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Adware.SearchMaid

Adware.SearchMaid

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Risk Impact:
Medium
File Names:
helper.exe
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.Searchmaid is an adware program that periodically displays advertisements.

Symptoms


The files are detected as Adware.Searchmaid.

Behavior


Adware.Searchmaid can be manually installed or installed as part of the installation for another program.

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 April 12, 2005
  • Latest Daily Certified version January 01, 2015 revision 003
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date April 13, 2005
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When executed, Adware.SearchMaid will perform the following actions:
  1. Copies itself as %System%\helper.exe.

    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).

  2. Creates the following files:

    • %ProgramFiles%\Virtual Maid\Virtual Maid.dll
    • %ProgramFiles%\Virtual Maid\Virtual Maid.xml

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

  3. Adds the value:

    "winlogon.exe" = "helper.exe"

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Run

  4. Creates some of the following registry subkeys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{77B2F8DE-CB3F-4b6b-839B-807DD1ADBA1C}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{8B0B6F79-C50D-4ea6-8F65-BDF18005DE20}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{835BAA68-B5E5-47D5-A18D-2A4E0F5B72D5}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{AB2DDE8C-CBFF-491A-9825-87B8BB4CBFE0}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{42C7653A-5834-45A1-899A-ED0DFA370D21}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\GoVM.ContextItem
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\GoVM.ContextItem.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VM.VMObj
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VM.VMObj.1
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
    \Uninstall\Virtual MaidVirtual Maid
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MenuExt\&RSDN Search
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Virtual Maid

  5. Adds the value:

    "{77B2F8DE-CB3F-4B6B-839B-807DD1ADBA1C}"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser

  6. Adds the value:

    "{77B2F8DE-CB3F-4b6b-839B-807DD1ADBA1C}"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

  7. Adds the value:

    "guid" = "AA8214E9-C7E6-4b66-A049-19AD20944CBF"

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

  8. Deletes the value:

    (Default) = "%SystemRoot%\media\Windows XP Start.wav"

    from the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\Explorer\Navigating\.Current

  9. Modifies the values:

    "Local Page"
    "Search Bar"
    "Use Search Asst"
    "Default_Page_URL"
    "Default_Search_URL"
    "Search Page"
    "Start Page"

    in the registry subkeys:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

    to point to a site on the domain "searchmaid.com".

  10. Modifies the values:

    "SearchAssistant"
    "CustomizeSearch"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search

    to point to a site on the domain "searchmaid.com".

  11. Modifies the value:

    "SearchUrl"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

    to point to a site on the domain "searchmaid.com".

  12. Displays advertisements at timed intervals.

  13. May contact msxpsupport.com periodically.


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. Close all open Internet Explorer windows.
  4. Run a full system scan.
  5. Delete any values added to the registry.
  6. Restore default settings in Internet Explorer.
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 close all open Internet Explorer windows
Because this risk functions as a Microsoft Internet Explorer plug-in, it is necessary to close all open Internet Explorer windows to remove it. If you are reading this writeup in Internet Explorer, print this writeup using our printer-friendly option at the top of the page, or write down the following instructions, and then close all Internet Explorer windows.

4. 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.SearchMaid 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 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.
  3. If you are still in Safe mode, restart the computer in Normal mode before proceeding to the next section.

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.

  3. Navigate to the subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Run

  4. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "winlogon.exe"="helper.exe"

  5. Navigate to and delete the value:

    "{77B2F8DE-CB3F-4B6B-839B-807DD1ADBA1C}"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser

  6. Navigate to and delete the following values:

    "Search Bar"
    "Local Page"
    "Start Page"
    "Use Search Asst"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

  7. Navigate to and delete the following values:

    "Default_Page_URL"
    "Default_Search_URL"
    "Local Page"
    "Search Bar"
    "Use Search Asst"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

  8. Navigate to and delete the value:

    "(Default)"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl

  9. Adds the value:

    "{77B2F8DE-CB3F-4b6b-839B-807DD1ADBA1C}"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

  10. Navigate to and delete the value:

    guid = "AA8214E9-C7E6-4b66-A049-19AD20944CBF"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

  11. Navigate to and set the value:

    (Default) = "%SystemRoot%\media\Windows XP Start.wav"

    in the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\Explorer\Navigating\.Current

  12. Navigate to and the following registry keys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{77B2F8DE-CB3F-4b6b-839B-807DD1ADBA1C}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{8B0B6F79-C50D-4ea6-8F65-BDF18005DE20}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{835BAA68-B5E5-47D5-A18D-2A4E0F5B72D5}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{AB2DDE8C-CBFF-491A-9825-87B8BB4CBFE0}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{42C7653A-5834-45A1-899A-ED0DFA370D21}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\GoVM.ContextItem
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\GoVM.ContextItem.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VM.VMObj
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VM.VMObj.1
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Virtual MaidVirtual Maid
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MenuExt\&RSDN Search
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Virtual Maid

  13. Exit the registry editor.


6. To restore default settings in Internet Explorer
  1. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel
  2. Select Internet Options
  3. Select the Programs tab
  4. Click Reset Web Settings
  5. Click OK
  6. Exit the Control Panel