Threat Explorer

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Adware.GAIN

Adware.GAIN

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Publisher:
GAIN Publishing
Risk Impact:
Low
File Names:
Fsg_[VERSION NUMBER].exe Trickler_[VERSION NUMBER].exe CMESys.eGMT.exe GainPlugin.dll HDPlugin
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.GAIN is an adware program that downloads and displays advertisements.

Symptoms


Your Symantec program detects Adware.GAIN.

Behavior


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

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version September 22, 2016 revision 024
  • Initial Daily Certified version August 18, 2003
  • Latest Daily Certified version September 22, 2016 revision 025
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date August 18, 2003
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Adware.GAIN is installed, it does the following:
  1. May insert a file in the %System% folder. The file name appears to differ depending on which program installs Adware.GAIN. Some known file names are:

    • Fsg_[VERSION NUMBER].exe
    • Trickler.exe.

      Note: %System% is a variable. The adware component locates the System folder and copies itself to that location. 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 files:

    • %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\CMEII\*.*
    • %ProgramFiles%\Common Files\GMT\*.*
    • %Windir%\Temp\Trickler_[VERSION NUMBER].exe
    • %Windir%\Temp\fsg[VERSION NUMBER].exe
    • %Windir%\Downloaded Program Files\GainPlugin.dll
    • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\GStartup.lnk
    • C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\GAIN Publishing\About GAIN Publishing.lnk
    • C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\GAIN Publishing\GAIN Publishing Web Site.URL

      Notes:
    • %ProgramFiles% is a variable that refers to the program files folder. By default, this is C:\Program Files.
    • %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).
    • %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).

  3. Creates the following registry subkeys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{54e7e082-1da6-412e-96b5-c290fcef5329}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{DBAE7000-01EC-4162-8FEB-8A27AC937CA0}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{22D34833-06F9-4CE6-9FF7-CE4DA0BA351D}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{54E7E080-1DA6-412E-96B5-C290FCEF5329}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{2EC7A834-9C5E-4154-BADC-0D86A2EDC82D}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{54E7E081-1DA6-412E-96B5-C290FCEF5329}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\GetAndRun.DFRun
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\GetAndRun.DFRun.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\HDPlugin.HDPluginCtrl
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\HDPlugin.HDPluginCtrl.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ttjltept
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
    \Uninstall\{4A840E1E-2BA8-47de-923E-0E00407EB530}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\AppInfo\CME
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\AppInfo\GMT
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\CMEII\GSNInstalled
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\Gator\dyn
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\Gator\stat\GMT
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\GInternet
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\trickles
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hlnpan

  4. Adds the values:

    "Trickler" = "[PATH TO ADWARE FILE]"
    "CMESys" = "%ProgramFiles%\Common Files\CMEII\CMESys.exe"

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the Adware runs when you start Windows.

  5. Connects to a server on the [RANDOM NAME].gator.com domain on port 80 and submits Web browsing habits to the server. The adware also downloads advertisements from the server.

    Note: Other programs download Adware.GAIN to allow them to download and display advertisements in pop-up windows.



This adware is a component of other programs such as ScreenScenes, which is a product of GAIN Publishing. For a complete list of GAIN Publishing applications with which Adware.GAIN is installed, see the page at:

http://www.gainpublishing.com/global/software/index.html

Additionally, Adware.GAIN may be installed with other popular software programs, such as Kazaa. To manually remove Adware.GAIN, you must uninstall all GAIN ad-supported programs.
Complete removal instructions are available from the GAIN Publishing Support Center, which can be found at:

http://www.gainpublishing.com/global/help/gainuninstall.html

Note:
If you have a version of GAIN that is earlier than 7.1, the GAIN AdServer software may not always appear in the Windows Add/Remove Programs Control Panel. For more information, see the GAIN Publishing Frequently asked questions page at:

http://www.gainpublishing.com/global/help/gainfaq.html

Removal Tool
Symantec Security Response has developed a removal tool for Adware.GAIN. The tool can be found here: http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/RemGAIN.exe

The current version of the tool is 1.0.6 and will have a digital signature timestamp equivalent to 07/29/05 04:21 AM PDT.

