Incident Response, Malware, Network Security, TDR

McAfee Labs: Lavians Inc. repackaging utilities programs with browser hijacker

Software company Lavians Inc. is offering free utilities applications for download that actually infect users with the browser hijacker software, Intel Security's McAfee Labs warned in a blog post yesterday.

The malware purports to be legitimate driver utilities for computer brands including HP, Dell and Acer. Available on third-party sites, these once-clean applications have been repackaged to contain malware that controls the Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome browsers, changing their home pages to a malicious URL and switching their default search engines to (no relation to Microsoft's Bing).

McAfee's attempt to uninstall one of the samples failed – the malware only removed clean components while adding two more registry entries, including a shell extension handler for persistence. Even after restarting the computer, the home page remained changed – hosting a "FixBrowserRedirect" advertisement that linked to a website conveniently selling anti-hijacking software.

To restore the system, McAfee suggested removing the registry entries, deleting the malicious file IconOverlayEx.dll, and removing the malicious target in the properties of all browsers.

Bradley Barth

As director of community content at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for SC Media online conferences and events, as well as video/multimedia projects. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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