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Discovered: September 27, 2001
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:46:51 AM
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows

W32.Vote.gen@mm is a mass-mailing worm that is written in Visual Basic. When it is executed, it emails itself to all email addresses in the Microsoft Outlook address book. The worm inserts three .vbs files on the system. It also modifies the Internet Explorer home page. W32.Vote.gen@mm is a variant of W32.Vote.A@mm . The main difference is that it inserts three VBS scripts instead of two.

NOTE: Virus definitions dated September 26, 2001 or earlier may detect this as either W32.Vote.A@mm or W32.Vote.B@mm

If the Backdoor.Trojan was successfully installed on the computer, it is possible that your system has been accessed remotely by an unauthorized user. For this reason it is impossible to guarantee the integrity of a system that has had such an infection. The remote user could have made changes to the system, including but not limited to the following:

  • Stealing or changing passwords or password files
  • Installing remote-connectivity host software, also known as backdoors
  • Installing keystroke logging software
  • Configuring firewall rules
  • Stealing credit card numbers, banking information, personal data, and so on
  • Deleting or modifying files
  • Sending inappropriate or even incriminating material from a customer's email account
  • Modifying access rights on user accounts or files
  • Deleting information from log files to hide such activities

To be certain that your organization is secure, you must reinstall the operating system, restore files from a backup that was made before the infection took place, and change all passwords that may have been on the infected computers or that were accessible from it. This is the only way to ensure that your systems are safe. For more information regarding security in your organization, contact your system administrator.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version September 27, 2001
  • Latest Rapid Release version August 08, 2016 revision 023
  • Initial Daily Certified version September 27, 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

W32.Vote.gen@mm is a mass-mailing worm written in the Visual Basic language. It requires the file Msvbvm50.dll to execute.

When executed, the worm will attempt to email itself to all contacts in the Microsoft Outlook address book. The email will appear as follows.

Subject: Fwd:PEaCe BetWeen AmeRiCa And ISLaM !

iS iT A waR Against AmeriCa Or IsLaM !?
Let's Vote To Live in Peace!

Attachment: WTC.EXE
In addition, the worm inserts three .vbs files on the system:

  • \%Windows%\MixDaLaL.vbs
  • \%Windows\System%\WaiL.vbs
  • \%Windows\System%\DaLaL

  • %Windows% is a variable. The worm locates the \Windows folder (by default this is C:\Windows or C:\Winnt) and copies itself to that location.
  • %Windows\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.

In addition, the worm will attempt to download and execute a file. Norton AntiVirus detects this file as Backdoor.Trojan.

What the inserted files do
MixDaLaL.vbs is a Visual Basic Script file that is inserted in the \%Windows% folder. This file is the same as in W32.Vote.A@mm . This file is executed by the worm. As the file is executed, it looks through all folders on all fixed drives and network drives for files with the extensions .htm or .html. If such files are found, they are overwritten with the message

AmeRiCa ...Few Days WiLL Show You What We Can Do !!! It's Our Turn >>> ZaCkEr is So Sorry For You

This file is inserted in the \%Windows\System% folder. It is not executed by the worm. Instead, the value

ZaCker = \%Windows\System%\DaLaL.vbs

is added to the registry key


so that the file is executed when you start Windows.

When the file is executed at the next restart, it performs the following actions:
  • It creates or overwrites the file C:\Autoexec.bat. Inside the file there will be a command that formats the C drive. The Autoexec.bat file is executed on Windows 95/98/Me and DOS systems as the computer is booted up.
  • Next, the key

    ALWaiL = \%Windows\System%\WaiL.vbs

    is added to the registry key


    so that the file is executed when you start Windows.
  • Finally, it displays the message

    After displaying the message, the worm attempts to shut down Windows. If you restart the computer and you are running Windows 95/98/Me, it is likely that drive C will be reformatted.

If drive C was not reformatted after DaLaL.vbs was executed, WaiL.vbs will be executed. This script simply attempts to delete all files in the %Windows% folder. Once it has finished, it displays the message


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 worm, delete files that are detected as W32. Vote.A@mm and W32.Vote.B@mm and remove the value that the worm added to the registry. You may need to replace the .htm and .html files.

To remove the worm:

  1. Run LiveUpdate to make sure that you have the most recent virus definitions.
  2. Start Norton AntiVirus (NAV), and make sure that NAV is configured to scan all files. For instructions on how to do this, read the document How to configure Norton AntiVirus to scan all files.
  3. Run a full system scan.
  4. Delete all files that are detected as W32.Vote.gen@mm, W32.Vote.A@mm, or W32.Vote.B@mm.
  5. Reset the Internet Explorer home page
  6. If the computer was restarted after the infection, or if the computer seems very unstable, we recommend that you reinstall the operating system.

To edit the registry:

CAUTION : We strongly recommend that you back up the system registry before you make any changes. Incorrect changes to the registry could result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Please make sure that you modify only the keys that are specified. Please see the document How to back up the Windows registry before you proceed.
  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 following key:

  4. In the right pane, delete the following values:

    ZaCker = \%Windows\System%\DaLaL.vbs
    ALWaiL = \%Windows\System%\WaiL.vbs
  5. Click Registry, and then click Exit.

To reset the Internet Explorer home page:
  1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  2. Connect to the Internet, and go to the page that you want to set as your home page.
  3. Click Tools, and click Internet Options.
  4. On the General tab, click Use Current, and then click OK.