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Old 08-01-04, 16:22
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Default HJT Tutorial - DO NOT POST HIJACKTHIS LOGS

Special notes about posting HijackThis log files on MajorGeeks.Com

Note: This is not a HijackThis log reading forum. It is a malware cleaning forum, and there is much more to cleaning malware than just HijackThis.

Malware cannot be completely removed just by seeing a HijackThis log. If you need our help to remove malware DO NOT simply post a HijackThis log which will be deleted. You must follow the instructions in the below link.

READ & RUN ME FIRST Before Asking for Support

You will notice that no where in this procedure does it ask you to attach a HijackThis log. This is because it is embedded within our procedures. When you follow them properly, a HijackThis log will automatically be obtained from a properly installed HijackThis progam. And the log will be put into a MGlogs.zip file with a few other required logs. This MGlogs.zip will then be attached to a message. This in all explained in the READ ME.


Below this point is a tutorial about HijackThis. This is not meant for novices. And it does not mean that
you should run HijackThis and attach a log. It is a reference for intermediate to advanced users.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From this point on the information being presented is meant for those wishing to learn more about what HijackThis is showing you and how to analyze logs yourself. It is not really meant for novices. It is meant to be more educational for intermediate to advanced PC users.

Below explains what each section means and each of these sections are broken down with examples to help you understand what is safe and what should be removed. Optionally these online analyzers Help2Go Detective and Hijack This analysis do a fair job of figuring out many potential problems for you. Simply paste your logfile there and click analyze. But please note they are far from perfect and should be used with extreme caution!!!

The below information was originated from Merijn's official tutorial to using Hijack This. Merjin's link no longer exists since TrendMicro now owns HijackThis.

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Official Hijack This Tutorial:

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Each line in a HijackThis log starts with a section name, for example;

R0, R1, R2, R3 - Internet Explorer Start/Search pages URLs
F0, F1, F2, F3 - Autoloading programs
N1, N2, N3, N4 - Netscape/Mozilla Start/Search pages URLs
O1 - Hosts file redirection
O2 - Browser Helper Objects
O3 - Internet Explorer toolbars
O4 - Autoloading programs from Registry
O5 - IE Options icon not visible in Control Panel
O6 - IE Options access restricted by Administrator
O7 - Regedit access restricted by Administrator
O8 - Extra items in IE right-click menu
O9 - Extra buttons on main IE button toolbar, or extra items in IE 'Tools' menu
O10 - Winsock hijacker
O11 - Extra group in IE 'Advanced Options' window
O12 - IE plugins
O13 - IE DefaultPrefix hijack
O14 - 'Reset Web Settings' hijack
O15 - Unwanted site in Trusted Zone
O16 - ActiveX Objects (aka Downloaded Program Files)
O17 - Lop.com domain hijackers
O18 - Extra protocols and protocol hijackers
O19 - User style sheet hijack
O20 - AppInit_DLLs Registry value autorun
O21 - ShellServiceObjectDelayLoad Registry key autorun
O22 - SharedTaskScheduler Registry key autorun
O23 - Windows NT Services
O24 - Windows Active Desktop Components

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R0, R1, R2, R3 - IE Start & Search pages

What it looks like:

Quote:
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://www.google.com/
R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://www.google.com/
R2 - (this type is not used by HijackThis yet)
R3 - Default URLSearchHook is missing
What to do:
If you recognize the URL at the end as your homepage or search engine, it's OK. If you don't, check it and have HijackThis fix it.
For the R3 items, always fix them unless it mentions a program you recognize, like Copernic.

