PUP.Optional.Catalina

Short bio

PUP.Optional.Catalina is Malwarebytes' detection name for a family of adware related potentially unwanted programs published by Catalina Group Ltd. for Windows and MacOS.

Symptoms

Users my notice this type of screen during install:

installing Citrio

they may notice this type of entry in their list of installed Programs and Features:

installed Citrio

and they may notice these Scheduled Tasks:

Catalina Scheduled Tasks

Malicious behavior

PUP.Optional.Catalina gains persistence by installing Scheduled Tasks and a Run registry key. These processes are designed to "update" the application without user consent. Some of these updates were connected to privacy issues.

Type and source of infection

PUP.Optional.Catalina downloads and installs extensions on the affected system that have no benefit for the user. PUP.Optional.Catalina comes bundled with the applications published by the Catalina Group like the Citrio browser (a Chromium project).

Citrio browser

Protection

block PUP.Optional.Catalina

Malwarebytes blocks PUP.Optional.Catalina

Remediation

Malwarebytes can detect and remove PUP.Optional.Catalina without further user interaction.

  1. Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop.
  2. Double-click MBSetup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. When your Malwarebytes for Windows installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen.
  4. Click on the Get started button.
  5. Click Scan to start a Threat Scan.
  6. Click Quarantine to remove the found threats.
  7. Reboot the system if prompted to complete the removal process.

Malwarebytes removal log

A Malwarebytes log of removal will look similar to this:

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details- Scan Date: 2/13/19 Scan Time: 10:34 AM Log File: 99374b67-2f72-11e9-8ffc-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information- Version: 3.6.1.2711 Components Version: 1.0.527 Update Package Version: 1.0.9238 License: Premium

-System Information- OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 CPU: x64 File System: NTFS User: {computername}\{username}

-Scan Summary- Scan Type: Threat Scan Scan Initiated By: Manual Result: Completed Objects Scanned: 236076 Threats Detected: 26 Threats Quarantined: 26 Time Elapsed: 4 min, 27 sec

-Scan Options- Memory: Enabled Startup: Enabled Filesystem: Enabled Archives: Enabled Rootkits: Enabled Heuristics: Enabled PUP: Detect PUM: Detect

-Scan Details- Process: 1 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\CATALINAGROUP\UPDATE\1.3.25.225\CATALINACRASHHANDLER.EXE, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238

Module: 2 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\CATALINAGROUP\UPDATE\1.3.25.225\GOOPDATE.DLL, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\CATALINAGROUP\UPDATE\1.3.25.225\CATALINACRASHHANDLER.EXE, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238

Registry Key: 6 PUP.Optional.Catalina, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CURRENTVERSION\SCHEDULE\TASKCACHE\TREE\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}Core, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CURRENTVERSION\SCHEDULE\TASKCACHE\TASKS\{467A2CF4-D247-447D-9C6F-0F2E9E5F9BB6}, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CURRENTVERSION\SCHEDULE\TASKCACHE\PLAIN\{467A2CF4-D247-447D-9C6F-0F2E9E5F9BB6}, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CURRENTVERSION\SCHEDULE\TASKCACHE\TREE\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}UA, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CURRENTVERSION\SCHEDULE\TASKCACHE\TASKS\{18948E4E-B2F0-4193-BCD3-984AB9734C95}, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, HKLM\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CURRENTVERSION\SCHEDULE\TASKCACHE\PLAIN\{18948E4E-B2F0-4193-BCD3-984AB9734C95}, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238

Registry Value: 1 PUP.Optional.Catalina, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\RUN|CatalinaGroup Update, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238

Registry Data: 0 (No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0 (No malicious items detected)

Folder: 0 (No malicious items detected)

File: 16 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\CATALINAGROUP\UPDATE\1.3.25.225\GOOPDATE.DLL, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\CATALINAGROUP\UPDATE\1.3.25.225\CATALINACRASHHANDLER.EXE, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\WINDOWS\TASKS\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}Core.job, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\TASKS\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}Core, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\WINDOWS\TASKS\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}UA.job, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\TASKS\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}UA, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\CATALINAGROUP\UPDATE\CATALINAUPDATE.EXE, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\DESKTOP\CATALINAUPDATESETUP.EXE, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\ROAMING\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Citrio.lnk, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\ROAMING\MICROSOFT\INTERNET EXPLORER\QUICK LAUNCH\User Pinned\TaskBar\Citrio.lnk, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\ROAMING\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Citrio.lnk, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\DESKTOP\Chrome Web Store.lnk, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\DESKTOP\Citrio.lnk, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\DESKTOP\Facebook.lnk, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\DESKTOP\YouTube.lnk, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238 PUP.Optional.Catalina, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\LOCAL\CATALINAGROUP\CITRIO\APPLICATION\CITRIO.EXE, Quarantined, [500], [635491],1.0.9238

Physical Sector: 0 (No malicious items detected)

WMI: 0 (No malicious items detected)

(end)

Add an exclusion

Should users wish to keep this program and exclude it from being detected in future scans, they can add the program to the exclusions list. Here’s how to do it.

  • Open Malwarebytes for Windows.
  • Click the Detection History
  • Click the Allow List
  • To add an item to the Allow List, click Add.
  • Select the exclusion type Allow a file or folder and use the Select a folder button to select the main folder for the software that you wish to keep.
  • Repeat this for any secondary files or folder(s) that belong to the software.
If you want to allow the program to connect to the Internet, for example to fetch updates, also add an exclusion of the type Allow an application to connect to the internet and use the Browse button to select the file you wish to grant access.

Traces/IOCs

You may see these entries in FRST logs:

HKCU\...\Run: [CatalinaGroup Update] => C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\CatalinaGroup\Update\CatalinaUpdate.exe [132104 2019-02-13] (Catalina Group Limited -> Catalina Group Ltd.) <==== ATTENTION
C:\Windows\Tasks\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}UA.job
C:\Windows\Tasks\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}Core.job
C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\CatalinaGroup
C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}UA
C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}Core
C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\CatalinaGroup\Update\CatalinaUpdate.exe

Task: {18948E4E-B2F0-4193-BCD3-984AB9734C95} - System32\Tasks\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}UA => C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\CatalinaGroup\Update\CatalinaUpdate.exe (Catalina Group Limited -> Catalina Group Ltd.) [File not signed] <==== ATTENTION Task: {467A2CF4-D247-447D-9C6F-0F2E9E5F9BB6} - System32\Tasks\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}Core => C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\CatalinaGroup\Update\CatalinaUpdate.exe (Catalina Group Limited -> Catalina Group Ltd.) [File not signed] <==== ATTENTION Task: C:\Windows\Tasks\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}Core.job => C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\CatalinaGroup\Update\CatalinaUpdate.exe <==== ATTENTION Task: C:\Windows\Tasks\CatalinaGroupUpdateTaskUserS-1-5-21-{userCLSID}UA.job => C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\CatalinaGroup\Update\CatalinaUpdate.exe <==== ATTENTION

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