IRS and AcroIEHelper!

  • July 8, 2010
  • 2 min read

We have been continuously stressing on the importance of malicious attacks through social networks and social engineering methods. Social Carriers like Facebook, Twitter and Social Engineering catalysts like Internet browsers are under constant threat and malware authors are always trying their part to create different kinds of attacks through these vectors.

Recent spam related distributions related to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spreading around through following urls
hxxp://, hxxp://, hxxp://
/statement.php, where the url tries to confuse end users with in the middle of the extended url. Similar urls like

also adds fuel to fire.

Tracing and analyzing one of these url, (, we found out that there is an underlying exploit,

Where “x69x6Ex66x6Fx2Ex65x78x65” is a hexadecimal string decoding to “info.exe”, the said file will be downloaded as following hyperlink hxxp:// .

Emsisoft Antimalware (EAM) detects the malware as Trojan-Downloader.Delphi! IK

Once executed , the malicious binary goes on to download a PDF from and attemps to download another file : hxxp://, and drops itself as AcroIEHelper.dll under


Which is of approximately 658 KB , and a Delphi binary.

Digging deeper, we found out that the the Info.exe registers AcroIEHelper.dll as a Browser Helper Object

–          HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINEsoftwareClassesCLSID{FCADDC14-BD46-408A-9842-CDBE1C6D37EB}

–          HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINEsoftwareClassesCLSID{FCADDC14-BD46-408A-9842-CDBE1C6D37EB}InprocServer32
(SZ) (Default) = C:WINDOWSinfAcroIEHelper.dll
(SZ) ThreadingModel = Apartment

–          HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINEsoftwaremicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerBrowser Helper Objects{FCADDC14-BD46-408A-9842-CDBE1C6D37EB}

–          HKEY_CURRENT_USERsoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExtStats{FCADDC14-BD46-408A-9842-CDBE1C6D37EB}

–          HKEY_CURRENT_USERsoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExtStats{FCADDC14-BD46-408A-9842-CDBE1C6D37EB}iexplore

With the execution of the malware, Internet Explorer is injected with the Browser Modifier.

Finally the AcroIEHelper.dll file attemps to connect to which we can see while analyzing the file

The victim’s computer thus becomes an open book, ready to be exploited or waiting to be taken over for more malicious activities. We at Emsisoft are constantly working hard to make sure our customers are protected and remains safe, so please make sure you update your Windows version and always update Emsisoft Antimalware.



Emsisoft founder and managing director. In 1998 when I was 16, a so called 'friend' sent me a file via ICQ that unexpectedly opened my CD-ROM drive, which gave me a big scare. It marked the start of my journey to fight trojans and other malware. My story

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