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F0, F1, F2, F3 - Autoloading programs from INI files

What it looks like:

Quote:
F0 - system.ini: Shell=Explorer.exe Openme.exe
F1 - win.ini: run=hpfsched
F1 - win.ini: load=malware.pif
F2 - REG:system.ini:UserInit=C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe,C:\WINDOWS\system32\ntos.exe,
F2 - REG:system.ini: Shell=explorer.exe, msmsgs.exe
F3 - REG:win.ini: load=C:\WINDOWS\system32\svcvhost.exe
F3 - REG:win.ini: run=C:\WINDOWS\system32\svcvhost.exe
What to do:
  • F0 entries - Any program listed after the shell statement will be loaded when Windows starts, and act as the default shell. If you see anything more than just explorer.exe, you need to determine if you know what the additional entry is. If you did not install some alternative shell, you need to fix this.
  • F1 entries - Any programs listed after the run= or load= will load when Windows starts. These can be either valid or bad. You need to determine which.
  • F2 entries - The Shell registry value is equivalent to the function of the Shell= in the system.ini file as described above. The Userinit= value specifies what program should be launched right after a user logs into Windows. The F2 entry will only show in HijackThis if something unknown is found. This does not necessarily mean it is bad, but in most cases, it will be malware. You need to investigate what you see. The below registry key\\values are used:
    • HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\\Userinit
    • HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\\Shell
  • F3 entries - This is a registry equivalent of the F1 entry above. The F3 entry will only show in HijackThis if something unknown is found. This does not necessarily mean it is bad, but in most cases, it will be malware. You need to investigate what you see. The below registry key\\values are used:
    • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\\load
    • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\\run
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N1, N2, N3, N4 - Netscape/Mozilla Start & Search page

What it looks like:

Quote:
N1 - Netscape 4: user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "www.google.com"); (C:\Program Files\Netscape\Users\default\prefs.js)

N2 - Netscape 6: user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "http://www.google.com"); (C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\defaulto9t1tfl.slt\prefs.js)

N2 - Netscape 6: user_pref("browser.search.defaultengine", "engine://C%3A%5CProgram%20Files%5CNetscape%206%5Csearchplugins%5CSBWeb_02.src"); (C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\defaulto9t1tfl.slt\prefs.js)
What to do:
Usually the Netscape and Mozilla homepage and search page are safe. They rarely get hijacked, only Lop.com has been known to do this. Should you see an URL you don't recognize as your homepage or search page, have HijackThis fix it.

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O1 - Hostsfile redirections

What it looks like:

Quote:
O1 - Hosts: 216.177.73.139 auto.search.msn.com
O1 - Hosts: 216.177.73.139 search.netscape.com
O1 - Hosts: 216.177.73.139 ieautosearch
O1 - Hosts file is located at C:\Windows\Help\hosts
What to do:
This hijack will redirect the address to the right to the IP address to the left. If the IP does not belong to the address, you will be redirected to a wrong site everytime you enter the address. You can always have HijackThis fix these, unless you knowingly put those lines in your Hosts file.
The last item sometimes occurs on Windows 2000/XP with a Coolwebsearch infection. Always fix this item, or have CWShredder repair it automatically.

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O2 - Browser Helper Objects

What it looks like:

Quote:
O2 - BHO: Yahoo! Companion BHO - {13F537F0-AF09-11d6-9029-0002B31F9E59} - C:\PROGRAM FILES\YAHOO!\COMPANION\YCOMP5_0_2_4.DLL

O2 - BHO: (no name) - {1A214F62-47A7-4CA3-9D00-95A3965A8B4A} - C:\PROGRAM FILES\POPUP ELIMINATOR\AUTODISPLAY401.DLL (file missing)

O2 - BHO: MediaLoads Enhanced - {85A702BA-EA8F-4B83-AA07-07A5186ACD7E} - C:\PROGRAM FILES\MEDIALOADS ENHANCED\ME1.DLL
What to do:
If you don't directly recognize a Browser Helper Object's name, use CLSID database to find it by the class ID (CLSID, the number between curly brackets) and see if it's good or bad. In the BHO List, 'X' means spyware and 'L' means safe.

