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Discovered: January 07, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:15:51 PM
Also Known As: W32/Mimail.p@MM [McAfee], Win32.Mimail.P [Computer Assoc, WORM_MIMAIL.P [Trend], W32/Mimail-N [Sophos], I-Worm.Mimail.p [Kaspersky]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows

W32.Mimail.P@mm is a mass mailing worm where the email has the following characteristics:

Attachment: pp-app.zip
Sender: Paypal.com <donotreply@paypal.com>

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version January 08, 2004
  • Latest Rapid Release version August 08, 2016 revision 023
  • Initial Daily Certified version January 08, 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version August 09, 2016 revision 001
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date January 14, 2004

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

Writeup By: Yuhui Huang

Discovered: January 07, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:15:51 PM
Also Known As: W32/Mimail.p@MM [McAfee], Win32.Mimail.P [Computer Assoc, WORM_MIMAIL.P [Trend], W32/Mimail-N [Sophos], I-Worm.Mimail.p [Kaspersky]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows

The worm arrives in email with the following characteristics:

Attachment: pp-app.zip
Sender: Paypal.com <donotreply@paypal.com>
Message :
Dear PayPal.com Member,
We here at PayPal.com are pleased to announce that we have a special New Year offer for you!
If you currently have an account with PayPal then you will be eligible to receive a terrific
prize from PayPal.com for the New Year. For a limited time only PayPal is offering to add 10%
of the total balance in your PayPal account to your account and all you have to do is register
yourself within the next five business days with our application (see attachment)!

If at this time you do not have a PayPal account of your own you can also register yourself
with our secure application and get this great New Year bonus!  If you fill out the secure
form we have provided PayPal will create an account for you (it's free) and you will receive
a confirmation e-mail that your account has been created.

That's not all!  If you resend this letter (with its attachment) to all of your friends you
may be eligible to receive another New Year bonus because the 1000 PayPal members that send
the most of these to their friends will get the bonus.  If you are one of these 1000 lucky
members then PayPal will add 17% of your total balance to your account!

Registration is simple.  Just unpack the attachment with WinZip, run the application, and follow
the instructions we have provided.  If you have problems opening the application then you may
want to try downloading a free version of WinZip from http://www.winzip.com

Do not miss your chance at this fantastic opportunity!  Thousands of our current customers
have already received their prizes and now it's your turn; so hurry up and take advantage of

Best of luck in the New Year,
PayPal.com Team

The attachment is a .zip file that is not self-extracting. The .zip file contains W32.Mimail.P, which can only be run after the unzip.

Upon execution, W32.Mimail.P does the following:

  1. Creates the following files:
    • %Windir%\Winmgr32.exe: A copy of the executable itself.
    • C:\index.hta: The first page of the Web dialog.
    • C:\index2.hta: The second page of the Web dialog.
    • %Windir%\ee98af.tmp: A copy of the executable itself.
    • C:\Tmpny3.txt. A temporary file containing information gathered from the graphical dialogs.

      Note: %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. Zips itself as %Windir%\Zipzip.tmp.

  3. Adds the value:

    "WinMgr32" = " %Windir%\winmgr32.exe"

    to registry key:


    so that the worm runs when you start Windows.

  4. Attempts to resolve the IP address for www.google.com to determine whether there is Internet connectivity.

  5. Collects email addresses from all the files on the computer, except those with these extensions:
    • jpg
    • gif
    • exe
    • dll
    • avi
    • mpg
    • mp3
    • vxd
    • ocx
    • psd
    • tif
    • zip
    • rar
    • pdf
    • cab
    • wav
    • com

