W32.Harakit is a worm designed to propagate globally and reach as many computer users as possible to serve as an avenue for malware distribution. The worm may lower security configurations on the affected computer in order to conceal its operation once inside the system.
Alias: Win32/Yahlover.DH, Packed.Win32.Klone.bj, Trojan.Autoit, W32/Renocide-B, Generic.dx!sws
Damage Level: Medium
Systems Affected: Windows 9x, 2000, XP, Windows Vista
When W32.Harakit enters the computer, it immediately connects to a command and control (C&C) server to accept commands and download additional malware. The same C&C server can perform other payload as the following:
- Update the worm to the latest variants by providing specific download address.
- Record computer information like hard drive serial number, user name, passwords, computer name, operating system version, system language and daily operation routine.
- It modifies Internet Explorer default home page settings.
- The worm will display advertisements or provide malicious links if Internet Explorer is used to browse the web.
- Scan ranges of IP address to look for vulnerable target.
There are three possible ways to explore in spreading W32.Harakit. First, the worm targets peer-to-peer network connections. It creates a shared-file, commonly in-disguise of a popular program containing a copy of itself and freely distributed on a given network. The worm also spreads by infecting removable drives and unsecured network shares. Creating a malicious autorun.inf file on each targeted drive runs the worm automatically when the device is mounted.
How to Remove W32.Harakit
1. Temporarily Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP). [how to]
2. To be able to identify even the most recent variant of W32.Harakit, open your antivirus application and update the virus definition file.
3. Start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking.
- From a power-off state, turn on the computer and press F8 on your keyboard repeatedly.
- Your computer will display Windows Advanced Boot Options menu. Please select Safe Mode with Networking.
- The system will now boot Windows and loads only necessary drivers and files.
4. Open your antivirus program and run a full system scan. After the scan, delete all infected items. If unable to delete, better place them in quarantine. Once the scan is complete, please proceed with the next step.
Scan with Norton Power Eraser:
Free tool from Symantec called Norton Power Eraser provides deep scanning technology to detect and remote threats like W32.Harakit. NPE targets and eliminate threats that regular virus scan fails to identify. Download NPE here.
Important! Because of Norton Power Eraser’s aggressive method, it can select even legitimate files as suspicious. Please use this tool very carefully.
Alternative Removal Method for W32.Harakit
Option 1 : Use Windows System Restore to return Windows to previous state
If W32.Harakit enters the computer, there is a big chance that Windows files, registry entries and other essential components are also infected. System Restore can reinstate clean system files by restoring the configuration to an earlier date. The method also replaces compromised files with a clean version. If you have a saved restore point before W32.Harakit infiltrates the PC, we highly encourage you to execute this procedure if none of the above works. You may proceed with Windows System Restore, click here to see the full procedure.
Option 2 : W32.Harakit manual uninstall guide
IMPORTANT! Manual removal of W32.Harakit requires technical skills. Deleting system files and registry entries by mistake may result to total disability of Windows system. We advise you to perform a backup of registry before proceeding with this guide.
1. Kill any running process that belongs to W32.Harakit.
- Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard.
- When Windows Task Manager appears, look for W32.Harakit files (refer to Technical Reference) and click End Process.
2. Delete all registry entries that belong to this malware.
- Press [Windows Key]+R on your keyboard.
- In the 'Open' dialog box, type regedit and press Enter. This will open registry editor.
- Find and delete registry entries as mentioned in Technical Reference section below.
- Close registry editor. Changes made will be save automatically.
3. Scan the computer with antivirus program.
- Connect to Internet and open your antivirus software. Please update to obtain the latest database and necessary files.
- Restart the computer in Safe Mode.
- Just before Windows logo begins to load press F8 on your keyboard.
- On Windows Advanced Boot Options, select Safe Mode and press Enter.
4. Delete all files dropped by W32.Harakit.
- While still in Safe Mode, search and delete malicious files. Please refer to 'Technical Reference'. Make sure that you execute 'End Task' first before deleting the file. Otherwise, the system will not let you perform this action.