Backdoor.Isen.Rootkit

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Discovered: November 07, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:13:30 PM
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Windows


Backdoor.Isen.Rootkit is a backdoor Trojan horse that hides processes and files. In addition, the Trojan also provides remote access to a compromised system.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version November 07, 2003
  • Latest Rapid Release version May 07, 2019 revision 006
  • Initial Daily Certified version November 07, 2003 revision 041
  • Latest Daily Certified version May 07, 2019 revision 008
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date November 12, 2003

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


Technical Description


When Backdoor.Isen.Rootkit is executed, it does the following:

  1. Copies itself as:
    • %Windir%\System32\Msiisdrv.exe
    • %Windir%\System32\Msiishlp.exe


      Notes:
      • These files are only visible in Safe mode.
      • %Windir% is a variable. The Trojan locates the Windows installation folder (by default, this is C:\Windows or C:\Winnt).

  2. Deletes itself from the original folder from which it was executed.

  3. Creates the following services:
    • "Microsoft Internet Information Services kernel mode driver"="%Windir%\System32\msiisdrv.exe"
    • "Microsoft IIS helper"="%Windir%\System32\msiishlp.exe"

      Note: The registry entries of these services are only visible in Safe mode.

  4. Enumerates all the processes on the system. The Trojan injects its own code into their memory and hooks the API NtQuerySystemInformation.

  5. Attempts to hide all the files and processes whose file name contains one of the following strings:
    • Msiishlp
    • Msiisdrv

  6. Listens on a configurable port.


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.


Removal


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. Restart the computer in Safe mode (Windows 2000/XP/2003 Server).
  4. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as Backdoor.Isen.Rootkit.
  5. Reverse the changes made to the registry.
For 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:
Note: When you are completely finished with the removal procedure and are satisfied that the threat has been removed, re-enable System Restore by following the instructions in the aforementioned documents.

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. Restarting the computer in Safe mode

    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."
4. 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 Backdoor.Isen.Rootkit, click Delete.

5. Reversing the changes made to the registry


WARNING: 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. Delete the registry keys:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\msiisdrv

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\msiishlp

  4. Exit the Registry Editor.


Writeup By: Robert X Wang