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Discovered: May 09, 2001
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:36:29 AM
Also Known As: W32/Roach [McAfee, Sophos], W32.Roach, PE_ROACH.A [Trend], I-Worm.Roach.a [KAV], Win32.Ikx.31384 [CA]
Type: Virus
Systems Affected: Windows

W32.Efortune.31384@mm is a polymorphically encrypted mass-mailer with backdoor capabilities, by IRC.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version May 09, 2001
  • Latest Rapid Release version September 28, 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version May 09, 2001
  • Latest Daily Certified version September 28, 2010 revision 036
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date May 09, 2001

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

Technical Description

When an infected file is first executed, the virus obtains the filename of the currently open file. If the filename ends in "okie," then the virus randomly chooses one of the following messages and displays it in a message box:

  • it is predictable, but I wouldn't like to predict it myself. - C. Lawson
  • 10000 lemmings can't be wrong.
  • A friend in need is a pain in the ass.
  • A man is as old as he feels. But never as important.
  • A man is as old as the woman he feels.
  • Always be sincere - Even when you don't mean it.
  • Always tell her she's pretty, especially when she isn't.
  • Anyone who can see through a woman is missing a lot.
  • Avoid life - It'll kill you in the end.
  • Do to the other fellow as he would do unto you. But for God's sake do it first!
  • Experience, the name given by men to their mistakes.
  • Get stoned - Drink liquid cement.
  • Happiness can't buy money.
  • If a woman wants to learn to drive, don't stand in her way.
  • Join the army, travel the world, meet interesting people and shoot them.
  • Just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.
  • Life is a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Love Thy Neighbour - But don't get caught.
  • Money can't buy friends but it can buy a better class of enemy. - Spike Milligan
  • Never put off till tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.
  • Racial prejudice is a pigment of the imagination.
  • Smoking - think of it as evolution in action.
  • Sudden prayers make God jump.
  • When faced with two evils I like to do the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
  • Live fast, Die young, Leave a good looking corpse.
  • A Wise Man can see more from the bottom of a well than a Fool can see from the top of a mountain.
  • Walk softly but carry a big stick.
  • TO DO IS TO BE - Socrates TO BE IS TO DO - Sartre DO BE DO BE DO - Sinatra
  • It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. - Samual Clemmens
  • What you can not avoid, Welcome.
  • If you can't tie good knots... tie many.
  • Anything free is worth what you pay for it.
  • Two wrongs do not make a right; it usually takes three or more.

If the filename ends in "ys32" and it is executed with a parameter (which occurs when it is launched from the registry), then the virus will search for the .exe files in the folder containing the file specified as the parameter. Any .exe file in that particular folder will be infected if the name does not start with the following letters:
  • aler
  • npss
  • nsch
  • nspl
  • anti
  • vsaf
  • vswp
  • adin
  • expl
  • soni
  • sqst
  • smss
  • outl
  • psto
  • fsav
  • pand
  • inoc
  • tbsc
  • navs
  • navd
  • navx
  • adva
  • scan
  • nod3
  • drwe
  • spid
  • amon
  • avp3
  • avpm

After infecting a file, the parameter file is executed. If the Kernel32.dll file is not infected, then the virus will alter the value:


in the registry key:


to execute itself each time a .exe file is executed.

  • %System% is a variable. The worm locates the \Windows\System folder (by default this is C:\Windows\System or C:\Winnt\System32) and copies itself to that location, as described in the next paragraph.
  • %Temp% is a variable. The worm locates the Windows temporary folder (by default this is C:\Windows\Temp) and copies itself to that location, as described in the next paragraph.

In all cases, if the Kernel32.dll is not infected, then the virus will copy %System%\Kernel32.dll to %System%\Kernel32.vll, then create %System%\Cookie.att. If %System%\Cookie.att already exists, then the virus will create %Temp%\Cookie.att instead. This is a .zip file that contains a file named File_id.diz.

This file contains the text:
                 FortuneCookie 32 - Version 1.0
                                    * FREEWARE *


            FortuneCookie 32 is a Windows 32 version of the classical
    fortune cookies you can get at some restaurants. It's very simple
    double clicking on the cookie.exe file will bring up a fortune cookie.
            This program is freeware so feel free to send out a word of
    wisdom to your friends!

Then, the virus attempts to copy %System%\Mmsys32.exe to %System%\Jdbgmgr.exe and infect it. If Mmsys32.exe does not exist, then %Temp%\Mmsys32.exe is copied to %system32%\Jdbgmgr.exe and infected.

