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Discovered: January 29, 2002
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:53:48 AM
Type: Worm

W32.Whitebait@mm is a mass-mailing email worm. If it is executed, it searches for email addresses on the computer and sends an email message to all of the addresses that it finds.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version January 29, 2002
  • Latest Rapid Release version August 08, 2016 revision 023
  • Initial Daily Certified version January 29, 2002 revision 003
  • 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: Serghei Sevcenco

Discovered: January 29, 2002
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:53:48 AM
Type: Worm

W32.Whitebait@mm consists of two parts: the host program and the worm component. Both the host program and the worm component are UPX-compressed Delphi applications. Both are detected by Norton AntiVirus as W32.Whitebait@mm.

Host program
The host program can be spread by IRC channels as a program that displays pornographic pictures. When it is run, it copies itself as \Windows\MSsecu.exe and displays the pictures. It then drops the worm component as \Windows\WinSystem.exe and runs the worm.

Worm component
When executed, the worm component of W32.Whitebait@mm performs the following actions:

To enable itself to run at startup, it adds the value:

WinSystem       \Windows\WinSystem.exe

to the registry key:


It then searches all .htm, .html, .php, .asp, and Readme.txt files on the computer for email addresses that it will use for replication. The retrieved email addresses are stored in the text file \Windows\Bdm.com.

The worm replicates using its own SMTP engine by sending email to the addresses that it previously retrieved. The email message has the following characteristics:

WARNING : Black_Piranha

Si vous pouvez lire cet e-mail, c'est que les services Microsoft on détecter la présence du virus Black_Piranha dans votre système Windows. pour désinfecter votre système vous n'avez qu'a exécuter le programme en piece jointe.
Pour plus d'informations : http:/ /www.microsoft.com
MSsecu.exe (This is the host application; it is 618 KB in size)
From: security@microsoft.com


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: Serghei Sevcenco

Discovered: January 29, 2002
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:53:48 AM
Type: Worm

To remove the W32.Whitebait@mm, please follow the instructions in the order given:

  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.Whitebait@mm. What you must do next depends on whether NAV was able to delete files that it detected as infected with W32.Whitebait@mm.
    • If NAV was able to delete all the files that it detected as infected, go to the section To edit the registry.
    • If NAV was not able to delete all files that it detected as infected, go on to the next section and see the instructions for your operating system.

To remove files that cannot be deleted by NAV:
Follow the instructions for your version of Windows only if NAV could not delete files that it detected as infected with W32.Whitebait@mm.
  • Windows 95/98/Me
    1. Restart the computer in Safe mode. For instructions on how to restart in Safe mode, see the document How to restart Windows 9x or Windows Me in Safe mode.
    2. Run the scan again, and delete all files that are detected as Backdoor.Bionet.40a.
    3. When the scan is finished, go on to the section To edit the registry.
  • Windows NT/2000/XP
    1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete one time.
    2. Click Task Manager.
    3. Click the Processes tab.
    4. Click the "Image Name" column header two times to sort the processes alphabetically.
    5. Scroll through the list and look for Procmon.exe. If you find the file, click it and then click End Process.
    6. Close the Task Manager.
    7. Run the scan again, and delete all files that are detected as W32.Whitebait@mm.
    8. When the scan is finished, go on to the section To edit the registry.

To edit the registry:

: 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 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 key

  4. In the right pane, delete the value

  5. Close the Registry Editor.

Writeup By: Serghei Sevcenco