NEWS FROM THE LAB - Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sometimes Those Error Messages Actually Mean Something Posted by Mika @ 12:19 GMT


Sometimes a support issue can lead to the detection of malware. As an example, this case of a blue screen error points to a rootkit as its cause.

Removing spyware from a computer is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Look2Me, a displayer of pop-up advertisements, is a good example of a persistent malware application that just won't go away. It uses some interesting techniques to remain installed.

Look2Me hooks into the winlogon process as a notification package. If the user tries to unregister the notification package, it is immediately reinstated. Look2Me also removes the administrator group's debug privileges and thereby disables the user from interfering. This, along with some other tricks, makes manual removal close to impossible.

The removal of the debug privileges has resulted in some BlackLight support calls for us. And so, even though it doesn't have any rootkit functions, the SeDebugPrivilege error inadvertently turns our BlackLight tool into a Look2Me detector!

One of our researchers has spent a good deal of time fighting with Look2Me and the result is a removal tool that can be downloaded from here.