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destructive rootkits


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#1 muuji

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 02:21 AM

how can I find out if my computer is infected with a destructive-type rootkit?
I've been reading elsewhere that if my system is infected with such a thing the only sure way to get rid of it is to do a complete (clean) reinstall or new install of the operating system.
Is this the view of those in the know here?
I've been having problems with my Nortons security suite, as outlined in another post here. I sought advice on the Nortons forum and was directed here for expert assistance :thumbsup: I've had advice from that forum that my problem may well be related to the presence of a rootkit. If this is the case, as I'm inclined to agree with (following my reading around on bleepingcomputer over the last few hours, I've run some malware and spyware detectors and my computer is/was seemingly harboring around 50 infections, which I think I've removed), will a clean install of Win7 fix this? I'm currently running Vista, but have recently bought Win7 and am intending to do a clean install within the next few days. Is this advisable?
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#2 quietman7

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:10 AM

Rootkits are very dangerous because they compromise system integrity by making changes that allow it to be used be the attacker for malicious purposes. Rootkits are used be Trojans to conceal its presence (hide from view) in order to prevent detection of an attacker's software and make removal more difficult. Many rootkits can hook into the Windows 32-bit kernel, and patch several APIs to hide new registry keys and files they install. They can disable your anti-virus and security tools to prevent detection and removal. Remote attackers use backdoors as a means of accessing and taking control of a computer that bepasses security mechanisms. This type of exploit allows them to steal sensitive information like passwords, personal and financial data which is send back to the hacker. To learn more about these types of infections, you can refer to:Although an infection can be identified and removed, the machine has likely been compromised and there is no way to be sure the computer can ever be trusted again. It is dangerous and incorrect to assume the computer is secure even if the malware appears to have been removed. In some instances an infection may have caused so much damage to your system that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired so you can never be sure that you have completely removed a rootkit. The malware may leave so many remnants behind that security tools cannot find them. Tools that claim to be able to remove rootkits cannot guarantee that all traces of it will be removed. Many experts in the security community believe that once infected with this type of malware, the best course of action is to wipe the drive clean, reformat and reinstall the OS. Please read:With that said, we don't even know if you are dealing with a rootkit at this point. What security programs have you used thus far and what type of infections were found?
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#3 muuji

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 07:15 PM

Thanks for that excellent information, quietman7.
I have Nortons Internet Security 2010 - well, at least I had it! As I said, it appears to have been disabled or uninstalled - it is not running the daily scheduled scans and I cannot access it. I can see the files in my programs, but the various sub-folders are either empty or do not respond when I try to open them or when I click on NIS instead of it opening up the suite of various functions (such as firewall, anti-virus and so on) i get directed to Norton's One-Click support.
Two days ago I ran Sophos Anti-Rootkit and this is what it found:
one hidden registry key, details:

Area: Windows registry
Description: Hidden registry key
Location: \HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-18\Software\Microsoft\CTF\Assemblies\0x00000409
Removable: No
Notes: (no more detail available)


and 12 unknown hidden files. all but one appear to be connected with the email address of a family member who occasionally emails photos to me, details (several are like this, just with some slightly different numbers):

Area: Local hard drives
Description: Unknown hidden file
Location: C:\Users\Lin jie & Hennie\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Messenger\muuji93@hotmail.com\SharingMetadata\jlow17@hotmail.com\DFSR\Staging\CS{997BD71C-C110-DE4A-0A01-B06EBD80643A}\12\112-{30737C82-D7E7-46D9-9797-A575DACE8AB1}-v112-{30737C82-D7E7-46D9-9797-A575DACE8AB1}-v112-Downloaded.frx
Removable: Yes (but clean up not recommended for this file)
Notes: (no more detail available)


and the other one is like this:

Area: Local hard drives
Description: Unknown hidden file
Location: C:\Users\Lin jie & Hennie\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\2CLP45IV\index[1].gif
Removable: Yes (but clean up not recommended for this file)
Notes: (no more detail available)


I did not remove these because the Sophos report recommended against it as you can see. I first assumed that this meant that there is nothing to worry about with these hidden files, but when I consulted the Sophos help page it says this:

The names of suspicious files are displayed in the results list in the upper panel of the Sophos Anti-Rootkit window.

