|Type||Computer Worm, RAT|
|Short Description||H-worm is a VBS-based worm with RAT functionalities that can be employed in targeted attacks and spam campaigns.|
|Symptoms||The worm can be spread to steal sensitive data.|
|Distribution Method||Corrupted links, spam emails, a corrupted VBS file.|
|Detection tool||Download Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected By H-worm|
A Computer worm is a malicious piece of software that should be removed instantly from the infected PC. H-worm falls under the category of VBS (Visual Basic Script) worms. It is also reported to have RAT (remote access Trojan) capabilities which make it even worse. The name ‘H-worm’ comes from the worm’s author – an individual hacker going by the nickname Houdini. According to security researchers at FireEye, the hacker is most likely based in Algeria.
The H-worm has been used primarily in targeted attacks on companies in the energy sector. However, it has been spotted in other types of attacks via email attachments and corrupted links.
H-worm Technical Description. RAT and Command & Control Server
The H-worm attacks starts off with a simple VBS file that may be hidden in a PE executable dropper. According to research, in specific attacks, multiple layers of obfuscation can be added to the worm. Upon analyzing such fragments, researchers at FireEye discovered that they were baffled with:
- Custom Base64 encoding.
- Several levels of standard Base64 encoding known as Safa Crypter.
- Character substitutions.
The H-worm is reported to have another, Autoit version known as the ‘underworld’ variant. However, it has the functions of the VBS type.
In terms of the successful Command&Control contact, the worm will generate a network telemetry (beacon). As a result, multiple pieces of sensitive identification details will be sent out in the User-Agent field.
Additionally, H-worm is designed to employ multiple remote commands such as:
Researchers at FireEye have also uncovered the builder and the controller interface of H-worm. It control panel is written in the Delphi programming language. Delphi is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for console, desktop, web and mobile applications.
Some of the worm’s malicious features such as the password grabber and the USB spreading functionality were not enabled in the analyzed version. However, those can be active in newer variants of H-worm.
An examination of the infrastructure of the Command&Control server unveils that it is shared by some infamous RATs (Remote Access Trojans) such as:
→NjW0rm, NjRat/LV, XtremeRAT, PoisonIvy
The cyber criminals who have written those probably own a lot more RATs to initiate multiple malicious attacks. Security specialists believe that H-worm shares the same code base with njq8. It remains unclear exactly how related they are, but it is easy to assume that njq8 is a group of people specializing in the development of RATs.
Who Is H-worm’s Creator Houdini?
A vast security research on Houdini indicates that the hacker has a portal to showcase his work that also hosts a demo video of H-worm. The way the portal was written reveals that the hacker is proficient in French and Arabic, hence the conclusion he was from Algeria.
What to Do If Affected by H-Worm?
Many worms exploit network vulnerabilities to spread across the Web. A spamming technique may also be employed. To increase your system’s strength against malware, it is highly recommended to sustain a powerful anti-malware program. Additionally, inserting unknown and unchecked USB drives and external media is also considered quite unsafe.
There are several more security tips to follow in order to stay protected against worms and RATs:
- Choose a secure ISP (Internet Service Provider).
- Enable automatic Windows updates.
- Enable the Windows Firewall.
- Update your browser to bypass zero-day attacks.
- Backup your data.
- Avoid p2p file sharing.
If you feel like you need to know more about worms and RATs, you can refer to our article about the most popular Trojan attacks in 2015 .
- Guide 1: How to Remove H-worm from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of H-worm on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove H-worm in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase H-worm from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall H-worm from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove H-worm from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate H-worm from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable H-worm Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove H-worm from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove H-worm
Step 2: Uninstall H-worm and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by H-worm on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by H-worm there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of H-worm from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall H-worm and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove H-worm via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove H-worm files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as H-worm, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove H-worm from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase H-worm from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall H-worm from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove H-worm from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the H-worm will be removed.
Eliminate H-worm from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by H-worm from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".