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Hacktool.Flooder

Risk Level 1: Very Low

Discovered:
February 20, 2007
Updated:
February 20, 2007 2:18:59 AM
Type:
Trojan
Systems Affected:
Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows XP
Examples of such tools include:
  • Port scanners.
  • Network sniffers and spoofers.
  • Computer vulnerability scanners and exploiters. These can be used over networks or the Internet.
  • Password stealers, which save the stolen passwords locally (that is, they do not send them out).
  • Mail spammers that attack one victim by flooding the mailbox with mail.
  • News group flooders that flood Usenet newgroups with messages.


These programs are in themselves, nonviral and generally do not cause harm to the attacker who deploys them. However, deployment of these utilities is usually harmful to the victims of the attacks, and they are usually considered a threat by network administrators.

NOTE: As these are tools that are used to create threats, rather than threats themselves, they do not have their own spreading mechanism. If you find one of these tools on your computer or network, in most cases it is there because someone download it or copied it there.

Symantec Security Response suggests that if your Symantec antivirus product detects Hacktool.Flooder (or variations such as Hacktool.Spammer or Hacktool) that you just delete it. If you see a message that it cannot be deleted, it may be running in memory. In this case, restart the computer in Safe mode, run a full system scan, and delete the threat when it is detected. All Windows 32-bit operating systems, except Windows NT, can be restarted in Safe mode. For instructions on how to do this, read the document How to start the computer in Safe Mode.

Recommendations

Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators to adhere to the following basic security "best practices":

  • Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
  • Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
  • Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
  • Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
  • Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
  • Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
  • If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
  • Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
  • Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
  • Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
  • Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
  • If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device's visibility is set to "Hidden" so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to "Unauthorized", requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources.
  • For further information on the terms used in this document, please refer to the Security Response glossary.
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