Threat Explorer

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VBS.Seeker.Family

VBS.Seeker.Family

Discovered:
17 January 2002
Updated:
13 February 2007

VBS.Seeker.Family is a Visual Basic Script (VBS) Trojan horse that alters the Internet Explorers home page and search page.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 17 January 2002
  • Latest Rapid Release version 04 November 2019 revision 019
  • Initial Daily Certified version 17 January 2002
  • Latest Daily Certified version 04 November 2019 revision 065
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date pending
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When VBS.Seeker.Family is executed, it looks at the following registry keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Start Page
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\Search Bar

If they are not are already set to the pages that have been programmed by the hacker, or if they are set to local files, it sets them to its own home and search pages.

It will then adds an address to the \%Windows%\hosts file to map the address

auto.search.msn.com

to its own site.

NOTE: %Windows% is a variable. The worm locates the \Windows folder (by default this is C:\Windows or C:\Winnt) and makes the changes in that location.

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.

To remove this Trojan, delete all files detected as VBS.Seeker.Family, reset your Internet Explorer home page and search page, and delete the line that refers to auto.search.msn.com from the \hosts file.

To remove the Trojan:
  1. Run LiveUpdate to make sure that you have the most recent virus definitions.
  2. Start Norton AntiVirus (NAV), and make sure that NAV is configured to scan all files. For instructions on how to do this, read the document How to configure Norton AntiVirus to scan all files.
  3. Run a full system scan.
  4. Delete all files that are detected as VBS.Seeker.Family.

To reset the Internet Explorer home page:
  1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  2. Connect to the Internet and go to the page that you want to set as your home page.
  3. Click Tools and then click Internet Options.
  4. In the Home page section of the General tab, click Use Current, and then click OK.

To reset the Internet Explorer Search page:
  1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  2. Click the Search icon on the toolbar.
  3. Click Customize.
  4. Click Reset and then click OK.

To edit the Hosts file:
This file may not exist on all systems.
  1. Using Windows Explorer, browse to the Windows or Winnt folder.
  2. Locate the Hosts file (if it exists).

    NOTE: On some NT-based systems, this file may be in the \I386 folder.
  3. Right-click the Hosts file and then click Open With.
  4. Choose Notepad and then click OK.
  5. look for a line that refers to:

    auto.search.msn.com

    If you find it delete it.
  6. Close Notepad and save your changes when prompted.



Writeup By: Dave Adamczyk