Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Remove "Downadup" aka Win32/Conficker Infection

Today, Microsoft notified a number of security experts about a known vulnerability and exploitation of Windows Server service (SVCHOST.EXE). Even though Microsoft provided a fix for this vulnerability in October 2008, they say reports of the exploit are on the rise.

In October, Microsoft warned users of a critical Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-067.

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in the Server service. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an affected system received a specially crafted RPC request. On Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 systems, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability without authentication to run arbitrary code. It is possible that this vulnerability could be used in the crafting of a wormable exploit. Firewall best practices and standard default firewall configurations can help protect network resources from attacks that originate outside the enterprise perimeter.

This security update is rated Critical for all supported editions of Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and rated Important for all supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Unfortunately, there seems to be too many unprotected users out in the real world. Microsoft provided details on this infection at its Malware Protection Center.

The following system changes may indicate the presence of this malware:
  • The following services are disabled or fail to run:
    Windows Update Service
    Background Intelligent Transfer Service
    Windows Defender
    Windows Error Reporting Services

  • Some accounts may be locked out due to the following registry modification, which may flood the network with connections:
    "TcpNumConnections" = "0x00FFFFFE"

  • Users may not be able to connect to websites or online services that contain following strings:
    virus, spyware, malware, rootkit, defender, microsoft, symantec, norton, mcafee, trendmicro, sophos, panda, etrust, networkassociates, computerassociates, f-secure, kaspersky, jotti, f-prot, nod32, eset, grisoft, drweb, centralcommand, ahnlab, esafe, avast, avira, quickheal, comodo, clamav, ewido, fortinet, gdata, hacksoft, hauri, ikarus, k7computing, norman, pctools, prevx, rising, securecomputing, sunbelt, emsisoft, arcabit, cpsecure, spamhaus, castlecops, threatexpert, wilderssecurity, windowsupdate

    Hmmm, should I feel bad that WinPatrol isn’t included in this list?

I recommend, as does Microsoft to keep your system updated with necessary security patches and updates. At the very least you should download the Microsoft Malicious Software Remove Tool


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