Cool Rahul

The name probably brings out images of a Hindi movie or a school nickname. Well, it is Indian alright. But it is a rarity–a malware that originated out of India.

In fact, there is some doubt as to if it is really intended to be malware–more on that later.

Chronologically, Cool Rahul was spotted around mid December 2009 and in about a few days’ time K7 Computing products were updated to detect and remove it. It appears to be a variant of an older VBScript spotted in mid-January 2009.

Let us first highlight some major characteristics and then look at our speculation on its origins:

  1. It claims to be an antivirus program. In fact it does clean up a slew of well known malware( “smss.exe”, “killer.exe”,”Funny UST Scandal.exe”,”iph.exe”,”scvvhsot.exe” etc)
  2. It changes the Internet Explorer’s Title Bar to “LORD RAHUL COOL” and resets the default home page to WWW.nyd.zoomshare.COM
  3. It makes itself run on startup by attaching itself to userinit.exe
  4. It scans removable devices regularly and attempts to propagate itself.

So there you have it. A piece of VBscript that does remove programs that are clearly malware; but propagates itself surreptitiously and modifies the IE Toolbar without user permission. Like we noted earlier CoolRahul is being detected and removed as malware. That said, we believe that it was written more as a college project than with malicious intentions. The level of artlessness in propagation and the rather juvenile alteration to the IE title bar lend some weight to this belief. Of course, that does not mean we welcome Mr Rahul’s program on to our machines. After all this code can and we are sure eventually will be modified to act more maliciously. But as it stands it looks like a somewhat misdirected programming effort.

A complete list of files it modifies and affects is available in the “Notes on Cool Rahul” article in the Tech Notes Section. The note also explains the details of the earlier VBScript Cool Rahul is based on.

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