I apologize in advance for the long-winded post. I posted it all because I believe its informative and may be useful. Also, I posted my question at the end.
Moments ago I was RDC to a file server in my home (from inside my home). I had opened Firefox and Googled for a manufacturers website. Immediately after clicking the link, Firefox abruptly closed. This seemed odd to me to so I checked the running processes and discovered d.exe, e.exe, and f.exe running.
I Googled these processes on a different machine and found them belonging to a key-logger/screen-capturer/trojan called defender.exe, which according to the Prevx lives in c:\documents and settings\user\local settings\temp. (Prevx link http://www.prevx.com/filenames/147352809685142526-X1/DEFENDER32.EXE.html)
Simultaneously, an obviously-spoofed Windows Firewall popup appeared on the server asking me to click ‘yes’ to update Windows Firewall.
At this time I ended all rogue processes, emptied the temp folder, removed defender.exe from startup, and checked my registry and a few other locations. Before deleting Defender.exe I noted that it was created moments ago, just before Firefox crashed. I believe that I was ‘almost’ infected with this malware. I believe that it needed me to click the phony popup in order to complete infection because it wasn’t allowed to execute processes from the temp folder. After cleaning the machine, I restarted it and have been monitoring it for over an hour. I am debating on whether or not to restore the Windows partition (a separate physical drive from the data) or to just watch it for awhle.
I should mention that, because of the specs on this machine, I do not run antivirus software, but I know it well and inspect it regularly. It is a very old Compaq with a 400mhz processer and 512mb of ram. I have a static IP and the server is in the DMZ running an FTP client and some HTTP server software. All files transferred to and stored on this machine are scanned for malware before transferring. Usually the machine only runs 19 processes and performs pretty well for its intended purpose.
I posted the story so that you could be aware of a possible new piece of malware and how it acts, but I also have a question or two. First, over the last few months I have noticed that PREVX is listed at the top of most of my Google searches when researching malware, especially for new or obscure malware…and they always want you to purchase something. I don’t think they are one of the top AV companies, so it seems odd that they are always the top Google result. Does anyone have any experience with any of their products?
Also, what sites do you rely on for malware researching? Recently, I have found it difficult to find good info because of HijackThis-logs and other deadend info cluttering up my searches.
And lastly, besides antivirus, third-party firewall, etc, what settings would you use to lock down a machine to make it more secure in instances where a stubborn admin like myself refuses to run AV?