This is a trojan detection. Unlike viruses, trojans do not self-replicate. They are spread manually, often under the premise that they are beneficial or wanted. The most common installation methods involve system or security exploitation, and unsuspecting users manually executing unknown programs. Distribution channels include email, malicious or hacked web pages, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), peer-to-peer networks, etc.
4534 (2005-07-13)Updated DAT
This is a generic detection for start page trojans.
These Trojans can be installed via a wide variety of means - utilizing vulnerabilities in browsers, dropped by other viruses etc.
They are designed to replace the user's web browser start page, typically to generate revenue for the author by increasing the number of times the advertisments on their page are displayed (also known as "impressions", an advertisement which is displayed to a user, but not necessarily clicked on) and also the probability that any of the ads might then be clicked by the user. This is designed to make the Trojan author money from a "pay per impression" or "pay per click" scheme. The redirected start page location could also utilize exploits or contain automatic download prompting to install other software.
McAfee writes more generic detections for these threats and to proactively protect customers against future minor variants. Therefore it is not possible to specify which website will be communicated with for a given detection.
This is a generic detection so specific details are not possible. The Trojan will usually install itself into %windir% or %systemdir% and create a registry key to cause it to launch on restart. The system may also be attempt to connect to the Internet on startup.
Generally start page trojans modify one or more of the following keys.
In effect, changing these keys will modify the default web page which loads when the Internet browser is launched, and change the default search behavior.
Trojans do not self-replicate. They are spread manually, often under the premise that the executable is something beneficial. Distribution channels include IRC, peer-to-peer networks, newsgroup postings, etc.
Start page hijackers are not viruses, and as such do not themselves contain any method to replicate. However they may be downloaded by other viruses and/or Trojans to be installed on the user's system. Many of these are mass spammed by the author to entice people into double-clicking on them. Alternately they may be installed by visiting a malicious web page (either by clicking on a link, or by the website hosting a scripted exploit which installs the Trojan onto the user's system with no user interaction).
Use current engine and DAT files for detection and removal.
Modifications made to the system Registry and/or INI files for the purposes of hooking system startup, will be successfully removed if cleaning with the recommended engine and DAT combination (or higher).
But in some particular cases, the following steps need to be taken.
Please go to the Microsoft Recovery Console and restore a clean MBR.
On Windows XP:
On Windows Vista and 7: