Threat Explorer

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Adware.Topsearch

Adware.Topsearch

Updated:
February 13, 2007
Version:
Not available
Publisher:
Altnet, Inc.
Risk Impact:
Medium
File Names:
Topsearch.dll; asm.exe; asmps.dll; Points Manager.exe
Systems Affected:
Windows

Behavior


Adware.Topsearch acts as a search engine. It can supply advertising content to Kazaa or Grokster users.

Symptoms


The files are detected as Adware.Topsearch.

Behavior


Other programs install this adware with certain versions of Kazaa and Grokster.

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 May 20, 2003
  • Latest Daily Certified version March 23, 2017 revision 041
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date May 22, 2003
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Adware.TopSearch is executed, it will perform some of the following actions:
  1. Creates the following files:

    • %ProgramFiles%\KaZaA\topsearch.dll (may be installed at other locations.)
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Download Manager\asm.exe
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Download Manager\asmps.dll
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Download Manager\altinst1.dll
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Download Manager\altinst2.dll
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\My Altnet Shares\ (may contain a number of files)
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\DBBackup\Sigfiles.db
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Points Manager\Local Pages (may contain a number of .gif and .html files)
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Points Manager\Skin (may contain a number of .bmp files)
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Points Manager\Temp Internet Shares (may contain a number of files)
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Points Manager\points manager.exe
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Points Manager\Points Manager.exe.Manifest
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Points Manager\settings.cab
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Points Manager\setup.cab
    • %ProgramFiles%\Altnet\Points Manager\sysdetect.dll
    • %Windir%\smdat32m.sys
    • %Windir%\smdat32a.sys
    • %Windir%\Fonts\acrsec.fon
    • %Windir%\Fonts\acrsecI.fon
    • %Windir%\Fonts\acrsecB.fon
    • %System%\TopSearch.dll

      Notes:
    • %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).
    • %Windir% is a variable that refers to the Windows installation folder. By default, this is C:\Windows (Windows 95/98/Me/XP) or C:\Winnt (Windows NT/2000).
    • %ProgramFiles% is a variable that refers to the program files folder. By default, this is C:\Program Files.

  2. Creates the file [ORIGINAL FILE NAME].Manifest

    Note: [ORIGINAL FILE NAME] refers to the file that originally executed the security risk.

  3. Creates the following registry keys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3646C2BD-3554-49CA-8125-44DEEFB881DE}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{8B0FEF15-54DC-49F5-8377-8172DE975F75}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3f4d4f88-0198-4921-b630-957f3eb814e0}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{9BBCF06C-DCD7-495D-80DF-CDD5399D0FF8}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{E813099D-5529-47F4-9B37-4AFAFCB00A43}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{AD5BC1F0-72D8-44B3-8E3D-8E8FECCE43FB}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{E813099D-5529-47F4-9B37-4AFAFCB00A43}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\Altnet Signing Module.EXE
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SigningModule.SigningModule
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SigningModule.SigningModule.1
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Management\ARPCache\AltnetDM
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\AltnetDM
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altnet

  4. Adds the following value:
    "AltnetPointsManager" = "Random Location"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so the risk runs on startup.



Note: Removing this adware component from the system will likely cause the Kazaa program that installed it to not function as intended.

  1. Update the virus definitions.
  2. Uninstall Kazaa using the Add/Remove Programs utility.
  3. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as Adware.Topsearch.
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. Updating the virus definitions
Symantec Security Response fully tests all the virus definitions for quality assurance before they are posted to our servers. There are two ways to obtain the most recent virus definitions:
  • Running LiveUpdate, which is the easiest way to obtain virus definitions: These virus definitions are posted to the LiveUpdate servers once each week (usually on Wednesdays), unless there is a major virus outbreak. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by LiveUpdate, refer to the Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate).
  • Downloading the definitions using the Intelligent Updater: The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are posted on U.S. business days (Monday through Friday). You should download the definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site and manually install them. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, refer to the Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater).

    The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are available: Read "How to update virus definition files using the Intelligent Updater" for detailed instructions.

2. Uninstalling 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. In that case, follow the instructions for Windows 98. Otherwise, click Start, point to Settings, point to 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 Kazaa.


    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. Scanning for and deleting the infected files
  1. Start Norton AntiVirus and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files. For more information, read the document, "How to configure Norton AntiVirus to scan all files."
  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. If any files are detected as infected with Adware.Topsearch, click Delete.
  4. Navigate to %ProgramFiles%\Altnet and delete this folder
  5. Navigate to %Windir%\Fonts and delete the following files if they exist acrsec.fon,acrsecI.fon,acrsecB.fon
  6. Navigate to %Windir% and delete the following files if they exist symdat32m.sys, sysdat32a.sys


    Note: If you ran the Add/Remove programs applet as described in the previous section, it is possible that all the files were removed, and therefore, they will not be detected.


4. To delete the keys and values 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. For instructions refer to the document: How to make a backup of the Windows registry.
  1. Click Start > Run.
  2. Type regedit
  3. Click OK.

    Note: If the registry editor fails to open the threat may have modified the registry to prevent access to the registry editor. Security Response has developed a tool to resolve this problem. Download and run this tool, and then continue with the removal.

  4. Navigate to and delete the following keys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3646C2BD-3554-49CA-8125-44DEEFB881DE}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{8B0FEF15-54DC-49F5-8377-8172DE975F75}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3f4d4f88-0198-4921-b630-957f3eb814e0}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{9BBCF06C-DCD7-495D-80DF-CDD5399D0FF8}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{E813099D-5529-47F4-9B37-4AFAFCB00A43}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{AD5BC1F0-72D8-44B3-8E3D-8E8FECCE43FB}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{E813099D-5529-47F4-9B37-4AFAFCB00A43}
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\Altnet Signing Module.EXE
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SigningModule.SigningModule
    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SigningModule.SigningModule.1
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Management\ARPCache\AltnetDM
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\AltnetDM
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Altnet

  5. Navigate to the subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  6. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "AltnetPointsManager"="Random Location"

  7. Exit the Registry Editor.