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Removal instructions for Smart Engine

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#1
Metallica

Metallica

    Spyware Veteran

  • GeekU Moderator
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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is Smart Engine?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Smart Engine is a fake anti-malware application. These so-called "rogues" use intentional false positives to convince users that their systems have been compromised. Then they try to sell you their software, claiming it will remove these threats. In extreme cases the false threats are actually the very trojans that advertise or even directly install the rogue. You are strongly advised to follow our removal instructions below.

How do I know if I am infected with Smart Engine?

This is how the main screen of the rogue application looks:

Posted Image

You will find these icons on your desktop and in your taskbar:

Posted Image

And see these warnings:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

How did Smart Engine get on my computer?

Rogue programs use different methods for spreading themselves. This particular one poses as a fake online scanner.

How do I remove Smart Engine?

Our program Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware can detect and remove this rogue application.
  • Please download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware to your desktop.
  • Double-click mbam-setup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  • At the end, be sure a check-mark is placed next to the following:

    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
  • If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
  • Once the program has loaded, select Perform quick scan, then click Scan.
  • When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.
  • Be sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected. Reboot your computer if prompted.
  • When completed, a log will open in Notepad. The rogue application should now be gone.

Is there anything else I need to do to get rid of Smart Engine?

  • The rogue replaces your hosts file, so you may have to restore the old one. You can find third-party hosts file alternatives at hpHosts or at mvps.org or you can simply reset the default hosts file as outlined here by Microsoft.
  • The shortcut called Smart Engine on the desktop can be deleted if it belonged to the rogue.

How would the full version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware help protect me?

We hope our application has helped you eradicate this malicious software. If your current security solution let this infection through, you might please consider purchasing the FULL version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware for additional protection.

As you can see below the full version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware would have protected you against the Smart Engine rogue. It would have warned you before the rogue could install itself, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.


Posted Image

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Technical details for experts

Signs in a HijackThis log:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\42fe47\SM42f_2114.exe

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyServer = http=127.0.0.1:25520
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Smart Engine] "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\42fe47\SM42f_2114.exe" /s /d

Note: the name of the folder and file are random, but the filename will always start with SM

Alterations made by the installer:
  File System
  ===============
    Adds the folder C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\42fe47
      Adds the file tzexaaxejxzj.ini"="15:07 10/10/10 67 bytes
      Adds the file SME.ico"="15:07 10/10/10 4286 bytes
      Adds the file SM42f_2114.exe"="15:06 10/10/10 4071424 bytes
      Adds the file 888.mof"="15:07 10/10/10 322 bytes
      Adds the file 42fe47e58e2b10c44a837ac3162efc73.ocx"="15:07 10/10/10 92 bytes
    Adds the folder C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\42fe47\SMESys
    Adds the folder C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\42fe47\Quarantine Items
    Adds the folder C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SMXZEVE
      Adds the file SMICJMCE.cfg"="15:08 10/10/10 18023 bytes
    Adds the folder C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Application Data\Smart Engine
      Adds the file Instructions.ini"="15:07 10/10/10 1307 bytes
    In the existing folder C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
      Adds the file Smart Engine.lnk"="15:07 10/10/10 1810 bytes
    In the existing folder C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Desktop
      Adds the file Smart Engine.lnk"="15:07 10/10/10 1792 bytes
    In the existing folder C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Start Menu
      Adds the file Smart Engine.lnk"="15:07 10/10/10 1792 bytes
    In the existing folder C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Start Menu\Programs
      Adds the file Smart Engine.lnk"="15:07 10/10/10 1798 bytes
    In the existing folder C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc
      Alters the file hosts
        14:00 28/02/06 734 bytes ==> 15:08 10/10/10 2672 bytes