  6. Filters the text it finds in these files based on the following suffixes:
    • ca
    • au
    • uk
    • us
    • edu
    • gov
    • mil
    • de
    • it
    • ru
    • fr
    • info
    • org
    • net
    • com
    • email.msn.com
    • prodigy.net
    • safe-mail.net@excite.com
    • zwallet.com
    • erols.com
    • bigpond.com
    • usa.net
    • bigfoot.com
    • bellsouth.net
    • attglobal.net
    • att.net
    • attbi.com
    • email.it
    • lycos.com
    • sbcglobal.net
    • shaw.ca
    • themail.com
    • verizon.net
    • yahoo.com
    • msn.com
    • mail.com
    • hotmail.com
    • earthlink.net
    • aol.com

  7. Sends email messages using its own SMTP engine. For each email address the worm gathers, it acquires a mail server associated with that email address from the DNS server at IP Then, its SMTP engine directly contacts the destination mail server.

  8. Attempts to download an executable file to C:\mm.exe and execute the file. The URL of the executable is configurable.

  9. Opens and listens on port 5555.

  10. Steals the following information through email and HTTP POST / GET:
    • Internet account including SMTP server, user name, and so on
    • RAS phone book entries
    • IP address
    • Email contacts
    • Personal information such as credit card number, birthday, social security number, and so on

      The domain of the URL associated with the HTTP POST/GET is www.aquarium-fish.ru.

      Possible emails addresses the attacker uses include:


  11. In its attempt to steal information, the worm displays fake Paypal graphical dialogs, which ask you to input a credit card number and other personal information. The stolen information is stored in C:\Tmpny3.txt, and is subsequently encrypted and saved in C:\Tmpenc.txt, which is then sent to the attacker.

    The series of dialogs are:

  12. Changes the default home page of the browser to www.anvari.org/db/fun/World_Trade_Center/Bush_Monkey.jpg.


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: Yuhui Huang

Discovered: January 07, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:15:51 PM
Also Known As: W32/Mimail.p@MM [McAfee], Win32.Mimail.P [Computer Assoc, WORM_MIMAIL.P [Trend], W32/Mimail-N [Sophos], I-Worm.Mimail.p [Kaspersky]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows

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

  1. Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP).
  2. Update the virus definitions.
  3. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as W32.Mimail.P@mm.
  4. Delete the value that was added to the registry.
  5. Reset the Internet Explorer home page
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. Disabling System Restore (Windows Me/XP)
If you are running Windows Me or Windows XP, we recommend that you temporarily turn off System Restore. Windows Me/XP uses this feature, which is enabled by default, to restore the files on your computer in case they become damaged. If a virus, worm, or Trojan infects a computer, System Restore may back up the virus, worm, or Trojan on the computer.

Windows prevents outside programs, including antivirus programs, from modifying System Restore. Therefore, antivirus programs or tools cannot remove threats in the System Restore folder. As a result, System Restore has the potential of restoring an infected file on your computer, even after you have cleaned the infected files from all the other locations.

Also, a virus scan may detect a threat in the System Restore folder even though you have removed the threat.

For instructions on how to turn off System Restore, read your Windows documentation, or one of the following articles:
Note: When you are completely finished with the removal procedure and you are satisfied that the threat has been removed, re-enable System Restore by following the instructions in the aforementioned documents.

For additional information, and an alternative to disabling Windows Me System Restore, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, "Antivirus Tools Cannot Clean Infected Files in the _Restore Folder ," Article ID: Q263455.

2. Updating the virus definitions
Symantec Security Response fully tests all the 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: Read "How to update virus definition files using the Intelligent Updater" for detailed instructions.

3. 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.Mimail.P@mm, click Delete.

4. Deleting the value from the registry

WARNING: Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before making any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify the specified keys only. Read the document, "How to make a backup of the Windows registry ," for instructions.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run. (The Run dialog box appears.)
  2. Type regedit

    Then click OK. (The Registry Editor opens.)

  3. Navigate to the key:


  4. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "WinMgr32"= %Windir%\winmgr32.exe"

  5. Exit the Registry Editor.

5. Resetting 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 then click Internet Options.
  4. In the Home page section of the General tab, click Use Current, and then click OK.

Writeup By: Yuhui Huang