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Removal instructions for StartPoint

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What is StartPoint?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that StartPoint is a browser hijacker. These so-called "hijackers" manipulate your browser(s), for example to change your startpage or searchscopes, so that the affected browser visits their site or one of their choice. This one also displays advertisements.

How do I know if my computer is affected by StartPoint?

This is how the start- and search-page of the hijacker looks:

main.png

You may see this entry in your list of installed software:

warning4.png

this icon in your taskbar:

icons.png

and these warnings:

warning1.png

warning2.png

warning3.png

Or these entries in your Scheduled Tasks :

warning5.png

How did StartPoint get on my computer?

Browser hijackers use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was bundled with other software.

How do I remove StartPoint?

Our program Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can detect and remove this potentially unwanted program.

  • Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to your desktop.
  • Double-click mbam-setup-version.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  • At the end, be sure a check-mark is placed next to the following:
    • Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium
    • Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
  • If an update is found, you will be prompted to download and install the latest version.
  • Once the program has loaded, select Scan now. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  • When the scan is complete , make sure that everything is set to "Quarantine", and click Apply Actions.
  • Reboot your computer if prompted.
Is there anything else I need to do to get rid of StartPoint?
  • This PUP creates some scheduled tasks. You can read here how to remove Scheduled Tasks.
How would the full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware help protect me?

We hope our application and this guide have helped you eradicate this hijacker.

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

protection1.png

Technical details for experts

Signs in a HijackThis log:

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://search.strtpoint.com/?v=insMac&t=1411&ap=578080078O4'>http://search.strtpoint.com/?v=insMac&t=1411&ap=578080078O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [StartPoint] C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\startpoint.exe
Alterations made by the installer:

File system details  ---------------------------------------------    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7       Adds the file app.ini"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 594 bytes, A       Adds the file el3mkR2l.dll"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 306688 bytes, A       Adds the file ieds.xml"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 1454 bytes, A       Adds the file jfekfofP.dll"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 288768 bytes, A       Adds the file res.dll"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 197120 bytes, A       Adds the file serp.js"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 1456 bytes, A       Adds the file sqlite.dll"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 573100 bytes, A       Adds the file startpoint.exe"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 631064 bytes, A       Adds the file startup.exe"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 433944 bytes, A    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\searchplugins       Adds the file startpointkms.xml"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 1195 bytes, A    In the existing folder C:\Windows\System32\Tasks       Adds the file StartPoint"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 3516 bytes, A       Adds the file StartPoint Updater"="1/4/2015 12:45 PM, 3510 bytes, ARegistry details  ------------------------------------------    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce]       "piratebaymirror"="REG_SZ", ""    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\keepmysearch\instl\data]       "APPORDR"="REG_SZ", "F1D3B1133FD4E504"       "cmndln-swtch"="REG_SZ", "7"       "country"="REG_SZ", ""       "insllPgLoad"="REG_SZ", "true"       "lng"="REG_SZ", ""       "prm1"="REG_SZ", "1411"       "prm2"="REG_SZ", "578080078"       "prm3"="REG_SZ", ""       "prm4"="REG_SZ", ""       "prm5"="REG_SZ", ""    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\keepmysearch\uninstl]       "startpointkms"="REG_SZ", "C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\startup.exe"    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]       "Start Page"="REG_SZ", "http://search.strtpoint.com/?v=insMac&t=1411&ap=578080078"    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION]       "startpoint.exe"="REG_DWORD", 19000       "startup.exe"="REG_DWORD", 19000    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{1711444A-E3F7-4083-9DB1-ED9D08B299F6}]       "Codepage"="REG_DWORD", 65001       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "Search The Web (Start Point)"       "FaviconURL"="REG_SZ", "http://search.strtpoint.com/favicon.ico"       "OSDFileURL"="REG_SZ", "file:///C:/Users/Malwarebytes/AppData/Local/StartPoint/startpoint/1.3.18.7/ieds.xml"       "URL"="REG_SZ", "http://search.strtpoint.com/results.html?v=insMac&t=1411&ap=578080078&q={searchTerms}&r=573"    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]       "StartPoint"="REG_SZ", "C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\startpoint.exe"    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\startpoint]       "DisplayIcon"="REG_SZ", ""C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\startup.exe""       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "StartPoint"       "NoModify"="REG_DWORD", 1       "NoRepair"="REG_DWORD", 1       "Publisher"="REG_SZ", "StartPoint"       "UninstallString"="REG_SZ", ""C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\startup.exe" /uninstl"
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware log:

