Threat Explorer

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Adware.SurfSideKick

Adware.SurfSideKick

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Publisher:
http://www.surfsidekick.com
Risk Impact:
High
File Names:
Ssk.exe SskBho.dll SskCore.dll SSK_B5.EXE
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.SurfSideKick is an adware component that downloads and displays advertisements.

Note: Defenitions dated June 17th or earlier may detect this risk as Adware.SurfSidekick.B.

Symptoms


Your Symantec program detects Adware.SurfSideKick.

Behavior


This adware program must be manually installed.

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 November 21, 2004 revision 003
  • Latest Daily Certified version March 23, 2017 revision 041
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date November 24, 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Adware.SurfSideKick is executed, it performs the following actions:
  1. Creates the following files:
    • %Program Files%\SurfSideKick [version]\Ssk.exe
    • %Program Files%\SurfSideKick [version]\SskBho.dll
    • %Program Files%\SurfSideKick [version]\SskCore.dll
    • %Temp%\sskupdater3.exe
    • %Temp%\??.tmp
    • %Temp%\SSK3_B5 Seedcorn 4.exe
    • %Temp%\??.bat

      Note:
    • %ProgramFiles% is a variable that refers to the program files folder. By default, this is C:\Program Files.
    • %Temp% is a variable that refers to the Windows temporary folder. By default, this is C:\Windows\TEMP (Windows 95/98/Me/XP) or C:\WINNT\Temp (Windows NT/2000).
    • [version] refers to the current version number of the program.

  2. Adds some of the following registry keys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{000AB0005-FF12-42C2-8DF5-39E12E5F9C91}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{CA0E28FA-1AFD-4C21-A8DC-70EB5BE2F076}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{02EE5B04-F144-47BB-83FB-A60BD91B74A9}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Surf Sidekick
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Surf Sidekick_is1
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SurfSideKick2
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SurfSideKick3
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SurfSideKick3

  3. Adds some of the following values:

    "SurfSideKick" = "%Program Files%\SurfSideKick\Ssk.exe"
    "SurfSideKick 2" = "%Program Files%\SurfSideKick 2\Ssk.exe"
    "SurfSideKick 3" = "%Program Files%\SurfSideKick 3\Ssk.exe"

    to the following registry keys:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the program runs every time Windows starts.

  4. Deletes the value:

    {CFBFAE00-17A6-11D0-99CB-00C04FD64497}

    from the registry key

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks

  5. Adds the values:

    {02EE5B04-F144-47BB-83FB-A60BD91B74A9}
    {CA0E28FA-1AFD-4C21-A8DC-70EB5BE2F076}

    to the registry key

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\UrlSearchHooks

  6. Adds the values:

    {000AB0005-FF12-42C2-8DF5-39E12E5F9C91}
    {02EE5B04-F144-47BB-83FB-A60BD91B74A9}
    {CA0E28FA-1AFD-4C21-A8DC-70EB5BE2F076}

    to the registry key

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks

  7. Displays pop-up ads.

  8. May attempt to connect to a predetermined Web site, download other adware programs and send on system information.


The following instructions pertain to all Symantec antivirus products that support Security Risk detection.
  1. Update the definitions.
  2. Uninstall Adware.SurfSideKick using the Add/Remove Programs utility.
  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 uninstall the Adware
  1. Do one of the following:
    • On the Windows 98 taskbar:
      1. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel.
      2. In the Control Panel window, double-click Add/Remove Programs.

    • On the Windows Me taskbar:
      1. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel.
      2. In the Control Panel window, double-click Add/Remove Programs.
        If you do not see the Add/Remove Programs icon, click "...view all Control Panel options."

    • On the Windows 2000 taskbar:
      By default, Windows 2000 is set up the same as Windows 98, so follow the instructions for Windows 98. If otherwise, click Start, point to Settings > Control Panel, and then click Add/Remove Programs.

    • On the Windows XP taskbar:
      1. Click Start > Control Panel.
      2. In the Control Panel window, double-click Add or Remove Programs.

  2. Click Surf Sidekick.


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

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


3. To run the scan
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and then run a full system scan.

    Note: If you ran the Add/Remove programs applet as described in the previous section, all the files may have been removed, and thus none of them will be detected.
  2. If any files are detected as Adware.SurfSideKick 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.

        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.

    • 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.

        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.

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.
  2. Type regedit

    Then click OK.

  3. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Current Version\Run

  4. In the right pane, delete the values:

    "SurfSideKick" = "%Program Files%\SurfSideKick\Ssk.exe"
    "SurfSideKick 3" = "%Program Files%\SurfSideKick 3\Ssk.exe"

  5. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  6. In the right pane, delete the values:

    "SurfSideKick" = "%Program Files%\SurfSideKick\Ssk.exe"
    "SurfSideKick 3" = "%Program Files%\SurfSideKick 3\Ssk.exe"

  7. Delete the values:

    {02EE5B04-F144-47BB-83FB-A60BD91B74A9}
    {CA0E28FA-1AFD-4C21-A8DC-70EB5BE2F076}

    from the registry key

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\UrlSearchHooks

  8. Delete the values:

    {000AB0005-FF12-42C2-8DF5-39E12E5F9C91}
    {02EE5B04-F144-47BB-83FB-A60BD91B74A9}
    {CA0E28FA-1AFD-4C21-A8DC-70EB5BE2F076}

    from the registry key

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks

  9. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks

  10. In the right pane, right click and select New String Value. Set the name of this value to:

    {CFBFAE00-17A6-11D0-99CB-00C04FD64497}

    and leave the Value Data field blank.

  11. Navigate to and delete the following keys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{000AB0005-FF12-42C2-8DF5-39E12E5F9C91}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{CA0E28FA-1AFD-4C21-A8DC-70EB5BE2F076}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{02EE5B04-F144-47BB-83FB-A60BD91B74A9}
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Surf Sidekick
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Surf Sidekick_is1
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SurfSideKick2
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SurfSideKick3
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SurfSideKick3

  12. Exit the Registry Editor.