An extremely dangerous worm has been the main topic of discussion in the online security community lately. Known as the Koobface botnet it is a malware infection that aims to spread to as many computers as possible. As the name suggests(koobFace in different order is Facebook) the malicious cyber-threat takes advantage of security weaknesses and users in social networks to infect computers and build a zombie network of peer-to-peer connected devices. The botnet may be used to install other malware on a massive scale based on the interests of the hackers controlling it. Experts from Symantec believe that the cyber-crooks may offer services to install malware bases on third-party orders. Users are strictly warned to take detecting and preventive measures in order to eradicate any danger that may be caused by this worm.
|Short Description||The malware may perform a wide variety of malicious deeds on the compromised computer and build up a botnet.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness advertisements, unauthorised posts from his/her profile in social media. Other after-effects include high network traffic, changed DNS settings in the IP protocol settings as well as all the symptoms of having an adware or a browser hijacker.|
|Distribution Method||Via Social Media websites primarily through friends` posts.|
|Detection Tool||Download Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware|
|User Experience||Join our forum to discuss about W32.Kobface.|
Koobface Worm – How Does It Infect
The infection is Distributed primarily in North America and Australia but It has also been detected in Europe. The worm is reported by malware researchers to be spread mainly via social networking websites. The malware may contain web links in a promoted or shared post that may redirect to external website, demanding a video codec to watch a video.
Posts that infect users with the virus, may look like the following:
The Koobface Worm – What Does It Do
People use social networking on a global scale and the users of such networks are still rapidly increasing. This is the very core competence of Koobface. It uses such websites, targeting users of any type. The worm relies primarily on inexperienced users that may fall into its social engineering (soc eng) trap. Tricked users believe that a web link, posted by a buddy may be trusted and this is how they become part of the increased botnet.
Once the worm builds a network it may be used to install additional programs of any types on the compromised PCs. They may be adware applications like browser hijackers that display pop-ups and change your browser`s settings, like Yoursearching(.)com. The worm may also download Ransomware like TeslaCrypt on your computer and encrypt your sensitive data.
Here are some other “features” of the worm:
- Obtain sensitive credentials.
- Redirect users to malware-infested sites.
- Display advertisements.
- Collect HTTP traffic information.
- Deploy phishing attacks.
- Block websites on demand.
- Serve to a third-part command center via a web server.
- Download other files via opened ports.
- Steal legitimate license keys of Windows and other purchased software on the affected device.
- Bypass CAPTCHA identifications.
- Create user accounts of different sites and social media accounts.
The Koobface Worm In Detail
Regarding the installation, the worm is reported by Symantec researchers to come via a fake setup.exe or fake update of a plugin. It usually happens after clicking on a link posted in Facebook redirecting to the malicious URL. When activated it copies its malicious objects directly into the Hard Drive of the affected PC.
The worm has three versions and depending on them, the malicious payload carrying filename may be one of the following:
Furthermore, the researchers have also managed to detect that the worm can self-check if its files are active and running in C:\Windows\that is the main Windows directory. In case the scenario is that it is inactive, it copies a .bat file in C:\ then deletes it`s current executable, allowing it to remain active for longer. File names may vary for different intrusions.
Regarding what the worm does in the Windows Registry Editor, well, the picture is not pretty there either:
→In the key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\” it creates value with data to run the version`s .exe.
sysLdtray” = “%Windir%\Ld05.exe”
Furthermore, the Worm may also deploy malicious files that may have the following names:
These files, when activated have the ability to block foreign domains and restrict the user`s access to them.
