Threat Encyclopedia

ADW_PRICEGONG

Publish date: February 05, 2013

ANALYSIS BY

Jaime Benigno Reyes

     MODIFIED BY

     Rommel Abraham Joven


ALIASES:

PUP.Optional.SmartWeb.A(Malwarebytes);AdWare.Win32.PriceGong.a(Kaspersky); Riskware/PriceGong(Fortinet)

PLATFORM:

Windows

OVERALL RISK RATING:
DAMAGE POTENTIAL:
DISTRIBUTION POTENTIAL:
REPORTED INFECTION:
INFORMATION EXPOSURE:

  • Threat Type:Adware

  • Destructiveness:No

  • Encrypted:

  • In the wild: Yes

OVERVIEW


This adware arrives on a system as a file dropped by other malware or as a file downloaded unknowingly by users when visiting malicious sites.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

File Size:

759,544 bytes

File Type:

EXE

Memory Resident:

Yes

Initial Samples Received Date:

04 Jun 2015

Arrival Details

This adware arrives on a system as a file dropped by other malware or as a file downloaded unknowingly by users when visiting malicious sites.

Installation

This adware drops the following files:

  • %AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\SmartWebApp.exe
  • %AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\swhk.dll
  • %User Startup%\SmartWeb.lnk
  • %Windows%\Tasks\SmartWeb Upgrade Trigger Task.job
  • %AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\uninst.lnk
  • %AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\__u.exe

(Note: %AppDataLocal% is the Application Data folder found in Local Settings, where it is usually C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Local Settings\Application Data on Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP (32- and 64-bit); C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Local on Windows Vista (32- and 64-bit), Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit), Windows 8 (32- and 64-bit), Windows 8.1 (32- and 64-bit), Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012.. %User Startup% is the current user's Startup folder, which is usually C:\Windows\Profiles\{user name}\Start Menu\Programs\Startup on Windows 98 and ME, C:\WINNT\Profiles\{user name}\Start Menu\Programs\Startup on Windows NT, and C:\Documents and Settings\{User name}\Start Menu\Programs\Startup.. %Windows% is the Windows folder, where it usually is C:\Windows on all Windows operating system versions.)

It drops and executes the following files:

  • %AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\SmartWebHelper.exe

(Note: %AppDataLocal% is the Application Data folder found in Local Settings, where it is usually C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Local Settings\Application Data on Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP (32- and 64-bit); C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Local on Windows Vista (32- and 64-bit), Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit), Windows 8 (32- and 64-bit), Windows 8.1 (32- and 64-bit), Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012.)

Autostart Technique

This adware adds the following registry entries to enable its automatic execution at every system startup:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
SmartWeb = "%AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\SmartWebHelper.exe"

Other System Modifications

This adware adds the following registry keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SmartWeb\
Settings -> {For Windows XP and lower versions}

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AppDataLow\
Software\SmartWeb\Settings -> {For Windows Vista and higher versions}

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
SmartWeb

It adds the following registry entries:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SmartWeb\
Settings
current_user = "{GUID}"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SmartWeb\
Settings
local_machine = "{Data}"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SmartWeb\
Settings
dist_id = "{Data}"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SmartWeb\
Settings
sub_dist_id = "-"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SmartWeb\
Settings
installed = "1"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
SmartWeb
DisplayName = "SmartWeb"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
SmartWeb
DisplayIcon = "%AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\__u.exe"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
SmartWeb
UninstallString = "%AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\__u.exe _?=%AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
SmartWeb
DisplayVersion = "{Data}"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
SmartWeb
URLInfoAbout = "http://www.Smart-Web.me"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
SmartWeb
Publisher = "SoftBrain Technologies Ltd."

Other Details

This adware connects to the following possibly malicious URL:

  • settings.{BLOCKED}eb.me
  • upgrade.{BLOCKED}eb.me

SOLUTION

Minimum Scan Engine:

9.750

FIRST VSAPI PATTERN FILE:

1.614.44

FIRST VSAPI PATTERN DATE:

17 Feb 2015

VSAPI OPR PATTERN File:

1.615.00

VSAPI OPR PATTERN Date:

18 Feb 2015

Step 1

Note that not all files, folders, and registry keys and entries are installed on your computer during this malware's/spyware's/grayware's execution. This may be due to incomplete installation or other operating system conditions. If you do not find the same files/folders/registry information, please proceed to the next step.

Step 2

Before doing any scans, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users must disable System Restore to allow full scanning of their computers.

Step 3

Restart in Safe Mode

[ Learn More ]

Step 4

Delete this registry value

[ Learn More ]

Important: Editing the Windows Registry incorrectly can lead to irreversible system malfunction. Please do this step only if you know how or you can ask assistance from your system administrator. Else, check this Microsoft article first before modifying your computer's registry.


 
  • In HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • SmartWeb

Step 5

Delete this registry key

[ Learn More ]

Important: Editing the Windows Registry incorrectly can lead to irreversible system malfunction. Please do this step only if you know how or you can ask assistance from your system administrator. Else, check this Microsoft article first before modifying your computer's registry.


  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AppDataLow\Software
    • SmartWeb -> {Windows Vista and higher}
  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software
    • SmartWeb - > {Windows XP and lower}
  • In HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
    • SmartWeb

Step 6

Search and delete this file

[ Learn More ]
There may be some files that are hidden. Please make sure you check the Search Hidden Files and Folders checkbox in the "More advanced options" option to include all hidden files and folders in the search result.
  • %AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\SmartWebApp.exe
  • %AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\swhk.dll
  • %User Startup%\SmartWeb.lnk
  • %Windows%\Tasks\SmartWeb Upgrade Trigger Task.job
  • %AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\uninst.lnk
  • %AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\__u.exe
  • %AppDataLocal%\SmartWeb\SmartWebHelper.exe

Step 7

Restart in normal mode and scan your computer with your Trend Micro product for files detected as ADW_PRICEGONG. If the detected files have already been cleaned, deleted, or quarantined by your Trend Micro product, no further step is required. You may opt to simply delete the quarantined files. Please check this Knowledge Base page for more information.


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