AutoStart 9805

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Discovered: August 12, 1998
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:57:59 AM
Also Known As: Hong Kong Virus
Type: Worm


AutoStart 9805 is a Macintosh worm which executes only in native PowerPC mode. It was first discovered in Hong Kong in May 1998. It utilizes the CD-ROM AutoPlay feature in QuickTime 2.5 or later. This feature, if enabled, allows the invisible AutoStart 9805 application to automatically launch when an infected volume is mounted.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version December 18, 2000
  • Latest Rapid Release version August 20, 2008 revision 017
  • Initial Daily Certified version December 18, 2000
  • Latest Daily Certified version August 20, 2008 revision 016

Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

Writeup By: Lee Gummerman

Discovered: August 12, 1998
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:57:59 AM
Also Known As: Hong Kong Virus
Type: Worm


This program will replicate itself to any mounted volumes, as well as to an invisible background application (file type 'appe') in any Extensions folder, which allows it to further replicate upon reboot to other mounted volumes.

Since it does not spread outside of the startup or background applications, Norton AntiVirus for Mac effectively repair the worm by deleting either of these files wherever they are detected

There are currently 6 known variants with the following characteristics:

AutoStart 9805 A

Size:
53,602 bytes
Startup app name:
DB
Background app:
Desktop Print Spooler
Expires June 8, 1998
Deletes A and B strains
AutoStart 9805 B
Size:
54,779 bytes
Startup app name:
BD
Background app:
Desktop Printr Spooler
Expires December 24, 1998 22:36:29
Deletes A and B strains
AutoStart 9805 C
Size:
52,734 bytes
Startup app name:
DELDB
Background app:
DELDesktop Print Spooler

AutoStart 9805 D
Size:
53,280 bytes
Startup app name:
DB
Background app:
Desktop Print Spooler

AutoStart 9805 E
Size:
54,003 bytes
Startup app name:
DB
Background app:
Desktop Print Spooler

AutoStart 9805 F
Size:
54,051 bytes
Startup app name:
DB
Background app:
Desktop Print Spooler

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.

Writeup By: Lee Gummerman