W32.HLLW.Maax@mm

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Discovered: February 10, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:42:50 AM
Also Known As: I-Worm.Axam [KAV], W32/Maax@MM [McAfee], WORM_MAAX.A [Trend], W32/Axam-A [Sophos], Win32.Maax.A [CA]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


W32.HLLW.Maax is a worm that uses several file-sharing programs and Microsoft Outlook to spread. The email would have a subject chosen from a predetermined list and an attachment with the filename, Tca.exe. When W32.HLLW.Maax is run, it displays a message in a box titled, "PreSeNt Axam Spitmaxa WOrM."

This worm attempts to terminate the processes of antivirus and security-related programs. W32.HLLW.Maax is written in Microsoft Visual Basic, version 6, and is packed with UPX.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version February 10, 2003
  • Latest Rapid Release version September 28, 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version February 10, 2003
  • Latest Daily Certified version September 28, 2010 revision 036
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date February 12, 2003

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

Writeup By: Kaoru Hayashi

Discovered: February 10, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:42:50 AM
Also Known As: I-Worm.Axam [KAV], W32/Maax@MM [McAfee], WORM_MAAX.A [Trend], W32/Axam-A [Sophos], Win32.Maax.A [CA]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


When W32.HLLW.Maax runs, it does the following:

  1. Copies itself as these files:
    • %StartUp%\Axam.exe
    • %Windir%\Application Data\Axam.exe

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

  2. Copies itself as the following files:
    • C:\Program Files\KMD\My Shared Folder\Axam.exe
    • C:\Program Files\Kazaa\My Shared Folder\Invisible_man.exe
    • C:\Program Files\KaZaA Lite\My Shared Folder\AjeedNASA.exe
    • C:\Program Files\Morpheus\My Shared Folder\Blaster.exe
    • C:\Program Files\Grokster\My Grokster\XXX_HOTSEX.exe
    • C:\Program Files\BearShare\Shared\Fxbgbear.exe
    • C:\Program Files\Edonkey2000\Incoming\Setup_flash.exe
    • C:\Program Files\limewire\Shared\Super Mario.exe

  3. Modifies the (Default) value from: exefile

    to: Spitmaxa

    in the registry key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe

    so that the worm runs when you run any executable files.
  4. Creates the key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Spitmaxa

    so that the worm runs when you start any executable files.
  5. Adds the value:

    sysaxam32 %Windows%\Application Data\Axam.exe

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the worm runs when you start Windows.
  6. Modifies the Autoexec.bat so that it formats drives C and D the next time you start Windows 95/98/Me.
  7. Uses Microsoft Outlook to send the following email message:

    Subject:
    IMPORTANT DISCUSSION!
    NICE TO MEET YOU!
    Hello man!
    Hi! ;)
    Good Idea For ya!
    DAA Holding have an Idea for Bussiness man
    Great Job for Professional Programmer
    Trade and Care about customer!
    Don't missed Logon to DAABussiness.com
    Are you a Bussiness man?
    How to make a money in one day?
    Care to trade world map?
    How to prevent from Pirate CD!
    Job for you!
    Do you have an enough salaries for you job?
    Don't waste you money!
    Hey, how are you?
    Who's should be attacked first?
    No More Blood!
    HOW TO PREVENT YOUR EMAIL FROM VIRUSES?

    Message:
    Hello Mr/Mrs/Sir/Mdm, <Recipients Name>
    I have an Idea for you, This will make your business more efficient. To download this important tips just click here <link to executable file on web> or you can downloaded the files from an attachment.

    Regard,
    Alexander Joshia
    Executive Manager of DAA Holding

    Attachment: Tca.exe
  8. Attempts to stop the following processes:
    • _Avp32.exe
    • _Avpcc.exe
    • _Avpm.exe
    • Ackwin32.exe
    • Anti-Trojan.exe
    • Apvxdwin.exe
    • Autodown.exe
    • Avconsol.exe
    • Ave32.exe
    • Avgctrl.exe
    • Avkserv.exe
    • Avnt.exe
    • Avp.exe
    • Avp32.exe
    • Avpcc.exe
    • Avpdos32.exe
    • Avpm.exe
    • Avptc32.exe
    • Avpupd.exe
    • Avsched32.exe
    • Avwin95.exe
    • Avwupd32.exe
    • Blackd.exe
    • Blackice.exe
    • ccApp.exe
    • Cfiadmin.exe
    • Cfiaudit.exe
    • Cfinet.exe
    • Cfinet32.exe
    • Claw95.exe
    • Claw95cf.exe
    • Cleaner.exe
    • Cleaner3.exe
    • Cmd.exe
    • Command.com
    • Dvp95.exe
    • Dvp95_0.exe
    • Ecengine.exe
    • Esafe.exe
    • Espwatch.exe
    • F-Agnt95.exe
    • Findviru.exe
    • Fprot.exe
    • F-Prot.exe
    • F-Prot95.exe
    • Fp-Win.exe
    • Frw.exe
    • F-Stopw.exe
    • HH.exe
    • Iamapp.exe
    • Iamserv.exe
    • Ibmasn.exe
    • Ibmavsp.exe
    • Icload95.exe
    • Icloadnt.exe
    • Icmon.exe
    • Icsupp95.exe
    • Icsuppnt.exe
    • Iface.exe
    • Iomon98.exe
    • Jedi.exe
    • Lockdown2000.exe
    • Lookout.exe
    • Luall.exe
    • Moolive.exe
    • Mpftray.exe
    • N32scanw.exe
    • Navapw32.exe
    • Navlu32.exe
    • Navnt.exe
    • Navw32.exe
    • Navwnt.exe
    • Nisum.exe
    • Nmain.exe
    • Normist.exe
    • Nupgrade.exe
    • Nvc95.exe
    • Outpost.exe
    • Padmin.exe
    • Pavcl.exe
    • Pavsched.exe
    • Pavw.exe
    • Pccwin98.exe
    • Pcfwallicon.exe
    • Persfw.exe
    • Rav7.exe
    • Rav7win.exe
    • Regedit.com
    • Regedit.exe
    • Rescue.exe
    • Safeweb.exe
    • Scan32.exe
    • Scan95.exe
    • Scanpm.exe
    • Scrscan.exe
    • Serv95.exe
    • Smc.exe
    • Sphinx.exe
    • Sweep95.exe
    • Tbscan.exe
    • Tds2-98.exe
    • Tds2-Nt.exe
    • VControl.exe
    • Vet95.exe
    • Vettray.exe
    • Vscan40.exe
    • Vsecomr.exe
    • Vshwin32.exe
    • Vsstat.exe
    • Webscanx.exe
    • Wfindv32.exe
    • Zonealarm.exe

