Threat Explorer

The Threat Explorer is a comprehensive resource consumers can turn to for daily, accurate, up-to-date information on the latest threats, risks and vulnerabilities.

Adware.CWSIEFeats

Adware.CWSIEFeats

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Risk Impact:
High
File Names:
feat2.dll,mshp.dll,systk.exe,mfceh.exe,addlv.dll,addmu32.dll,and addrm32.dll
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.CWSIEFeats is an Internet Explorer Browser Helper Object that changes various Internet Explorer default pages including the Start and Search Pages. It displays pop-up ads and downloads files without the user's knowledge, which in turn install other security risks and may cause further damage.

Symptoms


One or more files is detected as Adware.CWSIEFeats.

Behavior


Users are usually unaware the adware is being installed through some Web site.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version June 29, 2017 revision 019
  • Initial Daily Certified version December 11, 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version June 30, 2017 revision 001
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date December 15, 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Adware.CWSIEFeats is executed, it performs the following actions:
  1. Creates or downloads the following files:
    • [directory]\feat2.dll (detected as Adware.CWSIEFeats)
    • %UserProfile%\Local Setting\Temp\2.tmp (a downloader that attempts to download a file from awmdabest.com and is detected as Downloader.Trojan)
    • %System%\s.bat (a batch file dropped by 2.tmp that runs in a continuous loop in an attempt to delete 2.tmp. This causes the CMD.exe process to be active)
    • %System%\mfceh.exe (downloaded by feat2.dll after it is registered and detected as Adware.CWSIEFeats)

      Notes:
    • %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).
    • %Userprofile% is a variable that refers to the current user's profile folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User> (Windows NT/2000/XP).

  2. Creates the following files:

    • addlv.dll
    • addmu32.dll
    • addrm32.dll

  3. Creates an .html file, which replaces the about:blank file, under one of the following names:
    • %Windir%\mshp.dll
    • %Windir%kbxun.dl

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

  4. Creates a blacklist file under one of the following names:
    • %Windir%\bl.dat
    • %Windir%\mjjrr.dat

  5. Creates a file containing keywords for targeted advertising under one of the following names:
    • %Windir%\keywords.dat
    • %Windir%\jqfzv.dat
    • %Windir%\rsicgq.log

  6. The file feat2.dll downloads one of the following files and registers it as a service:
    • %Windir%\netrr.exe
    • %System%\systk.ex

  7. The file 2.tmp downloads one of the following files, which is detected as Dialer.WSV:
    • %System%\tibs3.exe
    • %System%\sbar.exe

  8. The files feat2.dll, netrr.exe, and mfceh.exe create the following registry keys when they are registered so they are run whenever Internet Explorer is started:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{E7EFBCA0-EAB9-E4C5-50C3-79622A93478A}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{676575DD-4D46-911D-8037-9B10D6EE8BB5}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{A5B6EDE1-CC5A-B569-AB04-69AC5C0B7B59}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{7A7FFD7B-4E13-D1D1-FA76-0910B513E4DE}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{E7EFBCA0-EAB9-E4C5-50C3-79622A93478A}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks\{E7EFBCA0-EAB9-E4C5-50C3-79622A93478A}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\HSA
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\SW
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\SE
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\Root\Legacy_[]*008*0010%AF*00E5*0003*0017*001A*00A4*00B6*00C0*00A8
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\[random ASCII characters]

  9. Adds the value:

    "[adware file name]" = "%Windir%\system32\[adware file name]"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the Adware runs every time Windows starts.

    Note: "[adware file name]" may be the value "mfceh.exe".

  10. Modifies or creates the following values:

    "Use Search Asst" = "no"
    "Default_Page_URL" = "about:blank"
    "StartPage" = "about:blank"
    "Defaut_Search_URL" = "res://%Windir%\mshp.dll/sp.html#37049"
    "Search Page" = "res://%Windir%\mshp.dll/sp.html#37049"
    "Search Bar" = "res://%Windir%\mshp.dll/sp.html#37049"

    in the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

    to modify the Internet Explorer start page and search pages.

