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Discovered: March 27, 2001
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:36:00 AM
Also Known As: Linux.Peelf.2132, W32.Winux, Linux.Winux, W32/Lindose
Type: Virus

This is a proof-of-concept virus that has not been encountered in the wild. It is able to execute on Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, and 2000. It also has the ability to infect files on Linux systems. This virus does not have the ability to spread itself to other systems. Certified virus definitions that contain detection and repair for this virus are pending.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version March 27, 2001
  • Latest Rapid Release version September 28, 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version March 27, 2001
  • Latest Daily Certified version September 28, 2010 revision 036

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

Technical Description

W32.Peelf.2132 is a proof-of-concept virus that has not been reported in the wild. It searches for and infects Microsoft Windows PE files and Linux ELF files on Microsoft Windows systems and on Linux systems. This virus has the ability to infect files from both Windows and Linux operating systems at the same time. The infection code within this virus understands the file structure of both Windows and Linux executable files. This gives it the ability to infect files on either system. When an infected file is executed under Microsoft Windows, the virus will search the current folder and up to 20 folders above it for all PE and ELF files, regardless of extension. When an infected file is executed under Linux, the virus will search the current directory only. If a PE file is found which has a relocation section that is at least as large as the virus, then the virus will write itself there and remove the reference to the relocations. Thus, the file size will not increase. If an ELF file is found with a code section at least as large as the virus, the virus will copy those bytes to the end of the file and overwrite the code at the entry point with itself. In this case, the file size will increase.

Files infected with this virus will contain two strings:

Win32/Linux.Winux] multi-platform virus by Benny/29A
This GNU program is covered by GPL

No reports of infections have been received by SARC. This virus does not have the ability to spread itself from the current drive and contains no payload, thus it does not appear to be a high risk threat.


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.


To remove this virus from Windows:

  1. Run LiveUpdate to make sure that you have the most recent virus definitions.
  2. Start Norton AntiVirus (NAV), and then run a full system scan, making sure that NAV is set to scan all files.
  3. If any files are detected as infected by W32.Peelf.2132, choose Repair.

To remove this virus from Linux:
Restore the files from backup until the next definitions update is available, which will repair these files.

Writeup By: peter ferrie