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O3 - IE toolbars

What it looks like:

Quote:
O3 - Toolbar: &Yahoo! Companion - {EF99BD32-C1FB-11D2-892F-0090271D4F88} - C:\PROGRAM FILES\YAHOO!\COMPANION\YCOMP5_0_2_4.DLL

O3 - Toolbar: Popup Eliminator - {86BCA93E-457B-4054-AFB0-E428DA1563E1} - C:\PROGRAM FILES\POPUP ELIMINATOR\PETOOLBAR401.DLL (file missing)

O3 - Toolbar: rzillcgthjx - {5996aaf3-5c08-44a9-ac12-1843fd03df0a} - C:\WINDOWS\APPLICATION DATA\CKSTPRLLNQUL.DLL
What to do:
If you don't directly recognize a toolbar's name, use CLSID database to find it by the class ID (CLSID, the number between curly brackets) and see if it's good or bad. In the Toolbar List, 'X' means spyware and 'L' means safe.
If it's not on the list and the name seems a random string of characters and the file is in the 'Application Data' folder (like the last one in the examples above), it's probably Lop.com, and you definately should have HijackThis fix it.

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O4 - Autoloading programs from Registry or Startup group

What it looks like:

Quote:
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ScanRegistry] C:\WINDOWS\scanregw.exe /autorun
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SystemTray] SysTray.Exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ccApp] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccApp.exe"
O4 - Startup: Microsoft Office.lnk = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\OSA9.EXE
O4 - Global Startup: winlogon.exe
What to do:
Google the name of unknown processes. If the item shows a program sitting in a Startup group (like the last item above), HijackThis cannot fix the item if this program is still in memory. Use the Windows Task Manager (TASKMGR.EXE) to close the process prior to fixing.

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O5 - IE Options not visible in Control Panel

What it looks like:

Quote:
O5 - control.ini: inetcpl.cpl=no
What to do:
Unless you or your system administrator have knowingly hidden the icon from Control Panel, have HijackThis fix it.

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O6 - IE Options access restricted by Administrator

What it looks like:

Quote:
O6 - HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions present
What to do:
Unless you have the Spybot S&D option 'Lock homepage from changes' active, or your system administrator put this into place, have HijackThis fix this.

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O7 - Regedit access restricted by Administrator

What it looks like:

Quote:
O7 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System, DisableRegedit=1
What to do:
Always have HijackThis fix this, unless your system administrator has put this restriction into place.

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O8 - Extra items in IE right-click menu

What it looks like:

Quote:
O8 - Extra context menu item: &Google Search - res://C:\WINDOWS\DOWNLOADED PROGRAM FILES\GOOGLETOOLBAR_EN_1.1.68-DELEON.DLL/cmsearch.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Yahoo! Search - file:///C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Common/ycsrch.htm
O8 - Extra context menu item: Zoom &In - C:\WINDOWS\WEB\zoomin.htm
O8 - Extra context menu item: Zoom O&ut - C:\WINDOWS\WEB\zoomout.htm
What to do:
If you don't recognize the name of the item in the right-click menu in IE, have HijackThis fix it.

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O9 - Extra buttons on main IE toolbar, or extra items in IE 'Tools' menu

What it looks like:

Quote:
O9 - Extra button: Messenger (HKLM)
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Messenger (HKLM)
O9 - Extra button: AIM (HKLM)
What to do:

If you don't recognize the name of the button or menuitem, have HijackThis fix it.

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O10 - Winsock hijackers

What it looks like:

Quote:
O10 - Hijacked Internet access by New.Net
O10 - Broken Internet access because of LSP provider 'c:\progra~1\common~2\toolbar\cnmib.dll' missing
O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\program files\newton knows\vmain.dll
What to do:

It's best to fix these using LSPFix from Cexx.org, or Spybot S&D from Kolla.de.
Note that 'unknown' files in the LSP stack will not be fixed by HijackThis, for safety issues.

