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Panda Protection

Virus Encyclopedia

Welcome to the Virus Encyclopedia of Panda Security.

Autorun.AQN

Threat LevelLow threatDamageHighDistributionNot widespread
Common name:Autorun.AQN
Technical name:W32/Autorun.AQN
Threat level:Medium
Type:Virus
Effects:   It carries out damaging actions on the affected computer. It searches for and steals passwords saved for certain Windows services. It terminates processes belonging to security tools, leaving the computer vulnerable to other malware attacks. It uses stealth techniques to avoid being detected by the user. It does not spread automatically using its own means.
Affected platforms:

Windows 2003/XP/2000/NT/ME/98/95

First detected on:Dec. 30, 2008
Detection updated on:Oct. 1, 2009
StatisticsNo

Brief Description 

    

Autorun.AQN is a virus that spreads to other computers by copying its code to other files or programs.

 

It captures certain information entered or saved by the user, with the corresponding threat to privacy: passwords saved by certain Windows services.

 

It reduces the security level of the computer: it terminates processes belonging to security tools, such as antivirus programs and firewalls, leaving the computer defenseless against attacks from other malware.

 

It uses stealth techniques to avoid being detected by the user:

  • It deletes the original file from which it was run once it is installed on the computer.
  • It modifies system permissions in order to hide itself.

 

Autorun.AQN does not spread automatically using its own means. It needs an attacking user's intervention in order to reach the affected computer. The means of transmission used include, among others, floppy disks, CD-ROMs, email messages with attached files, Internet downloads, FTP, IRC channels, peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing networks, etc.

 

Autorun.AQN uses the following infection strategies:

  • Resident: once it has been run, the virus goes memory resident and stops functions belonging to the operating system. Therefore, every time the operating system or an application tries to access any of these functions, the virus will activate and infect new files.