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Bitdefender nuked itself and my entire system for no reason

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Hello all,

Sorry, this is my first time posting on this forum, if I need to move my post elsewhere please state.

I am quite puzzled as to what just occurred and would like some insight to help me better
understand why and how this managed to happen, and also, how to fix the aftermath.

So, what happened?

I had just come back from the bathroom, and upon sitting down in my chair and logging into my system, Bitdefender decided to show a Disinfection Warning. I thought to myself: "what could this possibly be, I haven't downloaded anything recently?"—but would shortly realize that would be the least of my problems.

The disinfection warning then went away, but before I could forget about it another one popped up, as well as the Bitdefender app widget, which showed thirteen notifications, thirteen! I had previously had zero, so obviously I was scratching my head at what they could possibly be. I tried to click on the notification icon to see, but I couldn't, the click wouldn't register. Okay, I thought to myself, not that bad, it's probably just prioritizing the antimalware engine rather than the app, so I waited. Bad choice.

Bitdefender then decided it had had enough of my PC and then without warning decided to close every app I had running (how wonderful), crashing Wallpaper Engine, Firefox, Discord, the Settings App, File Explorer and VSCode. OK, fair enough, maybe it needed to do that, right? Wrong. It then crashed explorer.exe before eventually causing a stop error (blue screen of death). Wonderful, Bitdefender has gone rouge. This all happened within the span of ~40 seconds.

After restarting my PC and trying to boot back into windows, it froze at "Preparing windows", no biggie, I'll give it a minute. 17 minutes later, I decided to restart because it had completely died. I then managed to get into my system which was, understandably, completely broken. Wallpaper Engine refused to launch, Steam was logged out, Discord refused to launch (I had Vencord, so fair enough), etc. I thought, oh well, things happen when malware tries to spread, probably got it with an infostealer. That was my thought process until I then tried to open Bitdefender, which was logged out. Okay… fantastic. I then logged in to the familiar 13 notifications and could actually see what they were, except, nothing was there. What?

So let's recap, Bitdefender has gone rogue, corrupted half of my apps, logged itself out and now there are no malware reports? It doesn't stop there, though!

After searching around the app it decided to crash, and upon opening it through the tray again I was hit with a massive "Your subscription has expired" warning. Greeeaaat (And before someone comments, yes, this was the real bitdefender, it was signed and not with something implanted into the Trusted Root Cert Authority).

After restarting YET AGAIN, I was finally able to login to bitdefender and get everything configured back to what it was. It seems it was just a one time error… is what I would say, if it was not for the fact that Bitdefender invalidates my login every time I launch the app now, and refuses to reinstall itself properly.

If anyone who works at Bitdefender can explain what happened, that would be great. I have absolutely no idea what could have possibly caused this…

edit: This was also in correlation with Bitdefender trying to update itself, and the first Disinfection Warning was Wallpaper Engine, before it went rogue.

edit 2: It deleted ShareX and mullvad for no reason.

Answers

  • Scott
    Scott Defender of the month mod
    edited June 8
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    Hello @meimei123

    The thing that caught my attention was Steam/Discord/wallpaper in your post. If you go to the search icon at the top of the forum and type steam or discord, then view Sort by Newest, you you'll see about 6? threads that had some form of Steam/Discord/wallpaper associated with them.

    I'm not saying it's the cause, but I'm not ruling that out either. It could have been that conflict as Bitdefender's Early Boot Scan or AV Shield detected that as a malware, and things went downhill from there. Maybe it was legitimate malware that was now being picked up by BD, or a FP?

    You may want to contact support and see what they have to say. They would have you create and send some log files to see what may have caused it.

    https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/help/

    Select, How Tos & Troubleshooting→Troubleshooting and go through the prompts until you get to the black Contact Support box. You will have the the options of Chat, Call or Email. Chat is the quickest way to get thing started, phone support is not toll-free.

    @Flexx may also have some follow-up advice as well.

    Kind regards.

    All Bitdefender Home Product User Guides: https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/user-guides/

  • meimei123
    Options

    Hello @Scott, thank you for your reply.

    I have been looking into this more and I think you may be right.

    Wallpaper Engine supports a lot of different file types, one of them being .EXE. After looking how Wallpaper Engine handles said EXE file wallpapers, it is highly likely that Bitdefender's antimalware engine picked up on it. What confused me though, is that, while I do have a couple EXE wallpapers, I had not used one for a while. Also, Bitdefender picked up on it live, not from a system scan. So there is a high possibility it was Wallpaper Engine but also not.

    Early Boot Scan is off of the table however, since my PC had been on for 4-5 hours beforehand, and I had used Win + L to lock, not shutdown my system.

    I was also going to contact support, but I thought there's nothing I really need help with (I figured support was just technical support and help for installation), I just want to understand what happened, but I'll go ahead and comb through the log files myself and contact support.

    Kind regards, have a great day

  • Scott
    Scott Defender of the month mod
    edited June 9
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    @meimei123

    Apologies for not remembering if there was a resolve for the Steam/Discord/wallpaper issue and not backtracking some of those threads to try to find out, but it's been a very busy work weekend, ugh :) It sounds like you have a handle on it, though.

    Thank you, and have a great weekend :)

    All Bitdefender Home Product User Guides: https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/user-guides/

  • Flexx
    Flexx DEFENDER OF THE YEAR 2023 / DEFENDER OF THE MONTH ✭✭✭✭✭ mod
    edited June 9
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    To add here, it seems it might be more than Bitdefender causing the issue. It may be some sort of malware or adware that went unnoticed by Bitdefender. So, to be on the safe side, try following the steps below:

    1) Open the Run command and execute the following commands one by one:

    temp – delete all the files in the folder.

    %temp% – delete all the files in the folder.

    prefetch – delete all the files in the folder.

    2) Run Disk Cleanup using this guide: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/disk-cleanup-in-windows-8a96ff42-5751-39ad-23d6-434b4d5b9a68

    3) Reset the Windows host file to default. You can find instructions here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/how-to-reset-the-hosts-file-back-to-the-default-c2a43f9d-e176-c6f3-e4ef-3500277a6dae

    4) Try using alternate security software that does not require installation to check if there is any malicious content on your system that went unnoticed by Bitdefender.

    Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool: https://www.kaspersky.com/downloads/free-virus-removal-tool

    ESET Online Scanner: https://www.eset.com/in/home/online-scanner/

    Dr.Web CureIt!: https://free.drweb.com/cureit/

    Malwarebyes AdwCleaner: https://www.malwarebytes.com/adwcleaner

    Trend Micro Housecall: https://www.trendmicro.com/en_in/forHome/products/housecall.html

    F‑Secure Online Scanner: https://www.f-secure.com/en/online-scanner

    Regards

    Life happens, Coffee helps!

    Show your Attitude, when you reach that Altitude!

    Bitdefender Ultimate Security Plus (user)

  • Scott
    Scott Defender of the month mod
    edited June 9
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    Thank you for your follow-up reply, Flexx. Some nice info and links posted :)

    All Bitdefender Home Product User Guides: https://www.bitdefender.com/consumer/support/user-guides/