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O11 - Extra group in IE 'Advanced Options' window

What it looks like:

Quote:
O11 - Options group: [CommonName] CommonName
What to do:

The only hijacker as of now that adds its own options group to the IE Advanced Options window is CommonName. So you can always have HijackThis fix this.

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O12 - IE plugins

What it looks like:

Quote:
O12 - Plugin for .spop: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Plugins\NPDocBox.dll
O12 - Plugin for .PDF: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\PLUGINS\nppdf32.dll
What to do:

Most of the time these are safe. Only OnFlow adds a plugin here that you don't want (.ofb).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

O13 - IE DefaultPrefix hijack

What it looks like:

Quote:
O13 - DefaultPrefix: http://www.pixpox.com/cgi-bin/click.pl?url=
O13 - WWW Prefix: http://prolivation.com/cgi-bin/r.cgi?
O13 - WWW. Prefix: http://ehttp.cc/?
What to do:

These are always bad. Have HijackThis fix them.

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O14 - 'Reset Web Settings' hijack

What it looks like:

Quote:
O14 - IERESET.INF: START_PAGE_URL=http://www.searchalot.com
What to do:

If the URL is not the provider of your computer or your ISP, have HijackThis fix it.

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O15 - Unwanted sites in Trusted Zone

What it looks like:

Quote:
O15 - Trusted Zone: http://free.aol.com
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.coolwebsearch.com
O15 - Trusted Zone: *.msn.com
What to do:

Most of the time only AOL and Coolwebsearch silently add sites to the Trusted Zone. If you didn't add the listed domain to the Trusted Zone yourself, have HijackThis fix it.

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O16 - ActiveX Objects (aka Downloaded Program Files)

What it looks like:

Quote:
O16 - DPF: Yahoo! Chat - http://us.chat1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com.../c381/chat.cab

O16 - DPF: {D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000} (Shockwave Flash Object) - http://download.macromedia.com/pub/s...sh/swflash.cab
What to do:

If you don't recognize the name of the object, or the URL it was downloaded from, have HijackThis fix it. If the name or URL contains words like 'dialer', 'casino', 'free_plugin' etc, definitely fix it.
Javacool's SpywareBlaster has a huge database of malicious ActiveX objects that can be used for looking up CLSIDs. (Right-click the list to use the Find function.)

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O17 - Lop.com domain hijacks

What it looks like:

Quote:
O17 - HKLM\System\CCS\Services\VxD\MSTCP: Domain = aoldsl.net

O17 - HKLM\System\CCS\Services\Tcpip\Parameters: Domain = W21944.find-quick.com
O17 - HKLM\Software\..\Telephony: DomainName = W21944.find-quick.com

O17 - HKLM\System\CCS\Services\Tcpip\..\{D196AB38-4D1F-45C1-9108-46D367F19F7E}: Domain = W21944.find-quick.com

O17 - HKLM\System\CS1\Services\Tcpip\Parameters: SearchList = gla.ac.uk

O17 - HKLM\System\CS1\Services\VxD\MSTCP: NameServer = 69.57.146.14,69.57.147.175
What to do:

If the domain is not from your ISP or company network, have HijackThis fix it. The same goes for the 'SearchList' entries.
For the 'NameServer' (DNS servers) entries, Google for the IP or IPs and it will be easy to see if they are good or bad.

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O18 - Extra protocols and protocol hijackers

What it looks like:

Quote:
O18 - Protocol: relatedlinks - {5AB65DD4-01FB-44D5-9537-3767AB80F790} - C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\MSIETS\msielink.dll
O18 - Protocol: mctp - {d7b95390-b1c5-11d0-b111-0080c712fe82}
O18 - Protocol hijack: http - {66993893-61B8-47DC-B10D-21E0C86DD9C8}
What to do:

Only a few hijackers show up here. The known baddies are 'cn' (CommonName), 'ayb' (Lop.com) and 'relatedlinks' (Huntbar), you should have HijackThis fix those.
Other things that show up are either not confirmed safe yet, or are hijacked (i.e. the CLSID has been changed) by spyware. In the last case, have HijackThis fix it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

O19 - User style sheet hijack

What it looks like:

Quote:
O19 - User style sheet: c:\WINDOWS\Java\my.css
What to do:

In the case of a browser slowdown and frequent popups, have HijackThis fix this item if it shows up in the log. However, since only Coolwebsearch does this, it's better to use CWShredder to fix it.

