Discovered: June 07, 2001
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:58:14 AM
Also Known As: SETI@Home worm
Type: Worm


W32.Hyd@mm is a retro mass-mailing worm that spreads using Microsoft Outlook. When run, it downloads and installs the SETI @ Home program and sets it up to perform calculations on the account of the virus writer.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version June 07, 2001
  • Latest Rapid Release version August 08, 2016 revision 023
  • Initial Daily Certified version June 07, 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.

Writeup By: Andre Post

Discovered: June 07, 2001
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:58:14 AM
Also Known As: SETI@Home worm
Type: Worm


W32.Hyd@mm consists of four functions:

  1. Propagation. It uses Microsoft Outlook to send itself out.
  2. Installation. As its installation routine, the worm does the following:
    1. It creates a copy of itself in the \Windows folder as the hidden file Msserv.exe.
    2. It adds the value

      msservice   msserv.exe

      to the registry keys

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\
      Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\
      Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\
      Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\
      Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

      so that it is run when Windows starts.
  3. Payload. The SETI@Home client is downloaded and installed on the system. The SETI@Home installation is set up to perform the calculations on the virus writer's account.
  4. Secures itself. The worm seeks running antivirus programs and monitoring tools, and attempts to kill those processes to increase its chances of avoiding detection.


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: Andre Post

Discovered: June 07, 2001
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:58:14 AM
Also Known As: SETI@Home worm
Type: Worm


To remove this worm, delete files detected as W32.Hyd@mm, remove the registry values that it added, and uninstall or reset the SETI@Home program.

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 W32.Hyd@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 in turn to each of the following keys:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\
    Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\
    Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\
    Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\
    Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

  4. For each one, in the right pane, delete the following value:

    msservice   msserv.exe
  5. Click Registry, and then click Exit .

To remove or reset SETI@Home
SETI@Home is a legitimate program that uses Internet-connected computers to search for extraterrestrial intelligence. For information the program, or how to reset your account, go to:

http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/

If you do not use this program, you can uninstall it from the Add\Remove Programs applet of the Control Panel.

Writeup By: Andre Post