Email - Crashing and protection

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  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Solved
Hello!

I'll be brief. I was cleaning out my emails via the web-based service in Gmail through Chrome. Came to my spam emails and opened one or two. When I clicked on one of them, everything instantly became scary. First, chrome froze. Then, every program on my computer froze. then, my mouse stopped responding to movement. Finally, my audio - I had music playing - stopped. I ended up slamming the reset button and hard resetting the PC, and it seems completely normal now. Still, I'm very - very - worried. The email never opened - it's still unread in my spam inbox - so how could simply opening an email (since the text in it is just basic HTML text, it would have been partially loaded for Gmail to give me a preview already) totally END my PC? 

I shouldn't have to add this, but please kindly refrain from simply telling me my computer's infected. If it is, please let me know to what extent I have to go to fix this - Trend's specialised toolkits, a format-C, or taking a hammer to my hard drives for good... Whatever the issue, please let me know, and be kind. I'm worried enough as it is. :)

My PC:
i5 3470
Z77M-D3H-MVP
Asus Strix R9 380 OC 4GB
Kingston 120 GB SSD + 300 GB WD HDD + 500 GB Seagate HDD
FSP Hydro 600W

Running Trend Maximum Security 2017. ATTK toolkit ID #901.
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hbd151

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  • Very, very worried, and not looking forward to ANOTHER REIMAGE...

Posted 3 years ago

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TM_Cj, Alum

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Hello @hbd151 and welcome to Trend Micro Community!

 There are spam emails in which there are executable programs inside it so once you opened that kind of mails, the executable program will automatically run on your computer and it might slow down the computer performance or install some "Potentially Unwanted Applications" (PUA) which may cause unwanted pop-ups on your computer.

Firstly, you may try to do a "Full Scan" using your Trend Micro program by following the steps on this link:

Running a scan using your Trend Micro Security software

After that, you may go to the "Programs and Features" of your computer then sort it by the installation date and check for the programs installed prior to opening that spam email and check for any programs that you are not using or not aware of and you may try to uninstall it.

If there are no recently installed programs and the full scan wasn't able to detect anything then that means your computer is clean and the Malware wasn't able to infect your computer.

Thank you and have a great day! :) 

Trend Micro Home Users Community

(Edited)
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hbd151

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Hello, and thank you for your reply! I always appreciate fast and friendly replies that get to the bottom of things quickly. :)

I've done both the full scan and the check of the recently installed programs list. They're both clean; my PC performance also seems unaffected as yet. 

However, two things come to mind - firstly, when installing apps in Google Chrome, they don't show up in the installed program list in Windows. If Chrome apps can do this, surely other more malicious apps can too? 
Secondly, email worms, reference to which can be found on the Trend Threat Encyclopedia, refer to simple executions of registry entries and placing a windows-style on the PC - a file which, among it's content, contains a registry edit to initiate it and hide it upon every start-up. These files are often the size of font files and made to look like them, something that neither needs installation nor is big enough to show signs of slowing down the network or PC whilst downloading itself. I'm interested to know if an attack such as this, which could be as small as a "smokescreen" style attack, is possible from my above description. Hopefully, you can help shed some light on that one!

Finally, one last note - I was once told by a Trend Micro representative in a retail store that Trend is less of an antivirus, a fix-a-problem-once-it's-there type of security, and more of a preventative protection. She advised that anything malicious or suspicious likely means the user is already infected and to wipe everything as soon as possible, especially when it comes to smokescreen malware. 
I suppose my question here is, if that's true, how does Trend work so well if it does nothing about things that are already there or downloaded "deliberately"? Or, was she over-doing it a little with her warnings?

Thank you once again very much for your help, and I hope you're having an excellent day. :)
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TM_Cj, Alum

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Official Response
Hello @hbd151!

Thank you for your response. I am having an excellent day, I do hope you're having an excellent day as well.

To answer your question, Google Chrome has what they call extensions wherein they are apps that can be seen on the web browser but it might not be listed on your Programs and Features. To manage the extensions on your Google Chrome, you may open up your Google Chrome and click on the settings button and choose "Extension". Inside the extension, you will see all of the apps you have enabled or installed on your Google Chrome browser.