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O20 - AppInit_DLLs Registry value autorun

What it looks like:

Quote:
O20 - AppInit_DLLs: msconfd.dll
What to do:
This Registry value located at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

loads a DLL into memory when the user logs in, after which it stays in memory
until logoff. Very few legitimate programs use it (Norton CleanSweep uses
APITRAP.DLL), most often it is used by trojans or agressive browser hijackers.

In case of a 'hidden' DLL loading from this Registry value (only visible when
using 'Edit Binary Data' option in Regedit) the dll name may be prefixed with
a pipe '|' to make it visible in the log.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
O21 - ShellServiceObjectDelayLoad Registry key autorun

What it looks like:
Quote:
O21 - SSODL - AUHOOK - {11566B38-955B-4549-930F-7B7482668782} - C:\WINDOWS\System\auhook.dll
What to do:
This is an undocumented autorun method, normally used by a few Windows system
components. Items listed at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
ShellServiceObjectDelayLoad

are loaded by Explorer when Windows starts. HijackThis uses a whitelist
of several very common SSODL items, so whenever an item is displayed in
the log it is unknown and possibly malicious. Treat with extreme care.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
O22 - SharedTaskScheduler Registry key autorun

What it looks like:
Quote:
O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: (no name) - {3F143C3A-1457-6CCA-03A7-7AA23B61E40F} - c:\windows\system32\mtwirl32.dll
What to do:
This is an undocumented autorun for Windows NT/2000/XP only, which
is used very rarely. So far only CWS.Smartfinder uses it. Treat with care.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
O23 - Windows NT Services

What it looks like:
Quote:
O23 - Service: Kerio Personal Firewall (PersFw) - Kerio Technologies - C:\Program Files\Kerio\Personal Firewall\persfw.exe
What to do:
Quote:

This is the listing of non-Microsoft services. The list should be the same as the one you see in the Msconfig utility of Windows XP. Several trojan hijackers use a homemade service in adittion to other startups to reinstall themselves. The full name is usually important-sounding, like 'Network Security Service', 'Workstation Logon Service' or 'Remote Procedure Call Helper', but the internal name (between brackets) is a string of garbage, like 'O?rtȲ$'. The second part of the line is the owner of the file at the end, as seen in the file's properties.
Note that fixing an O23 item will only stop the service and disable it. The service needs to be deleted from the Registry manually or with another tool. In HijackThis 1.99.1 or higher, the button 'Delete NT Service' in the Misc Tools section can be used for this.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

O24 - Windows Active Desktop Components

Active Desktop Components are local or remote html files that are embedded directly onto your desktop as a background. SmitFraud infections commonly use this method to embed messages, pictures, or web pages directly on to a user's Active Desktop to display fake security warnings as the Desktop background. There are hundreds of rogue anti-spyware programs that have used this method of displaying fake security warnings. New infections appear frequently.

What it may look like:
Quote:
O24 - Desktop Component 0: (Security) - %windir%\index.html
O24 - Desktop Component 1: (no name) - %Windir%\warnhp.html

The registry key associated with Active Desktop Components is:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\Components
Each specific component is then listed as a numeric subkey of the above Key starting with the number 0. For example:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\Components\0
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\Components\1
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\Components\2

What to do:

If you did not add these Active Desktop Components yourself, you should run a good anti-spyware removal program and also remove these numeric subkeys if they still exist afterwards.

Last edited by chaslang; 03-12-09 at 12:11.. Reason: Remove tutorial link as it no longer exists. Add F2, F3, and 024 section
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