  9. Displays this message:




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: Kaoru Hayashi

Discovered: February 10, 2003
Updated: February 13, 2007 11:42:50 AM
Also Known As: I-Worm.Axam [KAV], W32/Maax@MM [McAfee], WORM_MAAX.A [Trend], W32/Axam-A [Sophos], Win32.Maax.A [CA]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


These instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.

CAUTION: If you are running Windows 95/98/Me, do not restart your computer until you have removed the worm.

NOTES:

  • If the worm has not yet run—that is, the worm file was copied to your computer but has not run—you should be able to follow the instructions in sections 1 and 2, which will detect and remove this file. (If the worm has run, in most cases you will not be able to perform these steps because the modifications that the worm made will prevent you from doing so.)
  • If the worm has run, first follow the instructions in section 3 (and section 4 if you are running Windows 95/98/Me). After you complete those instructions, follow the steps in sections 1 and 2.
  1. Update the virus definitions.
  2. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as W32.HLLW.Maax@mm.
  3. Reverse the changes that the worm made to the registry.
  4. Replace the Autoexec.bat file from a clean backup (Windows 95/98/Me).
For specific details on each of these procedures, read the following instructions.

1. Updating the virus definitions
Symantec Security Response fully tests all virus definitions for quality assurance before they are posted to our servers. There are two ways to obtain the most recent virus definitions:
  • Running LiveUpdate, which is the easiest way to obtain virus definitions: These virus definitions are posted to the LiveUpdate servers once each week (usually on Wednesdays), unless there is a major virus outbreak. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by LiveUpdate, refer to the Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate).
  • Downloading the definitions using the Intelligent Updater: The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are posted on U.S. business days (Monday through Friday). You should download the definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site and manually install them. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, refer to the Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater).

    The 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. Scanning for and deleting the infected files
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files.
  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. If any files are detected as infected with W32.HLLW.Maax@mm, click Delete.

3. Reversing the changes that the worm made to the registry
Because the worm modified the registry so that you cannot run .exe files, first make a copy of the Registry Editor as a file with the .com extension, and then run the file. Here are the steps:
  1. Do one of the following, depending on which version of Windows you are running:
    • Windows 95/98 users:
      1. Click Start.
      2. Point to Programs.
      3. Click the MS-DOS Prompt. (A DOS window opens at the C:\Windows prompt.) Proceed to step B of this section.
    • Windows Me users:
      1. Click Start.
      2. Point to Programs.
      3. Point to Accessories.
      4. Click the MS-DOS Prompt. (A DOS window opens at the C:\Windows prompt.) Proceed to step B of this section.
    • Windows NT/2000 users:
      1. Click Start, and then click Run.
      2. Type command, and then press Enter. (A DOS window opens.)
      3. Type cd \winnt, and then press Enter.
      4. Go to step B of this section.
    • Windows XP users:
      1. Click Start, and then click Run.
      2. Type command, and then press Enter. (A DOS window opens.)
      3. Type the following lines (pressing Enter after typing each one):

        cd\
        cd \windows
      4. Proceed to step B of this section.

  2. Type copy regedit.exe regedit.com, and then press Enter.
  3. Type start regedit.com, and then press Enter. (The Registry Editor opens in front of the DOS window.)

    After you finish editing the registry, exit the Registry Editor, and then exit the DOS window as well.
  4. Before you continue, 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 the specified keys only. For instructions, read the document "How to make a backup of the Windows registry."
  5. Navigate to and select the key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe
  6. In the right pane, double-click:

    (Default)
  7. Change the Value Data to:

    exefile
  8. Navigate to and delete the key:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Spitmaxa
  9. Navigate to and select the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  10. In the right pane, delete the value:

    sysaxam32 %Windows%\Application Data\Axam.exe
  11. Exit the Registry Editor.

4. Replacing the Autoexec.bat file
If you run Windows 95/98/Me, locate and delete the C:\Autoexec.bat file and replace it with a clean backup copy.
    CAUTION: If you do not have a backup copy of the file, you still need to delete the file. Your computer can run without this file, but if you restart the computer without deleting or replacing Autoexec.bat, drives C and D will be formatted when you restart the computer.


Writeup By: Kaoru Hayashi