More of the mystery behind Software Distribution Services 3.0 (SDS 3.0) unraveled. The other day my antivirus software (Bitdefender) warned of a virus from a website that I had just visited that it could not disinfect or stop. Puzzled and a bit paranoid, I scanned my computer with my other antivirus software and it never detected anything.
Still suspicious that something was hiding in my computer system, I remembered that I had previously downloaded Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) that got rid of a nasty that my other antivirus software couldn’t, or didn’t find. I hadn’t re-installed it since I did my clean install, so I went on line and downloaded it. Part of the download is for it to check to see if you are running (GWA) GENUINE windows software, or an ILLEGAL copy…
After my computer passed inspection I ran a scan and it also found no infection. Just to be on the safe side, I decided to do a system restore and that was when the proverbial “penny” dropped. There before my eyes was a system download for Windows XP KB914882, and then just above it was the download and installation of Software Distribution Services 3.0. I was puzzled that there was no reference to Microsoft Security Essentials. I immediately went into my ZoneAlarm firewall and put a “Kill” command on the last two programs, stopping them from doing anything “more” with my operating system.
Remembering what happened the last time, I then ran a system restore and to my pleasant surprise, it still worked. I then uninstalled KB 914882 and Microsoft Security Essentials as they were still there after the system restore, as was Software Distribution Services 3.0, but it was only listed in my windows explorer registry / program files. When I uninstalled Microsoft Security Essentials it did a weird thing as it shut down, stating that there was a problem on the un-installation.I re-booted my computer and then I checked to see if it was still there, but it seemed to have been uninstalled as the links didn’t work. Since there was no un-install available for SDS 3.0 I then downloaded and ran a free program called "RegSeeker" to remove SDS 3.0 from the registry along with any residues of MSE That was also weird as RegSeeker found and then deleted them from the registry, but when I ran a re-check on Software Distribution Services 3.0, they were still there. Finally I just manually deleted all the files with SDS 3.0 from my program files. It wasn’t until “after” I deleted them, that I remembered reading that I should have done it while my computer was in the “safe” mode, but oh well, it’s done and everything still seems to be working OK.
The other weird thing that I discovered was that my “Windows Security Alerts” was on and when I checked, my Microsoft software updates was turned back on to automatic. I quickly shut them down.
So now I’m just waiting to see if Software Distribution Services 3.0 re-installs itself, and if it does, I don’t know what I’m going to do as I just spent two days backing up my material and re-installing my programs.. I also don’t want to run a System back up if this Microsoft malware is still on it…
UPDATE: Well it’s been a couple of weeks and “Software Distribution Services 3.0” has not re-installed, or restored itself on my laptop that is now working fine.