Aurora is a nightmare to remove and who is taking legal action against these companies!

I popped in to see a friend (and coder for my company) today.   He had this Aurora adware rubbish on his machine.   Now, I don’t know how the rest of you feel about adware, but as far as I am concerned these people should be arrested and the key thrown away.  I hear a lot about things being “done” against these companies / coders that write this crap, but as of yet I do not see any real action….  If you want to know who released this adware, well they are here: http://www.direct-revenue.com/news6.php – I have never read so much crap in my life!  Grrrrrr….

Anyway….   I would consider both my friend and I resonably good technical people.   We run the latest patches, the latest antivirus, the latest spyware scanners….   but since my friend shares his machine with others, obviously a site was visited by another user and this stuff got on the machine.   Probably something like “Your machine is infected with blah blah blah….   click here to save yourself”  Click…..    Ummm urrr….  whats this new casino software?   (I am sure the user probably clicked on the X and it still installed….)

So, I before I give you some info on removing this Aurora (nail.exe) rubbish, let me pose a question……    If people like me, and people like my coder friend can get infected, and can have 4 hours of our lives destroyed trying to remove this adware, what hope has the average home user got?   The answer is of course simple….   They have NO hope.

The Nail.exe process loads on the back of explorer.exe in the Winlogon Shell registry entry.   Therefore removal is a disaster.  Basically you must crash the explorer to remove the process…  how can this be allowed to happen?   What can Microsoft / Antispyware companies do about this?   Hell…  I don’t know, I install servers….   

I managed to get this spyware off the machine after many hours, but some key points you should know are:

  • MS Antispyware, Adaware, Spybot and some other antispyware programs did not remove it, even though they reported they had.  All they did was get rid of the registry entries and older EXE’s the adware had created.
  • There is a service that you need to kill called “System Startup Service”  c:windowssvcproc.exe
  • There is an EXE that you need to kill called c:windowsnail.exe
  • This program, even when you kill the process or RANDOM exe it creates will keep reloading because it is “tagged” on the back of explorer.exe
  • You will need to reset the shell entry in the Winlogon registry key to “explorer.exe”, but to do this, you must be in safe mode and AFTER loading your tool to clean and scan end the explorer.exe process using CTRL-ALT-DEL.

As well as the antispyware scanners, the other tools I used were ProcessExplorer and Autoruns from www.sysinternals.com as well as HiJackThis.

Oh, and by the way….  I just found this blog post on the same subject where you can get the telephone numbers and contact details for the CEO of this company and tell him how annoyed you are directly.

Edit:

There is yet more on this blog…   http://netrn.net/spywareblog/archives/2005/07/31/aurora-explodes-again/

I tell you…  I REALLY hope that some other big corporation, like Microsoft, helps us users fight and destroy these companies…  it is so annoying!

  3 Replies to “Aurora is a nightmare to remove and who is taking legal action against these companies!”

  1. August 21, 2005 at 8:35 pm

    Any comment on whether your friend logs in as an Admin user as a matter of course?

  2. Nick
    August 21, 2005 at 10:18 pm

    Now then… 🙂 Do you know any home / single PC user that does not? Problem I know…

  3. Mike in Texas
    August 23, 2005 at 10:10 am

    AURORA POPUPS SUx!!!!!!!!!

    summary

    Behavior

    Adware.Aurora is an adware program that displays advertisements and tracks browser information such as Web sites visited.

    Note: Security Risk definitions dated prior to August 3, 2005 may detect this adware as Adware.BetterInternet.

    Symptoms

    * Your Symantec program detects Adware.Aurora.

    * Unexpected advertisements appear in Internet Explorer browser windows.

