W32.HLLW.Neight

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Discovered: August 06, 2002
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:55:09 AM
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


W32.HLLW.Neight is a mass-mailing worm. It uses Microsoft Outlook to send itself to all contacts in Outlook Address Book. The email message can have various subject lines; the attachment is PhotoAlbum.exe.

The worm creates a Visual Basic (VB) script file and inserts this file into Microsoft Word documents. This VB script file is also a mass-mailing worm that emails itself to the first 50 contacts in the Outlook Address Book. This email message has the subject "Important E-Mail from <current user>," and the Melissa.vbs file is attached.

The worm attempts to spread by copying itself to the KaZaA shared folder and ICQ shared folder.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version August 07, 2002
  • Latest Rapid Release version September 28, 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version August 07, 2002
  • Latest Daily Certified version September 28, 2010 revision 036
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date August 07, 2002

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

Writeup By: Yana Liu

Discovered: August 06, 2002
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:55:09 AM
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


When W32.HLLW.Neight is executed, it does the following:

It displays a graphic that has these characteristics:
Title:  Homer and Bart
Text:
Homer says: dooooh!
Bart says: Ay caramba!

The worm copies itself to the C:\%windir%\ folder. The file names are chosen from the list that the worm carries. Here are some examples:

  • mANiAC89.exe
  • WinHelp32.exe
  • Sys32DLL.exe
  • News-Letter.exe
  • PhotoAlbum.exe

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

The worm attempts to append the following text to C:\Autoexec.bat:
@cls
@Windows is updating the system files... Please wait...
@format C:
@format D:
@format E:
@format F:
@format G:
@format H:

It attempts to delete all files in these folders:
  • C:\Windows
  • C:\Windows\System
  • C:\Windows\System32
  • C:\Windows\Temp
  • C:\Program Files
  • C:\Windows\Help
  • C:\Windows\Desktop

It repeatedly sends ICMP pockets to www.antivirus.com until the Web site is no longer available.

How W32.HLLW.Neight spreads
W32.HLLW.Neight searches for the KaZaA shared folder and the ICQ shared folder; it then creates many copies of itself in these shared folders. In this way, other KaZaA or ICQ users can download the worm from these locations. Here are some examples of the worm file names:
  • ICQ & MSN Hack-Tool.exe
  • Visual Studio .NET Crack.exe
  • SpiderMan Game.exe
  • Visual Studio .NET Tutorial.exe
  • Microsoft Windows (All Versions) KeyGen.exe
  • LiveUpdate(NortonAntiVirus).exe
  • McAfee Virus Scan - FullDownloader.exe
  • Norton AntiVirus 2002 Professional Edition - FullDownloader.exe
  • ICQ Fix.exe

The worm searches for the mIRC Script.ini file. If the file exists, the worm modifies this file to use mIRC to send a copy of itself as News-Letter.exe.

The worm uses Microsoft Outlook to send itself to all contacts in the Microsoft Outlook Address Book. The email has the following characteristics,

Subject: The subject may be one of the following,
  • FW:
  • FW: RE:
  • RE:
  • Hey, read this it's important!
  • Check this out!
  • I'm back!
  • Dear you... See this.
  • My photo-album is now finished!

Attachment:  PhotoAlbum.exe
Message: The message may be one of the following,

Hey !<name>
Have you seen the photo-album of my latest vacation?
It was so nice, and HOT! I really want you too take
a look at the photo-album! You'll love the photos!
Oh and send me your comments after you viewed the
photo-album, ok?
Regard .<user name>

Hello .<name>
I've taken photos from my latest vacation that you
might want to see! I've putted them together to a
photo-album so It's easier to switch to next photo!
I hope you like the photos!
Bye.<user name>

Hi !<name>
Take a look at my photo-album from the vacation I
just came home from! It was real HOT! Well, look at
it and tell me what you think! Ok.
Bye.<user name>

Hello !<name>
Have you seen the new photo-album?
I also added some photos when I'm
at the beach! Check them out! I know you'll like
them! Bye.<user name>

Hey! I'm home from my trip to the World Cup 2002!
I took some real good photos in the finale!
I took good photos when Ronaldo (Brazil) did those
2 goals against Germany in the finale! Check them
out! I'll promise you, you'll love them!
Regard .<user name>

NOTE: <name> is the recipient's name, <user name> is the name of the currently logged-on user of the infected computer.

The worm creates the VB script file C:\Windows\Melissa.vbs. This file attempts to:
  • Insert itself as a module named "Melissa" into open Microsoft Word documents and the Normal .dot template file
  • Delete any other modules from open Word documents and the Normal.dot file
  • Disable macro virus protection.

C:\Windows\Melissa.vba is also a mass-mailing worm itself. It uses Microsoft Outlook to email itself to the first 50 contacts in the Outlook Address Book. The email has the following characteristics:

Subject:  Important E-Mail from following by <the current user name of the infected machine>
Message:  Here is that document you asked for ... don't show anyone else ;-)
Attachment: Melissa.vbs

The VB script worm then adds the value

Melissa?  ... by Kwyjibo

to the registry key

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office

This is used to prevent the VB script worm from sending itself again.

If current day equals the current minute--for example the day is the 14th of the month and the time is 8:14--the worm displays the following message:

Twenty-two points, plus triple-word-score, plus fifty points for using all my letters.  Game's over.  I'm outta here.

W32.HLLW.Neight also creates these files in the folder in which it resides:
  • ZonaVirus.exe
  • ZonaVirus.bat
  • ZonaVirus.dll

NOTES:
  • ZonaVirus.bat and ZonaVirus.dll are not viral, and therefore are not detected by Symantec antivirus products.
  • ZonaVirus.exe is a mass-mailing worm and is detected as IRC.Family.Gen.

When ZonaVirus.exe is running, it copies itself as C:\Windows\System\Angela.exe and uses Microsoft Outlook to send itself to the first 20 contacts in Microsoft Outlook Address Book. The email message has the following characteristics:

Subject: Finally found it!
Message:  Here are the files you asked me for...
Attachments: Angela.exe


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: Yana Liu

Discovered: August 06, 2002
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:55:09 AM
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


NOTE: These instructions are for all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.

Update the virus definitions, run a full system scan, and delete all files that are detected as W32.HLLW.Neight or IRC.Family.Gen. For details on how to do this, read the following instructions.

To scan for and delete the infected files:

  1. Obtain the most recent virus definitions. There are two ways to do this:
    • Run LiveUpdate, which is the easiest way to obtain virus definitions. These virus definitions have undergone full quality assurance testing by Symantec Security Response and are posted to the LiveUpdate servers one time each week (usually Wednesdays) unless there is a major virus outbreak. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by LiveUpdate, look at the Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate) line at the top of this write-up.
    • Download the definitions using the Intelligent Updater. Intelligent Updater virus definitions have undergone full quality assurance testing by Symantec Security Response. They are posted on U.S. business days (Monday through Friday). They must be downloaded from the Symantec Security Response Web site and installed manually. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, look at the Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater) line at the top of this write-up.

      Intelligent Updater virus definitions are available here. For detailed instructions on how to download and install the Intelligent Updater virus definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site, click here.
  2. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and make sure that it is configured to scan all files.
  3. Run a full system scan.
  4. If any files are detected as infected by W32.HLLW.Neight or IRC.Family.Gen, click Delete.


Writeup By: Yana Liu