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How spywares work

Posted on 2005-03-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I did a small application that is intercepting all CoCreateInstance, CoCreateInstanceEx, CreateProcess, WinExec calls. They are used each time Internet Explorer opens a document. On my system (it has  a lot of spywares) I detected that some popups are opened by explorer.exe .

No "strange" process was running.

How spywares "convinced" explorer.exe to open popups ? Any Ideea ?
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Question by:microcodz
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LVL 12

Accepted Solution

by:
rossfingal earned 600 total points
ID: 13485423
Hi!

OS is Windows XP?
Click on "Start" - click on "Run" - type "sevices.msc" (without quotes)
Scroll through the list of running services and look for Messenger -
is it set to manual or automatic?
See the following for information:
http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/service411.htm#Messenger
and:
http://www.grc.com/stm/shootthemessenger.htm

RF
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LVL 27

Assisted Solution

by:Asta Cu
Asta Cu earned 400 total points
ID: 13486347
I believe that the information posted by rossingal will serve you well.  Just as a general information exchange (not for points), these links may be informative...
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/security/expert/honeycutt_spyware.mspx

Anti-Spyware Guide -- On this page, we offer links to articles, reviews, vendors and resources to help you fight spyware. Spyware has a range of meanings including malware, browser parasites, unsolicited commercial software, scumware, homepage hijackers, dialers, and trojan horses. Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer are the targets for most of these nasties.
http://www.firewallguide.com/spyware.htm
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Rich Rumble
Rich Rumble earned 400 total points
ID: 13486419
Spy-ware almost exclusivly rely on ActiveX in IE. Here is a more informitive guide as to how your PC is infected...
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/spyware.htm 
This page more specifically http://computer.howstuffworks.com/spyware2.htm
and this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activex
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spyware
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/firefox4.htm (avoidance of spyware)
-rich
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Author Comment

by:microcodz
ID: 13487254
I think "Windows security" is not the appropriate section for what I need to know. I will add again this question on Windows Programming.

I need to know how explorer.exe was hijacked to open popups by itself. Programming technique used by spyware developers! I have spywares on my computers because I installed them to research. Usually I don't have because I use firefox ;)



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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 13488956
Thank you.  You would add great value to this item, if you'd be so kind as to post the URL/Link you create in the Programming topic area to tie things in, if you don't mind.  This would greatly help others who are also in this development mode.
Best wishes on your pursuit.
":0) Asta
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