TROJ_SCONATO.A

Malware type: Trojan

Aliases: Trojan.Win32.Sconato.b (Kaspersky), Keylog-Sconato (McAfee), Trojan.Sconato (Symantec), TR/Sconato.A.1 (Avira), Troj/Sconato-B (Sophos),

In the wild: Yes

Destructive: No

Language: English

Platform: Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP

Encrypted: No

Overall risk rating:

Reported infections:

Damage potential:

Low

Distribution potential:

Low

Description: 

This Trojan installs Browser Helper Object (BHO) to target machines. The said BHO enables it to log user keystrokes, monitor sites visited by users, as well as get system information. It then sends gathered information via email to BHO creators in Russia.

BHOs are programs installed unknowingly on affected systems. They are designed to run automatically every system startup to monitor user activity.

It runs on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, and XP.

For additional information about this threat, see:

Description created: Jul. 22, 2004 11:42:24 AM GMT -0800
Description updated: Jul. 31, 2004 1:39:03 PM GMT -0800


TECHNICAL DETAILS


Size of malware: 53,760 Bytes (compressed);
100,592 Bytes (uncompressed)

Initial samples received on: Jul 22, 2004

Details:

This Trojan installs Browser Helper Object (BHO) to target machines. The said BHO enables this it to log user keystrokes, monitor sites visited by users, as well as get system information. It then sends gathered information via email to BHO creators in Russia.

BHOs are programs installed unknowingly on affected systems. They are designed to run automatically every system startup to monitor user activity.

Upon execution, it drops the following .DLL files in the Windows systems folder:

  • SYSCONNECT.DLL (BHO component)
  • WINMGMT.DLL (Keylogger).

(Note: The Windows system folder is usually C:\Windows\System on Windows 95, 98 and ME, C:\WINNT\System32 on Windows NT and 2000, and C:\Windows\System32 on Windows XP.)

It creates the following registry entries to install itself as a valid Browser Helper Object:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{%generated_ID%}\InProcServer32
Default = "%malware path%\sysconnect.DLL"

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{%generated_ID%}\InProcServer32
ThreadingModel = "Apartment"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Installer
InstallerParameters = "hex: %generated_hex_value%"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\ShellServiceObjectDelayLoad
SysConnect = "{%generated_ID%}"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\CLSID\
{%generated_ID%}\InProcServer32
Default = "%malware path%\sysconnect.DLL"

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\CLSID\
{%generated_ID%}\InProcServer32
ThreadingModel = "Apartment"

It also creates the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer

(Note: %malware path% is a variable directory, where the malware is located.
%generated ID% refers to a variable alphanumeric ID generated by this malware.
%generated_hex_value% is a variable registry entry generated by InstallerParameters entry.)

It arrives UPX-compressed. It has varying file size depending on which component it drops. It has the following file size details:

  • 28,672 bytes � SYSCONNECT.DLL
  • 8,708 bytes � WINMGMT.DLL

It also drops either the file NATO.DOC, containing an article entitled "NATO, Iraq and the German-American Waltz", or the file #3004-19-07-2004.DOC, which contains the article "The North Atlantic Treaty", in the Windows temporary folder.




Analysis by: Bernard Sapaden


SOLUTION


Minimum scan engine version needed: 6.810

Pattern file needed: 1.948.14

Pattern release date: Jul 22, 2004


Important note: The "Minimum scan engine" refers to the earliest Trend Micro scan engine version guaranteed to detect this threat. However, Trend Micro strongly recommends that you update to the latest version in order to get comprehensive protection. Download the latest scan engine here.

Solution:

Identifying the Malware Program

NOTE: Before proceeding to any of the following steps, close the Internet Explorer.

To remove this malware, first identify the malware program.

  1. Scan your system with your Trend Micro antivirus product.
  2. NOTE all files detected as TROJ_SCONATO.A.

Trend Micro customers need to download the latest pattern file before scanning their system. Other users can use Housecall, Trend Micro�s free online virus scanner.

Restarting in Safe Mode

� On Windows 95

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Press F8 at the Starting Windows 95 message.
  3. Choose Safe Mode from the Windows 95 Startup Menu then press Enter.

� On Windows 98 and ME

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Press the CTRL key until the Windows 98 startup menu appears.
  3. Choose the Safe Mode option then press Enter.

� On Windows NT (VGA mode)

  1. Click Start>Settings>Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the System icon.
  3. Click the Startup/Shutdown tab.
  4. Set the Show List field to 10 seconds and click OK to save this change.
  5. Shut down and restart your computer.
  6. Select VGA mode from the startup menu.

� On Windows 2000

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Press the F8 key, when you see the Starting Windows bar at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Choose the Safe Mode option from the Windows Advanced Options Menu then press Enter.

� On Windows XP

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Press F8 after the Power-On Self Test (POST) is done. If the Windows Advanced Options Menu does not appear, try restarting and then pressing F8 several times after the POST screen.
  3. Choose the Safe Mode option from the Windows Advanced Options Menu then press Enter.

Note: After performing all the solutions for the removal of this malware, please restart your system normally, and run your Trend Micro antivirus product.

Editing the Registry

This malware modifies the system's registry. Users affected by this malware may need to modify or delete specific registry keys or entries. For detailed information regarding registry editing, please refer to the following articles from Microsoft:

  1. HOW TO: Backup, Edit, and Restore the Registry in Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME
  2. HOW TO: Backup, Edit, and Restore the Registry in Windows NT 4.0
  3. HOW TO: Backup, Edit, and Restore the Registry in Windows 2000
  4. HOW TO: Back Up, Edit, and Restore the Registry in Windows XP and 2003

Removing Autostart Entries from the Registry

Removing autostart entries from the registry prevents the malware from executing at startup.

  1. Open Registry Editor. Click Start>Run, type REGEDIT, then press Enter.
  2. In the left panel, click My Computer.
  3. In the menu bar, click Edit>Find, then type the file name of the malware detected earlier.
    ex. SYSCONNECT.DLL
    This will give the result that points to the CLSID key installed by the malware.
    ex. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\
    {5844C980-D5F0-11D8-8317-000C800DBAB8}\InProcServer32
    @ = "C:\Windows\System\sysconnect.DLL"
  4. In the menu bar, click Edit>Find, and type the CLSID mentioned above.
    ex. {5844C980-D5F0-11D8-8317-000C800DBAB8}
  5. Delete all keys found.
  6. Repeat procedures 1 and 2 until all the CLSID installed by the malware are deleted.
  7. Close Registry editor.
  8. Restart your computer.

NOTE: If you were not able to terminate the malware process as described in the previous procedure, restart your system.

Resetting Internet Explorer Home Page and Search Page

This procedure restores the Internet Explorer home page and search page to the default settings.

  1. Close all Internet Explorer windows.
  2. Open Control Panel. Click Start>Settings>Control Panel.
  3. Double-click the Internet Options icon.
  4. In the Internet Properties window, click the Programs tab.
  5. Click the Reset Web Settings� button.
  6. Select Also reset my home page. Click Yes.
  7. Click OK.

Important Windows ME/XP Cleaning Instructions

Users running Windows ME and XP must disable System Restore to allow full scanning of infected systems.

Users running other Windows versions can proceed with the succeeding procedure set(s).

Running Trend Micro Antivirus

Scan your system with Trend Micro antivirus and delete files detected as TROJ_SCONATO.A. To do this, Trend Micro customers must download the latest virus pattern file and scan their system. Other Internet users can use HouseCall, Trend Micro's online virus scanner.




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