(SOLVED)possible virus?Mint 7.0/WinVista Mint4Win dual boot

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(SOLVED)possible virus?Mint 7.0/WinVista Mint4Win dual boot

Postby inchkape on Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:37 am

I've been trying to help out a friend of mine who has problems with her desktop computer running Vista. The machine runs fine, but as soon as she has a browser open, she keeps getting dozens of pop-up browser windows offing help about whatever other application she uses (it was yahoo messenger, but sometimes msn messenger).
Thinking to dodge this problem (and introduce her to Mint) I guided her through a Mint4Win dual boot install. Everything seemed to go as planned, install, reboot and log in to a Mint desktop. I guided her through setting up an account in Pidgin, she opened a browser - and immediately began getting pop-up help screens again.
So, the question is this: Is it possible for any windows virus or trojan residing in the boot loader or firmware to have this effect on Mint, or should I be looking at her cable modem?
Any input would be greatly appreciated. Sorry I have no info about her machine, other than Q6600 quad and 4 GB RAM with a 750GB HDD. Thanks in advance for any ideas :)
Last edited by inchkape on Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: possible virus?Mint 7.0 Gloria Mint4Win dual boot with Vista

Postby Aging Technogeek on Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:50 am

It sounds like the problem is in the browser - not the OS. First thing to do in Firefox would be to install Adblock Plus. (Tools=>Add-ons=>Browse All Add-ons and enter Adblock Plus in the search bar.) ( Adblock Plus is also available through Synaptic. Just enter Adblock Plus in the search box.) This should eliminate most pop-ups, banner ads, and any other junk floating around the net.

In Vista, if she's using IE 7 or 8, there's not much to do. The best thing would be to install Firefox for Windows and again use Adblock Plus.
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Re: possible virus?Mint 7.0 Gloria Mint4Win dual boot with Vista

Postby Aging Technogeek on Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:49 am

I forgot to mention in my post above (I hadn't had my morning coffee yet) that you need to subscribe to a filter list to get Adblock to block ads. The last step in the installation is to restart Firefox. After the restart you should be presented with a page of filter lists. Choose the one that is right for your locale and click on the radio button preceding the list. Click Apply at the bottom of the page and Adblock will use the selected list to filter ads.

If you don't get the list automatically.go to Tools=>Add-ons=>Extensions=>Adblock Plus. Click on the entry and click the Preferences button. A page displaying your filter lists will appear. In the upper left, click "Add Filter Subscription" and follow the directions in the paragraph above.

You can also block individual ads that still pop up. Mouse over the ad and a tab labeled "Block" will appear. Click this tab and the ad will be added to the block list.

Adding the "NoScript" Add-on to Firefox may also help by preventing Java Script from running on any site you visit.
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Re: possible virus?Mint 7.0 Gloria Mint4Win dual boot with Vista

Postby inchkape on Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:58 am

She had the problem at first in the IE 8 browser in her vista OS. She had this problem anytime she is on internet for around a year now. We installed the Mint 7.0 Gloria through Mint4Win yesterday - and immediately have the same problem in Firefox in Linux Mint. It seems too much of a coincidence that two different browsers on two different operation systems have the same problem. I still think there is some outside influence on these pop ups. I forgot to be clear too : these pop ups are browser screens seemingly from yahoo.com, not random ads.
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Re: possible virus?Mint 7.0 Gloria Mint4Win dual boot with Vista

Postby inchkape on Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:53 pm

We did a normal install of Mint 7.0 Gloria, letting it use the whole hard disk, after specifying that i should format the HDD to ext. 3 files system. When the install got to about 20% of the files copied, the weirdest thing happened: my friend got loads of different windows opening on her screen, even as Mint installed. Some at least were Nautilus file browser windows, some gave error messages, some were an empty home folder, one at least was a web browser window. She said there were 17 in all.
We let the install keep running, as it wasn't freezing up. She rebooted when prompted and took out the CD. The computer rebooted into a lovely Linux Mint Gloria desktop - with NO pop up browser windows!
She is just beginning a love affair with Linux which saved her unused year old quad core from becoming a paperweight. I'm proud of Linux and Linux Mint - and wondering what the hell was going on :P My only hypothesis being a virus in the MBR. But then I know nothing about it. I'll mark this as solved - but am interested in anyone's ideas as to what I just experienced.

Thanks for trying to help!
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Re: possible virus?Mint 7.0 Gloria Mint4Win dual boot with Vista

Postby JoeFootball on Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:00 am

inchkape wrote:My only hypothesis being a virus in the MBR.

That's what I was thinking too. More possible info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rootkit#Types

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