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Adware.CWSMSConfd.B

Adware.CWSMSConfd.B

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Version:
2
Publisher:
CoolWebSearch
Risk Impact:
High
File Names:
ctrlpan.dll
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.CWSMSConfd.B changes the start page and search pages in Microsoft Internet Explorer, and then modifies the host file to redirect searches. It also adds adult-oriented Web sites to the Favorites folder and displays pornographic pop-up messages.

Symptoms


One or more files are detected as Adware.CWSMSConfd.B.

Behavior


Adware.CWSMSConfd.B is manually installed, or an ActiveX installer installs it.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version February 01, 2015 revision 020
  • Initial Daily Certified version December 04, 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version January 17, 2008 revision 033
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date December 08, 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Adware.CWSMSConfd.B is executed, it performs the following actions:
    1. Creates the following files:
      • %System%\ctrlpan.dll (the library—detected as Adware.CWSMSConfd.B)
      • %Windir%\hh.htt (a stylesheet that opens an adult-orientated Web page)
      • %Windir%\Favorites\*.url (Windows 9x adult-oriented links)
      • %UserProfile%\Favorites\*.url (Windows NT adult-oriented links)
      • %Windir%\Favorites\Links\*.url (Windows 9x adult-oriented links)
      • %UserProfile%\Favorites\Links\*.url (Windows NT adult-oriented links)

        Notes:
        • %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).
        • %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).
        • %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. Adds the values:

      "User Stylesheet" = "%Windir%\hh.htt"
      "Use My Stylesheet" = "1"

      to the registry key:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Styles

      so that the Adware triggers an adult-orientated pop-up window to appear when Internet Explorer is started.

    3. On computers running Windows 95/98/Me, it adds the value:

      "Desktop" = "rundll32.exe ctrlpan, Restore ControlPanel"

      to the registry key:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

      so that the Adware runs every time Windows starts.

    4. On computers running Windows NT/2000/XP, it adds the value:

      "AppInit_DLL" = "ctrlpan.dll"

      to the registry key:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

      so that the Adware runs every time Windows starts.

    5. Sets the values:

      "Start Page" = "[URL on the domain webcoolsearch.com]"
      "Search Page" = "[URL on the domain webcoolsearch.com]"
      "Search Bar" = "[URL on the domain webcoolsearch.com]"

      in the registry key:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

      so that the Internet Explorer start page and search pages are redirected to the domain, webcoolsearch.com.

    6. Modifies the value:

      "SearchURL" = "[URL on the domain webcoolsearch.com]"

      in the registry key:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

      so that any URLs typed in the Internet Explorer address field are redirected to the domain, webcoolsearch.com.

    7. Adds the following line to the hosts file to redirect the URL auto.search.msn.com to the IP address 205.177.124.66:

      205.177.124.66 auto.search.msn.com



    The following instructions pertain to all Symantec antivirus products that support Security Risk detection.
      1. Update the definitions.
      2. Restart the computer in Safe mode.
      3. Run a full system scan.
      4. Delete the value that was added to the registry.
      5. Reset the Internet Explorer home page.
      6. Reset the Internet Explorer search page.
      7. Delete the Web sites added to the Internet Explorer Favorites menu.
      8. Edit the hosts file.
      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 restart the computer in Safe mode for Windows 9x (95/98/Me) and Safe mode Command Prompt only for Windows NT (2000/XP)
      Shut down the computer and turn off the power. Wait for at least 30 seconds, and then restart the computer in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document, "How to start the computer in Safe Mode ."

      3. To run the scan
      1. Restart your computer in Normal mode.
      2. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and then run a full system scan.
      3. If any files are detected as Adware.CWSMSConfd.B 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.

        • 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.

      4. To delete the value 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. In Windows 9x (95/98/Me), navigate to the key:

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

      4. In the right pane, delete the value:

        "Desktop" = "rundll32.exe ctrlpan, Restore ControlPanel"

      5. In Windows NT (2000/XP), navigate to the key:

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

      6. In the right pane, delete the value:

        "AppInit_DLLs" = "ctrlpan.dll"

      7. Navigate to the key:

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Styles

      8. In the right pane, delete the value:

        "User Stylesheet" = "%Windir%\hh.htt"
        "Use My Stylesheet" = "1"

      5. 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 ."

        6. 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.


        7. To delete the Web sites added to the Internet Explorer Favorites menu
          1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
          2. Click Favorites > Organize Favorites.
          3. Delete the Favorites that the threat added.

        8. To edit the hosts file
        Follow the instructions for your operating system:
        • Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000
          1. Click Start, point to Find or Search, and then click Files or Folders.
          2. Make sure that "Look in" is set to (C:) and that "Include subfolders" is checked.
          3. In the "Named" or "Search for..." box, type:

            hosts

          4. Click Find Now or Search Now.
          5. For each Hosts file that you find, right-click the file, and then click Open With.
          6. Deselect the Always use this program to open this program check box.
          7. Scroll through the list of programs and double-click Notepad.
          8. When the file opens, delete the line:
            "205.177.124.66 auto.search.msn.com"
          9. Close Notepad and save your changes when prompted.

        • Windows XP
          1. Click Start > Search.
          2. Click All files and folders.
          3. In the "All or part of the file name" box, type:

            hosts

          4. Verify that "Look in" is set to "Local Hard Drives" or to (C:).
          5. Click More advanced options.
          6. Check Search system folders.
          7. Check Search subfolders.
          8. Click Search.
          9. Click Find Now or Search Now.
          10. For each Hosts file that you find, right-click the file, and then click Open With.
          11. Deselect the Always use this program to open this program check box.
          12. Scroll through the list of programs and double-click Notepad.
          13. When the file opens, delete the line:
            "205.177.124.66 auto.search.msn.com"
          14. Close Notepad and save your changes when prompted.