Regarding your second concern, you mentioned that Trend Micro doesn't do anything about the Malware that are already inside the computer or already downloaded. There are some Malware specifically called Grayware that needs user intervention to install and they are exploiting the end user license agreement of valid or legitimate software that's why we are unable to proceed with deleting or stopping them from being installed but you may always contact us to assist you with this kinds of issue. Just to set your expectation, with removing this kinds of applications we need user's permission to prevent any complaints or legal actions.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are experiencing any issues with your Trend Micro program specially if you suspect that your computer has a Malware so we can assist you immediately. Kindly refer to the link below to know the different ways of contacting Trend Micro Support.

Ways to Contact Support 

Thank you and have a great day!

Trend Micro Home Users Community

(Edited)
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hbd151

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Glad to hear your day is going well! Today is a much better day for me than yesterday was, so I can't complain!

That does make sense, in regards to Chrome. I would question why Windows 10 likes to show newly installed Chrome apps in the start menu with the option to uninstall them, because clicking said uninstall button simply opens up the control panel for you to find the program, only for it not to be there. I suppose that simply shows that Windows 10 recognizes it as an installed app, but not as an installed program, a difficult detail to wrap your head around. 

Thank you also for the clarification about the lengths and restrictions Trend goes to - it certainly helps to know, given that, to an uneducated person looking for the best security they can get, you aren't giving all your digital world away to one company just for the sake of safety - the old, "the locksmith can open any lock and cut any key, but that doesn't mean he's going to break into your house" metaphor, in a sense. 

So, to close this off, and to waste as little more of your time as I already have, in your opinion I'm still safe and sound, yes? I feel as much myself, but one never can tell with simple and undetectable smokescreens or key loggers these days. A professional opinion can help, if nothing else, to put one's mind at rest. 

Thank you once again in advance for all your help, and hopefully you keep having excellent days to come. :)
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TM_VJ

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Hi hbd151,

Thank you for your response and thank you that you acknowledged the answer of my colleague.

With regard to your inquiry if your still safe. I may yes to that. Just a recommendation to be safe. You may use a feature of our program to check for malicious link/s while you are surfing the internet. It works with your web browser to warn you about any security risks associated with the websites you try to visit.

You may follow the steps on how to enable it from the link below:

Using the Trend Micro Toolbar feature of Trend Micro Security

Another feature you may use is the Anti-Spam toolbar in your Email Client. It is your protection against spam messages sent to supported email software.You may see the article by clicking the link below:

Using the Antispam Toolbar of your Trend Micro Security

Speaking of key logger, which usually capture password and other information. We do have a product name Trend Micro Password Manager which is already a bundle program to your Trend Micro Maximum Security. It is a solution that helps you securely store all your passwords and sensitive information, so you can access them when needed on PCs, Macs, and mobile phones and tablets.

To set up the program, kindly see the link below:

Downloading, installing and activating Password Manager on Windows and Mac

Trend Micro Home Users Community

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hbd151

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Hello and thank you! I appreciate that, and, believe it or not, i've already been using all of these so far (albeit in a much less efficient way - I have a shortcut in my bookmarks to the link checker, and I had the password manager enabled before my recent re-image)

As a tiny note, the password manager is an excellent tool and certainly much better than it's earlier incarnations, however it's much too keen to pop up and do it's best to help out. It's great, but a tiny tad annoying. That's for a reason, I know - but still, my little slice of feedback.

So. All in all, it sounds like I'm safe. Let me then just say a big thank you to all the Trend employees who helped me out, fast and free, and put my mind at rest about a somewhat scary occurrence. Not only did you help with a problem, but you helped answer some side issues that had been playing on my conscience for a while. 
So thank you - and I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week and weekend. :)
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TM_JK

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Hi hbd151, thanks for your reply!
You are welcome. It's our pleasure to help you. Please feel free to contact us anytime when you need help for Trend Microproducts in the future. We hope youalso have a wonderful week ahead.

Trend Micro Home Users Community

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