Quick and Dirty Malware Removal

The following is a quick and dirty guide to virus/malware removal. These are simple, proven steps to clean out malware and get a PC back and running as quick as possible.  No attempt is made to do any sort of forensics nor are there any techniques included for measuring or controlling the propagation to other machines or networks.  The assumption is that the damage has already been done and you are just cleaning up the mess.

Arming Yourself

The following is a list of tools you will need to have handy.  It is highly recommended that you download these on uninfected machine before hand! There are many types of malware out there that are known to detect file names/ signatures of popular cleaning tools and infect them.  You have been warned!

Kill Everything That Moves

Stop It From Spawning

Destroy the Source

Run Combofix. This can take up to 40 minutes complete.  For part it will need to be connected to the network to update.  During its run Combofix launches many small utilities that clean various malware. For part of its network cleaning/repair the machine will lose network connection for up to 10 mins.  If you are running Combofix remotely, don’t panic. Seriously, even when you think “God what have I done, I’ve killed the network connection!”, it will come back.

Clean Up the Mess

Sanity Check

Share your tips

Do you have any tips or tricks, any hand software that you use to defeat the ever growing scourge that is malware?