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Discovered: December 06, 2002
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:50:17 AM
Also Known As: Backdoor.IRC.Mapsy [KAV], BackDoor-AMI [McAfee], BKDR_IRCMAPSY.A [Trend]
Type: Trojan Horse
Systems Affected: Windows

Backdoor.Mapsy is a backdoor Trojan that gives an attacker unauthorized access to an infected computer. By default it opens and listens on port 6754. Backdoor.Mapsy is packed with UPX v1.21.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version December 06, 2002
  • Latest Rapid Release version March 23, 2017 revision 037
  • Initial Daily Certified version December 06, 2002
  • Latest Daily Certified version March 23, 2017 revision 041
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date December 06, 2002

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

Technical Description

When Backdoor.Mapsy runs, it performs the following actions:

It copies itself as SysMap.exe into the %system% folder.

It drops a file named SysMap.dll (31,232 bytes) into the %system% folder. This file is detected by Symantec antivirus products as PWS.Hooker.Trojan.

%system% is a variable. The Trojan locates the \Windows\System folder (by default, this is C:\Windows\System or C:\Winnt\System32) and uses it as a destination folder.

The Trojan creates the value

Microsoft® System Mapper    %system%\SysMap.exe

in the registry key


so that the Trojan starts when you start Windows.

If the operating system is Windows 95/98/Me, then the Trojan registers itself as a service process to continue to run after the user logs off. Also, the Trojan installs hook procedures into a hook chain to monitor the system for keyboard and mouse messages. This permits Backdoor.Mapsy to intercept keystrokes.

The Trojan uses ICQ pager to notify the client side.

After Backdoor.Mapsy is installed, it awaits commands from the remote client through IRC channels. The commands allow the hacker to perform the following actions:

  • Enumerate processes and active windows
  • Capture the contents of the screen as a JPEG image file
  • Deliver other system information to the hacker
  • Install an FTP server, which allows the hacker to use the infected computer as a temporary storage device
  • Open or close the CD tray and perform other annoying actions
  • Intercept confidential information by hooking keystrokes


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.


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

Do the following to remove the Backdoor.Mapsy Trojan:

  1. Update the virus definitions.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Windows 95/98/Me: Restart the computer in Safe mode.
    • Windows NT/2000/XP: Stop the Trojan process.
  3. Run a full system scan, and delete all files that are detected as Backdoor.Mapsy.
  4. Reverse the changes that the Trojan made to the registry.
For details on how to do this, read the following instructions.

To update the virus definitions:

There are two ways to do this:
  • Run LiveUpdate. LiveUpdate 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.

To restart in Safe mode or stop the process:
Windows 95/98/Me:

Restart the computer in Safe mode. All Windows 32-bit operating systems, except for Windows NT, can be restarted in Safe mode. For instructions on how to do this, read the document How to restart Windows 9x or Windows Me in Safe mode .

Windows NT/2000/XP:
To stop the Trojan process:
  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete once.
  2. Click Task Manager.
  3. Click the Processes tab.
  4. Double-click the Image Name column header to sort the processes alphabetically.
  5. Scroll through the list, and look for SysMap.exe.
  6. If you find the file, click it, and then click End Process.
  7. Exit the Task Manager.

To scan for and delete the infected files:
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and make sure that it is configured to scan all files.
  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. If any files are detected as infected with Backdoor.Mapsy, click Delete.

To reverse the changes that the Trojan made to the registry:
  1. Click Start, and click Run. The Run dialog box appears.
  2. Type regedit and then click OK. The Registry Editor opens.

    CAUTION: Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before you make any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify only the keys that are specified. Read document How to make a backup of the Windows registry for instructions.
  3. Navigate to the following key:

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

    Microsoft® System Mapper    %system%\SysMap.exe
  5. Exit the Registry Editor.

Writeup By: Serghei Sevcenco