VBS.Noped.A@mm

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Discovered: May 22, 2001
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:46:40 AM
Type: Worm


VBS.Noped.A@mm is an encrypted mass-mailing worm. It opens Notepad and displays a text file. It also changes the home page in Internet Explorer and searches all hard drives and mapped drives for specific .jpg or .jpeg file names. If found, the worm sends a message to one random recipient from a list of government agencies.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version May 23, 2001
  • Latest Rapid Release version August 08, 2016 revision 023
  • Initial Daily Certified version May 23, 2001
  • Latest Daily Certified version August 09, 2016 revision 001

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


Technical Description


When executed, VBS.Noped.A@mm does the following:

  1. It sends itself to all email addresses that it finds on your computer. If the date is before May 1, 2001, the infected email message is:

    Subject: FWD: Help us ALL to END ILLEGAL child porn NOW
    Message: Hi, just a quick e-mail. Please read the attached document as soon as you can. Thanks.
    Attachment: END ILLEGAL child porn NOW.TXT............vbe

    NOTE: If the computer's date setting is later than May 1, 2001, the email subject, message, and attachment file name will consist of random characters.
  2. This worm then opens Notepad and displays the following text:

    In 1977 the Sexual Exploitation of Children Act (18 U.S.C. 2251-2253) was enacted. The law prohibits the use of a minor in the making of pornography, the transport of a child across state lines, the taking of a pornographic picture of a minor, and the production and circulation of materials advertising child pornography. It also prohibits the transfer, sale, purchase, and receipt of minors when the purpose of such transfer, sale, purchase, or receipt is to use the child or youth in the production of child pornography. The transportation, importation, shipment, and receipt of child pornography by any interstate means, including by mail or computer, is also prohibited

    The Child Protection Act of 1984 (18 U.S.C. 2251-2255) defines anyone younger than the age of 18 as a child. Therefore, a sexually explicit photograph of anyone 17 years of age or younger is child pornography.

    On November 7, 1986, the U.S. Congress enacted the Child Sexual Abuse and Pornography Act (18 U.S.C. 2251-2256), that banned the production and use of advertisements for child pornography and included a provision for civil remedies of personal injuries  suffered by a minor who is a victim. It also raised the minimum sentences for repeat offenders from imprisonment of not less than two years to imprisonment of not less than five years.

    On November 18, 1988, the U.S. Congress enacted the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act (18 U.S.C. 2251-2256) that made it unlawful to use a computer to transmit advertisements for or visual depictions of child pornography and it prohibited the buying, selling, or otherwise obtaining temporary custody or control of children for the purpose of producing child pornography.

    On November 29, 1990, the U.S. Congress enacted 18 U.S.C. 2252 making it a federal crime to possess three or more depictions of child pornography that were mailed or shipped in interstate or foreign commerce or that were produced using materials that were mailed or shipped by any means, including by computer.

    With the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, (18 U.S.C. 2422) it is a federal crime for anyone using the mail, interstate or foreign commerce, to persuade, induce, or entice any individual younger than the age of 18 to engage in any sexual act for which the person may be criminally prosecuted.

    The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 amends the definition of child pornography to include that which actually depicts the sexual conduct of real minor children and that which appears to be a depiction of a minor engaging in sexual conduct. Computer, photographic, and photocopy technology is amazingly competent at creating and altering images that have been "morphed" to look like children even though those photographed may have actually been adults. People who alter pornographic images to look like children can now be prosecuted under the law.
  3. It modifies the registry in the following manner so that it runs when Windows starts:

    It adds the values 1 and 2 to the key

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
    Windows\CurrentVersion\Runonce

    It adds the value Fua to the key

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\
    Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  4. It then changes the home page in Internet Explorer to point to the virus creator's home page.
  5. It searches the computer's hard drives and mapped drives for .jpg or .jpeg files that match a specific type of file. If it finds any files matching the criteria, it sends the following email message to a random recipient from a list of agencies:

    Subject:
    RE: Child Pornography
    Message: Hi, this is Antipedo2001. I have found a PC with known Child Pornography files on the hard drive. I have included a file listing below and included a sample for your convenience.
    Attachment: <File name that the worm found>

    A folder listing is also included in the email message.
  6. The worm modifies the following registry keys to disable sounds that are set to be triggered by certain Windows events:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\
    Apps\.Default\.Default\.Current\

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\
    Apps\.Default\SystemHand\.Current\

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\
    Apps\.Default\SystemQuestion\.Current\

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\
    Apps\.Default\SystemExclamation\.Current\

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\
    Apps\.Default\SystemAsterisk\.Current\

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\
    Apps\.Default\Open\.Current\

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\
    Apps\.Default\Close\.Current\
  7. It creates the following registry keys:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Poly\DATE1

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Poly\DATE2


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.


Removal


To remove this worm, delete files detected as VBS.Noped.A@mm, undo the changes that it made to the registry, and restore the home page in Internet Explorer. Reset the system sounds if desired.

To remove the worm:

  1. Run LiveUpdate to make sure that you have the most recent virus definitions.
  2. Start Norton AntiVirus (NAV), and run a full system scan, making sure that NAV is set to scan all files.
  3. Delete any files detected as VBS.Noped.A@mm.

To edit the registry:
    CAUTION: We strongly recommend that you back up the system registry before making any changes. Incorrect changes to the registry could result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Please make sure you modify only the keys specified. Please see the document How to back up the Windows registry before proceeding.
  1. Click Start, and click Run. The Run dialog box appears.
  2. Type regedit and then click OK. The Registry Editor opens.
  3. Navigate to the key

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
    Windows\CurrentVersion\Runonce
  4. In the right pane, delete the following values:

    1
    2
  5. Navigate to the key

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\
    Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  6. In the right pane, delete the value

    Fua
  7. Navigate to and delete the following keys:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Poly\DATE1

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Poly\DATE2

To restore the Internet Explorer Start Page:
  1. Start Internet Explorer, and go the Web page that you want to set as your home page.
  2. Click Tools, and click Internet Options.
  3. In the Home page section of the General tab, click "Use Current."

(Optional) To restore system sounds:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Sounds.
  3. Choose a new scheme or reset the sounds as desired.


Writeup By: Douglas Knowles