Trojan.Startpage.Q

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Discovered: September 30, 2005
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:44:57 PM
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Windows


Trojan.Startpage.Q is a Trojan horse that attempts to change the Internet Explorer home page and related registry keys.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version September 30, 2005
  • Latest Rapid Release version August 08, 2016 revision 023
  • Initial Daily Certified version September 30, 2005
  • Latest Daily Certified version August 09, 2016 revision 001
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date October 05, 2005

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

Writeup By: Hatsuho Honda

Discovered: September 30, 2005
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:44:57 PM
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Windows


When Trojan.Startpage.Q is executed, it performs the following actions:

  1. Copies itself as the following files:

    • %Windir%\SonudMan.exe
    • %System%\he1p.exe

      Note:
    • %Windir% is a variable that refers to the Windows installation folder. By default, this is C:\Windows or C:\Winnt.
    • %System% is a variable that refers to the System folder. By default this is C:\Windows\System (Windows 95/98/Me), C:\Winnt\System32 (Windows NT/2000), or C:\Windows\System32 (Windows XP)

  2. Adds the value:

    "SonudMan" = "Windir%\SonudMan.exe"

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurretVersion\Run

    so that the Trojan runs when Windows starts.

  3. Modifies the value to:

    "(Default)" = "%System%\he1p.exe"%1""

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\txtfile\shell\open\command

    so that the Trojan runs each time you open a .txt file

  4. Modifies the value to:

    "DisableTaskMgr" = "1"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\system

    to disable Task Manager.

  5. Modifies the value to:

    "HomePage" = "1"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel

  6. Modifies the value to:

    "CheckedValue" = "0"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\microsoft\windows\currentversion\explorer\advanced\folder\hidden\showall

  7. Attempts to close the following windows:

    Window Name: joyiex
    Window Class: ddqxyz

    Window Name: Windows +++
    Window Class: ThunderRT6FormDC

    Window Name: [VARIES]
    Window Class: TKillqqvir

    Window Name: qqav
    Window Class: TApplication

  8. Connects to [http://]msg.cd321.com/[REMOVED]/msg and downloads the following files:

    • ie1.txt
    • msg1.txt
    • msg2.txt
    • msg3.txt

      and saves them as:

    • she11.dll
    • msg1.dll
    • msg2.dll
    • msg3.dll

  9. Attempts to download and execute additional files from the the following URL, which is obtained from the previously downloaded files:

    [http://]www.joyiex.com/[REMOVED]/520.exe

  10. Modifies the values to:

    "Start Page" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "SearchURL" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "Local Page" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "Search Bar" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "Search Page" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "First Home Page" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "default_page_url" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "Default_Search_URL" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

    to change Internet Explorer settings.

    Note: [CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE] is the URL contained in she11.dll and at the time of writing, the URL was [http://]www.joyiex.com/[REMOVED].

  11. Modifies the values to:

    "url1" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "url2" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "url3" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs

    to change Internet Explorer settings.

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: Hatsuho Honda

Discovered: September 30, 2005
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:44:57 PM
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.
  4. Delete any values added to the registry.
  5. Reset the Internet Explorer home page.
  6. Reset the Internet Explorer search page.
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. To disable 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, reenable 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. To update 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 Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate).
  • Downloading the definitions using the Intelligent Updater: The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are posted daily. 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 Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater).

    The latest Intelligent Updater virus definitions can be obtained here: Intelligent Updater virus definitions. For detailed instructions read the document: How to update virus definition files using the Intelligent Updater.


3. To scan for and delete 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, click Delete.

Important: If you are unable to start your Symantec antivirus product or the product reports that it cannot delete a detected file, you may need to stop the risk from running in order to remove it. To do this, run the scan in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document, How to start the computer in Safe Mode . Once you have restarted in Safe mode, run the scan again.

After the files are deleted, restart the computer in Normal mode and proceed with the next section.

Warning messages may be displayed when the computer is restarted, since the threat may not be fully removed at this point. You can ignore these messages and click OK. These messages will not appear when the computer is restarted after the removal instructions have been fully completed. The messages displayed may be similar to the following:

Title: [FILE PATH]
Message body: Windows cannot find [FILE NAME]. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.


4. To delete the value from the registry
Important: 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 subkeys only. For instructions refer to the document: How to make a backup of the Windows registry.
  1. Click Start > Run.
  2. Type regedit
  3. Click OK.

    Note: If the registry editor fails to open the threat may have modified the registry to prevent access to the registry editor. Security Response has developed a tool to resolve this problem. Download and run this tool, and then continue with the removal.

  4. Navigate to the subkey:

    "SonudMan" = "Windir%\SonudMan.exe"

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurretVersion\Run
  5. In the right pane, reset to previous value:

    "SonudMan" = "Windir%\SonudMan.exe"

  6. Navigate to the subkey:

    HKEY_CLASSES_LOOT\txtfile\shell\open\command
  7. In the right pane, reset to previous value:

    "(Default)" = "%System%\he1p.exe"%1""

  8. Navigate to the subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\system

  9. In the right pane, reset to previous value:

    "DisableTaskMgr" = "1"

  10. Navigate to the subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\TypedURLs

    in the right pane, delete the values:

    "url1" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "url2" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"
    "url3" = "[CONTENTS OF DOWNLOADED FILE]"

  11. Exit the registry.


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

For additional information, or if this procedure does not work, read the Microsoft® Knowledge Base article: Home Page Setting Changes Unexpectedly, or You Cannot Change Your Home Page Setting, Article ID 320159 .


6. To reset the Internet Explorer search page
Follow the instructions for your version of Windows.

Windows 98/Me/2000
  1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  2. Click the Search button on the toolbar.
  3. In the Search pane, click Customize.
  4. Click Reset.
  5. Click Autosearch Settings.
  6. Select a search site from the drop-down list, and then click OK.
  7. Click OK.

Windows XP
Because Windows XP is set by default to use animated characters in the search, how you do this can vary. Read all the instructions before you start.
  1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  2. Click the Search button on the toolbar.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • If the pane that opens looks similar to the following picture, click the word Customize and proceed to step h:




    • If the pane that opens has the words "Search Companion" at the top, and the center looks similar to the following picture, click the Change preferences link and proceed with step d.




  4. Click the Change Internet search behavior link.
  5. Under "Internet Search Behavior," click With Classic Internet Search.
  6. Click OK. Then close Internet Explorer. (Close the program for the change to take effect.)
  7. Start Internet Explorer. When the search pane opens, it should look similar to the following picture:





    Click the word Customize, and then proceed with the next step.

  8. In the Search pane, click Customize.
  9. Click Reset.
  10. Click Autosearch Settings.
  11. Select a search site from the drop-down list, and then click OK.
  12. Click OK.
  13. Do one of the following:
    • If you were using (or want to continue using) the "Classic Internet Search" panel, stop here (or proceed with the next section).
    • If you want to go back to the "Search Companion" search (it usually has an animated character at the button), proceed with step n.

  14. Click the word Customize again.
  15. In the "Customize Search Settings" window, click Use Search Companion > OK.
  16. Close Internet Explorer. The next time you open it, it will again use the Search Companion.


Writeup By: Hatsuho Honda