ave.exe is a variant of av.exe installed by the Trojan FakeRean. Just like av.exe, this variant also chooses randomly from a list of names each time it is installed. It has a list of names for all the current versions of Windows with a mathching fake Windows Security Center or a fake Windows Action Center.
So far I have seen the follwing names:
On Windows XP:
- Antivirus XP
- XP Smart Security
- XP Smart Security 2010
- XP Antimalware
- XP Antimalware 2010
- XP Security Tool
- XP Security Tool 2010
- XP Internet Security
- XP Defender Pro
- XP Security
- Vista Antimalware
- Vista Security Tool 2010
- Vista Smart Security
- Vista Smart Security 2010
- Total Vista Security
- Vista Security
- Vista Defender Pro
- Vista Internet Security
- Win 7 Defender
- Win 7 Defender Pro
- Total Win 7 Security
- Win 7 Smart Security 2010
- Win 7 Internet Security
- Win 7 Security Tool
- Win 7 Antimalware
- Antispyware Win 7
- Win 7 Security
ave.exe Analysis on Windows XPWhen executed the trojan drops ave.exe (hidden and system) in the %AppData% folder. Then ave.exe drops a file without extension named y7V11 in multiple folders including %AppData% and %Temp% folders. User needs to enable viewing hidden folders and protected operating system files in folder options control panel to view them. ave.exe further performs the following modifications to the Windows registry, so that:
- The scareware executes (ave.exe) every time a .exe file is run, another way to autostart with Windows or to restart when killed via TaskManager. It also makes it difficult to install and run security programs.
- Makes Internet Explorer as the default browser and promptly hijacks it to display a scare message whenever it is run.
- Hijacks Firefox normal mode and Firefox safe mode (no addons), so that the scareware starts whenever Firefox is run and a fake alert is displayed.
- Disables Windows Firewall
- Disables genuine Windows Security Center notifications
ave.exe Associated Files and Folders
- C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\y7V11
- C:\Documents and Settings\malwarehelp.org\Local Settings\Application Data\ave.exe
- C:\Documents and Settings\malwarehelp.org\Local Settings\Application Data\y7V11
- C:\Documents and Settings\malwarehelp.org\Local Settings\Temp\y7V11
- C:\Documents and Settings\malwarehelp.org\Templates\y7V11
ave.exe Associated Registry Values and Keys
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\ StartMenuInternet IEXPLORE.EXE
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\ StartMenuInternet\IEXPLORE.EXE\shell\open\command “C:\Documents and Settings\malwarehelp.org\Local Settings\Application Data\ave.exe” /START “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\FIREFOX.EXE\shell\open\command\ “C:\Documents and Settings\malwarehelp.org\Local Settings\Application Data\ave.exe” /START “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe”
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\FIREFOX.EXE\shell\safemode\command\ C:\Documents and Settings\malwarehelp.org\Local Settings\Application Data\ave.exe” /START “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” -safe-mode
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center\AntiVirusOverride=1
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center\FirewallOverride=1
ave.exe Removal (How to remove ave.exe)When removed improperly, the left over registry entries messes up the opening of .exe files.
Use an alternate browser like Chrome to download the following or use a removable drive to transfer them to the affected computer:
- Right click and save the registry file trojan_fakerean_exe_fix.reg, make sure that you are saving the file with a .reg extension.
- MalwareBytes’s Anti-Malware (mbam-setup.exe Direct download)
- Double click to run the downloaded (trojan_fakerean_exe_fix.reg) registry file, Click Yes to merge the registry data. This will delete the offending registry keys blocking the .exe files.
- Install and run MalwareBytes’s Anti-Malware. Go to the Update tab and check for updates. Once the update is completed, open the Scanner tab and choose a full-scan. Once the scan is completed, click “Show results“, confirm that all instances of the rogue security software are check-marked and then click “Remove Selected” to delete them. If prompted restart immediately to complete the removal process.
- Turn System Restore off and on
Take the following steps to help prevent infection on your computer:
- Enable a firewall on your computer.
- Get the latest computer updates for all your installed software.
- Use up-to-date antivirus software.
- Limit user privileges on the computer.
- Use caution when opening attachments and accepting file transfers.
- Use caution when clicking on links to webpages.
- Avoid downloading pirated software.
- Protect yourself against social engineering attacks.
- Use strong passwords.
Enable a firewall on your computer
Use a third-party firewall product or turn on the Microsoft Windows Internet Connection Firewall.
Get the latest computer updates
Updates help protect your computer from viruses, worms, and other threats as they are discovered. It is important to install updates for all the software that is installed in your computer. These are usually available from vendor websites.
You can use the Automatic Updates feature in Windows to automatically download future Microsoft security updates while your computer is on and connected to the Internet.
Use up-to-date antivirus software
Most antivirus software can detect and prevent infection by known malicious software. To help protect you from infection, you should always run antivirus software, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, that is updated with the latest signature files. For more information, see http://www.microsoft.com/windows/antivirus-partners/.
Limit user privileges on the computer
Starting with Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft introduced User Account Control (UAC), which, when enabled, allowed users to run with least user privileges. This scenario limits the possibility of attacks by malware and other threats that require administrative privileges to run.
You can configure UAC in your computer to meet your preferences:
Use caution when opening attachments and accepting file transfers
Exercise caution with email and attachments received from unknown sources, or received unexpectedly from known sources. Use extreme caution when accepting file transfers from known or unknown sources.
Use caution when clicking on links to webpages
Exercise caution with links to webpages that you receive from unknown sources, especially if the links are to a webpage that you are not familiar with, unsure of the destination of, or suspicious of. Malicious software may be installed in your computer simply by visiting a webpage with harmful content.
Avoid downloading pirated software
Threats may also be bundled with software and files that are available for download on various torrent sites. Downloading "cracked" or "pirated" software from these sites carries not only the risk of being infected with malware, but is also illegal. For more information, see 'The risks of obtaining and using pirated software'.
Protect yourself from social engineering attacks
While attackers may attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in hardware or software to compromise a computer, they also attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in human behavior to do the same. When an attacker attempts to take advantage of human behavior to persuade the affected user to perform an action of the attacker's choice, it is known as 'social engineering'. Essentially, social engineering is an attack against the human interface of the targeted computer. For more information, see 'What is social engineering?'.
Use strong passwords
Attackers may try to gain access to your Windows account by guessing your password. It is therefore important that you use a strong password – one that cannot be easily guessed by an attacker. A strong password is one that has at least eight characters, and combines letters, numbers, and symbols. For more information, see http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/create.mspx.
To detect and remove this threat and other malicious software that may be installed in your computer, run a full-system scan with an up-to-date antivirus product such as the following: