Monthly Archives: August 2009

TrojanHunter 5.2 Released

TrojanHunter 5.2 has been released!


TrojanHunter 5.2 Build 987 (Released 2009-08-27)

* Added detection of hidden Internet Explorer processes launched via COM automation
* Added trojan mutex detection
* Added bug reporting option if TrojanHunter crashes
* Added detection of suspicious svchost processes
* Added “This is a list of all the trojans TrojanHunter currently detects” label to Trojans page
* The Exit button is back
* Fixed bug with TrojanHunter Guard appearing at desktop center when using two monitors

Fake Adobe Flash Player Monitors Your Google Searches

We found a new one today that’s pretty interesting.

Detected by TrojanHunter as TrojanClicker.VB.395, this piece of malware purports to be an updater for your Adobe Flash installation. When run, it goes through the motions of updating the Flash player, and most users will think nothing of it. The installer for this seems to be spread via forum posts that use JavaScript to link to the malware.

Update: This is what the malicious pop-up looks like:

Cheekily, the malware asks you to shut down Firefox if it’s running during the installation. The reason for this is that it installs a Firefox plugin. Upon restarting Firefox after the malware is installed you will see this:

This shows that a new Firefox extension has been installed. And it does look pretty legitimate, doesn’t it? The GUID for the extension is 191d3f14-ff4c-4895-bdea-db54526cb49a and the extension’s name and version number is “Adobe Flash Player 0.2″.

So what does this extension do? It, in conjunction with a trojan executable named smc.exe, monitors all your Google searches and sends them off to the server where the keywords you search for will be stored in a database. The Firefox extension will inject ads into the web pages you view based on the keywords, but the bigger threat to privacy is of course that anything you search for will be recorded at a malicious server. Many users will Google their own name from time to time, which makes it possible to identify individual users along with their search queries.

So how do you know if you have this trojan on your system? Any of these signs indicate that you’re infected:

  • A running process named smc.exe Edit: Sygate Firewall also uses this process name so this is not a reliable indicator of infection.
  • A Firefox plugin named “Adobe Flash Player 0.2″
  • Having recently installed a file called install_flash_player.exe or Install_Flash.exe from an unknown source

Of course, TrojanHunter detects this as well so you can use it to check for and clean out any infection.

Update: Further research has shown that this malware also monitors all URLs you visit in Internet Explorer and submits them to the malware creator’s server. So this is worse than we initially thought. If you have this on your system then you basically have no privacy left.

TrojanHunter 5.2 Coming Soon

Just a heads-up to let you know that TrojanHunter 5.2 will go into beta soon with a final version release hopefully before the end of August. Just to give you a taste of what’s changed, here’s an excerpt from WhatsNew.txt:

TrojanHunter 5.2 Build 9xx (Released 2009-)

* Added detection of hidden Internet Explorer processes launched via COM automation
* Added trojan mutex detection
* Added bug reporting option if TrojanHunter crashes
* Added detection of suspicious svchost processes

“Image File Execution Options” is an Evil Registry Key

Came across a variant of Antivirus XP today that uses a particularly nasty way to ensure reinfection. It adds new subkeys to the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options. The subkeys are the names of common programs such as notepad.exe or zonealarm.exe. It then adds a debugger value for each file, like so:

  HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\
    Image File Execution Options\zonealarm.exe\Debugger = "svchost.exe"

This means that everytime you try to launch ZoneAlarm.exe, svchost.exe will be launced instead - and in this case that is a trojan executable.

Thinking of adding TrojanHunter detection for any Image File Execution Options sub-key that has a Debugger value… it’s not that common on user systems.

WordPress Password Reset Vulnerability

A vulnerability affects WordPress installations with a version number of 2.8.3 and below.

When you want to reset your admin password (because you have forgotten it), you get sent a link by WordPress that looks like the following:

The key argument is there to ensure that only the person who received the email can reset the password. The exploits consists of sending a request string that looks like key[]=. This passes an array to the WordPress PHP script and thus bypasses the need for the key.

Technical details on the exploit are available over at