Notes:
  • The date and time displayed will be adjusted to your time zone, if your computer is not set to the Pacific time zone.
  • Running the Adware.GAIN Removal Tool may cause other programs to function incorrectly, particularly those programs with which Adware.GAIN was installed.

Manual Removal Instructions
  1. Update the definitions.
  2. To uninstall the security risk.
  3. Run a full system scan.
  4. Delete any values 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 uninstall the security risk
This security risk includes an uninstallation applet. In order to uninstall this security risk, complete the following instructions:
  1. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel or Start > Control Panel (this varies with the operating system).
  2. In the Control Panel window, double-click Add/Remove Programs.

    Windows Me only: If you do not see the Add/Remove Programs icon, click ...view all Control Panel options.
  3. In order to remove the GAIN adware you must remove the publishing application, to find out which one you may have installed visit:

    http://www.gainpublishing.com/help/gainfaq.html
  4. Click PublishingApplication.
  5. Click Add/Remove, Change/Remove, or Remove (this varies with the operating system). Follow the prompts.

    Note: After running the Add/Remove programs applet, it may take a few minutes for Adware.GAIN to realise the publishing application has been removed before it removes itself.
3. To run the scan
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and then run a full system scan.
  2. If any files are detected, 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 risk 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 risk 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 risk for this scan only, and thus, the risk 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 risk 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.

  3. Click Start > Programs > Accessories > Windows Explorer
  4. Naviage to and delete the file %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\GStartup.lnk
  5. Exit Windows Explorer

Important: If your Symantec antivirus product reports that it cannot delete a detected file, Windows may be using the file. To fix this, run the scan in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document: How to start the computer in Safe Mode . Once you have restarted in Safe mode, run the scan again.

After the files are deleted, restart the computer in Normal mode and proceed with the next section.

Warning messages may be displayed when the computer is restarted, since the risk may not be fully removed at this point. You can ignore these messages and click OK. These messages will not appear when the computer is restarted after the removal instructions have been fully completed. The messages displayed may be similar to the following:

Title: [File path]
Message body: Windows cannot find [file name]. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.
    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 subkeys only. Read the document: How to make a backup of the Windows registry .
    1. Click Start > Run.
    2. Type regedit

      Then click OK.

      Note: If the registry editor fails to open the risk may have modified the registry to prevent access to the registry editor. Security Response has developed a tool to resolve this problem. Download and run this tool, and then continue with the removal.

    3. Navigate to and delete the following subkeys:

      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{54e7e082-1da6-412e-96b5-c290fcef5329}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{DBAE7000-01EC-4162-8FEB-8A27AC937CA0}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{22D34833-06F9-4CE6-9FF7-CE4DA0BA351D}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{54E7E080-1DA6-412E-96B5-C290FCEF5329}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{2EC7A834-9C5E-4154-BADC-0D86A2EDC82D}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{54E7E081-1DA6-412E-96B5-C290FCEF5329}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\GetAndRun.DFRun
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\GetAndRun.DFRun.1
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\HDPlugin.HDPluginCtrl
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\HDPlugin.HDPluginCtrl.1
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ttjltept
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
      \Uninstall\{4A840E1E-2BA8-47de-923E-0E00407EB530}
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\AppInfo\CME
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\AppInfo\GMT
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\CMEII\GSNInstalled
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\Gator\dyn
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\Gator\stat\GMT
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\GInternet
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Gator.com\trickles
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\hlnpan

    4. Navigate to the subkey:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    5. In the right pane, delete the values:

      "Trickler" = "[PATH TO ADWARE FILE]"
      "CMESys" = "%ProgramFiles%\Common Files\CMEII\CMESys.exe"

    6. Exit the Registry Editor.