Threat Explorer

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VBS.Keinef

VBS.Keinef

Discovered:
14 January 2003
Updated:
13 February 2007
Systems Affected:
Windows

VBS.Keinef is a Visual Basic Script (VBS) threat that, depending on the variant, may modify the registry or the Win.ini file. Or, it can copy itself to your computer or to network drives. Additionally, it may attempt to send Windows password files to a pre-defined email address.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 15 January 2003
  • Latest Rapid Release version 28 September 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version 15 January 2003
  • Latest Daily Certified version 28 September 2010 revision 036
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date 15 January 2003
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

Depending on the variant, VBS.Keinef performs the following actions:

A variant
  1. Modifies the Value Data of the (Default) value in the registry key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command

    to:

    "\Windows\wscript.exe" "" "%1" "%*

    This will prevent you from running the .exe files.
  2. Modifies the Value Data of the (Default) value in the registry key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\comfile\shell\open\command

    "\Windows\wscript.exe" "" "%1" "%*"

    This will prevent you from running the .com files.
B variant
  1. Checks the system date. If the date is the 24th of any month, VBS.Keinef writes a Java Applet Class named "AppletSpamming.class" and adds it to the file \Windows\Spoofing.htm.
  2. Opens Spoofing.htm in Internet Explorer. However, this action is hidden, and you will not see the Spoofing.htm file when it is opened.
  3. Displays the message:


  4. Copies itself to all the network drivers as Klm#.vbs.
  5. Modifies the \Windows\Win.ini file on all the network drives by adding the text:

    run=c:\klm#.vbs

    This causes the Klm#.vbs file to run when you start Windows.

    NOTE: The file name Klm#.vbs will vary. The # is a random number.

C variant
  1. Searches for files in the \Windows folder with the string "PWL" in the file name and adds these files to a list.
  2. Sends all the files in the list it created as email attachments. The format of the email message is:

    Recipients: ovg_psws@hotmail.com
    Subject: Password
    Message: The message consist of the this information:

    Computer name, User name, User domain, Registered Organization, Registered Owner, Platform type

    Attachment: The files that VBS.Keinef found in step 1.

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.

These instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.
  1. Update the virus definitions.

    NOTE: If you try to update the virus definitions and you find that LiveUpdate does not run, it is likely that your computer was infected by the A variant. In this case, first follow the instructions in the "Editing the registry" section later in this writeup, and then restart at step 1.
  2. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as VBS.Keinef. Then look for and delete \Windows\Spoofing.htm, if found.
  3. Edit the Win.ini file on the networked Windows 95/98/Me computers, if infected by the B variant.
For specific details on each of these procedures, read the following instructions.

1. 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 the 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), in the "Protection" section, at the top of this writeup.
  • 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), in the "Protection" section, at the top of this writeup.

    The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are available here. For detailed instructions on how to download and install the Intelligent Updater virus definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site, click here.

2. Scanning for and deleting 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 VBS.Keinef, click Delete.
  4. Using Windows Explorer, look for the file \Windows\Spoofing.htm, and delete it, if found.

3. Editing the Win.ini file
This is necessary only on Windows 95/98/Me computers.

NOTE for Windows Me users only: Due to the file-protection process in Windows Me, a backup copy of the file you are to edit exists in the C:\Windows\Recent folder. Symantec recommends that you delete this file before you continue with the steps in this section. To do this using Windows Explorer, go to C:\Windows\Recent, and in the right pane select the Win.ini file and delete it. The file will be regenerated as a copy of the file you are to edit when you save your changes to that particular file.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type the following:

    edit c:\windows\win.ini

    and then click OK.

    (The MS-DOS Editor opens.)

    NOTE: If Windows is installed in a different location, make the appropriate path substitution.
  3. In the [windows] section of the file, look for a line similar to:

    run=c:\windows\system\wininit.exe
  4. If this line exists, select its entirety. Be sure that you do not select any other text, and then press Delete.
  5. Click File, and then click Save.
  6. Click File, and then click Exit.

Editing the registry
This is necessary only if your computer was infected with the A variant, which modifies the registry so that you cannot run the .com or .exe files. To work around this, first make a copy of the Registry Editor as a file with the .scr extension, and then run the file.
  1. Do one of the following, depending on which version of Windows you are running:
    • Windows 95/98 users
      1. Click Start.
      2. Point to Programs.
      3. Click the MS-DOS Prompt. (A DOS window opens at the C:\Windows prompt.) Proceed to step 2 of this section.
    • Windows Me users
      1. Click Start.
      2. Point to Programs.
      3. Point to Accessories.
      4. Click the MS-DOS Prompt. (A DOS window opens at the C:\Windows prompt.) Proceed to step 2 of this section.
    • Windows NT/2000 users
      1. Click Start, and then click Run.
      2. Type command, and then press Enter. (A DOS window opens.)
      3. Type cd \winnt, and then press Enter.
      4. Go to step 2 of this section.
    • Windows XP users:
      1. Click Start, and then click Run.
      2. Type command, and then press Enter. (A DOS window opens.)
      3. Type the following:

        cd\
        cd \windows

        Press Enter after typing each one.
      4. Proceed to step 2 of this section.
  2. Type copy regedit.exe regedit.scr, and then press Enter.
  3. Type start regedit.scr, and then press Enter. (The Registry Editor will open in front of the DOS window.)

    After you finish editing the registry, exit the Registry Editor, and then exit the DOS window as well.
  4. Before continuing, Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before you make any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify the specified keys only. For instructions, read the document, "How to make a backup of the Windows registry."
  5. Navigate to and select the key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command.

    NOTE: The HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key contains many subkey entries that refer to other file extensions. One of these file extensions is .exe. Changing this extension can prevent any files ending with an .exe extension from running. Make sure that you completely browse throughout this path until you reach the \command subkey.

    Modify the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command subkey, shown in the following figure:

    <<=== NOTE: Modify this key.
  6. In the right pane, double-click the (Default) value.
  7. Delete the current value data, and then type: "%1" %* (That is, type the characters: quote-percent-one-quote-space-percent-asterisk).

    NOTES
    • Under Windows 95/98/Me/NT, the Registry Editor automatically encloses the value within quotation marks. When you click OK, the (Default) value should look exactly like this:

      ""%1" %*"  
    • Under Windows 2000/XP, the additional quotation marks will not appear. When you click OK, the (Default) value should look exactly like this:

      "%1" %*
    • Make sure that you completely delete all the value data in the command key before typing the correct data. If you leave a space at the beginning of the entry, any attempt to run the program files will result in the error message, "Windows cannot find .exe." If this occurs, restart the entire process from the beginning of this document and make sure that you completely remove the current value data.
  8. Navigate to and select the key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\comfile\shell\open\command
  9. In the right pane, double-click the (Default) value.
  10. Repeat the instructions in step 7.
  11. Exit the Registry Editor.


Writeup By: Jason Pan