Plugins: soft_run user_run

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 Posted by Corey Harrell 1 comments
The next two RegRipper plugins I wanted to highlight are: soft_run and user_run. Some may have been familiar with what these plugins did and the registry keys they checked. I’m referencing the past tense since Harlan has been busy working and he updated these plugins in the process. Not only were new run keys added to the plugins but Wow6432Node keys were added as well. The registry run keys are locations on a system which automatically start programs. Run keys are present in the Software registry hives which start programs when the operating system starts. Run keys are also present in the NTUSER.DAT hives and these execute programs when the user logs onto the system. These plugins are demonstrated against registry hives from a system infected with Symantec detection W32.SillyFDC (MD5 78c9d2949c81984414e6e1f5974905e1).

soft_run plugin

The soft_run plugin parses the run keys located in the Software hive. The following are the keys checked:

HKLM\Software\ Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal

Windows performs Win32 emulation on 64-bit operating systems to make 32-bit applications work. Part of the emulation is registry redirection. 32-bit applications are redirected to HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node when they try to access HKLM\Software. The additional Wow6432Node run keys parsed by the soft_run plugin are:


Running the soft_run plugin against the Software hive from the infected system produced the output below. In the output you will notice an entry for C:\Users\lab\Templates\cache\SFCsrvc.pif listed beneath a Wow6432Node. This malware entry provides us with a few different clues. First the malware obtained administrative privileges since a system-wide modification was made. The second was the malware was 32-bit executed on a 64-bit system.

soft_run v.20130329
(Software) [Autostart] Get autostart key contents from Software hive

LastWrite Time Thu Apr 4 17:36:00 2013 (UTC)
VMware User Process - "C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\vmtoolsd.exe" -n vmusr

Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run has no subkeys.

LastWrite Time Thu Apr 4 17:34:33 2013 (UTC)
Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce has no values.
Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce has no subkeys.

Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices not found.

LastWrite Time Thu Apr 4 18:48:45 2013 (UTC)
HotKey - C:\Users\lab\Templates\cache\SFCsrvc.pif
User Agent - C:\Windows\SysWOW64\

Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run has no subkeys.

LastWrite Time Tue Jul 14 04:53:25 2009 (UTC)
Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce has no values.
Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce has no subkeys.

Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Run not found.

Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Run not found.

Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\Install\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run not found.

Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\Install\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce not found.

user_run plugin

The user_run plugin parses the run keys located in the NTUSER.DAT hive. The following are the keys checked:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\Run
HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal
HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal
Run value listed in HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

Similar to the soft_run plugin, user_run also takes into account Win32 emulation on 64-bit operating systems. The additional Wow6432Node run keys parsed are:


Running the user_run plugin against the Software hive from the infected system produced the output below. In the output notice the entries for C:\Users\lab\Templates\cache\SFCsrvc.pif and C:\Users\lab\AppData\Local\Temp\ The biggest clue provided by the output is the lab user account should be focused on to determine the initial infecton vector.

user_run v.20130329
(NTUSER.DAT) [Autostart] Get autostart key contents from NTUSER.DAT hive

LastWrite Time Thu Apr 4 18:48:45 2013 (UTC)
HotKey: C:\Users\lab\Templates\cache\SFCsrvc.pif
User Agent: C:\Users\lab\AppData\Local\Temp\

Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run not found.

LastWrite Time Thu Apr 4 17:35:09 2013 (UTC)

Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce has no values.

Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices not found.

Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServicesOnce not found.

Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\Install\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run not found.

Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\Install\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce not found.

Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Run not found.

Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Run not found.

Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows
LastWrite Time Thu Apr 4 18:48:46 2013 (UTC)
Run value = C:\Users\lab\AppData\Local\Temp\
run value = C:\Users\lab\AppData\Local\Temp\
load value = C:\Users\lab\AppData\Local\Temp\

Plugin: MenuOrder

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 Posted by Corey Harrell 2 comments
A new RegRipper plugin archive was released during the RegRipper Consolidation. The archive contains some new plug-ins; one of them is the plug-in. Before discussing the plug-in I thought it would be helpful to first explain the importance of the registry key it parses. I was working a malware case when actions were taken in an attempt to remove the malware. Not only was malware deleted from the system but artifacts associated with the malware were deleted as well. Despite these actions taken, there was still evidence present in the MenuOrder registry key. This plug-in’s importance is not limited to malware cases; it’s important for any case where it’s important to know what programs or favorites were deleted from a system.

The MenuOrder registry key contains Start Menu and IE Favorites artifacts. The article Start Menu and IE Favorites Artifacts in the MenuOrder Registry Key explains in-depth how these artifacts get populated in this key. The article states:

“In most versions of Windows, a user can manually organize the order in which applications and application groups are displayed in the Start Menu. A user might, for example, drag a frequently-used application group to the top of the Start Menu and leave the remainder of the items in alphabetical order.”

“Similarly, a user can manually rearrange items in the Favorites menu”

In essence, when a user changes the display for either the Start Menu or IE Favorites these settings are stored in the registry. The information that gets stored includes the directory structure and file names for the program shortcuts in the Start Menu and favorites in IE. This means we are able to see how the Start Menu or IE favorites looked at a certain point in time even if actions were taken to delete the program shortcuts or favorites. The registry keys storing the information are:

- HCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MenuOrder\Start Menu2\Programs

- HCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MenuOrder\Favorites

This by itself makes the MenuOrder key a useful artifact to examine. However, Harlan discovered something even cooler. In his post DOSDate Time Stamps in Shell Items he mentions how the MenuOrder key contains shell items. This means there are timestamps accompanying the file and directory names stored in the registry key. It’s another source to get the creation dates for items.

I ran the plug-in against a Windows XP NTUSER.DAT hive I had laying around and here are a few snippets from its output (command was –p menuorder –r ntuser.dat)

menuorder v.20121005

\Start Menu2
LastWrite: Wed Apr 9 13:15:39 2008 Z

\Start Menu2\Programs
LastWrite: Wed Oct 13 14:32:52 2010 Z
Microsoft Office 2003
Set Program Access and Defaults.lnk
Adobe Reader 9.lnk
Internet Explorer.lnk (@xpsp1res.dll,-11001)
Microsoft Access 2003.lnk
Microsoft Excel 2003.lnk
Microsoft PowerPoint 2003.lnk
Microsoft Word 2003.lnk

\Start Menu2\Programs\Accessories
LastWrite: Wed Jun 9 19:26:37 2010 Z
Accessibility (@shell32.dll,-21760)
Communications (@shell32.dll,-21768)
Entertainment (@shell32.dll,-21772)
System Tools
Address Book.lnk (@shell32.dll,-22017)
Calculator.lnk (@shell32.dll,-22019)
Command Prompt.lnk (@shell32.dll,-22022)
Notepad.lnk (@shell32.dll,-22051)
Paint.lnk (@shell32.dll,-22054)
Program Compatibility Wizard.lnk (@C:\WINDOWS\system32\compatUI.dll,-115)
Remote Desktop Connection.lnk
Synchronize.lnk (@shell32.dll,-22062)
Tour Windows XP.lnk (@C:\WINDOWS\system32\tourstart.exe,-1)
Windows Explorer.lnk (@shell32.dll,-22067)
WordPad.lnk (@shell32.dll,-22069)


LastWrite: Mon Oct 4 18:31:22 2010 Z
Customize Links.url
Free Hotmail.url
Windows Marketplace.url
Windows Media.url

\Favorites\Microsoft Websites
LastWrite: Tue Sep 7 15:34:21 2010 Z
IE Add-on site.url
IE site on
Microsoft At Home.url
Microsoft At Work.url
Welcome to IE7.url
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