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Antivirus7


Antivirus7 is a variant of Win32/FakeXPA - a family of programs that claims to scan for malware and displays fake warnings of “malicious programs and viruses”. They then inform the user that they need to pay money to register the software in order to remove these non-existent threats. Some members of the Win32/FakeXPA family may also download additional malware and have been observed in the wild downloading variants of Win32/Alureon.
 
Special Note:
Reports of Rogue Antivirus programs have been more prevalent as of late.  These are programs that generate misleading alerts and false detections in order to convince users to purchase illegitimate security software.  Some of these programs, such as Trojan:Win32/Antivirusxp and Program:Win32/FakeRednefed may display product names or logos in an apparently unlawful attempt to impersonate Microsoft products.  These products may represent themselves as “Antivirus XP”, “AntivirusXP 2008”, “WinDefender 2008”, “XP Antivirus”, or similar.
 
Use the Microsoft Windows Defender, Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft Safety Scanner, or another up-to-date scanning and removal tool to detect and remove this threat and other unwanted software from your computer. For more information on Microsoft security products, see http://www.microsoft.com/protect/products/computer/default.mspx.


What to do now

Use the Microsoft Windows Defender, Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft Safety Scanner, or another up-to-date scanning and removal tool to detect and remove this threat and other unwanted software from your computer. For more information on Microsoft security products, see http://www.microsoft.com/protect/products/computer/default.mspx.
 
For information on additional support options worldwide, see http://www.microsoft.com/protect/support/default.mspx.

Threat behavior

Antivirus7 is a variant of Win32/FakeXPA - a family of programs that claims to scan for malware and displays fake warnings of “malicious programs and viruses”. They then inform the user that they need to pay money to register the software in order to remove these non-existent threats. Some members of the Win32/FakeXPA family may also download additional malware and have been observed in the wild downloading variants of Win32/Alureon.
 
Win32/FakeXPA  has been distributed with many different names. The name used by the malware, the user interface and other details vary to reflect each variant’s individual branding. The following details describe Win32/FakeXPA when it is distributed with the name Antivirus7.
Installation
The following system changes may be made by Win32/FakeXPA when distributed as Antivirus7.
The installer creates the following files:
  • %PROGRAM_FILES%\AV7\antivirus7.exe
  • %COMMON_STARTMENU%\AV7\Antivirus7.lnk
  • %DESKTOPDIRECTORY%\Antivirus7.lnk
  • <system folder>\UpdateExplorer.dll - this file is detected as Trojan:Win32/Yektel.A.
 
The following modifications are made to the registry (for example):
 
Sets value: "AV7"
With data: "%PROGRAM_FILES%\AV7\antivirus7.exe"
To subkey: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
Payload
Displays false/misleading malware alerts
When run, the malware performs a fake scan of the system, and falsely claims that a number of files on the system are infected with malware. Should users request that it clean the reported infections, it advises them that they need to pay money to register the program in order for it to do so. 
 
Please see below for examples of interface, fake alerts, false scanning results, and pop-ups used by Win32/FakeXPA when distributed as Antivirus7.
 












Analysis by Hamish O'Dea

Symptoms

System changes
The following system changes may indicate the presence of this Win32/FakeXPA when distributed as Antivirus7:
  • The presence of the following files:
    %PROGRAM_FILES%\AV7\antivirus7.exe
    %COMMON_STARTMENU%\AV7\Antivirus7.lnk
    %DESKTOPDIRECTORY%\Antivirus7.lnk
  • The presence of the following registry modifications:
    Sets value: "AV7"
    With data: "%PROGRAM_FILES%\AV7\antivirus7.exe"
    To subkey: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • The display of the following messages/dialogs:







Prevention

Take the following steps to help prevent infection on your computer:
  • Enable a firewall on your computer.
  • Get the latest computer updates for all your installed software.
  • Use up-to-date antivirus software.
  • Limit user privileges on the computer.
  • Use caution when opening attachments and accepting file transfers.
  • Use caution when clicking on links to web pages.
  • Avoid downloading pirated software.
  • Protect yourself against social engineering attacks.
  • Use strong passwords.
Enable a firewall on your computer
Use a third-party firewall product or turn on the Microsoft Windows Internet Connection Firewall.
Get the latest computer updates
Updates help protect your computer from viruses, worms, and other threats as they are discovered. It is important to install updates for all the software that is installed in your computer. These are usually available from vendor websites.
 
You can use the Automatic Updates feature in Windows to automatically download future Microsoft security updates while your computer is on and connected to the Internet.
Use up-to-date antivirus software
Most antivirus software can detect and prevent infection by known malicious software. To help protect you from infection, you should always run antivirus software, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, that is updated with the latest signature files. For more information, see http://www.microsoft.com/security/antivirus/av.aspx.
Limit user privileges on the computer
Starting with Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft introduced User Account Control (UAC), which, when enabled, allowed users to run with least user privileges. This scenario limits the possibility of attacks by malware and other threats that require administrative privileges to run.
 
You can configure UAC in your computer to meet your preferences:
Use caution when opening attachments and accepting file transfers
Exercise caution with email and attachments received from unknown sources, or received unexpectedly from known sources.  Use extreme caution when accepting file transfers from known or unknown sources.
Use caution when clicking on links to web pages
Exercise caution with links to web pages that you receive from unknown sources, especially if the links are to a webpage that you are not familiar with, unsure of the destination of, or suspicious of. Malicious software may be installed in your computer simply by visiting a webpage with harmful content.
Avoid downloading pirated software
Threats may also be bundled with software and files that are available for download on various torrent sites. Downloading "cracked" or "pirated" software from these sites carries not only the risk of being infected with malware, but is also illegal. For more information, see 'The risks of obtaining and using pirated software'.
Protect yourself from social engineering attacks
While attackers may attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in hardware or software to compromise a computer, they also attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in human behavior to do the same. When an attacker attempts to take advantage of human behavior to persuade the affected user to perform an action of the attacker's choice, it is known as 'social engineering'. Essentially, social engineering is an attack against the human interface of the targeted computer. For more information, see 'What is social engineering?'.
Use strong passwords
Attackers may try to gain access to your Windows account by guessing your password. It is therefore important that you use a strong password – one that cannot be easily guessed by an attacker. A strong password is one that has at least eight characters, and combines letters, numbers, and symbols. For more information, see http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/create.mspx.

Alert level: Low
This entry was first published on: Mar 12, 2010
This entry was updated on: Apr 17, 2011

This threat is also detected as:
  • Trojan:Win32/FakeXPA (other)