Follow:

 

Win32/Helompy


Win32/Helompy is a worm that spreads via removable drives and attempts to capture and steal authentication details for a number of different websites or services, including Facebook and Gmail. The worm contacts a remote host to download arbitrary files and to upload stolen details.



What to do now

To detect and remove this threat and other malicious software that may be installed on your computer, run a full-system scan with an appropriate, up-to-date, security solution. The following Microsoft products detect and remove this threat:

For more information on antivirus software, see http://www.microsoft.com/windows/antivirus-partners/.

This worm attempts to steal sensitive and confidential information from affected users to perpetrate fraud. If you believe that your personal financial information may have been compromised, please refer to the following advisory for additional advice:

Threat behavior

Win32/Helompy is a worm that spreads via removable drives and attempts to capture and steal authentication details for a number of different websites or services, including Facebook and Gmail. The worm contacts a remote host to download arbitrary files and to upload stolen details.

Installation

When run under the administrator account, Win32/Helompy drops a copy of the worm in any of the following file folders:

  • c:\win
  • %windir%\cidd_p
  • d:\programs
  • %TEMP%\< eight character alphanumeric string>_Rar\ (such as '%TEMP%\000335A7_Rar\')

In the wild, this worm was observed executing as one of the following file names, with 'hidden', 'system' and 'read-only' file attributes:

  • lsass.exe
  • configuration.exe

When run under an account with limited privileges, the worm copies itself to the Windows startup folder as a file named "desktop.exe".

The worm uses a file folder icon as a trick, and if double-clicked to open by the affected user, it creates a folder and opens the folder using a new instance of Explorer. This behavior was observed in testing and is illustrated below, with a test sample named "Helompy-gen.exe":

 

The registry is modified to run the worm copy, as in the following example:

In subkey: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
Sets value: "run32"
With data: "<path and file name of the worm copy>" (e.g. "c:\win\lsass.exe")

Spreads via...

Removable drives
The worm copies itself to the root of all removable drives using the name of the target drive, and with file attributes of 'hidden', 'system' and 'read-only'. The worm then writes an Autorun configuration file named "autorun.inf" pointing to the worm copy. When the drive is accessed from a computer supporting the Autorun feature, the worm is launched automatically.

Payload

Captures log on credentials
Win32/Helompy creates a data file, used to store captured data, in the first fixed drive with free space as the following:

  • c:\DebugDLL\CatRoot\dll\systems.dll

To maximize capturing of user account log on credentials, the worm may disable the auto-complete setting for Internet Explorer by modifying registry data.

In subkey: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
Sets value: "Use FormSuggest"
With data: "no"

The worm then monitors application windows and records keystrokes when any of the following strings or keywords are found in the application window title:

  • alas.matf.bg.ac.yu
  • bank
  • Connect to Remote Host
  • Gmail: Email from Google
  • Login
  • my.EUnet.rs
  • Password
  • PayPal
  • Sign
  • Welcome to Facebook! | Facebook
  • Yahoo! Mail: The best web-based email!

The worm uses HTTP to send captured data to a remote server, using a server-side script.

Downloads files
Some variants of Win32/Helompy attempt to download updated versions of the worm from remote servers.

Analysis by Daniel Radu


Symptoms

System changes

The following system changes may indicate the presence of this malware:

  • The presence of the following file:
    • \DebugDLL\CatRoot\dll\systems.dll
  • The presence of the following file folders:
    • c:\win
    • %windir%\cidd_p
    • d:\programs
  • The presence of the following registry modifications:

    In subkey: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    Sets value: "run32"
    With data: "<path and file name of the worm copy>" (e.g. "c:\win\lsass.exe")
 

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 webpages.
  • 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. Instructions on how to download the latest versions of some common software is available from the following:

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/windows/antivirus-partners/.

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 webpages

Exercise caution with links to webpages 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: Severe
This entry was first published on: Dec 09, 2011
This entry was updated on: Dec 13, 2011

This threat is also detected as:
No known aliases