have not done so yet because of the time required for the scan (about 4.5 hours). So last night, I used the link from Peter's blogs to download the free version of Malwarebytes. However, after a few clicks, it took me to a partner site which was for something called "ARO 2013". The description of ARO 2013 read like a registry cleaner in that it said things like "cleans registry errors". I don't remember all that it said, but since Peter has always warned against using registry cleaners, I did not proceed with the download and installation. I also did not want to download Malwarebytes Pro (the paid version) since Peter has also said that Malwarebytes Pro might interfere with McAfee Virus Scan.
My McAfee Security Center is Version 12.1, Build 12.1.338.
My question is, is it OK to download and run this "ARO 2013" program or is it really a registry cleaner that might make things worse on my computer. If Peter could offer some advice on this, I'd appreciate it. Thank you.
No don't use that. I don't recommend registry cleaners as they invariably take away vital registry keys unless you know exactly what you are doing.
I think you clicked the wrong download button.
When I click the link in my blog it takes me to BleepingComputer download page as it should, there are 2 buttons there, don't click the first one you see but the 2nd one gives me the MBAM download,
Don't accept the free trial or else you'll end up with a trial of the paid version.
Thank you for your quick response. I used the link below which does not seem to take me to the bleeping computer download page. It has two columns showing the free version and the Pro version and what's included in each one.
Can you post the exact link that takes one to the page you mentioned? Thank you.
Thank you. I'll try it when I have the opportunity. You might, however, want to update the link on the link in your malware & hijacker tools page since it will take people to this "ARO 2013" registry cleaner site instead.
That's the link I used to get there, so I think it must depend on where you are or what cookies you have. My link takes me to Malwarebytes' website and the free download button takes me to the above link.
I'll add it as an extra link perhaps.