MBR:SST Rootkit is a harmful virus that attacks the master boot record of the infected computer. This virus has stealth capability. It can evade installed antivirus program by injecting its code to system processes. MBR:SST Rootkit also creates a Windows service and run on its own each time you start the PC. Altering the registry on Windows system is alternative way to load the virus instantly on boot-up.
Damage Level: High
Systems Affected: Windows 9x, 2000, XP, Windows Vista/7
When MBR:SST Rootkit is executed on the computer, it directly strikes the hard drive. The threat modifies the master boot record and place a copy of virus code in a boot sector. Since MBR initializes each time a computer starts, the threat runs and perform dangerous actions. Presence of MBR:SST Rootkit on a PC can cause other damage other than changing the boot record. It communicates to a distant server in order to download other malware files and execute additional payload. Remote attacker also gains access to infected computer with MBR:SST Rootkit’s backdoor function.
MBR:SST Rootkit normally enters the computer through other threats. A Trojan that can exploit various security flaws in your Windows system drops this type of virus. There are occasions that user can acquire MBR:SST Rootkit by visiting a compromised web sites.
MBR:SST Rootkit has function, which can conceal its presence to certain antivirus program. However, security company able to counter the attack by releasing updates to antivirus software. As shown in the screen shot image, Avast can detect MBR:SST Rootkit and isolate it inside the chest.
How to Remove MBR:SST Rootkit
Systematic procedures to get rid of the threat are presented on this section. Make sure to scan the computer with suggested tools and scanners.
Step 1 : Restart Windows in SafeMode with Networking
Starting Windows is Safe Mode only loads minimal sets of files and drivers. Most start-up malware and viruses don't run in this mode because Windows only loads basic components to initiate the system.
To start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking, please do the following:
1. Remove all media such as floppy drive, cd, dvd, and USB devices. Then, restart the computer.
Boot in Safe Mode on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 system
a) Before Windows begins to load, press F8 on your keyboard.
b) It will display the Advanced Boot Options menu. Select Safe Mode.
Start computer in Safe Mode using Windows 8
a) Before Windows begins to load, press Shift and F8 on your keyboard.
b) On Recovery interface, click on 'See advanced repair options'.
c) Next, click on Troubleshoot option.
d) Then, select Advanced options from the list.
e) Lastly, please choose Windows Startup Settings and click on Restart. When Windows restarts, you will be send to a familiar Advanced Boot Options screen.
f) Select Safe Mode from the selections menu.
2. Once the computer boots into Safe Mode with Networking, please proceed with the steps below.
Step 2 : Scan the Computer with TDSSKiller to Remove MBR:SST Rootkit
Anti-rootkit utility called TDSSKiller is a free tool from Kasperksy that neutralizes complicated malware which effectively hides its process, folders, files and registry entries.
1. Download TDSSKiller and save the file on your desktop or any accessible spot.
2. Extract the contents of downloaded file (tdsskiller.zip) using archiver programs like Winzip or Winrar.
3. Locate the folder where you extracted tdsskiller.zip and double-click the file TDSSKiller.exe to launch the scanner.
4. Once TDSSKiller is open, please mark Services and drivers as well as Boot Sectors. Picking these options ensures that the program will inspect boot sector and system files that are infected with MBR:SST Rootkit. Please refer to attached image.
5. Click on Start Scan button to begin scanning your system. This may take a while. You need to complete this process to make sure that the program detects and delete all components of MBR:SST Rootkit.
6. When scan has finished, you may restart Windows normally. This part of the removal process using TDSSKiller is now complete.
Step 3: Run Another Scan with ZeroAccess Fix Tool
This additional step will guarantee that no more components of MBR:SST Rootkit are present inside the computer. If in case the first scan fails to catch all threats, running ZeroAccess Fix Tool ensures that all remaining Trojans, viruses, and malware will be deleted.
1. Download the file FixZeroAccess.exe from the provided link. Save the file to accessible location like Windows desktop. This is a free tool created by Symantec to remove variants of Zeroaccess Trojan.
2. Close all open programs.
3. Browse for the location of the file FixZeroAccess.exe. Double-click on the file to run it. If it prompts for a security warning and ask if you want to run the file, please choose Run.
4. It will open a Zero Access Fix Tool End User License Agreement (EULA). You must accept this license agreement in order to proceed with MBR:SST Rootkit removal. Please click I Accept.
5. Finally, it displays a message and prepares the computer to restart. Please click on Proceed.
6. When it shows a message about 'Restarting System' please click on OK button.
7. After restarting the computer, the tool will display information about identified threats. Continue running the tool by following the prompts.
8. When it reaches the final step, the tool will show the scan result containing deleted components of MBR:SST Rootkit. Your computer is now free from any harm.
Ways to Prevent MBR:SST Rootkit Infection
Here are some guidelines to help defend your computer from virus attack and malware activities. Being fully protected does not have to be expensive.
Install protection software to block MBR:SST Rootkit and other threats
Having an effective anti-malware program is the best way to guard your computer against malware and threats. Although full version of anti-malware will cost some penny to obtain, it is still worthy to buy one. With real-time scan, it will be safer for you to browse the web, download files, and do more things online.
Keep all programs up to date
It is important to download critical update for installed programs. Software updates includes patches for security flaw that may utilize by an attacker to enter the computer. This flaw may be taken advantage by MBR:SST Rootkit, viruses, and malware to attack the computer. Crucial programs to watch for updates are MS Windows, MS Office, Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, and Java Runtime.
Activate security features of your Internet browser
SmartScreen Filter, Phishing and Malware Protection, and Block Attack Sites are the respective security features of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Although, it may not fully guard your computer from online attack, at least it can lessen the risk. Enabling these features also helps to secure your private data and avoid identity theft.
Be a responsible Internet user
Antivirus programs and security features of Internet browser facilitates real-time protection and monitors harmful activities online. However, it tends to malfunction for some reasons. Thus, you do not have to be fully dependent on these tools. It is always best to practice safety measures when using the Internet.