Malwarebytes Anti-Malwarewww.malwarebytes.orgScan Date: 1/4/2015Scan Time: 12:56:46 PMLogfile: mbamStartPoint.txtAdministrator: YesVersion: 2.00.4.1028Malware Database: v2015.01.04.06Rootkit Database: v2014.12.30.01License: FreeMalware Protection: DisabledMalicious Website Protection: DisabledSelf-protection: DisabledOS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1CPU: x86File System: NTFSUser: MalwarebytesScan Type: Threat ScanResult: CompletedObjects Scanned: 286405Time Elapsed: 3 min, 24 secMemory: EnabledStartup: EnabledFilesystem: EnabledArchives: EnabledRootkits: DisabledHeuristics: EnabledPUP: EnabledPUM: EnabledProcesses: 1PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\startpoint.exe, 2632, Delete-on-Reboot, [c2a434bf4940f73f4386be9d45bbbb45]Modules: 0(No malicious items detected)Registry Keys: 1PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\startpoint, Quarantined, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], Registry Values: 1PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\RUN|StartPoint, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\startpoint.exe, Quarantined, [c2a434bf4940f73f4386be9d45bbbb45]Registry Data: 1PUP.Optional.StrtPoint.A, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\INTERNET EXPLORER\MAIN|Start Page, http://search.strtpoint.com/?v=insMac&t=1411&ap=578080078,'>http://search.strtpoint.com/?v=insMac&t=1411&ap=578080078, Good: (www.google.com), Bad: (http://search.strtpoint.com/?v=insMac&t=1411&ap=578080078),Replaced,[83e3658edbae8ea86f5a49314db8d927]Folders: 2PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint, Delete-on-Reboot, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7, Delete-on-Reboot, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], Files: 14PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\startpoint.exe, Delete-on-Reboot, [c2a434bf4940f73f4386be9d45bbbb45], PUP.Optional.Somoto.A, C:\Users\{username}\Desktop\SomotoA.exe, Quarantined, [2e38747f4544ec4a08679d9bc43c58a8], PUP.Optional.Somoto.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Temp\biclient.exe, Quarantined, [e482658e8cfdb68051c35ddb837e6c94], PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Temp\startpoint_1.exe, Quarantined, [cb9b08eb2f5a53e308c1bf9ccf3141bf], PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\app.ini, Quarantined, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\el3mkR2l.dll, Quarantined, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\ieds.xml, Quarantined, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\jfekfofP.dll, Quarantined, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\res.dll, Quarantined, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\serp.js, Quarantined, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\sqlite.dll, Quarantined, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], PUP.Optional.StartPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\StartPoint\startpoint\1.3.18.7\startup.exe, Quarantined, [72f438bb5930d75f6bdf19449c67c23e], PUP.Optional.StrtPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\prefs.js, Good: (), Bad: (user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "http://search.strtpoint.com/?v=insMac&t=1411&ap=578080078"), Replaced,[244235be0c7de74f7a73cfeefa0bbb45]PUP.Optional.StrtPoint.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\prefs.js, Good: (), Bad: (user_pref("browser.newtab.url", "http://search.strtpoint.com/?v=insMac&t=1411&ap=578080078"), Replaced,[dd89ee05c7c2d5610ce2d0ed000545bb]Physical Sectors: 0(No malicious items detected)(end)
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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