W32.Cone.F@mm

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Discovered: March 14, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:19:04 PM
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


W32.Cone.F@mm is a mass-mailing worm that uses its own SMTP engine to send itself to the email addresses it gathers from the files on an infected computer.

The email attachment will have a .exe or .zip file extension.

This threat is written in Microsoft Visual C++ and is compressed with Petite.

Antivirus Protection Dates

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

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

Writeup By: John Canavan

Discovered: March 14, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:19:04 PM
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


When W32.Cone.D@mm runs, it attempts to perform the following actions:

  1. Copies itself to the following files:
    • %Windir%\tasks\svchost.exe
    • %System%\01chm.dll
    • %Temp%\svchost.exe


      Notes:
    • %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.
    • %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).
    • %Temp% is a variable. The worm locates the temporary folder and copies itself to that location. By default, this is C:\Windows\TEMP (Windows 95/98/Me), or C:\WINNT\Temp (Windows NT/2000), or C:\Document and Settings\<UserName>\Local Settings\Temp (Windows XP).

  2. Copies itself as WebCheck.pif into the current user's startup folder and the All Users startup folders, as follows:
    • Windows NT/2000/XP
      • C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
      • C:\Documents and Settings\<current user>\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

    • Windows 95/98/Me
      • C:\WINDOWS\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
      • C:\WINDOWS\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

  3. Creates the file, %Temp%\The-Power-Of-Cyclone.htm, and launches it in Internet Explorer. This file is plain text and is not malicious.

  4. Creates the files:
    • %system%\02seml.dll
    • %system%\02eml.dll
    • %system%\02url.dll
    • %system%\02vis.dll
    • %system%\02http.dll

  5. Adds a value:

    "System Host Service"="%Windir%\tasks\svchost.exe"

    to the registry keys:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

      so that the worm runs when you start Windows.

  6. Creates the mutex "<reversed computername>!WE NEED FREEDOM IN IRAN!!!"

    This mutex allows only one instance of the worm to execute.

  7. If Kazaa is installed on the system, the worm will copy itself to both the Kazza Received and DownloadDir folders as the following file names:
    • Hacking Exposed Network Security Secrets-chapt%d.chm
    • 401 guitar tabs.chm
    • How_to_crack_Win_XP_activation.chm
    • Credit card numbers.chm
    • adult check passwords.chm
    • (ebook chm) Teach Yourself C++ In 14 Days.chm
    • eBook-OReilly-Learning the UNIX Operating System.chm
    • Hacker's Guide.chm

      where %d is a random number.

  8. Retrieves email addresses from the files with the following extensions:
    • .DBX
    • .MBX
    • .WAB
    • .HTML
    • .EML
    • .HTM
    • .ASP
    • .SHTM
    • .TXT

  9. Uses its own SMTP engine to send itself to the email addresses it found.

    The email has the following characteristics:
    From: <spoofed>

    Subject: (One of the following)
    • W32.Mydoom.H in your mail
    • Your computer is probably infected by W32.Mydoom.H
    • Norton Antivirus detected W32.Mydoom.H in your mail
    • Large amount of W32.Mydoom.H outgoing from your email
    • Virus detected in your mail
    • Your computer is infected by W32.Mydoom.H
    • Your computer is probably infected
    • Your message was infected by Mydoom
    • I found a virus in your message
    • I recieved a message from you containing Mydoom
    • Mydoom.H in attachment of your message

