Threat Explorer

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Adware.Sqwire

Adware.Sqwire

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Publisher:
www.sqwire.com
Risk Impact:
Medium
File Names:
Varies.
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.Sqwire is an adware program that connects to a predetermined Web site and displays advertisements. It may also change the Internet Explorer search page and home page and add links to the Favorites menu.

Note
: Detections dated April 28th, 2005 or earlier may detect this adware as Adware.Xupiter.

Symptoms



The files are detected as Adware.Sqwire.

There may be a toolbar present in Internet Explorer.

Behavior


This adware program may be manually installed or installed as part of another program. It may also be installed via certain Web pages.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version November 17, 2016 revision 023
  • Initial Daily Certified version December 23, 2003
  • Latest Daily Certified version November 18, 2016 revision 002
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date December 23, 2003
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Adware.Sqwire is executed, the installer does the following:
  1. Creates the folders:
    • %ProgramFiles%\Sqwire
    • %CommonProgramFiles%\SQ
    • %ProgramFiles%\Xupiter

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

  2. Adds a number of links to the Internet Explorer Favorites menu, using the following folders:

    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Business
    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Computers
    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Cool Stuff
    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Entertainment
    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Gaming
    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Lifestyle
    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Shopping
    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Finance
    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Free Stuff
    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Gambling
    %UserProfile%\Favorites\Inernet

    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).

  3. Attempts to connect to a predetermined Web site to download the latest version of Adware.Sqwire into the above folders.

  4. Creates some of the following registry subkeys:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SQ
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{2662BDD7-05D6-408F-B241-FF98FACE6054}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{57E69D5A-6539-4d7d-9637-775DE8A385B4}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{6E6DD93E-1FC3-4F43-8AFB-1B7B90C9D3EB}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3C5BA506-6C30-4738-9CED-797ACADEA8DC}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{1A8B567B-BD3F-44A1-8B94-F50D37A1914E}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{B8CFDC9E-E634-40E3-A51E-C097F23D53B9}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{D686DB39-659A-491A-A35C-60B99495C16E}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{3A021D2F-5F75-47F5-9BAB-A137E1FB015F}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{32E715F3-6481-4118-A689-504312933CE6}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{118AF62F-21B1-4492-8111-C1A03C5E09CB}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{4D0AC936-BDE8-4EA2-B4FB-9F89E5B4C186}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{805AF2C8-98C7-4F3C-A7C9-25EBF27567F3}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{909E0059-F545-42DE-9D2C-CC4A3E336EC3}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{C6C2871F-7467-4A35-90FA-9E9894BC1916}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{43732063-1BDA-45A0-BBEE-13E014CB4041}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SQToolbar.Band
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SQToolbar.Band.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTSearch.XTSearchHook
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTSearch.XTSearchHook.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTUpdate.XT
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTUpdate.XT.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XupiterToolbar.Band
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XupiterToolbar.Band.1
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTUpdate.XT
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTUpdate.XT.1
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Code Store Database\Distribution Units
    \{3C5BA506-6C30-4738-9CED-797ACADEA8DC}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Classes\SQLoader.Loader
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Classes\SQLoader.Loader.1
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Xupiter
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Sqwire
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{2662BDD7-05D6-408F-B241-FF98FACE6054}

  5. Adds the values:

    "SQInstaller" = "SQInstaller.exe"
    "SQConfigChecker" = "cc.exe"
    "XupiterStartup" = "%ProgramFiles%\Xupiter\XupiterStartup.exe"
    "XupiterCfgLoader" = "%ProgramFiles%\Xupiter\XTCfgLoader.exe"
    "SQUpdatesChecker" = "%ProgramFiles%\Sqwire\uc.exe"
    "SQConfigChecker" = "%ProgramFiles%\Sqwire\cc.exe"
    "XupiterToolbarLoader" = "%ProgramFiles%\Xupiter\\XupiterToolbarLoader.exe"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

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

  6. Adds the value:

    "{57E69D5A-6539-4d7d-9637-775DE8A385B4}" = "ToolBand Class"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

  7. Adds the value:

    "{6E6DD93E-1FC3-4F43-8AFB-1B7B90C9D3EB}" = ""

    to the registry key

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks

  8. Adds the value

    "Search Bar" = "[Web site on the sqwire.com domain]"

    to the registry key:

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

  9. Adds the value

    "SearchAssistant" = "[Web site on the sqwire.com domain]"
    "SerachAssistant" = "[Web site on the browserwise.com domain]"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search

  10. Listens on TCP ports 1022-1042, and TCP port 14502.



The following instructions pertain to all Symantec antivirus products that support security risk detection.
    1. Update the definitions.
    2. Run a full system scan.
    3. Delete any values added to the registry.
    4. Reset the Internet Explorer home page.
    5. Reset the Internet Explorer Search page.
    6. Delete the Web sites added to the Internet Explorer Favorites menu.
    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 run the scan
    1. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and then run a full system scan.
    2. If any files are detected as Adware.Sqwire 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.

          If Windows reports that it cannot delete the file, this indicates that the file is in use. In this situation, complete the rest of the instructions on this page, restart the computer in Safe mode, and then delete the file using Windows Explorer. Restart the computer in Normal mode.

      • 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.

          If Windows reports that it cannot delete the file, this indicates that the file is in use. In this situation, complete the rest of the instructions on this page, restart the computer in Safe mode, and then delete the file using Windows Explorer. Restart the computer in Normal mode.


