Infostealer.ABCHlp

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Discovered: June 05, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:54:34 PM
Also Known As: Trojan.Win32.Abced [KAV], BackDoor-AKM [McAfee], PWSteal.ABCHlp
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Windows


Infostealer.ABCHlp is a password-stealing, Backdoor Trojan Horse. The program attempts to send password information from a compromised computer to an address in China. By default it makes use of ports 1025 and 1027.

NOTE : Definitions prior to May 10, 2006 may detect this threat as PWSteal.ABCHlp

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version June 05, 2003
  • Latest Rapid Release version August 08, 2016 revision 023
  • Initial Daily Certified version June 05, 2003
  • Latest Daily Certified version August 09, 2016 revision 001
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date June 05, 2003

Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

Writeup By: Maryl Magee

Discovered: June 05, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:54:34 PM
Also Known As: Trojan.Win32.Abced [KAV], BackDoor-AKM [McAfee], PWSteal.ABCHlp
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Windows


There are two main files associated with Infostealer.ABCHlp:

  • ABCHelp.exe
  • iexplore .exe

When ABCHelp.exe is run, it does the following:
  1. Copies itself as:
    • %System%\WINhelp32.exe
    • %System%\DIRECTX\Directx.exe

  2. Drops %System%\iexplore .exe (there is a space before the .exe extension) and a copy of iexplore .exe as %System%\System.exe.

    NOTE: %System% is a variable. The Trojan locates the System folder and copies itself to that location. By default, this is C:\Windows\System (Windows 95/98/Me), C:\Winnt\System32 (Windows NT/2000), or C:\Windows\System32 (Windows XP).

  3. Changes the (Default) value of the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
    RunServices

    to:

    abchelp.exe

    so that the Trojan runs when you start Windows 95/98/Me.

  4. Adds the line:

    run=WINhelp32.exe

    to the [windows] section of the Win.ini file, so that the Trojan runs when you start Windows 95/98/Me.

  5. Appends the text:

    %winsys%\Directx\directx.exe

    to the shell= line of the System.ini file, so that the Trojan runs when you start Windows 95/98/Me.


When Iexplore .exe is run, it does the following:
  1. Copies itself as %System%\Iexplore .exe.

  2. Adds the value:

    "mssysint"="Iexplore .exe"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
    RunServices

    so that the Trojan runs when you start Windows 95/98/Me.

  3. Opens port 1025 to send the password information.

  4. Opens port 1027 to listen for communication with the Trojan's creator.


Recommendations

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.

Writeup By: Maryl Magee

Discovered: June 05, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:54:34 PM
Also Known As: Trojan.Win32.Abced [KAV], BackDoor-AKM [McAfee], PWSteal.ABCHlp
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Windows


The following instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.

  1. Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP).
  2. Update the virus definitions.
  3. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as Infostealer.ABCHlp.
  4. Delete the values that were added to the registry (Windows 95/98/Me).
  5. Reverse the changes that were made to the system files (Windows 95/98/Me).
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. Disabling System Restore (Windows Me/XP)
If you are running Windows Me or Windows XP, we recommend that you temporarily turn off System Restore. Windows Me/XP uses this feature, which is enabled by default, to restore the files on your computer in case they become damaged. If a virus, worm, or Trojan infects a computer, System Restore may back up the virus, worm, or Trojan on the computer.

Windows prevents outside programs, including antivirus programs, from modifying System Restore. Therefore, antivirus programs or tools cannot remove threats in the System Restore folder. As a result, System Restore has the potential of restoring an infected file on your computer, even after you have cleaned the infected files from all the other locations.

Also, a virus scan may detect a threat in the System Restore folder even though you have removed the threat.

For instructions on how to turn off System Restore, read your Windows documentation, or one of the following articles:
For additional information, and an alternative to disabling Windows Me System Restore, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, "Antivirus Tools Cannot Clean Infected Files in the _Restore Folder ," Article ID: Q263455.

2. 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 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).
  • 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).

    The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are available: Read "How to update virus definition files using the Intelligent Updater" for detailed instructions.

3. Scanning for and deleting the infected files
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files.
  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. If any files are detected as infected with Infostealer.ABCHlp, click Delete.

4. Deleting the values from the registry (Windows 95/98/Me)

CAUTION : Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before making any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify the specified keys only. Read the document, "How to make a backup of the Windows registry ," for instructions.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run. (The Run dialog box appears.)
  2. Type regedit

    Then click OK. (The Registry Editor opens.)

  3. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
    RunServices

  4. In the right pane, delete the values:

    abchelp.exe
    "mssysint"="Iexplore .exe"

  5. Exit the Registry Editor.


5. Reversing the changes made to the system files (Windows 95/98/Me)
If you are running Windows 95/98/Me, follow these steps:
  1. The function you perform depends on your operating system:
    • Windows 95/98: Go to step b.
    • Windows Me: If you are running Windows Me, the Windows Me file-protection process may have made a backup copy of the Win.ini file that you need to edit. If this backup copy exists, it will be in the C:\Windows\Recent folder. Symantec recommends that you delete this file before continuing with the steps in this section. To do this:
      1. Start Windows Explorer.
      2. Browse to and select the C:\Windows\Recent folder.
      3. In the right pane, select the Win.ini file and delete it. The Win.ini file will be regenerated when you save your changes to it in step f.

  2. Click Start, and then click Run.

  3. Type the following, and then click OK.

    edit c:\windows\win.ini

    (The MS-DOS Editor opens.)

    NOTE: If Windows is installed in a different location, make the appropriate path substitution.

  4. In the [windows] section of the file, look for a line similar to:

    run=WINhelp32.exe

  5. If this line exists, delete the entire line.

  6. Click File, and then click Save.

  7. Click File, and then click Exit.

  8. Click Start, and then click Run.

  9. Type the following:

    edit c:\windows\system.ini

    and then click OK.

    NOTE: If Windows is installed in a different location, make the appropriate path substitution.

  10. In the [boot] section, look for the line:

    shell=explorer.exe %winsys%\Directx\directx.exe

  11. Delete all the text on the above line to the right of explorer.exe. When you are done, it should look like this:

    shell=explorer.exe

  12. Click File, and then click Save.

  13. Click File, and then click Exit.


Writeup By: Maryl Magee