  Registry
  ===============
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SM42f_2114.DocHostUIHandler]
      "(Default)"="'Implements DocHostUIHandler'"
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SM42f_2114.DocHostUIHandler\Clsid]
      "(Default)"="'{3F2BBC05-40DF-11D2-9455-00104BC936FF}'"
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3F2BBC05-40DF-11D2-9455-00104BC936FF}]
      "(Default)"="'Implements DocHostUIHandler'"
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3F2BBC05-40DF-11D2-9455-00104BC936FF}\ProgID]
      "(Default)"="'SM42f_2114.DocHostUIHandler'"
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3F2BBC05-40DF-11D2-9455-00104BC936FF}\LocalServer32]
      "(Default)"="'C:\DOCUME~1\ALLUSE~1\APPLIC~1\42fe47\SM42F_~1.EXE'"
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes]
      "URL"="'http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}'"
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options]
      "Debugger"="'svchost.exe'"
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\_avp32.exe]
      "Debugger"="'svchost.exe'"
<snipped a lot of IFEO keys>
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\taskmgr.exe
      "Debugger"="'svchost.exe'"
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Hardware Profiles\Current\Software\Microsoft\windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]
      "ProxyEnable"="1"
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SharedAccess\Parameters\FirewallPolicy\StandardProfile\AuthorizedApplications\List]
      "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\42fe47\SM42f_2114.exe"="'C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\42fe47\SM42f_2114.exe:*:Enabled:Smart Engine'"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes]
      "URL"="'http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}'"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer]
      "IIL"="0"
      "ltHI"="0"
      "ltTST"="47222"
      "PRS"="'http://127.0.0.1:27777/?inj=%ORIGINAL%'"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\BrowserEmulation]
      "MSCompatibilityMode"="0"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes]
      "URL"="'http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}'"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]
      "ProxyServer"="'http=127.0.0.1:25520'"
      "UID"="'2114'"
      "ProxyEnable"="1"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent\Post Platform]
      "system:3.02114"=""
      "9768078603"=""
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
      "DisallowRun"="1"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun]
      "15"="'avgwdsvc.exe'"
      "14"="'avgcmgr.exe'"
      "13"="'avgchsvx.exe'"
      "12"="'avgemc.exe'"
      "11"="'avgcfgex.exe'"
      "10"="'avgscanx.exe'"
      "9"="'avgtray.exe'"
      "8"="'avgui.exe'"
      "7"="'avgfrw.exe'"
      "6"="'avscan.exe'"
      "5"="'avcenter.exe'"
      "4"="'avgnt.exe'"
      "3"="'egui.exe'"
      "2"="'ekrn.exe'"
      "1"="'MSASCui.exe'"
      "0"="'msseces.exe'"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]
      "Smart Engine"="'"C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\42fe47\SM42f_2114.exe" /s /d'"


Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware log:
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.46
www.malwarebytes.org

Database version: 4788

Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3
Internet Explorer 6.0.2900.5512

10/10/2010 3:23:12 PM
mbam-log-2010-10-10 (15-23-12).txt

Scan type: Quick scan
Objects scanned: 123423
Time elapsed: 5 minute(s), 0 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 1
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 759
Registry Values Infected: 32
Registry Data Items Infected: 8
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 2

Memory Processes Infected:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\42fe47\SM42f_2114.exe (Trojan.FakeAlert) -> Unloaded process successfully.

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\_avp32.exe (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
<snipped a lot of IFEO keys>
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\zonealarm.exe (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Values Infected:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\smart engine (Trojan.FakeAlert) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\5 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\11 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\13 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\14 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\12 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\7 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\4 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\10 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\9 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\8 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\15 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\6 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\3 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\2 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\1 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\0 (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\Arrakis3.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\bdagent.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\bdreinit.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\bdsubwiz.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\bdtkexec.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\bdwizreg.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\egui.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\ekrn.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\install.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\livesrv.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\seccenter.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\taskmgr.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\uiscan.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\upgrepl.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\vsserv.exe\debugger (Security.Hijack) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Data Items Infected:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\URL (Hijack.SearchPage) -> Bad: (http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}) Good: (http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&rls=com.microsoft:{language}&ie={inputEncoding}&oe={outputEncoding}&startIndex={startIndex?}&startPage={startPage}) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\URL (Hijack.SearchPage) -> Bad: (http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}) Good: (http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&rls=com.microsoft:{language}&ie={inputEncoding}&oe={outputEncoding}&startIndex={startIndex?}&startPage={startPage}) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\URL (Hijack.SearchPage) -> Bad: (http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}) Good: (http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&rls=com.microsoft:{language}&ie={inputEncoding}&oe={outputEncoding}&startIndex={startIndex?}&startPage={startPage}) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-18\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\URL (Hijack.SearchPage) -> Bad: (http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}) Good: (http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&rls=com.microsoft:{language}&ie={inputEncoding}&oe={outputEncoding}&startIndex={startIndex?}&startPage={startPage}) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-19\SOFTWARE\Classes\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\URL (Hijack.SearchPage) -> Bad: (http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}) Good: (http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&rls=com.microsoft:{language}&ie={inputEncoding}&oe={outputEncoding}&startIndex={startIndex?}&startPage={startPage}) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-19\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\URL (Hijack.SearchPage) -> Bad: (http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}) Good: (http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&rls=com.microsoft:{language}&ie={inputEncoding}&oe={outputEncoding}&startIndex={startIndex?}&startPage={startPage}) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-20\SOFTWARE\Classes\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\URL (Hijack.SearchPage) -> Bad: (http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}) Good: (http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&rls=com.microsoft:{language}&ie={inputEncoding}&oe={outputEncoding}&startIndex={startIndex?}&startPage={startPage}) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-20\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\URL (Hijack.SearchPage) -> Bad: (http://findgala.com/?&uid=2114&q={searchTerms}) Good: (http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&rls=com.microsoft:{language}&ie={inputEncoding}&oe={outputEncoding}&startIndex={startIndex?}&startPage={startPage}) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\42fe47\SM42f_2114.exe (Trojan.FakeAlert) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Local Settings\Temp\packupdate107_2114.exe (Trojan.FakeAlert) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.


As mentioned before the full version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware could have protected your computer against this threat.
We use different ways of protecting your computer(s):
  • Dynamically Blocks Malware Sites & Servers
  • Malware Execution Prevention
Save yourself the hassle and get protected.
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