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.SafeSearch

Adware.SafeSearch

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Version:
1.0.0.5
Risk Impact:
High
File Names:
Safesearch.exe Safesearch.dll, _safesearch.dll, aanyvkcf.exe, rgzcdhtn.exe
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.SafeSearch is a Browser Helper Object that redirects certain URLs to a specified Web site.

Virus definitions dated September 6th, 2006 or earlier may detect this threat as Adware.Safesearch.B or Adware.Safesearch.C.

Symptoms


The files are detected as Adware.SafeSearch.

Behavior


This adware program must be manually installed.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version June 21, 2017 revision 022
  • Initial Daily Certified version November 26, 2003
  • Latest Daily Certified version June 22, 2017 revision 001
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date November 26, 2003
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Adware.SafeSearch is executed, it performs the following actions:
  1. Copies itself as one of the following:

    • %ProgramFiles%\Primesoft\Safesearch\Safesearch.exe
    • %System%\Safesearch.exe
    • %System%\aanyvkcf.exe
    • %System%\RGZCDHTN.exe

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

  2. Creates the following files:

    • %System%\Safesearch.dll
    • %System%\_safesearch.dll

  3. Adds one of the following values:

    "SafeSearch" = "c:\program files\primesoft\safesearch\safesearch.exe"
    "AANYVKCF" = "%System%\aanyvkcf.exe"
    "TYPE[RANDOM NUMBER]" = "application/x-QSCH"
    "RGZCDHTN" = "%System%\RGZCDHTN.exe /install"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that Adware.SafeSearch runs every time Windows starts.

  4. Adds the value:

    "{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001}" = ""

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

    so that the Adware.SafeSearch becomes an Internet Explorer Browser Helper Object (BHO).

  5. Adds the value:

    "%System%\aanyvkcf.exe" = "yes"

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Netscape\Netscape Navigator\User Trusted External Applications

  6. Searches for and deletes the following files and folders from the compromised computer, which may relate to a previous version of the Adware:

    • C:\Program Files\PrimeSoft
    • C:\Program Files\PrimeSoft\Safesearch
    • C:\Program Files\PrimeSoft\Safesearch\safesearch.exe
    • C:\Winnt\System32\safesearch.exe
    • C:\Windows\System32\safesearch.exe
    • C:\Windows\System\safesearch.exe

  7. Attempts to create the following registry subkeys:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PrimeSoft
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SafeSearch
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
    \Uninstall\Safesearch
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SafeSearch.SafeSearchBHO.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SafeSearch.SafeSearchBHO
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Typelib\{CB5006EE-F57D-4116-B7B6-48EB564FE0F0}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Typelib\{82E9DE01-D860-40E4-B9C1-91F0E8272962}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{28E6CCE2-3F2C-4B3D-9CB4-2FC8715A3ECE}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
    \Uninstall\aanyvkcf
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.QSCH
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QSCH File
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mime\database\content type\application/x-QSCH
    HKEY_USERS\.default\software\netscape\netscape navigator\suffixes
    \application/x-QSCH
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID
    \{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
    \Uninstall\RGZCDHTN
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Program Data

  8. Redirects Internet Explorer to one of the following addresses:

    [http://]204.177.xx.xxx/search/index[REMOVED]
    [http://]204.177.xx.xxx/safesearch/inde[REMOVED]
    [http://]204.177.xx.xxx/safesearch/inde[REMOVED]

    when you try to access the following Web sites:

    • eps.new.search.new.net/apps/eps
    • www.commonname.com/en/powersearch
    • www.ignkeywords.com
    • www.searchresult.net
    • ieautosearch
    • auto.search.msn.com
    • sitefinder.verisign.com
    • mysearch.myway.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.
    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.Safesearch 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. (The Run dialog box appears.)
    2. Type regedit

      Then click OK. (The Registry Editor opens.)

    3. Navigate to and delete the following registry subkeys:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PrimeSoft
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SafeSearch
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
      \Uninstall\Safesearch
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SafeSearch.SafeSearchBHO.1
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SafeSearch.SafeSearchBHO
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Typelib\{CB5006EE-F57D-4116-B7B6-48EB564FE0F0}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Typelib\{82E9DE01-D860-40E4-B9C1-91F0E8272962}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{28E6CCE2-3F2C-4B3D-9CB4-2FC8715A3ECE}
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
      \Uninstall\aanyvkcf
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.QSCH
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\QSCH File
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mime\database\content type\application/x-QSCH
      HKEY_USERS\.default\software\netscape\netscape navigator\suffixes
      \application/x-QSCH
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID
      \{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001}
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
      \Uninstall\RGZCDHTN
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Program Data

    4. Navigate to the subkey:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    5. In the right pane, delete any of the following values:

      "SafeSearch" = "c:\program files\primesoft\safesearch\safesearch.exe"
      "AANYVKCF" = "%System%\aanyvkcf.exe"
      "TYPE[RANDOM NUMBER]" = "application/x-QSCH"
      "RGZCDHTN" = "%System%\RGZCDHTN.exe /install"

    6. Navigate to the subkey:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

      In the right pane, delete the value:

      "{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001}" = ""

    7. Navigate to the subkey:

      HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Netscape\Netscape Navigator\User Trusted External Applications

    8. In the right pane, delete the value:

      "%System%\aanyvkcf.exe" = "yes"

    9. Exit the Registry Editor.