Trojan.QQMess

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Discovered: September 25, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:08:02 PM
Also Known As: Backdoor.Semes, TrojanSpy.Win32.Sincom.az [Kas, PWS-Sincom [McAfee]
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Windows


Trojan.QQMess is a Trojan Horse that inserts various messages on your outgoing QQ instant messages. It also changes the Internet Explorer home page. Both the messages and the home page URL are configurable.


Note: Virus definitions dated prior to October 23, 2003 detect some components of this Trojan as Backdoor.Semes.



Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version September 26, 2003
  • Latest Rapid Release version October 19, 2018 revision 017
  • Initial Daily Certified version September 26, 2003
  • Latest Daily Certified version October 20, 2018 revision 002
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date October 01, 2003

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

Writeup By: Scott Gettis

Discovered: September 25, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:08:02 PM
Also Known As: Backdoor.Semes, TrojanSpy.Win32.Sincom.az [Kas, PWS-Sincom [McAfee]
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Windows


When Trojan.QQMess runs, it does the following:

  1. Copies itself to %Windir%\Sendmess.exe.

  2. Drops the following files:

    %Windir%\qq32.ini
    %System%\qqmess.dll

    NOTES:
    • %Windir% is a variable. The Trojan locates the Windows installation folder (by default, this is C:\Windows or C:\Winnt) and copies the file to that location.
    • %System% is a variable. The Trojan locates the System folder and copies the file 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. Adds the following value:

    "QQ" = %Windir%\sendmess.exe

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the Trojan runs when you start Windows.

  4. Changes the Internet Explorer home page. This URL is read from the qq32.ini file.

  5. Hooks into the system's CallWndRetProc hook chain.

  6. Inserts random text into your outgoing QQ instant messages. The text is read from the qq32.ini file.



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: Scott Gettis

Discovered: September 25, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:08:02 PM
Also Known As: Backdoor.Semes, TrojanSpy.Win32.Sincom.az [Kas, PWS-Sincom [McAfee]
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. Update the virus definitions.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Windows 95/98/Me: Restart the computer in Safe mode.
    • Windows NT/2000/XP: End the Trojan process.
  3. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as Trojan.QQMess (or similar variants).
  4. Reverse the changes that the Trojan made to the registry.
  5. Reset the Internet Explorer home page.
For details on each of these steps, 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 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.


2. Restarting the computer in Safe mode or ending the Trojan process
    Windows 95/98/Me
    Restart the computer in Safe mode. All the Windows 32-bit operating systems, except for Windows NT, can be restarted in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document, "How to start the computer in Safe Mode."

    Windows NT/2000/XP
    To end the Trojan process:
    1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete once.
    2. Click Task Manager.
    3. Click the Processes tab.
    4. Double-click the Image Name column header to alphabetically sort the processes.
    5. Scroll through the list and look for Sendmess.exe.
    6. If you find the file, click it, and then click End Process.
    7. Exit the Task Manager.
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 Trojan.QQMess, click Delete.

4. Reversing the changes made to the registry

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, and then click OK. (The Registry Editor opens.)
  3. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  4. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "QQ" = %Windir%\sendmess.exe

  5. Exit the Registry Editor.

5. Resetting the Internet Explorer home page
  1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  2. Connect to the Internet and go to the page that you want to set as your home page.
  3. Click Tools, and then click Internet Options.
  4. In the Home page section of the General tab, click Use Current, and then click OK.


Writeup By: Scott Gettis