If this is the first execution on an infected computer, then the value:

mmsys   \<path>\Mmsys32.exe

is added to the registry key:


and Mmsys32.exe is added to Cookie.att as Cookie.exe. Then, Kernel32.vll is infected by hooking the following APIs:

%System%\Kernel32.vll is then copied to %Temp%\Roachk32.tmp and %Windows%\Kernel32.dll, and several techniques are used to direct Windows to replace %System%\Kernel32.dll with %System32%\Kernel32.vll, upon system restart. Also, the System File Checker is disabled in Windows versions that support it.

After the initial infection stage, the host is executed in a thread while the virus polls for an active Internet connection. When a connection becomes active, the virus attempts to connect to your email server, the name of which is taken from the registry.

If this action fails, then the virus will attempt to connect to smtp.sexmagnet.com instead. If the RegisteredOwner key exists in the registry, then it will be used for the From: field in the email message; otherwise, the virus chooses from one of the following texts:


The email addresses are gathered from the white pages of www.icq.com, using a randomly selected language identifier. The return address will be one of the previous texts, combined with one of the following texts:


prepended to @hotmail.com.

For example, dark_jesuzz@hotmail.com. A single email message is sent, addressed to as many recipients as will fit into the 2-MB buffer that is allocated for the ICQ search.

The message will look like the following:

Subject: Fw: Guess what, you're mine!
To: <removed>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<iframe src=3Dcid:THE-CID height=3D0 width=3D0></iframe>
<P align=center><FONT size=7><SPAN
<P align=center><FONT size=7><SPAN class=590014113-13042001>You have been
<P align=center><SPAN class=590014113-13042001>This is the funny-attachment war!
You have just been hit and by the rule book you can't hit this person back. To
be in the game you need to send this message to five of your friends, try to
find some small and funny attachment to send along. If you don't have time use
the one you got hit by, go ahead hit someone!</SPAN></P>
<P align=center><FONT size=7><SPAN

There are two attachments:
  1. Setup.exe: Internet Explorer 5.5 automatically executes this attachment using a recent Internet Explorer MIME-type exploit.
  2. Cookie.zip: After the mail is sent, the virus attempts to connect to the roazh channel on IRC at diemen.nl.eu.undernet.org, and then watches for and responds to certain commands, which include some backdoor capabilities, such as remote file execution.


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.


The following instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.

  1. Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP).
  2. Update the virus definitions.
  3. Run a full system scan and repair all the files detected as W32.Efortune.31384@mm.

For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. Disabling System Restore (Windows Me/XP)
If you are running Windows Me or Windows XP, we recommend that you temporarily turn off System Restore. Windows Me/XP uses this feature, which is enabled by default, to restore the files on your computer in case they become damaged. If a virus, worm, or Trojan infects a computer, System Restore may back up the virus, worm, or Trojan on the computer.

Windows prevents outside programs, including antivirus programs, from modifying System Restore. Therefore, antivirus programs or tools cannot remove threats in the System Restore folder. As a result, System Restore has the potential of restoring an infected file on your computer, even after you have cleaned the infected files from all the other locations.

Also, a virus scan may detect a threat in the System Restore folder even though you have removed the threat.

For instructions on how to turn off System Restore, read your Windows documentation, or one of the following articles:
For additional information, and an alternative to disabling Windows Me System Restore, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, "Antivirus Tools Cannot Clean Infected Files in the _Restore Folder," Article ID: Q263455.

2. Updating the virus definitions
Symantec Security Response fully tests all the virus definitions for quality assurance before they are posted to our servers. There are two ways to obtain the most recent virus definitions:

  • Running LiveUpdate, which is the easiest way to obtain virus definitions: These virus definitions are posted to the LiveUpdate servers once each week (usually on Wednesdays), unless there is a major virus outbreak. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by LiveUpdate, refer to the Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate).
  • Downloading the definitions using the Intelligent Updater: The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are posted on U.S. business days (Monday through Friday). You should download the definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site and manually install them. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, refer to the Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater).

    The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are available: Read "How to update virus definition files using the Intelligent Updater" for detailed instructions.

3. Scanning for and repairing the infected files
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus software and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files.
  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. If any files are detected as infected with W32.Efortune.31384@mm, click Repair. If the files cannot be repaired, the virus has overwritten them. Therefore, they must be restored from a clean backup or be re-installed.

Writeup By: Peter Ferrie