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Adware.Searchsquire

Adware.Searchsquire

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Publisher:
SearchSquire.com
Risk Impact:
Medium
File Names:
SearchInstall.exe SearchSquire.dll SearchUpdate.exe
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


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

Symptoms


Your Symantec antivirus program detects this threat as Adware.Searchsquire.

Behavior


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

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version March 23, 2017 revision 037
  • Initial Daily Certified version January 14, 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version March 23, 2017 revision 041
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date January 14, 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When SearchInstall.exe is executed, it attempts to connect to the predetermined site and perform the following actions:
  1. Creates the following files to %System% folder:
    • SearchUpdate<number>.exe
    • SearchSquire<number>.dll
    • unSearch<number>.exe (a nonmalicious, uninstall program)
    • engine.txt
    • engine2.txt
    • partner.txt

      Notes:
    • %System% is a variable. The Adware.Searchsquire 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).
    • unSearch33.exe, engine.txt, engine2.txt, and partner.txt are nonmalicious files, and therefore your Symantec antivirus product will not detect it.
  2. Adds the value:

    "SearchSquire<number>" = "%System%\SearchUpdate<number>.exe"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the Adware.Searchsquire runs when you start Windows.

  3. Adds the values:
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\partner.txt" = "1"
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\engine2.txt" = "1"
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\engine.txt" = "1"
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\unSearch<number>.exe" = "1"
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SearchUpdate<number>.exe" = "1"
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SearchSquire<number>.dll" = "1"

      to the registry subkey:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDlls

  4. Adds in the following keys:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
      \CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{11990E9G-2A4D-11D6-9507-02608CDD2843}
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Code Store Database
      \Distribution Units\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2842}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{11990E99-2A4D-11D6-9507-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{11990E9F-2A4D-11D6-9507-02608CDD2840}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{11990E9F-2A4D-11D6-9507-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{907CA0E4-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2842}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{907CA0E4-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{907CA0E4-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{907CA0E6-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2842}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{907CA0E6-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{907CA0E6-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchSquire2.Squire
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchSquire2.Squire.1
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
      \Browser Helper Objects\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
      \Browser Helper Objects\{11990E9F-2A4D-11D6-9507-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
      \Browser Helper Objects\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
      \ModuleUsage\C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/partner.txt
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage
      \C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/engine2.txt
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage
      \C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/engine.txt
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage
      \C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/unSearch<number>.exe
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage
      \C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/SearchUpdate<number>.exe
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage
      \C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/SearchSquire<number>.dll
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains\searchsquire.com

  5. Displays pop-up advertisements.



The following instructions pertain to all Symantec antivirus products that support Security Risk detection.
  1. Update the definitions.
  2. Close all the open browser windows.
  3. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as Adware.Searchsquire.
  4. Delete the value that was added to the registry.
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. Updating the definitions
To obtain the most recent definitions, start your Symantec program and run LiveUpdate.

2. Closing all open browser windows
Since Adware.Searchsquire functions as a Microsoft Internet Explorer plug-in, it is necessary to close all the open browser 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 note the following instructions, and then close all the open browser windows.

3. Scanning for and deleting the files
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program and run a full system scan.
  2. If any files are detected as Adware.Searchsquire, click Delete.

    Note: If your Symantec antivirus product reports that it cannot delete a detected file, write down the path and file name. Then use Windows Explorer to locate and delete the file.

4. Deleting the value from the registry

WARNING: 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, and then click Run. (The Run dialog box appears.)
  2. Type regedit

    Then click OK. (The Registry Editor opens.)

  3. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  4. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "SearchSquire<number>" = "%System%\SearchUpdate<number>.exe"

  5. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDlls

  6. In the right pane, delete the values:
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\partner.txt" = "1"
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\engine2.txt" = "1"
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\engine.txt" = "1"
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\unSearch<number>.exe" = "1"
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SearchUpdate<number>.exe" = "1"
    • "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SearchSquire<number>.dll" = "1"

  7. Navigate to and delete the following keys:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
      \CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{11990E9G-2A4D-11D6-9507-02608CDD2843}
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Code Store Database
      \Distribution Units\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2842}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{11990E99-2A4D-11D6-9507-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{11990E9F-2A4D-11D6-9507-02608CDD2840}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{11990E9F-2A4D-11D6-9507-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{907CA0E4-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2842}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{907CA0E4-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{907CA0E4-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{907CA0E6-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2842}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{907CA0E6-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{907CA0E6-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchSquire2.Squire
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchSquire2.Squire.1
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
      \Browser Helper Objects\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2846}
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
      \Browser Helper Objects\{11990E9F-2A4D-11D6-9507-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
      \Browser Helper Objects\{907CA0E5-CE84-11D6-9508-02608CDD2841}
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
      \ModuleUsage\C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/partner.txt
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage
      \C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/engine2.txt
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage
      \C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/engine.txt
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage
      \C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/unSearch<number>.exe
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage
      \C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/SearchUpdate<number>.exe
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ModuleUsage
      \C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM/SearchSquire<number>.dll
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap\Domains\searchsquire.com

  8. Exit the Registry Editor.