Discovered: January 14, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:42:17 AM
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Windows
The VBS.StartPage Trojan horse alters the Microsoft Internet Explorer default home page without permission. The Trojan horse arrives as a file with the .vbs extension.
Antivirus Protection Dates
- Initial Rapid Release version January 15, 2003
- Latest Rapid Release version August 18, 2018 revision 005
- Initial Daily Certified version January 15, 2003 revision 036
- Latest Daily Certified version August 19, 2018 revision 002
- Initial Weekly Certified release date January 15, 2003
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.
When VBS.StartPage is executed, it makes changes to the registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Start Page
Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators to adhere to the following basic security "best practices":
- Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
- Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
- Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
- Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
- Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
- Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
- If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
- Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
- Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
- Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
- Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
- If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device's visibility is set to "Hidden" so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to "Unauthorized", requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources.
- For further information on the terms used in this document, please refer to the Security Response glossary.
The following instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.
- Update the virus definitions.
- Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as VBS.StartPage.
- Reset your Internet Explorer home page.
For specific details on each of these procedures, read the following instructions.
1. Updating the virus definitions
Symantec Security Response fully tests all the virus definitions for quality assurance before they are posted to our servers. There are two ways to obtain the most recent virus definitions:
- Running LiveUpdate, which is the easiest way to obtain the virus definitions. These virus definitions are posted to the LiveUpdate servers once each week (usually on Wednesdays), unless there is a major virus outbreak. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by LiveUpdate, refer to the Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate), in the "Protection" section, at the top of this writeup.
- Downloading the definitions using the Intelligent Updater. The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are posted on U.S. business days (Monday through Friday). You should download the definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site and manually install them. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, refer to the Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater), in the "Protection" section, at the top of this writeup.
The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are available here. For detailed instructions on how to download and install the Intelligent Updater virus definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site, click here.
2. Scanning for and deleting the infected files
- Start your Symantec antivirus program and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files.
- For Norton AntiVirus consumer products: Read the document, "How to configure Norton AntiVirus to scan all files."
- For Symantec AntiVirus Enterprise products: Read the document, "How to verify that a Symantec Corporate antivirus product is set to scan All Files."
- Run a full system scan.
- If any files are detected as infected with VBS.StartPage, click Delete.
3. Resetting the Internet Explorer home page
- Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
- Connect to the Internet and go to the page that you want to set as your home page.
- Click Tools, and then click Internet Options.
- In the Home page section of the General tab, click Use Current, and then click OK.
Writeup By: Jari Kytojoki