CYBER NEWS

Bing(.)vc Hijacker Now Spread with Legitimate Driver Utilities

Bing(.)vc is a well-known browser hijacker that has been around for a while now. The latest version of the hijacker, however, has been reported to spread via legitimate-like applications. To blame for this is the infamous method of bundling.

Related: Bing(.)vc Removal Manual

Intel and McAfee security researchers have discovered that the Bing(.)vc malware is now bundled with apps by Lavians Inc. This is what the report says:

We have come across several files from Lavians Inc. that look like legitimate applications but may pose a serious risk. We have observed that Lavians Inc. is repackaging clean applications with a browser hijacker to avoid suspicion and to increase its outreach.

According to Intel, most of the infected files are hidden as driver utilities and have names like:

→HP DESKJET F4580 Driver Utility Setup, DELL Inspiron 5100 Drivers Utility Setup, or Acer Aspire ONE ZG5 Drivers Utility Setup.

New Versions of Bing(.)vc Hijacker Affect Chrome, Firefox, and IE

Upon installation of the files, the user installs the particular app but also gets his browser hijacked with bing(.)vc. The hijacker is hidden inside a file identified as IconOverlayEx(.)dll.

Once into a system, the hijacker installs itself into Chrome, Firefox, and IE, and changes the browser’s homepage. Additionally, ads will be injected into all websites the user visits.

Despite its name, the page, bing(.)vc doesn’t have anything to do with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Researchers point out that it’s weird Microsoft hasn’t done anything to take the domain down. The most curious part of this new campaign, however, is that it redirects users to a page that sells a very expensive tool to fix the victim’s browser.

Can Bing(.)vc Be Removed?

Unfortunately, users have shared negative experience in their attempt to clean their browsers and systems. Even though they have successfully removed the driver utility which brought the hijacker, the hijacker itself persists. One file that remains after the uninstallation of the app is indeed IconOverlayEx(.)dll.

Furthermore, Bing(.) would also modify the victim’s registry by adding two new entries to load the DLL on every restart of the system:

  • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers\ IconOverlayEx\: “{E1773C0E-364D-4210-B831-72F5A359E88F}”
  • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Approved\{E1773C0E-364D-4210-B831-72F5A359E88F}: “Icon Overlay Shell Extension”

The only way to remove the malicious file is by manually removing the registry keys mentioned above, or, if the user is inexperienced, run an automatic tool that offers this service. Besides doing that, users should do as shown in the image below – the affected browsers’ shortcuts need to be fixed by deleting the URL at the end of the app target parameter.

bing-vc-browser-hijacker-stforum

Also, make sure to get to know the basics of the pay-per-install affiliate business responsible for many of the bundled downloads currently spreading malware and adware.

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Milena Dimitrova

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the beginning. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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