Question How to ensure PC is totally clean after virus infection. Help needed desperately!

PAULO40

Honorable
Apr 7, 2013
91
1
10,645
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Hi All

I thought I'd come here for some advice as I've always found users on here to be extremely helpful, and I'm hoping you can help with my latest woe!

My PC got infected by a Trojan a few days ago, to the point where my Amazon account and a couple of email accounts have been compromised. I went through the motions of running various scans with Avast Antivirus Premium, Malwarebytes, Windows Defender, Spybot S&D to the point where my all the scans say my PC is free of any infections. I've also gone to the trouble of contacting my ISP to take me off a static IP address and give me a dynamic one, in the hope it would deter the hackers accessing my PC. Unfortunately I'm still getting some suspicious behaviour on the two email accounts that were compromised. I did change passwords with the troubled Amazon and email accounts, but this did not deter the hackers and still suspicious activity is present. I'm now reluctant to change any more passwords just in case I still have some malware or spyware on my PC.

Can anyone tell me if there is a definitive way to find out if a PC is still infected, even when antivirus scans say its clean? Also is there a fool proof method of getting my PC back to a totally clean state? I'm considering if deleting / formatting all the hard drives in the PC and installing Windows 10 afresh would be a better way to ensure having a clean PC again, which would then make me feel more at ease with changing passwords for all the important websites I have dealings with.

Any thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated as I'm so afraid of using my PC at the moment, yet it is an integral part of my life.

Many thanks for reading and I look forward to reading your comments.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
You could try a different web browser and with respect to your emails, you should be able to flag suspicious emails as spam(if you're using Gmail or every other email handler/provider).

It'd help us if you could elaborate on what you see as suspicious behavior with your email(redacting your email address and other's from the image).
 
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PAULO40

Honorable
Apr 7, 2013
91
1
10,645
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Wow, some amazingly prompt responses, thank you.

In answer to both of your questions, I get alerts from my email accounts saying that there has been suspicious activity. They also give me an IPv6 IP address that points to the device used to access my email accounts being in Malaysia (I'm based in the UK). With regards to Amazon, an order was placed for a £120 gift card, and not by me. There was a message attached to the gift card that was in a foreign language. To be fair Amazon were good about it and cancelled the order and refunded the money, but probably because I got there in time.

I don't use permanently attached external drives, and I hardly ever connect them to my PC as there is ample space available. I've tried flagging emails as spam, but there still coming through thick and fast, last count was I had around 1500 emails sent to me. I have read that it is actually better to leave these emails alone rather than mess around with them, I don't know what truth there is in that statement.

With regard to other devices, everything seems ok, definitely no issues with my phone that I can tell, or my partners laptop, of any other devices in the home come to think of it.
 

Quanticriver

Commendable
Jul 1, 2017
377
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It seems that your email accounts rather then your pc have been targeted

First off - change your passwords on your accounts and activate two factor authentication on those accounts (e.g. amazon)

Even if they have the password - they still can't acces those accounts
(This is optional but provides best security)

Concerning your pc, there is no foolproof way to make sure that tehre is no trace of any vrius left, the only way that this can be done, is to format and reinstall the pc
 
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PAULO40

Honorable
Apr 7, 2013
91
1
10,645
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Thanks for the suggestions.

The formatting and reinstalling of the PC is the option I would like to pursue, it would just put my mind at rest. I've built a few PCs in my time so that shouldn't be a great hardship. However I would like to ask if there are any decent methods for giving hard drives a really good, deep clean before using them?

As for the two form factor authentication, that's a really good idea and will look into doing that as soon as I've sorted my PC out.

Many thanks for the help and advice so far, it is greatly appreciated.
 

Mr.Spock

Prominent
Dec 8, 2019
568
61
590
48
Many mfrs have a SecureErase or Wipe feature,
Bitdefender has a shredder feature.
Hard Disk Sentinel has it also, a full surface test would also do the trick

Thanks for the suggestions.

The formatting and reinstalling of the PC is the option I would like to pursue, it would just put my mind at rest. I've built a few PCs in my time so that shouldn't be a great hardship. However I would like to ask if there are any decent methods for giving hard drives a really good, deep clean before using them?

As for the two form factor authentication, that's a really good idea and will look into doing that as soon as I've sorted my PC out.

Many thanks for the help and advice so far, it is greatly appreciated.
 

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