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Invisible Files in Windows, not MACs-NOT "HIDDEN FILES&





lasikprices
Hi--

I was just recently trying to solve a virus/trojan/whatever problem with my computer and came across what is literally an invisible file to Windows. SpyBot Search & Destroy apparently calls "SpyBotSD.exe" through Program Files\Spy Bot Search & Destroy\, which my Trojan friend apparently is blocking, but when I go to the folder, there is no file there.

When I enable Windows XP's "Show Hidden Files" option, nothing appears.
When I go to the command prompt ("Run" -> "cmd"), I go to the directory and type "SpyBotSD.exe", it runs the program (on my other computer that is not infected--my infected computer does nothing, but it doesn't tell me the file doesn't exist--so it must exist and gets killed by the virus).
When I try to "type SpyBotSD.exe", it types out some coded binary garbage. The file exists.
When I try to copy the file, it doesn't exist. At least DOS claims to not find it.
When I try to rename the file, it doesn't exist. At least DOS claims to not find it.

When I try to zip up the entire directory, the file exists and shows up in WinRAR's listing of the files in the ZIP archive.
When I unzip just the single file, "SpyBotSD.exe", the directory appears, has mass (i.e. takes up space), but there are no files in it.
Only when I extract it twice to the same place does it prompt me to finally "RENAME" the file, which I do, and then I have another copy of the file, which is also invisible. I then compress the resulting directory/folder, which still has positive mass, and then I am able to email the file, and unzip it back on my computer, and suddenly the dirty little file exists and is no longer invisible.

What is up with this invisible file stuff, and why doesn't anybody else on the net appear to know about them???

--LasikPrices
http://lasikprices.frihost.net/ -- Under development...
bloodrider
Install a decent antivirus to prevent this situations Wink
brokenadvice
Well windows super-hides the Content.IE5 folder in the "Local Internet Settings" folder. The behavior is similar to the behavior of this file. You can see it in programs, but not windows explorer. The Trojan is probably invoking the same privileges. It is possible you may be able to rename spybot to somethingelse.exe, and it may run. Good luck.
ezekiel_rage
brokenadvice wrote:
Well windows super-hides the Content.IE5 folder in the "Local Internet Settings" folder. The behavior is similar to the behavior of this file. You can see it in programs, but not windows explorer. The Trojan is probably invoking the same privileges. It is possible you may be able to rename spybot to somethingelse.exe, and it may run. Good luck.


The first part of his advice is correct. the file probably have a superhidden attribute.

You can do 1 of 2 things or both to resolve this.

First thing you can do is open a console and at the directory the problematic exe is in type attrib -s -h -r trojan.exe( of course substitute torjan.exe with the actual filename of the file) this will remove the "system" attribute and the hidden and readonly as well.

While this works. this will only work for the particular file. you antivirus suite may still not see other malicious programs that may infect your system in the future. Since they are most probably will have a superhidden attribute.

The second one you can do will ofer you a way to permanently be able to see all files regardless of their attribute.

You have to edit your registry. It may be a little tricky. You may even mess your windows install. use at your own risk!

There you have been warned.

Now lets continue.

open regedit

navigate to HKEY_CurrentUser\Software\Microsoft\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

on the right pane fine the DWORD value named ShowSuperHidden and set its value to 1

if you cant find that create a new DWORD value and name it as such and set its value to 1.

you might need to reboot for the changes to take effect.

Now on Windows Explorer go to Tools>Folder Option

On the View tab select Show hidden files and you should see every system files and other files that have their attribute set to system.

Beware on deleting any files that may seem to just appeared. Since you would normally not be able to see them. Especially those files that are at the root of your system drive/partition.

I hope this helps
smakhal
Thanks ezekiel_rage! i was suffering from this same strange problem.
lasikprices
Hi everybody--

Thanks for your help in resolving my virus problem. I just thought it was really strange to see these "super hidden" files. It sure makes it hard to do anything with them when you want to.

I was successful in getting the virus removed from my machine, thanks to your help and more help from Techguys.org. I'm not 100% sure what they helped me with, but it worked. Wink

Unfortunately, though, someone from China hacked into my laptop the other day, because I had a lame password and they managed to install a virus on that machine. So, I had to go through a similar process to remove it. 2 viruses in 3 weeks, when I have never had a problem before. This sure was a pain.

I was just reading today about some economic analyses of the cost of illness and prevention. There were four things that were listed:
#1. Costs of Prevention
#2. Costs of Treatment
#3. Lost Wages
#4. Pain & Suffering

Each of these things are bad when you get sick, but they are also really bad even when you're healthy and your computer is not. You also incur each of them in treating your machine--you panic, lose time (and thus wages), pay people to treat it, and waste money on anti-virus junk. These things are awful!
Flakky
You managed to get 2 more virusses in no time while your system is clean? This means that you are unsecure with downloaded files or that you still have a worm in your computer. If your just tired and want the ultimate piece of anti-virus protection, back-up all things, format your HDD and reinstall Windows.Wink
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