The results list may also display registry keys or values. These items cannot be marked for removal. However, after you have cleaned up any rootkits, these items will disappear from the results list.

To clean up rootkits:

Click the name of a suspicious file or process to display information about it. The information displayed includes whether the item is recommended for removal: Option Description
Removable: No These files cannot be marked for removal.
Removable: Yes (clean up recommended) These files are automatically marked for removal by default. Sophos recommends that you remove them.
Removable: Yes (but clean up not recommended for this file) These files are not automatically marked for removal. Sophos does not recognize these files and recommends that you do not remove them.

If you are unsure what to do about some of these files, follow the instructions in Technical Support to send the log and archive files to Sophos for further analysis.


The information displayed may also tell you whether there is a description of the file. To view the description of the file, go to the Sophos website at www.sophos.com, type the name of the file in the Search box at the top of the home page, and then click the Search button.


So perhaps they are dangerous - Sophos just does not recognise them, so perhaps I should remove them, because, interestingly, I have just run Sophos again and this time it reported the same hidden registry key, and 38 unknown hidden files (up from 12). Again, two seem to be associated with Temporary Internet files and the other 36 with that same family member's email address. I have not received an email from her for several months.

I also ran Malwarebytes which detected 50 infections. This is the report:

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.44
Database version: 3510
Windows 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2
Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18865

16/01/2010 11:46:36 AM
mbam-log-2010-01-16 (11-46-36).txt

Scan type: Full Scan (C:\|D:\|E:\|H:\|)
Objects scanned: 280365
Time elapsed: 43 minute(s), 26 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 46
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 1
Files Infected: 3

