Threat Explorer

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Adware.PigSearch

Adware.PigSearch

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Risk Impact:
High
File Names:
mouse.dll search.exe zsearch.exe hcalway.sys abhcop.sys
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.Pigsearch displays search links related to highlighted text in Internet Explorer Web pages and also displays pop-up advertisements.

Symptoms


One or more files detected as Adware.PigSearch.

Behavior


Adware.PigSearch must be manually installed.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version October 20, 2017 revision 001
  • Initial Daily Certified version June 26, 2005 revision 002
  • Latest Daily Certified version October 20, 2017 revision 006
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date June 29, 2005
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Adware.PigSearch is executed, it performs the following actions:
  1. Installs itself into the following locations:

    • %ProgramFiles%\wsearch
    • %ProgramFiles%\HuaCi

      by creating some of the following files:

    • allverx.dat
    • Mouse.dll
    • mUninstall.exe
    • mupdate.exe
    • Search.exe
    • SearchM.dll
    • sysupdate.ini
    • _uninstall

      Note:
    • %ProgramFiles% is a variable that refers to the program files folder. By default, this is C:\Program Files.
    • The two Kernel mode drivers above act as a rootkit and prevent certain registry subkeys and files associated with the risk from being deleted. It achieves this by overwriting entries in the Service Descriptor Table.

  2. Creates the files:

    • %System%\drivers\abhcop.sys
    • %System%\drivers\hcalway.sys

      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).

  3. Adds the value:

    "MoveSearch" = "[PATH TO ADWARE]"

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the risk runs every time Windows starts.

  4. Creates the following registry subkeys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{594BE7B2-23B0-4FAE-A2B9-0C21CC1417CE}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{4E1ACE40-F681-4CC4-A7C0-AD1E6C9AD86F}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{A07E6B9B-BB30-4381-A9D8-FABB0648BCEF}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{FD536575-73F7-42A3-9E9F-11688F1A006A}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{C5CE084B-31E0-4B34-A33A-82B4EA913CF8}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchM.Com
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchM.Com.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchM.Search
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchM.Search.1
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Pig Move Search
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\MSWord\Search
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\CDSearch

  5. Registers itself as a system service by adding the following registry subkeys:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\abhcop
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\hcalway
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\abhcop
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\hcalway

  6. Creates the subkey

    »®´ÊËÑË÷

    under the subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

    Note: This subkey is encoded using GB2312 (Guojia Biaozhun) encoding which is the official character set of the Peoples Republic of China. If you do not have the appropriate language pack installed, the key will be displayed as garbled characters, as shown above.

  7. Creates the files:

    • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\»®´ÊËÑË÷.lnk
    • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\»®´ÊËÑË÷.lnk

      Note:
    • %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).
    • These filenames are encoded using GB2312 (Guojia Biaozhun) encoding which is the official character set of the Peoples Republic of China. If you do not have the appropriate language pack installed, the filenames will be displayed as garbled characters, as shown above.



The following instructions pertain to all Symantec antivirus products that support security risk detection.
  1. Uninstall the security risk.
  2. Restart the computer using the Windows Recovery Console.
  3. Update the definitions.
  4. Run a full system scan.
  5. Delete any values added to the registry.
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. 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. Click »®´ÊËÑË÷.

    Note:
    You may need to use the scroll bar to view the whole list.

  4. Click Add/Remove, Change/Remove, or Remove (this varies with the operating system). Follow the prompts.

    Note: After running the Add/Remove programs applet, all the files may have been removed. You will want to run a full system scan to ensure that this is the case. However, it is possible that no files will be detected after using Add/Remove programs.
2. To restart the computer using the Windows Recovery Console
You may have to restart the computer and run the Windows Recovery Console to completely remove this threat. For full details on how to do this please read the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, How to install and use the Recovery Console in Windows XP .
  1. Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive.
  2. Restart the computer from the CD-ROM drive.
  3. Press R to start the Recovery Console when the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears.
  4. Select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.
  5. Enter the administrator password and press Enter
  6. Type cd system32/drivers
  7. Press Enter
  8. Type del abhcop.sys
  9. Press Enter
  10. Type del hcalway.sys
  11. Press Enter
  12. Type exit
  13. Press Enter. The computer will now restart automatically.

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

4. 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. Navigate to and delete the following files:

    • %ProgramFiles%\wsearch
    • %ProgramFiles%\HuaCi
    • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\»®´ÊËÑË÷.lnk
    • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\»®´ÊËÑË÷.lnk

Important: If you are unable to start your Symantec antivirus product or the product reports that it cannot delete a detected file, you may need to stop the risk from running in order to remove it. To do 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.

5. 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 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 the subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  4. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "MoveSearch" = "%ProgramFiles%\wsearch\Search.exe"

  5. Navigate to and delete the following subkeys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{594BE7B2-23B0-4FAE-A2B9-0C21CC1417CE}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{4E1ACE40-F681-4CC4-A7C0-AD1E6C9AD86F}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{A07E6B9B-BB30-4381-A9D8-FABB0648BCEF}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{FD536575-73F7-42A3-9E9F-11688F1A006A}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{C5CE084B-31E0-4B34-A33A-82B4EA913CF8}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchM.Com
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchM.Com.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchM.Search
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchM.Search.1
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Pig Move Search
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\CDSearch
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\»®´ÊËÑË÷
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\abhcop
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\hcalway
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\abhcop
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\hcalway

  6. Exit the registry editor.