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Adware.CoolWebSearch

Adware.CoolWebSearch

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Risk Impact:
High
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.CoolWebSearch is a program that redirects your Internet Explorer searches.

Symptoms


Your Symantec antivirus program detects this threat as Adware.CoolWebSearch.

Behavior


This Adware program must be manually installed or installed as a component of another program.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version July 19, 2017 revision 020
  • Initial Daily Certified version August 18, 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version July 20, 2017 revision 001
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date August 18, 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Adware.CoolWebSearch is executed, it performs the following actions:
  1. Copies itself as %System%\Services\<executed filename>.

    Note: %System% is a variable that refers to the System folder. By default, this is C:\Windows\System (Windows 95/98/Me), C:\Winnt\System32 (Windows NT/2000), or C:\Windows\System32 (Windows XP).

  2. Creates the following entry in the file %Windir%\System.ini:

    [windows]
    load=%sysdir%\services\<executed filename>

  3. Adds the value:

    "xpsystem"="%System%\services\<executed filename>"

    to the following registry keys:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the adware runs when Windows is started.

  4. Adds the value:

    "run"="%Sysdir%\services\<executed filename>"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

    so that the adware runs when Windows NT/2000/XP is started.

  5. Registers itself as a Browser Helper Object, by adding the subkey:

    {5321E378-FFAD-4999-8C62-03CA8155F0B3}

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects

    and setting multiple values in the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{5321E378-FFAD-4999-8C62-03CA8155F0B3}

  6. Adds the values:

    ProxyEnabled = 0
    MigrateProxy = 1
    ProxyEnabled = 0

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings

  7. Adds the value:

    ProxyBypass = 1
    IntranetNames = 1
    UNCAIntranet = 1

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap

  8. May redirect search queries made in Microsoft Internet Explorer to an advertising Web site.



The following instructions pertain to all Symantec antivirus products that support Security Risk detection.
  1. Update the definitions.
  2. Close all open Internet Explorer windows.
  3. Run a full system scan.
  4. Delete the values that were added to the registry.
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. To update the definitions
To obtain the most recent definitions, start your Symantec program and run LiveUpdate.

2. To close all open Internet Explorer windows
Because Adware.CoolWebSearch functions as a Microsoft Internet Explorer plugin, it is necessary to close all the open Internet Explorer windows to remove it. If you are reading this writeup in Internet Explorer, print this writeup using our printer-friendly option at the top of the page, or write down the following instructions, and then close all the Internet Explorer windows.

3. To run the scan
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and then run a full system scan.
  2. If any files are detected as Adware.CoolWebSearch and depending on which software version you are using, you may see one or more of the following options:


    Note: This applies only to versions of Norton AntiVirus that support Security Risk detection. If you are running a version of Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition that supports Security Risk detection, and Security Risk detection has been enabled, you will only see a message box that gives the results of the scan. If you have questions in this situation, contact your network administrator.
    • Exclude (Not recommended): If you click this button, it will set the threat so that it is no longer detectable. That is, the antivirus program will keep the security risk on your computer and will no longer detect it to remove from your computer.

    • Ignore or Skip: This option tells the scanner to ignore the threat for this scan only. It will be detected again the next time that you run a scan.

    • Cancel: This option is new to Norton Antivirus 2005. It is used when Norton Antivirus 2005 has determined that it cannot delete a security risk. This Cancel option tells the scanner to ignore the threat for this scan only, and thus, the threat will be detected again the next time that you run a scan.

      To actually delete the security risk:
      • Click its file name (under the Filename column).
      • In the Item Information box that displays, write down the full path and file name.
      • Then use Windows Explorer to locate and delete the file.

        If Windows reports that it cannot delete the file, this indicates that the file is in use. In this situation, complete the rest of the instructions on this page, restart the computer in Safe mode, and then delete the file using Windows Explorer.

    • Delete: This option will attempt to delete the detected files. In some cases, the scanner will not be able to do this.
      • If you see a message, "Delete Failed" (or similar message), manually delete the file.
      • Click the file name of the threat that is under the Filename column.
      • In the Item Information box that displays, write down the full path and file name.
      • Then use Windows Explorer to locate and delete the file.

        If Windows reports that it cannot delete the file, this indicates that the file is in use. In this situation, complete the rest of the instructions on this page, restart the computer in Safe mode, and then delete the file using Windows Explorer.

4. To delete the values from the registry

Important:
Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before making any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify the specified keys only. Read the document, "How to make a backup of the Windows registry ," for instructions.

  1. Click Start > Run.
  2. Type regedit

    Then click OK.

  3. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  4. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "xpsystem"=<path to the adware>

  5. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects

  6. In the left pane, delete the subkey:

    {5321E378-FFAD-4999-8C62-03CA8155F0B3}

  7. Do one of the following:
    • If you are using Windows 95/98/Me, exit the registry editor and proceed to the next section.
    • If you are using Windows NT/2000/XP, navigate to the key:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

  8. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "run"="%Sysdir%\services\<executed filename>"

  9. Exit the Registry Editor.