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{2e9937fc-cf2f-4f56-af54-5a6a3dd375cc} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{741de825-a6f0-4497-9aa6-8023cf9b0fff} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{cf54be1c-9359-4395-8533-1657cf209cfe} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{147a976f-eee1-4377-8ea7-4716e4cdd239} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Typelib\{d518921a-4a03-425e-9873-b9a71756821e} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{56256a51-b582-467e-b8d4-7786eda79ae0} (Trojan.Vundo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{00a6faf1-072e-44cf-8957-5838f569a31d} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{07b18ea1-a523-4961-b6bb-170de4475cca} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{07b18ea9-a523-4961-b6bb-170de4475cca} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{07b18eab-a523-4961-b6bb-170de4475cca} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{1d4db7d2-6ec9-47a3-bd87-1e41684e07bb} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{1e0de227-5ce4-4ea3-ab0c-8b03e1aa76bc} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{25560540-9571-4d7b-9389-0f166788785a} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{3dc201fb-e9c9-499c-a11f-23c360d7c3f8} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{3e720452-b472-4954-b7aa-33069eb53906} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{63d0ed2c-b45b-4458-8b3b-60c69bbbd83c} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{7473d294-b7bb-4f24-ae82-7e2ce94bb6a9} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{98d9753d-d73b-42d5-8c85-4469cda897ab} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{9ff05104-b030-46fc-94b8-81276e4e27df} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{e79dfbca-5697-4fbd-94e5-5b2a9c7c1612} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{b69a9db4-d0a1-4722-b56b-f20757a29cdf} (Trojan.Agent) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{00a6faf1-072e-44cf-8957-5838f569a31d} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{07b18ea1-a523-4961-b6bb-170de4475cca} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{07b18ea9-a523-4961-b6bb-170de4475cca} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{07b18eab-a523-4961-b6bb-170de4475cca} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{1e0de227-5ce4-4ea3-ab0c-8b03e1aa76bc} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{25560540-9571-4d7b-9389-0f166788785a} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{3dc201fb-e9c9-499c-a11f-23c360d7c3f8} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{3e720452-b472-4954-b7aa-33069eb53906} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{63d0ed2c-b45b-4458-8b3b-60c69bbbd83c} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{7473d294-b7bb-4f24-ae82-7e2ce94bb6a9} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{98d9753d-d73b-42d5-8c85-4469cda897ab} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{9ff05104-b030-46fc-94b8-81276e4e27df} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{e79dfbca-5697-4fbd-94e5-5b2a9c7c1612} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{b69a9db4-d0a1-4722-b56b-f20757a29cdf} (Trojan.Agent) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Code Store Database\Distribution Units\{1d4db7d2-6ec9-47a3-bd87-1e41684e07bb} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\ElevationPolicy\{59c7fc09-1c83-4648-b3e6-003d2bbc7481} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\ElevationPolicy\{68af847f-6e91-45dd-9b68-d6a12c30e5d7} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\ElevationPolicy\{9170b96c-28d4-4626-8358-27e6caeef907} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\ElevationPolicy\{d1a71fa0-ff48-48dd-9b6d-7a13a3e42127} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\ElevationPolicy\{ddb1968e-ead6-40fd-8dae-ff14757f60c7} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\ElevationPolicy\{f138d901-86f0-4383-99b6-9cdd406036da} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{56256a51-b582-467e-b8d4-7786eda79ae0} (Trojan.Vundo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\PreApproved\{1d4db7d2-6ec9-47a3-bd87-1e41684e07bb} (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\RunDll32Policy\f3ScrCtr.dll (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Multimedia\WMPlayer\Schemes\f3pss (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
C:\Program Files\Live_TV (Trojan.Agent) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Files Infected:
C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger\msimg32.dll (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger\riched20.dll (Adware.MyWebSearch) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Users\Lin jie & Hennie\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\pse_350_enu.exe (Trojan.Agent) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.


Muuji

#4 quietman7

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 08:30 PM

Not all hidden components detected by ARKs are malicious. It is normal for a Firewall, some Anti-virus and Anti-malware software (ProcessGuard, Prevx1, AVG AS), sandboxes, virtual machines and Host based Intrusion Prevention Systems (HIPS) to hook into the OS kernal/SSDT in order to protect your system. SSDT (System Service Descriptor Table) is a table that stores addresses of functions that are used by Windows. Whenever a function is called, Windows looks in this table to find the address for it. Both Legitimate programs and rootkits can hook into and alter this table. You should not be alarmed if you see any hidden entries created by legitimate programs after performing a scan.

Some files are locked by the operating system or running programs during use for protection, so scanners cannot access them. When the scanner finds such a file, it makes a note and then just skips to the next one. API Kernel hooks are not always bad since some system monitoring software and security tools use them as well. If no hooks are active on a system it means that all system services are handled by ntoskrnl.exe which is a base component of Windows operating systems and the process used in the boot-up cycle of a computer.

Rescan again with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Quick Scan) in normal mode and check all items found for removal. Don't forgot to check for database definition updates through the program's interface (preferable method) before scanning and to reboot afterwards. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware. When done, click the Logs tab and copy/paste the contents of the new report in your next reply.

The database in your previous log shows 3510. Last I checked it was 3585.

If you cannot update through the program's interface and have already manually downloaded the latest definitions (mbam-rules.exe) shown on this page, be aware that mbam-rules.exe is not updated daily. Another way to get the most current database definitions if you're having problems updating, is to install MBAM on a clean computer, launch the program, update through MBAM's interface, copy the definitions (rules.ref) to a USB stick or CD and transfer that file to the infected machine. Copy rules.ref to the location indicated for your operating system. If you cannot see the folder, then you may have to Reconfigure Windows to show it.
  • XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Vista: C:\Documents and Settings\Users\All Users\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

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