Discovered: February 25, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:18:57 PM
Systems Affected: Windows
W32.Mockbot.A.Worm is a worm that spreads using computers infected with the W32.Mydoom.A@mm , and Backdoor.Optix worms. To spread itself, the worm can also exploit the DCOM RPC vulnerability (described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-026 ), as well as a vulnerability in the DameWare Mini Remote Control program.
W32.Mockbot.A.Worm is written in C and is packed with UPX.
The list of monitored processes:
Antivirus Protection Dates
- Initial Rapid Release version February 26, 2004
- Latest Rapid Release version September 28, 2010 revision 054
- Initial Daily Certified version February 26, 2004
- Latest Daily Certified version September 28, 2010 revision 036
- Initial Weekly Certified release date February 27, 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.
When W32.Mockbot.A.Worm is executed, it performs the following actions:
- Attempts to copy itself as the files:
- %System% is a variable. The worm locates the System folder and copies itself to that location. By default, this is C:\Windows\System (Windows 95/98/Me), C:\Winnt\System32 (Windows NT/2000), or C:\Windows\System32 (Windows XP).
- %StartMenu% is a variable. The worm locates the Start Menu folder and copies itself to that location. By default, this is C:\Windows\Start Menu (Windows 95/98/Me) or C:\Documents and Settings\<current user>\Start Menu (Windows Windows NT/2000/XP).
- Spawns a thread that attempts to create the following registry key values below, and then monitors them. The thread will recreate the values if they are deleted.
- Adds the value:
"Microsoft Network" = "%System%\msnet.exe"
to one or more of the following registry keys:
so that the worm is executed on startup.
- Adds the values:
to the registry key:
so that the worm is executed any time ICQ is started.
- Attempts to create the service, "Microsoft Network," so that the worm is executed with system-level access privileges on startup.
- Spawns a thread that monitors running processes, killing any found on a large list of antivirus, firewall, and security product process names, as well as some viruses and malware. For more details, see the list in the "Additional Information" section below.
- The worm will randomly generate IP addresses and use each of the following methods to try to infect computers at each IP:
- Checks whether the computer is infected with W32.Mydoom.A@mm or Backdoor.Optix. The worm does this by attempting to connect to the computer on ports 3127 and 3410. If these backdoors are found, the worm will install itself on the host.
- Attempts to connect to the computer on port 6129, looking for the DameWare Mini Remote Control server application. If found, the worm will take advantage of a vulnerability in the application to install itself on the computer.
- Sends data on TCP port 135 that may exploit the DCOM RPC vulnerability (described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-026). The worm sends one of two types of data, which exploits either Windows XP or Windows 2000. If the exploit is successful, the worm will install itself on the remote host.
- Opens a backdoor listening for connections on port 69.
- Connects to predetermined IRC servers and joins a channel to listen for commands from an attacker. The worm will report its status and information on any other infected computers.
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.
The following instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.
- Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP).
- Update the virus definitions.
- Do one of the following:
- Windows 95/98/Me: Restart the computer in Safe mode.
- Windows NT/2000/XP: End the malicious process.
- Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as W32.Mockbot.A.Worm.
- Reverse the changes made to the registry.
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:
- "How to disable or enable Windows Me System Restore"
- "How to turn off or turn on Windows XP System Restore"
Note: When you are completely finished with the removal procedure and 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. Restarting the computer in Safe mode or ending the malicious process
- Windows 95/98/Me
Shut down the computer and turn off the power. Wait for at least 30 seconds, and then restart the computer in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document, "How to start the computer in Safe Mode."
To end the malicious process:
- Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete once.
- Click Task Manager.
- Click the Processes tab.
- Double-click the Image Name column header to alphabetically sort the processes.
- Scroll through the list and look for msnet.exe.
- If you find the file, click it, and then click End Process.
- Exit the Task Manager.
- Start your Symantec antivirus program and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files.
- For Norton AntiVirus consumer products: Read the document, "How to configure Norton AntiVirus to scan all files."
- For Symantec AntiVirus Enterprise products: Read the document, "How to verify that a Symantec Corporate antivirus product is set to scan all files."
- Run a full system scan.
- If any files are detected as infected with W32.Mockbot.A.Worm, click Delete.
5. Reversing the changes made to 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.
- Click Start, and then click Run. (The Run dialog box appears.)
- Type regedit
Then click OK. (The Registry Editor opens.)
- Navigate to each of the keys:
- In the right pane, delete the value:
- Navigate to the key:
- In the right pane, delete the value:
- Exit the Registry Editor.
- Restart the computer in Normal mode. For instructions, read the section on returning to Normal mode in the document, "How to start the computer in Safe Mode."
Writeup By: John Canavan