Threat Explorer

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February 13, 2007
ShareStar Inc
Risk Impact:
File Names:
Systems Affected:


Spyware.RealSpy monitors the system for keystrokes, Web sites visited, programs executed, screen snapshots, and files accessed. The logged information can also be uploaded periodically to a remote email address. It can run in stealth mode.


The process winrsm.exe should be running.


Has to 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 December 01, 2004 revision 003
  • Latest Daily Certified version March 23, 2017 revision 041
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date December 01, 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When Spyware.Realspy is executed, it performs the following actions:
  1. Adds the value:

    "Real Spy Monitor"="PROGRAMFILES\Real Spy Monitor\Winrsm.exe"

    to the registry key:


    so that the Spyware.RealSpy runs every time Windows starts.

    Note: This value is added if loading at windows boot time option is enabled.

  2. Creates the following directories:

    • %PROGRAMFILES%\Real Spy Monitor (installation directory)
    • %WINDOWS%\RSM (to store the log files)

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

  3. Adds additional registry keys:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE%\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Real Spy Monitor_is1

  4. Logs the following information:
    • Logs websites visited
    • Keystrokes typed
    • Programs executed
    • Screen snapshots
    • Files
    • Documents accessed by installing hooks

  5. Does not uninstall itself cleanly.

    Note: The registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run is not removed, and the file winrsm.exe is not deleted.

The following instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.
  1. Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP).
  2. Update the virus definitions.
  3. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as Spyware.RealSpy.
  4. Delete the value that was added to the registry.
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. To disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP)
If you are running Windows Me or Windows XP, we recommend that you temporarily turn off System Restore. Windows Me/XP uses this feature, which is enabled by default, to restore the files on your computer in case they become damaged. If a virus, worm, or Trojan infects a computer, System Restore may back up the virus, worm, or Trojan on the computer.

Windows prevents outside programs, including antivirus programs, from modifying System Restore. Therefore, antivirus programs or tools cannot remove threats in the System Restore folder. As a result, System Restore has the potential of restoring an infected file on your computer, even after you have cleaned the infected files from all the other locations.

Also, a virus scan may detect a threat in the System Restore folder even though you have removed the threat.

For instructions on how to turn off System Restore, read your Windows documentation, or one of the following articles:

When you are completely finished with the removal procedure and are satisfied that the threat has been removed, re-enable System Restore by following the instructions in the aforementioned documents.

For additional information, and an alternative to disabling Windows Me System Restore, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, "Antivirus Tools Cannot Clean Infected Files in the _Restore Folder ," Article ID: Q263455.

2. To update 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 daily. 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.

3. To scan for and delete the infected files
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files.
  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. If any files are detected as infected with Spyware.RealSpy, click Delete.

    If your Symantec antivirus product reports that it cannot delete an infected file, Windows may be using the file. To fix this, run the scan in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document, "How to start the computer in Safe Mode." Once you have restarted in Safe mode, run the scan again.

    (After the files are deleted, you can leave the computer in Safe mode and proceed with section 4. When that is done, restart the computer in Normal mode.)
4. To delete the value from the registry

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:


    In the right pane, delete the value:

    "Real Spy Monitor"="%PROGRAMFILES%\Real Spy Monitor\Winrsm.exe"

  4. Exit the Registry Editor.