    Transmission

    This security risk can be manually installed or installed as a component of another program.

    technical details

    File names: DrPMon.dll; svcproc.exe; Nail.exe; poller.exe; aurora.exe

    When Adware.Aurora is executed, it performs the following actions:

    1. Attempts to contact [http://]www.abetterinternet.com/[REMOVED] and download a number of component files.

    2. Creates the following files on the compromised computer:

    * %Windir%Nail.exe

    * %Windir%svcproc.exe

    * %Windir%[RANDOM NAME].exe

    * %System%DrPMon.dll

    * %System%[RANDOM NAME].exe

    * %Windir%IDDJHJM.ini

    * %Windir%abiuninst.htm

    Note:

    * %System% is a variable that refers to the System folder. By default this is C:WindowsSystem (Windows 95/98/Me), C:WinntSystem32 (Windows NT/2000), or C:WindowsSystem32 (Windows XP).

    * %Windir% is a variable that refers to the Windows installation folder. By default, this is C:Windows or C:Winnt.

    * [RANDOM NAME] refers to a random sequence of letters used by the security risk in creating the filename.

    3. Creates the following registry subkeys.

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareaurora

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstallabi-1

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlPrintMonitorsZepMon

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesSvcProc

    4. Adds the value:

    "[RANDOM NAME]" = "%System%[RANDOM NAME].exe r"

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun

    so that it runs every time Windows starts.

    5. Modifies the value:

    "Shell" = "Explorer.exe"

    to

    "Shell" = "Explorer.exe %Windir%Nail.exe"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon

    so that it runs every time Windows starts.

    removal instructions

    The following instructions pertain to all Symantec antivirus products that support security risk detection.

    1. Uninstall the security risk.

    2. Update the definitions.

    3. Run the scan.

    4. Restart the computer in Safe mode with Command Prompt (Windows 2000/XP).

    5. Delete any remaining files manually.

    6. Reverse the changes made to the registry.

    For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

    1. To uninstall the Security Risk

    1. On the Windows 2000 taskbar:

    By default, Windows 2000 is set up the same as Windows 98, so follow the instructions for Windows 98. If otherwise, click Start, point to Settings > Control Panel, and then click Add/Remove Programs.

    2. On the Windows XP taskbar:

    1. Click Start > Control Panel.

    2. In the Control Panel window, double-click Add or Remove Programs.

    3. Click "The ABI Network-A Division of Direct Revenue"

    Note: You may need to use the scroll bar to view the whole list.

    4. Click Add/Remove, Change/Remove, or Remove (this varies with the operating system). Follow the prompts.

    Note: After running the Add/Remove programs applet, all the files may have been removed. You will want to run a full system scan to ensure that this is the case. However, it is possible that no files will be detected after using Add/Remove programs.

    2. To update the definitions

    To obtain the most recent definitions, start your Symantec program and run LiveUpdate.

    3. To run the scan

    1. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and then run a full system scan.

    2. Take note of the names of any files detected.

    3. If any files are detected, and depending on which software version you are using, you may see one or more of the following options:

    Note: This applies only to versions of Norton AntiVirus that support security risk detection. If you are running a version of Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition that supports security risk detection, and security risk detection has been enabled, you will only see a message box that gives the results of the scan. If you have questions in this situation, contact your network administrator.

    * Exclude (Not recommended): If you click this button, it will set the risk so that it is no longer detectable. That is, the antivirus program will keep the security risk on your computer and will no longer detect it to remove from your computer.

    * Ignore or Skip: This option tells the scanner to ignore the risk for this scan only. It will be detected again the next time that you run a scan.

    * Cancel: This option is new to Norton Antivirus 2005. It is used when Norton Antivirus 2005 has determined that it cannot delete a security risk. This Cancel option tells the scanner to ignore the risk for this scan only, and thus, the risk will be detected again the next time that you run a scan.

    To actually delete the security risk:

    o Click its file name (under the Filename column).

    o In the Item Information box that displays, write down the full path and file name.

    o Then use Windows Explorer to locate and delete the file.

