Threat Explorer

The Threat Explorer is a comprehensive resource consumers can turn to for daily, accurate, up-to-date information on the latest threats, risks and vulnerabilities.

VBS.Bootconf.B

VBS.Bootconf.B

Discovered:
10 February 2004
Updated:
13 February 2007
Systems Affected:
Windows

VBS.Bootconf.B is a Trojan horse that modifies Internet Explorer settings, redirects Web sites such as Google, Yahoo and MSN to a different search page, and may pop up browser windows to a pornographic Web site.



VBS.Bootconf.B may be installed by another script, which downloads a page containing VBS.Bootconf.B, and saves it as a file named win.hta in the Fonts directory (e.g. %Windir%\Fonts). Symantec antivirus products detect the downloader page as Downloader.Trojan.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 11 February 2004
  • Latest Rapid Release version 28 September 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version 11 February 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version 28 September 2010 revision 036
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date 11 February 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When VBS.Bootconf.B is executed, it does the following:
  1. Adds entries to the Hosts file to redirect the following URLs to a competing search page:
    • auto.search.msn.com
    • search.msn.com
    • msn.com
    • www.msn.com
    • yahoo.com
    • www.yahoo.com
    • google.com
    • www.google.com


      Notes:
      The Hosts file may be located in %Windir%\Hosts or %Windir%\System32\Drivers\Etc\Hosts, depending on the operating system.
      %Windir% is a variable; by default, this is C:\Windows or C:\Winnt.

  2. Creates the file %Windir%\default.css. This file contains code to pop up a pornographic search page in a new browser window, when the Web browser accesses a pornographic Web site.

  3. Changes the Internet Explorer start page by modifying the value:

    "Start Page"

    in the registry keys:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

  4. Sets the values:
    • "User Stylesheet" = "%Windir%\default.css"
    • "Use My Stylesheet" = 1

    in the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Styles

Recommendations

Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators to adhere to the following basic security "best practices":

  • Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
  • Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
  • Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
  • Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
  • Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
  • Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
  • If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
  • Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
  • Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
  • Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
  • Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
  • If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device's visibility is set to "Hidden" so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to "Unauthorized", requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources.
  • For further information on the terms used in this document, please refer to the Security Response glossary.


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 definitions.
  3. Restart the computer in Safe mode or VGA mode.
  4. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as VBS.Bootconf.B. Manually delete %Windir%\default.css.
  5. Delete the value that was added to the registry.
  6. Reverse the changes that were made to the Hosts file.
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. Disabling 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:
Note: When you are completely finished with the removal procedure, and you are satisfied that the threat has been removed, you should reenable 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. 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.

3. Restarting the computer in Safe mode or VGA mode
Shut down the computer and turn off the power. Wait for at least 30 seconds, and then restart the computer in Safe mode or VGA mode.
  • For Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, or XP users, restart the computer in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document, "How to start the computer in Safe Mode."
  • For Windows NT 4 users, restart the computer in VGA mode.

4. Scanning for and deleting the 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 VBS.Bootconf.B, click Delete.
  4. Manually delete the file %Windir%\Default.css.


    Note: %Windir% is a variable. By default, this is C:\Windows or C:\Winnt.

5. Deleting the value from the registry


WARNING: 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, and then click Run. (The Run dialog box appears.)
  2. Type regedit

    Then click OK. (The Registry Editor opens.)

  3. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

  4. In the right pane, delete the value"Start Page," or change this setting to point to your preferred start page.

  5. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Styles

  6. In the right pane, delete the following values:
    • "User Stylesheet" = "%Windir%\default.css"
    • "Use My Stylesheet" = 1

  7. Exit the Registry Editor.

6. Reversing the changes made to the Hosts file

Note: The location of the Hosts file may vary and some computers may not have this file. For example, if the file exists in Windows 98, it will usually be in C:\Windows, and it is located in the C:\WINNT\system32\drivers\etc folder in Windows 2000. There may also be multiple copies of this file in different locations.

Follow the instructions for your operating system:
  • Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000
    1. Click Start, point to Find or Search, and then click Files or Folders.
    2. Make sure that "Look in" is set to (C:) and that "Include subfolders" is checked.
    3. In the "Named" or "Search for..." box, type:

      hosts

    4. Click Find Now or Search Now.
    5. For each one that you find, right-click it, and then click "Open With."
    6. Deselect the "Always use this program to open this program" check box.
    7. Scroll through the list of programs and double-click Notepad.
    8. Delete any lines containing the following entries:
      • auto.search.msn.com
      • search.msn.com
      • msn.com
      • www.msn.com
      • yahoo.com
      • www.yahoo.com
      • google.com
      • www.google.com

    9. Close Notepad and save your changes when prompted.

  • Windows XP
    1. Click Start, and then click Search.
    2. Click All files and folders.
    3. In the "All or part of the file name" box, type:

      hosts

    4. Verify that "Look in" is set to "Local Hard Drives" or to (C:).
    5. Click "More advanced options."
    6. Check "Search system folders."
    7. Check "Search subfolders."
    8. Click Search.
    9. Click Find Now or Search Now.
    10. For each one that you find, right-click it, and then click "Open With."
    11. Deselect the "Always use this program to open this program" check box.
    12. Scroll through the list of programs and double-click Notepad.
    13. Delete any lines containing the following entries:
      • auto.search.msn.com
      • search.msn.com
      • msn.com
      • www.msn.com
      • yahoo.com
      • www.yahoo.com
      • google.com
      • www.google.com

    14. Close Notepad and save your changes when prompted.


Writeup By: Heather Shannon