  11. Modifies or creates the values:

    "Use Search Asst" = "no"
    "Start Page" = "about:blank"
    "Search Page" = "res://%Windir%\mshp.dll/sp.html#37049"
    "Search Bar" = "res://%Windir%\mshp.dll/sp.html#37049"

    in the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

    to modify the Internet Explorer start page and search pages.

  12. Modifies or creates the value:

    "SearchAssistant" = "res://%Windir%\mshp.dll/sp.html#37049"

    in the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search

    to modify the Internet Explorer search pages.



The following instructions pertain to all Symantec antivirus products that support Security Risk detection.
  1. Update the definitions.
  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. Delete the values added to the registry.
  4. Reset the Internet Explorer home page.
  5. Reset the Internet Explorer Search page.
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 run a full system scan
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and then run a full system scan.
  2. If any files are detected as Adware.CWSIEFeats 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.


3. To delete the values added to 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

  4. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "[adware file name]" = "%Windir%\system32\[adware file name]"

    Note: "[adware file name]" may be "mfceh.exe".

  5. Navigate to and delete the following registry keys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{E7EFBCA0-EAB9-E4C5-50C3-79622A93478A}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{676575DD-4D46-911D-8037-9B10D6EE8BB5}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{A5B6EDE1-CC5A-B569-AB04-69AC5C0B7B59}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{7A7FFD7B-4E13-D1D1-FA76-0910B513E4DE}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{E7EFBCA0-EAB9-E4C5-50C3-79622A93478A}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks\{E7EFBCA0-EAB9-E4C5-50C3-79622A93478A}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\HSA
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\SW
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\SE
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\Root\Legacy_[]*008*0010%AF*00E5*0003*0017*001A*00A4*00B6*00C0*00A8
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\[random ASCII characters]
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Search Bar
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Use Search Asst
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Search Bar
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Use Search Asst

  6. Exit the Registry Editor.


4. To reset the Internet Explorer home page
  1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  2. Connect to the Internet, and then go to the page that you want to set as your home page.
  3. Click Tools > Internet Options.
  4. In the Home page section of the General tab, click Use Current > OK.

For additional information, or if this procedure does not work, read the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, "Home Page Setting Changes Unexpectedly, or You Cannot Change Your Home Page Setting, Article ID 320159 ."

    5. To reset the Internet Explorer Search page
    Follow the instructions for your version of Windows.

    Windows 98/Me/2000
    1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
    2. Click the Search button on the toolbar.
    3. In the Search pane, click Customize.
    4. Click Reset.
    5. Click Autosearch Settings.
    6. Select a search site from the drop-down list, and then click OK.
    7. Click OK.

    Windows XP
    Because Windows XP is set by default to use animated characters in the search, how you do this can vary. Read all the instructions before you start.
    1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
    2. Click the Search button on the toolbar.
    3. Do one of the following:
      • If the pane that opens looks similar to this picture:





        click the word Customize. Then skip to step h.

      • If the pane that opens has the words "Search Companion" at the top, and the center looks similar to this picture:





        click the Change preferences link as shown above. Proceed with step d.

    4. Click the Change Internet search behavior link.
    5. Under "Internet Search Behavior," click With Classic Internet Search.
    6. Click OK. Then close Internet Explorer. (Close the program for the change to take effect.)
    7. Start Internet Explorer. When the search pane opens, it should now look similar to this:





      Click the word Customize, and then proceed with the next step.

    8. In the Search pane, click Customize.
    9. Click Reset.
    10. Click Autosearch Settings.
    11. Select a search site from the drop-down list, and then click OK.
    12. Click OK.
    13. Do one of the following:
      • If you were using (or want to continue using) the "Classic Internet Search" panel, stop here (or proceed with the next section).
      • If you want to go back to the "Search Companion" search (it usually has an animated character at the button), proceed with step n.

    14. Click the word Customize again.
    15. In the "Customize Search Settings" window, click Use Search Companion > OK.
    16. Close Internet Explorer. The next time you open it, it will again use the Search Companion.