[REVS] Removing about:blank Homepage Hijacker

From: SecuriTeam (support_at_securiteam.com)
Date: 06/24/04

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    Date: 24 Jun 2004 15:37:39 +0200

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      Removing about:blank Homepage Hijacker


    Presented below are several tools and methods that can be used to remove
    the about:blank homepage hijacker.


    Vulnerable Systems:
     * Microsoft Internet Explorer

    Homepage hijackers are an effect caused by some toolbar programs, trojans
    or malware. The hostile application changes the default homepage of
    Internet Explorer to something undesired and does not allow the user to
    set the homepage back to the desired address.

    Below are several tools which can be used to find and remove malware which
    causes the effect. Presented here is also a manual step-by-step method of
    removing more persistent homepage hijackers.
    It is advisable to reboot the machine after each step before checking if
    the removal was successful.

    Spyware / trojan removal tools:
     <http://www.spybot.info/> Spybot - Search & Destroy can detect and remove
    spyware of different kinds from your computer. Spyware is a relatively new
    kind of threat that common anti-virus applications do not yet cover. If
    you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you didn't
    intentionally install, if your browser crashes, or if your browser's start
    page has changed without your knowing, you most probably have spyware.

     <http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/cwschronicles.html> CWShredder - A
    general homepage hijackers detector and remover. Initially based on the
    article <http://www.spywareinfo.com/articles/hijacked/> Hijacked!, but
    expanded with almost a dozen other checks against hijacker tricks. It is
    continually updated to detect and remove new hijacks.

     <http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_index.php> AVG antiVirus - An antivirus
    tool which also deals with some hijackers.

    Manual step-by-step:
    If a persistent hijacker is not removed by the tools listed above, manual
    removal should be used.

    The following procedure was written by Ttime2Early on the
    <http://www.computercops.biz/postp217898.html> Computer cops forum.

    To Remove "About:Blank" Hijacker Adware In Windows XP Home edition Service
    Pack 1 with Internet Explorer 6.0
    (probably works in NT and 2000 with some directory name changes only)
    follow this procedure:

    Programs Needed:
     * <http://www.resplendence.com/download/reglite.exe> Reglite.exe

     * Microsoft Recovery Console
    (an option available on your Windows CD or root drive)
    run X:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons
    where X is either CD drive letter or Windows installation root dir.

     * <http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/files/HijackThis.exe>

    Removal Procedure:
    There are two application extensions (.dll) files that Need to be deleted.
    One is hidden (thanks Akadia!), one is detected with "HiJackThis.exe"

    1) With "Reglite.exe" find name of hidden file:
    Double Click on "AppInit_DLLs" located in
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\\
    The "value" window reveals the hidden file name. (mine was "hlpl.dll",
    yours may be different!)
    In this example let's call it "hidden.dll"

    2) Rename the hidden file:
    Close Windows and reboot using "Windows Recovery Console"
    Go to "c:\Windows\system32\" and do two things.
    Change file from read only by typing attrib -r hidden.dll
    Then rename it (For some reason this only works after rename) type rename
    hidden.dll nasty.dll
    (and remember that "hidden.dll" is for this explanation only use the name
    you found earlier)
    Type "exit" and reboot to Windows.

    3) Edit registry to remove hidden file:
    Run "reglite.exe" again.
    Double Click on "AppInit_DLLs" located in
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\\
    Delete the file in "value" window, the "size" window changes also.
    "Apply" changes and exit "reglite.exe"

    4) Edit registry to remove the second file:
    Run HiJackThis.exe and scan the registry.
    Check the boxes to remove the following entries:
    R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar =
    res://C:\WINDOWS\System32\jheckb.dll/sp.html (obfuscated)
    R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page =
    res://C:\WINDOWS\System32\jheckb.dll/sp.html (obfuscated)
    R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,SearchAssistant =
    res://C:\WINDOWS\System32\jheckb.dll/sp.html (obfuscated)
    R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar =
    res://C:\WINDOWS\System32\jheckb.dll/sp.html (obfuscated)
    R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page =
    res://C:\WINDOWS\System32\jheckb.dll/sp.html (obfuscated)
    R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,SearchAssistant =
    res://C:\WINDOWS\System32\jheckb.dll/sp.html (obfuscated)
    R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,HomeOldSP =
    (as you can see the second .dll in the example was called "jheckb.dll"
    yours may be different) For this example let's call it "obvious.dll".

    Finally delete the two .dlls ("hidden.dll" and "obvious.dll")

    That's it! You should be running again

    By the way, if you go offline with Internet Explorer and type OK to these
    nasty adware windows you will see the guys who benefit from this hijacker.
    Time2Early found:
    www.vn.msie.cc (the real web page)

    They seem to be selling adware/spyware protection...


    The thorough step-by-step and example was taken from
    <http://www.computercops.biz/postp217898.html> Time2Early post in
     <www.computercops.biz> www.computercops.biz


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