    If Windows reports that it cannot delete the file, this indicates that the file is in use. In this situation, complete the rest of the instructions on this page, restart the computer in Safe mode, and then delete the file using Windows Explorer. Restart the computer in Normal mode.

    * Delete: This option will attempt to delete the detected files. In some cases, the scanner will not be able to do this.

    o If you see a message, "Delete Failed" (or similar message), manually delete the file.

    o Click the file name of the risk that is under the Filename column.

    o In the Item Information box that displays, write down the full path and file name.

    o Then use Windows Explorer to locate and delete the file.

    4. If your Symantec product reports that it is unable to delete any files, take note of the file names and continue to Step 4, otherwise continue to Step 6.

    4. To restart the computer in Safe mode or Safe mode with Command Prompt

    Follow the instructions for your operating system.

    Windows 95/98/Me

    Shut down the computer and turn off the power. Wait for at least 30 seconds, and then restart the computer in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document: How to start the computer in Safe Mode.

    Windows 2000

    1. Shut down the computer, and then turn off the power. Wait for at least 30 seconds, and then restart the computer

    2. When you see the black and white Starting Windows bar at the bottom of the screen, press the F8 key.

    3. In the Windows 2000 Advanced Options Menu, select Safe mode with Command Prompt, and then press Enter.

    Windows XP

    1. Shut down the computer, and then turn off the power. Wait for at least 30 seconds, and then restart t
    he computer. The computer begins processing a set of instructions known as the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). What is displayed depends on the BIOS manufacturer. Some computers display a progress bar that refers to the word BIOS, while others may not display any indication that this process is occurring.

    2. As soon as the BIOS has finished loading, begin tapping the F8 key on your keyboard. Continue to do so until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears. If you begin tapping the F8 key too soon, some computers will display a "keyboard error" message. To avoid this, restart the computer and try again.

    3. In the Windows 2000 Advanced Options Menu, select Safe mode with Command Prompt, and then press Enter.

    5. To manually delete any detected files

    1. Do one of the following:

    * Windows 2000/XP: Skip to step b.

    * Windows 95/98/Me:

    o Click Start > Run.

    o Type cmd

    o Press Enter

    2. Type cd [FILE PATH]

    Note: [FILE PATH] is the path to the file was noted in step 3d.

    3. Press Enter

    4. Type del [FILE NAME]

    Note: [FILE NAME] is the name of the file noted in step 3d.

    5. Press Enter

    6. Repeat steps b, c, and d for all files noted in step 3d.

    7. Do one of the following:

    * Windows 2000/XP: Skip to section 6.

    * Windows 95/98/Me:

    o Type exit

    o Press Enter

    6. To delete the value from the registry

    Important: Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before making any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify the specified subkeys only. Read the document: How to make a backup of the Windows registry.

    1. Do one of the following:

    * Windows 2000/XP: Skip to step b.

    * Windows 95/98/Me: Click Start > Run.

    Note: If you skipped steps 4 and 5, click Start > Run.

    2. Type regedit

    Then press Enter

    Note: If the registry editor fails to open the risk may have modified the registry to prevent access to the registry editor. Security Response has developed a tool to resolve this problem. Download and run this tool, and then continue with the removal.

    3. Navigate to and delete the following subkeys:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareaurora

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstallabi-1

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlPrintMonitorsZepMon

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesSvcProc

    4. Navigate to the subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun

    5. In the right pane, delete any value that refers to the file detected in Step 3b.

    6. Navigate to the subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogon

    7. In the right pane, change the value to:

    "Shell" = "Explorer.exe"

    8. Exit the Registry Editor.

    9. Restart the computer in Normal Mode.

    Be sure to be in safe mode and be sure you delete the DrPMon.dll it will be in your c:windowssystem32 file but you must delete it and any other spyware/adware Norton Anti Virus cannot delete, make sure you also delete the registry keys, make sure you are positive you delete the right keys or you will mess up your computer, always make a backup of your registry before making changes!

    email: mike_6236@lycos.com

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