Re: IE Malware / Spyware Control Methods
From: Paul Laudanski (zx_at_castlecops.com)
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 19:06:39 -0500 (EST) To: Illuminatus Master <email@example.com>
Still isn't too late, so Happy 2005! I have my comments below.
On Fri, 7 Jan 2005, Illuminatus Master wrote:
> I'm sure you all realize the growing threat of malware and spyware to
> Internet Explorer. It has been my experience that the initial
> infection and/or removel of an infection by anti-spyware products can
> permanently damage a windows workstation. This damage occurs in many
> forms and often leads too the workstation being reformatted and
> rebuilt before going back into service.
From the extensive experience in working with members at
http://castlecops.com in using applications like hijackthis, the staff
have not run into the same issues you state above. It is not common to
rebuild systems after they have been hijacked, those systems can be, and
often times, are saved.
> A recent example is earlier this week, in spite of content filtering,
> a workstation was infected with "wintools", "mysearchtoolbar" etc. The
> tough part of this is that such malware has multiple instances/threads
> and renames system files like msconfig to resist removal. Often
> IE/Windows is so damaged it's more time effiecient to just replace the
> box and rebuild the infected one.
Well there are many nefarious spyware files which are completely random.
Take note that some files, if the system has proper permissions, won't be
able to overwrite critical files.
You can take a look at the lists we keep for files, BHOs, Toolbars, LSPs:
On the two you cite, you can search the threads here for solutions aside
from system rebuild.
> Other than Group Policy I'm also considering deploying an alternate
> web browser that isnt subject to malware infection but doing so
> complicates my patching/reporting routine for our security audits.
Scott Lemmon, bless his soul, wrote Proxomitron, an application that if
installed and used as a local proxy could put a stop to all of this. As
for alternate browsers, each have their own issues. Firefox for example
is susceptible to phishing attacks:
Here is the dedicated homepage for Proxomitron:
http://www.proxomitron.info (appears to be down ATM)
Here is an excellent article on how one got infected in the first place,
and provides suggestions on how to shore up by Tony Klein:
If you find that rebuilding systems is getting common for you, you may
want to visit some spyware help forums. Ours is here:
However, there is a whole team of sites that participate in cleaning up
spyware infected systems:
However, Eric Howes has done extensive testing on anti-spyware
applications, and touches on knock offs:
I hope this information helps. There shouldn't be reasons to rebuild
systems on a regular basis.
-- Regards, Paul Laudanski - Computer Cops, LLC. CEO & Founder CastleCops(SM) - http://castlecops.com Promoting education and health in online security and privacy.