    3. 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
    3. Then click OK.
    4. Navigate to and delete the following keys:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SQ
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{2662BDD7-05D6-408F-B241-FF98FACE6054}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{57E69D5A-6539-4d7d-9637-775DE8A385B4}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{6E6DD93E-1FC3-4F43-8AFB-1B7B90C9D3EB}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3C5BA506-6C30-4738-9CED-797ACADEA8DC}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{1A8B567B-BD3F-44A1-8B94-F50D37A1914E}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{B8CFDC9E-E634-40E3-A51E-C097F23D53B9}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{D686DB39-659A-491A-A35C-60B99495C16E}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{3A021D2F-5F75-47F5-9BAB-A137E1FB015F}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{32E715F3-6481-4118-A689-504312933CE6}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{118AF62F-21B1-4492-8111-C1A03C5E09CB}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{4D0AC936-BDE8-4EA2-B4FB-9F89E5B4C186}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{805AF2C8-98C7-4F3C-A7C9-25EBF27567F3}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{909E0059-F545-42DE-9D2C-CC4A3E336EC3}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{C6C2871F-7467-4A35-90FA-9E9894BC1916}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{43732063-1BDA-45A0-BBEE-13E014CB4041}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SQToolbar.Band
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SQToolbar.Band.1
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTSearch.XTSearchHook
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTSearch.XTSearchHook.1
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTUpdate.XT
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTUpdate.XT.1
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XupiterToolbar.Band
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XupiterToolbar.Band.1
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTUpdate.XT
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XTUpdate.XT.1
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Code Store Database\Distribution Units
      \{3C5BA506-6C30-4738-9CED-797ACADEA8DC}
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Classes\SQLoader.Loader
      HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Classes\SQLoader.Loader.1
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Xupiter
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Sqwire
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{2662BDD7-05D6-408F-B241-FF98FACE6054}

    5. Navigate to the subkey:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    6. In the right pane, delete the values:

      "SQInstaller" = "SQInstaller.exe"
      "SQConfigChecker" = "cc.exe"
      "XupiterStartup" = "%ProgramFiles%\Xupiter\XupiterStartup.exe"
      "XupiterCfgLoader" = "%ProgramFiles%\Xupiter\XTCfgLoader.exe"
      "SQUpdatesChecker" = "%ProgramFiles%\Sqwire\uc.exe"
      "SQConfigChecker" = "%ProgramFiles%\Sqwire\cc.exe"
      "XupiterToolbarLoader" = "%ProgramFiles%\Xupiter\\XupiterToolbarLoader.exe"

    7. Navigate to the subkey:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

    8. In the right pane, delete the value:

      "{57E69D5A-6539-4d7d-9637-775DE8A385B4}" = "ToolBand Class"

    9. Navigate to the subkey:

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks

    10. In the right pane, delete the value:

      "{6E6DD93E-1FC3-4F43-8AFB-1B7B90C9D3EB}" = ""

    11. Exit the registry editor.

    4 . To reset the Internet Explorer home page
    1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
    2. Connect to the Internet, and then go to the page that you want to set as your home page.
    3. Click Tools > Internet Options.
    4. In the Home page section of the General tab, click Use Current > OK.

    For additional information, or if this procedure does not work, read the Microsoft® Knowledge Base article: Home Page Setting Changes Unexpectedly, or You Cannot Change Your Home Page Setting, Article ID 320159


    5. To reset the Internet Explorer Search page
    Follow the instructions for your version of Windows.

    Windows 98/Me/2000
    1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
    2. Click the Search button on the toolbar.
    3. In the Search pane, click Customize.
    4. Click Reset.
    5. Click Autosearch Settings.
    6. Select a search site from the drop-down list, and then click OK.
    7. Click OK.

    Windows XP
    Because Windows XP is set by default to use animated characters in the search, how you do this can vary. Read all the instructions before you start.
    1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
    2. Click the Search button on the toolbar.
    3. Do one of the following:
      • If the pane that opens looks similar to the following picture, click the word Customize and proceed to step h:




      • If the pane that opens has the words "Search Companion" at the top, and the center looks similar to the following picture, click the Change preferences link and proceed with step d.




    4. Click the Change Internet search behavior link.
    5. Under "Internet Search Behavior," click With Classic Internet Search.
    6. Click OK. Then close Internet Explorer. (Close the program for the change to take effect.)
    7. Start Internet Explorer. When the search pane opens, it should look similar to the following picture:





      Click the word Customize, and then proceed with the next step.

    8. In the Search pane, click Customize.
    9. Click Reset.
    10. Click Autosearch Settings.
    11. Select a search site from the drop-down list, and then click OK.
    12. Click OK.
    13. Do one of the following:
      • If you were using (or want to continue using) the "Classic Internet Search" panel, stop here (or proceed with the next section).
      • If you want to go back to the "Search Companion" search (it usually has an animated character at the button), proceed with step n.

    14. Click the word Customize again.
    15. In the "Customize Search Settings" window, click Use Search Companion > OK.
    16. Close Internet Explorer. The next time you open it, it will again use the Search Companion.
    6. To delete the Web sites added to the Internet Explorer Favorites menu
    1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer
    2. Click Favorites > Organize Favorites
    3. Delete the Favorites added by the threat