    Message: (One of the following)
    • Hi,
      The attachment is a virus.
      I write it to say: we don't want Islamic Republic in IRAN!
      I'm realy realy sorry, I'm damaging the computers that I don't want to damage!!!!
      I choose to help a nation to be free with cost of some computer infections!!!
      Do you choose this if you must choose one?
      all of the other ways closed, no one listen to us!!!!
      please support me, open the virus and let it spread, it does not have any damage,
      just your internet connection may become some slow!
      for more info search "W32.Cone.E".
    • Dear users of %s,
      Our antivirus software has detected a large amount of viruses outgoing
      from your email account (%s), you may use our
      removal instruction to clean up your computer software.
    • Dear users of %s,
      Norton Antivirus has detected about %d e-mail(s) infected by W32.Mydoom.H
      outgoing from your mail account(%s).
      W32.Mydoom.H is a category 4 virus and Norton Antivirus 2004
       is updated automatically for removal instructions of cat 4 and
      5 viruses, and then send them for infected computers to prevent
      more infections.
    • your computer is infected by mydoom.H,
      because i recieved more than 20 messages containing mydoom.H from you
      i attached help file of removal instructions of this virus,
      please cleanup your computer, before connecting to internet!
    • hey, i'm tired of deleting emails infected by Mydoom.H from you,
      i attached the symantec removal instructions help file for Mydoom.H
      please cleanup your computer, or do not connect to internet.
      cleanup your computer, i have recieved more than 20 message infected by Mydoom.H from you,
      i attached the symantec removal instructions help file for W32.Mydoom.H
    • hi,
      i have recieved an email from you infected by W32.Mydoom.H, the attached file is a help file (.chm) containing removal instructions of Mydoom.H, i have downloaded it from www.symantec.com.
      to check to see if your computer has been infected by Mydoom.H refer to "Check for presence of W32.Mydoom.H" in the help file.
      best wishes,

      where %s is the portion of the email address following the "@" symbol.

    Attachment: The attachment file name is pchealth.exe or <eight random letters or digits>.exe. The worm may send a .zip or .chm file containing this executable.
10. The worm will not send to addresses containing any of the following strings:
    • avp
    • syma
    • icrosof
    • msn.
    • hotmail.
    • panda
    • sopho
    • borlan
    • inpris
    • example
    • mydomai
    • nodomai
    • ruslis
    • .gov
    • gov.
    • .mil
    • foo.
    • berkeley
    • unix
    • math
    • bsd
    • mit.e
    • gnu
    • fsf.
    • ibm.com
    • google
    • kernel
    • linux
    • fido
    • usenet
    • iana
    • ietf
    • rfc-ed
    • sendmail
    • arin.
    • ripe.
    • isi.e
    • isc.o
    • secur
    • acketst
    • pgp
    • tanford.e
    • utgers.ed
    • mozilla
    • trend
    • bug
    • @mm
    • .html
    • .edu
    • spam
    • viru
    • listserv
    • remove
    • fbi
    • f-pro
    • itdefender
    • abuse
    • root
    • info
    • samples
    • postmaster
    • webmaster
    • noone
    • nobody
    • nothing
    • anyone
    • someone
    • bugs
    • rating
    • site
    • contact
    • soft
    • somebody
    • privacy
    • service
    • help
    • not
    • submit
    • feste
    • gold-certs
    • the.bat
    • abuse
    • discuss
    • name
    • you
    • owner
    • mailer-daemon
    • admin
    • feedback
    • email


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: John Canavan

Discovered: March 14, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:19:04 PM
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. Restart the computer in Safe mode.
  4. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as W32.Cone.F@mm.
  5. Delete the value that was added to the registry.
  6. Delete the other files,

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. Restarting the computer in Safe mode
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 ."


4. 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.Cone.F@mm, click Delete.

5. 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 each of the following keys:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  4. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "System Host Service"="%Windir%\tasks\svchost.exe"

  5. Exit the Registry Editor.
6. Delete the other files
Using Windows Explorer, delete the following files:
  • %system%\02seml.dll
  • %system%\02eml.dll
  • %system%\02url.dll
  • %system%\02vis.dll
  • %system%\02http.dll
  • %temp%\The-Power-Of-Cyclone.htm
  • WebCheck.pif from the current user's startup folder and the All Users startup folders.

    By default, these are:
  • Windows NT/2000/XP
    • C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
    • C:\Documents and Settings\<current user>\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

  • Windows 95/98/Me
    • C:\WINDOWS\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
    • C:\WINDOWS\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

Writeup By: John Canavan