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Auto download adware carries vicious payload
vnunet.com ^ | 03 Mar 2005 | Robert Jaques

Posted on 03/03/2005 1:39:36 PM PST by holymoly

Security experts issued a warning this morning after detecting infections caused by Searchmeup, the first adware to use the Exploit/LoadImage vulnerability which downloads itself onto computers without the user's permission.

Panda Software's PandaLabs warned that the pages from which Searchmeup are downloaded also contain a series of exploits to download other malware onto the computer, such as the Tofger.AT Trojan, which steals banking passwords, Dialer.BB and Dialer.NO, and adware called Adware/TopConvert.

Searchmeup is downloaded onto the computer when the user visits maliciously coded web pages. Once installed it changes the home page to that of a search engine that displays pop-ups every time it loads with the aim of installing spyware and diallers on infected computers.

Searchmeup affects computers running Windows 2003, XP, 2000, NT, Me and 98, and allows arbitrary code to be run.

It could be exploited by an attacker hosting a specially crafted cursor or icon on a malicious web page or HTML email. Microsoft has released a patch to correct this problem, and users are advised to install it immediately.

The web pages from which Searchmeup is downloaded also drop Tofger.AT onto computers, a Trojan which runs every time Internet Explorer is opened.

Tofger.AT keeps track of the user's internet activity, logging passwords for secure 'https' connections which are often used for connections with online banks. Once it has collected this information, Tofger.AT sends it to a remote server.

Searchmeup can also generate an error in the 'services.exe' file, informing users that the computer will be restarted in one minute.

After the restart, the computer operates perfectly. On some occasions Searchmeup can also display blue screen errors, and Tofger.AT can actually update itself to a new version.

"The Exploit/LoadImage vulnerability can be used on web pages or HTML email by crafting a special icon or image file that causes a buffer overflow that in turn can be used to take control of the user's computer," said Patrick Hinojosa, chief technology officer at Panda Software US.

"This can be very serious as the user does not have to do anything unusual like opening a suspicious attachment. This is what is sometimes referred to as a 'drive by' attack."

Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs, added: "The appearance of Searchmeup is a sign of the continuous evolution of malware, and of spyware and adware in particular.

"The first stage was that adware reached computers as a component of a freeware application, then web pages appeared that installed adware on users' computers using ActiveX.

"Now they have gone a step further, as Searchmeup exploits a vulnerability that even virus creators had not used until now."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: adware; autoinstall; browser; dialer; driveby; hijack; malware; spyware; trojan
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More information about Exploit/LoadImage
1 posted on 03/03/2005 1:39:38 PM PST by holymoly
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To: holymoly

freeware is ruined.


2 posted on 03/03/2005 1:42:07 PM PST by Huck (I only type LOL when I'm really LOL.)
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To: holymoly
a Trojan which runs every time Internet Explorer is opened.

I just love Firefox!


3 posted on 03/03/2005 1:43:26 PM PST by frogjerk
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To: Huck

Anyone caught intentionally pushing malware on PCs should be shot, I mean it. This has ramifications for the economy.


4 posted on 03/03/2005 1:44:45 PM PST by dfwgator (It's sad that the news media treats Michael Jackson better than our military.)
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To: ShadowAce

Ping.


5 posted on 03/03/2005 1:47:29 PM PST by bkwells (GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY!)
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To: holymoly

Good information...

Important to stay up to date on everything... browsers, antivirus... and now this spyware adware stuff. I am using MS AntiSpyware Beta, even though I've never had any spyware or adware to speak of.


6 posted on 03/03/2005 1:47:33 PM PST by HairOfTheDog (It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life!)
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To: dfwgator

Wrong! They should be tortured first, then hanged, then drawn and quartered...then shot.


7 posted on 03/03/2005 1:47:55 PM PST by Snardius
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To: holymoly

Ping for later


8 posted on 03/03/2005 1:48:03 PM PST by AAABEST (Kyrie eleison - Christe eleison )
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To: frogjerk

Bless your smug heart... the buggers will hassle you soon enough. ;~D


9 posted on 03/03/2005 1:48:55 PM PST by HairOfTheDog (It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life!)
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To: dfwgator
"Anyone caught intentionally pushing malware on PCs should be shot, I mean it. This has ramifications for the economy."

I don't know. The problem is if they can do it, Red China can do it. I want the systems secure. Nobody should be able to do it.

10 posted on 03/03/2005 1:49:54 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: holymoly

Way to be posting stuff from January 11th.

This has been patched since then and if you've simply had the autoupdate on, it hasn't affected you since then. It's what, March 3rd today?

PS. Firefox dl'd four trojans on me last week. IE was bulletproof on the same sites. FYI


11 posted on 03/03/2005 1:51:46 PM PST by Republicanus_Tyrannus
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To: HairOfTheDog
Important to stay up to date on everything... browsers, antivirus... and now this spyware adware stuff.

Which reminds me...

PC security-related links.   All software is freeware/open source.

Last Update: 02/18/2005
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Mozilla Plugin Support on Microsoft Windows

Netscape Browser Archive

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12 posted on 03/03/2005 1:52:00 PM PST by holymoly ("A lot" is TWO words.)
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To: dfwgator
Anyone caught intentionally pushing malware on PCs should be shot, I mean it.
I agree. Virus writers/Adware developers/Spyware authors are the absolute scum of the earth, and should be tied up and beaten with Louisville sluggers until only a bloody stump remains where their heads once existed.
13 posted on 03/03/2005 1:52:16 PM PST by bikepacker67 ("Donovan McNabb... I can't HEAR YOU" < / Who's your Mommy>)
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To: holymoly

Thanks!


14 posted on 03/03/2005 1:52:49 PM PST by P.O.E.
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To: holymoly

In addition to Spybot S&D and AdAware, I use HiJack This! It is a program that takes care of browser hijacking by malware after it happens.


15 posted on 03/03/2005 1:52:58 PM PST by peyton randolph (CAIR supports TROP terrorists)
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To: holymoly

I don't see TDS3 or a2 personal in there, maybe add them?


16 posted on 03/03/2005 1:53:29 PM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: dfwgator

I agree, and their body parts should be sold.
I have had many hours stolen from me the last 7 days fighting what sounds like the same thing.

I have beaten the stuff back, but my computer is going to have to have the hard drive replaced because of this garbage and I make my living from my computer.


17 posted on 03/03/2005 1:54:55 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland
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if you have XP service pack 2, you dont need the fix


18 posted on 03/03/2005 1:55:24 PM PST by KneelBeforeZod ( I'm going to open Cobra Kai dojos all over this valley!)
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To: Snardius

Don't forget to do the same to the spammers and virus writers.


19 posted on 03/03/2005 1:55:27 PM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: HairOfTheDog
Bless your smug heart... the buggers will hassle you soon enough. ;~D

He he he he...

20 posted on 03/03/2005 1:55:33 PM PST by frogjerk
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