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Threat Encyclopedia

TROJ_FAKEAL.GG

ANALYSIS BY

Christopher Daniel So


ALIASES:

Trojan:Win32/Tibs (Microsoft); Trojan.FakeAV!gen36 (Symantec); FakeAlert-AntiVirusPro.gen.f (McAfee); Trojan-Downloader.Win32.FraudLoad.xxoq (Kaspersky); W32/FakeAlert.PCK!tr (Fortinet)

PLATFORM:

Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003

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

  • Threat Type:Trojan

  • Destructiveness:No

  • Encrypted: Yes

  • In the wild: Yes

OVERVIEW


It displays fake alerts that warn users hard drive errors. It also displays fake system diagnostics results of the affected system. It then asks for users to purchase it once scanning is completed. If users decide to purchase the rogue product, users are directed to a website asking for sensitive information, such as credit card numbers.

This Trojan may be unknowingly downloaded by a user while visiting malicious websites.

It adds registry entries to enable its automatic execution at every system startup.

It connects to a website to send and receive information.

It modifies the Internet Explorer Zone Settings.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

File Size:

Varies

File Type:

PE

Memory Resident:

Yes

Initial Samples Received Date:

08 Jan 2011

Payload:

Connects to URLs/Ips; Displays fake alerts

Arrival Details

This Trojan may be unknowingly downloaded by a user while visiting malicious websites.

Installation

This Trojan drops the following copies of itself into the affected system:

  • %User Temp%\tmp3.tmp
  • %User Temp%\upd32.exe

(Note: %User Temp% is the current user's Temp folder, which is usually C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Local Settings\Temp on Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003.)

It drops the following files:

  • %User Temp%\{random number}.exe - also detected as TROJ_FAKEAL.GG
  • %User Temp%\upd32.dll - also detected as TROJ_FAKEAL.GG
  • {malware path}\{random number}.exe - also detected as TROJ_FAKEAL.GG
  • %User Temp%\{random number}
  • %Start Menu%\Programs\System Defragmenter\System Defragmenter.lnk
  • %Desktop%\System Defragmenter.lnk

(Note: %User Temp% is the current user's Temp folder, which is usually C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Local Settings\Temp on Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003.. %Start Menu% is the current user's Start Menu folder, which is usually C:\Windows\Profiles\{user name}\Start Menu on Windows 98 and ME, C:\WINNT\Profiles\{user name}\Start Menu on Windows NT and C:\Windows\Start Menu or C:\Documents and Settings\{User name}\Start Menu on Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003.. %Desktop% is the current user's desktop, which is usually C:\Windows\Profiles\{user name}\Desktop on Windows 98 and ME, C:\WINNT\Profiles\{user name}\Desktop on Windows NT, and C:\Documents and Settings\{User Name}\Desktop on Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003.)

Autostart Technique

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

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
upd32.exe = %User Temp%\upd32.exe

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
{random number} = %User Temp%\{random number}.exe

Other System Modifications

This Trojan adds the following registry entries:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings
WarnOnZoneCrossing = 0

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Internet Explorer\Main
Use FormSuggest = Yes

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft
BootData = %User Temp%\{random number}.exe

Backdoor Routine

This Trojan connects to the following websites to send and receive information:

  • http://{BLOCKED}ullvic.com/readdatagateway.php

Web Browser Home Page and Search Page Modification

This Trojan modifies the Internet Explorer Zone Settings.

Other Details

This Trojan does the following:

  • Displays fake alerts, such as the following:









  • Displays fake warning on hard drive errors. It also displays fake system diagnostics results of the affected system. It then asks for users to purchase it once scanning is completed. If users decide to purchase the rogue product, users are directed to the following website asking for sensitive information, such as credit card numbers:
    • http://{BLOCKED}e.defragmentetorstore.com/secure/payments

SOLUTION

Minimum Scan Engine:

8.900

FIRST VSAPI PATTERN FILE:

7.752.19

FIRST VSAPI PATTERN DATE:

08 Jan 2011

Step 1

For Windows ME and XP users, before doing any scans, please make sure you disable System Restore to allow full scanning of your computer.

Step 2

Scan your computer with your Trend Micro product and note files detected as TROJ_FAKEAL.GG

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_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • upd32.exe = %User Temp%\upd32.exe
  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • {random number} = %User Temp%\{random number}.exe
  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings
    • WarnOnZoneCrossing = 0
  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
    • Use FormSuggest = Yes
  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft
    • BootData = %User Temp%\{random number}.exe

Step 5

Search and delete this file

[ Learn More ]
There may be some component 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.
  • %User Temp%\{random number}
  • %Start Menu%\Programs\System Defragmenter\System Defragmenter.lnk
  • %Desktop%\System Defragmenter.lnk

Step 6

Reset Internet security settings

[ Learn More ]

Step 7

Search and delete the file detected as TROJ_FAKEAL.GG

[ Learn More ]
Please make sure you check the Search Hidden Files and Folders checkbox in the More advanced options option to include all hidden files in the search result.

Step 8

Restart in normal mode and scan your computer with your Trend Micro product for files detected as TROJ_FAKEAL.GG 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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