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.Findwhatever

Adware.Findwhatever

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Risk Impact:
Medium
File Names:
smss.exe mshepl.exe mssetup.exe svchost.exe ups.exe xcopy.exe mdm.exe dpvsetup.exe autolfn
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.Findwhatever is an adware program that periodically changes the Internet Explorer start page.

Symptoms


The files are detected as Adware.Findwhatever.

Behavior


Adware.Finwhatever is usually downloaded from the Internet.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Initial Daily Certified version December 29, 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version September 28, 2010 revision 036
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date December 29, 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Adware.Findwhatever is run it does the following:

  1. Copies itself to %Windir%\smss.exe.

    Note: %Windir% is a variable that refers to the Windows installation folder. By default, this is C:\Windows or C:\Winnt.

  2. Creates a random copy of itself to one of the following:

    %Windir%\mshepl.exe
    %Windir%\mssetup.exe
    %Windir%\svchost.exe
    %Windir%\ups.exe
    %Windir%\xcopy.exe
    %Windir%\mdm.exe
    %Windir%\dpvsetup.exe
    %Windir%\autolfn.exe
    %Windir%\csrss.exe
    %Windir%\label.exe
    %Windir%\mmc.exe
    %Windir%\msswchx.exe
    %Windir%\mstask.exe
    %Windir%\netdde.exe
    %Windir%\ntvdm.exe
    %Windir%\osk.exe
    %Windir%\lasss.exe
    %Windir%\spoolsv.exe
    %Windir%\sptsupd.exe
    %Windir%\subst.exe
    %Windir%\w32tm.exe
    %Windir%\mshta.exe
    %Windir%\dsndup.exe

  3. Adds the value:

    "Clock" = "[FILE NAME]"

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that Adware.Findwhatever runs every time Windows starts.

    Note: [FILE NAME] is one of the above random copied files.

  4. Creates the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Clock

    where Adware.Findwhatever will store information about itself.

  5. Modifies the value:

    "Start Page" = "URL pointing to the www.findwhatevernow.com domain"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

    at random intervals so that the Internet Explorer start page is set to an advertising site.


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.
    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
    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. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and then run a full system scan.
    2. If any files are detected as Adware.Findwhatever 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. Navigate to the key:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    4. In the right pane, delete the value:

      "Clock" = "[FILE NAME]"

      Note: [FILE NAME] is one of the random file names mentioned in Technical Details.

    5. Navigate to and delete the key:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Clock
    6. Exit the registry editor.