Here are some of the domains that Symantec researchers report to be blocked:
→a-2.org; agnitum; aluriasoftware; antivir; antivirald; anti-virus attechnical; authentium; avast; avgfrance; avg. ; avp. ; bitdefender ; blackice; ccsoftware; centralcommand ; deerfield ; dialognauka ; diamondcs ; drsolomon ; drweb ; eicar ; emsisoft ; esafe ; eset ; fileburst ; finjan ; fmsinc ; free-av ; f-secure ; gecadsoftware; grisoft ; gwava ; hackerwatch; housecall ; iavs.cz ; ieupdate ; ikarus-software ; inline-software ;javacoolsoftware ; kaspersky ;kerio ;k-otik ; lavasoft ; liutilities ; looknstop ; malwarebytes ; mcafee ; megasecurity ; microworldsystems ; misec ;moosoft my-etrust ; networkassociates ; noadware ; nod32 ; norman.no ; nsclean ; openantivirus ; pandasoftware ; pestpatrol ; psnw. ; pspl. ; ravantivirus ; safer-networking ; safetynet ; sald.com ; securitoo ; secuser ; simplysup ; sophos ; spyblocker-software; spycop ; spywareguide ; stiller ; sybari ; sygate ; symantec ; tinysoftware ; toonbox ; trapware ; trendmicro ; turvamies ; viguard ; viruslist ; virustotal ; visualizesoftware ; vsantivirus ; wilderssecurity ; wildlist ; windowsupdate ; winpatrol ; x-cleaner ; zeylstra ; zonelabs ; zonelog ;
Also, the worm might change the DNS settings of the compromised PC.
When it comes to the info-stealing “extra” the Worm has been gifted, it is utilized via another malicious file, known as either “go.exe” or “get.exe”. Via those the worm can gather all types of relevant system info that then may be aggregated and sent out to the C&C servers. Without going into much detail imagine that every software you purchased, every password you saved, any information with value may suddenly be used against you or to serve other interests.
And this is not where the surprises by Koobface Worm end. It may also cause redirects and what is known as Black SEO to the search results of your search engine, without you even noticing it. Imagine you are looking to buy smartphones and the worm displays the relevant search results but after clicking them you may get redirected to a third-party website that may either be an Advertising site or a malicious URL. The objects controlling this have been reported to be .dll files containing the word “Browser” in them.
When we examine the obtaining of Network traffic data, Koobface might reroute this information directly to the controlling server. Furthermore, it may also have direct commands that may influence the default routing table, allowing third-party addresses to intercept and monitor your daily activities.
Last but not least important, the malware may affect the compromised computer using a Web Server, posting on its behalf on social networks or allowing it to spread via the Local Area Network(LAN) of the user affecting other computers. This is particularly effective for small home or office networks. The module controlling it goes by the name webserver.exe. It was also detected with a .dat extension. Additionally, Koobface has been reported to use the TCP ports 80 and 53 for incoming connectivity. However the ports it opens may vary.
The bypassing of the CAPTCHA defense mechanism, while the worm is attempting to post from your behalf in social media sites, is done by uploading it directly to the command servers controlled by the hackers. The CAPTCHA is then displayed in full screen in front of another user preventing any other activity before entering it manually. This is a very effective distribution method since it allows the Koobface creators to work for free.
Removing Koobface Worm Completely
To remove Koobface worm, a simple removal manual would not cut it, since the worm may have infected you with different malware, like Trojan.Downloader or a Rootkit. This is why it is highly advisable to do a clean reinstall of your computer, after which to use the tutorial below in order to check whether or not the device you are using is safe. It is also advisable to use a VPN service or a Proxy as well as advanced malware protection software to further detect and prevent any intrusions by Koobface.
- Guide 1: How to Remove W32.Koobface from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of W32.Koobface on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove W32.Koobface in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase W32.Koobface from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall W32.Koobface from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove W32.Koobface from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate W32.Koobface from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable W32.Koobface Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove W32.Koobface from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove W32.Koobface
Step 2: Uninstall W32.Koobface 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 W32.Koobface 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 W32.Koobface there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of W32.Koobface from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall W32.Koobface 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 W32.Koobface 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 W32.Koobface files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as W32.Koobface, 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 W32.Koobface 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 W32.Koobface 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 W32.Koobface 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 W32.Koobface 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 W32.Koobface will be removed.
Eliminate W32.Koobface 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 W32.Koobface 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".