May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Malware Defense History

by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov.

Copyright: Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov 1994-2013. Unpublished notes. Version 0.80.October, 2013

Contents : Foreword : Ch01 : Ch02 : Ch03  : Ch04 : Ch05 : Ch06 : Ch07 : Ch08 : Ch09 : Ch10 : Ch11 : Ch12 : Ch13

Chapter 8: Spyware


MS Encyclopedia entry
Updated: Sep 04, 2012  |  Published: Jul 26, 2012


Alert Level: Severe

Antimalware protection details
Microsoft recommends that you download the latest definitions to get protected.
Detection last updated:
Definition: 1.141.3235.0
Released: Jan 05, 2013
  Detection initially created:
Definition: 1.131.307.0
Released: Jul 20, 2012




Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AV is a trojan that redirects Internet search queries to a malicious URL and allows backdoor access and control. It may also install other malware.

Disables several AV programs.

It is a member of the Trojan:Win32/Tracur family.


System changes

The following system changes may indicate the presence of this malware:

Technical Information (Analysis)

Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AV is a trojan that redirects Internet search queries to a malicious URL, allows backdoor access and control and may also install other malware.

It is a member of the Trojan:Win32/Tracur family.


Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AV combines the names of two folders in the %LOCALAPPDATA% or %APPDATA% folder to create a new folder path, in the following format:

Note: %LOCALAPPDATA% and %APPDATA% refer to variable locations that are determined by the malware by querying the operating system. The default installation location for the Local AppData folder for Windows Vista and 7 is "C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local"; it does not exist in Windows Vista and 7.
The default installation location for the AppData folder for Windows 2000, XP, and 2003 is "C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data", and for Windows Vista and 7 it is "C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming".

For example, if %LOCALAPPDATA% contains a folder called "Microsoft" and a folder called "Netscape", the DLL would be dropped in either one of the following folders:

The trojan drops a malicious DLL component into the newly created folder path. In the wild, we have observed the DLL with the following file names:

We detect the malicious DLL as Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AV and Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AN.

When run, Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AV drops a copy of itself to "<system folder>\<existing DLL name>32.exe", where <existing DLLname> refers to any existing Windows DLL file located in the system folder, for example "C:\Windows\System32\olecli3232.exe".

Note: <system folder> refers to a variable location that is determined by the malware by querying the operating system. The default installation location for the System folder for Windows 2000 and NT is "C:\Winnt\System32" and for XP, Vista, 7 and W8is "C:\Windows\System32".

Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AV modifies the following registry entries to ensure that its copy runs at each Windows start:

In subkey: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
Sets value: "<malware value>"
With data: "rundll32.exe "%LOCALAPPDATA%\<first folder>\<second folder>\<random>.dll",CreateInstance"

In subkey: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
Sets value: "<malware value>"
With data: "rundll32.exe "%APPDATA%\<first folder>\<second folder>\<random>.dll",CreateInstance"

Note: <malware value> uses the same name as <second folder>, for example:

In subkey: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
Sets value: "Ares"
With data: "rundll32.exe "C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Ares\dwnxzmqxa.dll",CreateInstance"

In subkey: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
Sets value: "Ares"
With data: "rundll32.exe"C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Ares\dwnxzmqxa.dll",CreateInstance"

Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AV also creates a mutex with a random name of ten characters, for example "bwukqmmsyf".

It creates the following registry entry, possibly as an infection marker in order to prevent multiple instances of the malware from running and possibly arousing suspicion:

In subkey: HKCU\Software\<mutex name>\CLSID, for example "HKCU\Software\bwukqmmsyf\CLSID"
Sets value: "<default>"
With data: "<random globally unique identifier>", for example "{7d5b4281-35a1-4e0f-9c1d-cca2b6f45d50}"

Redirects Internet search queries

Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AV redirects searches to a malicious URL when one of the following search engines are used:

To aid in its search-redirection payload, Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AV installs a Firefox browser extension by dropping a JAR archive file, with an .xpi extension, as follows:

<Firefox profile>\<Profile1>\extensions\<random>@<random>.org.xpi

Note: <random> contains ten randomly generated characters, for example "[email protected]".

Note: <Firefox profile> is taken from the profile paths of different user accounts that the trojan retrieves from the following registry entry:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\<user ID>\ProfileImagePath

where <user ID> refers to your account identifier, for example "S-15-18".

The Firefox browser extension contains another JAR archive file, for example "printing.jar" or "performance.jar", that contains a malicious JavaScript file "overlay.xul", detected as Trojan:JS/Tracur.E.

Allows backdoor access and control

Trojan:Win32/Tracur.AV attempts to connect to a server via a random TCP port and waits for commands. Using this backdoor, an attacker can perform a number of actions on your computer, including the following:

Related encyclopedia entries




Analysis by Rodel Finones



Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

Copyright © 1996-2021 by Softpanorama Society. was initially created as a service to the (now defunct) UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) without any remuneration. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License. Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.

This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...

You can use PayPal to to buy a cup of coffee for authors of this site


The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the Softpanorama society. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose. The site uses AdSense so you need to be aware of Google privacy policy. You you do not want to be tracked by Google please disable Javascript for this site. This site is perfectly usable without Javascript.

Last modified: March 12, 2019