Printer Friendly Page

Discovered: March 21, 2004
Updated: March 22, 2004 5:11:17 PM
Also Known As: Email-Worm:W32/NetSky.P [F-Secure]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows

W32.Netsky.P@mm is a mass-mailing worm that sends itself to email addresses it gathers from certain files on the system. The worm also tries to spread itself via various file-sharing methods by copying itself into directories using enticing filenames.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version March 21, 2004
  • Latest Rapid Release version February 14, 2019 revision 006
  • Initial Daily Certified version March 21, 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version February 14, 2019 revision 008
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date March 24, 2004

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

Discovered: March 21, 2004
Updated: March 22, 2004 5:11:17 PM
Also Known As: Email-Worm:W32/NetSky.P [F-Secure]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows

W32.Netsky.P@mm is a mass-mailing worm that uses its own SMTP engine to send itself to all email addresses it gathers from files with the following extensions on drives C through Z:

The email message typically has the following properties:
The from address is spoofed from an address taken from the system.

The subject appears to be one of the following:
Re: Encrypted Mail
Re: Extended Mail
Re: Status
Re: Notify
Re: SMTP Server
Re: Mail Server
Re: Delivery Server
Re: Bad Request
Re: Failure
Re: Thank you for delivery
Re: Test
Re: Administration
Re: Message Error
Re: Error
Re: Extended Mail System
Re: Secure SMTP Message
Re: Protected Mail Request
Re: Protected Mail System
Re: Protected Mail Delivery
Re: Secure delivery
Re: Delivery Protection
Re: Mail Authentification

Message body can be one of the following:
Please see the attached file for details
Please read the attached file!
Your document is attached.
Please read the document.
Your file is attached.
Your document is attached.
Please confirm the document.
Please read the important document.
See the file.
Requested file.
Authentication required.
Your document is attached to this mail.
I have attached your document.
I have received your document. The corrected document is attached.
Your document.
Your details.

Attachment name can be one of the following:

Followed by one of the following:
".txt "
".doc "

Followed by one of the following extensions:

The worm avoids sending to email addresses that contain any of the following strings:


The worm attempts to exploit the issue described as Microsoft IE MIME Header Attachment Execution Vulnerability (BID 2524), to execute the attachment as soon as the email is viewed.

When the attachment is executed, it creates the following mutex so that only one instance of the worm will execute:

It then creates the following copy of itself:

The following files are also created:
%Windir%\base64.tmp (40,520 bytes): MIME-encoded version of the executable
%Windir%\zip1.tmp (40,882 bytes): MIME-encoded version of worm in zip archive
%Windir%\zip2.tmp (40,894 bytes): MIME-encoded version of worm in zip archive
%Windir%\zip3.tmp (40,886 bytes): MIME-encoded version of worm in zip archive
%Windir%\zipped.tmp (29,834 bytes): Worm in zip archive

It then creates the following registry entry so that it executes every time Windows starts:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\"Norton Antivirus AV"="%Windir%\FVProtect.exe"

It then deletes the following values:

from the registry key:

It also deletes the value:

from the registry key:

Windows Services Host

From the registry key:

It finally deletes the following registry keys:

The worm scans the harddrive. If a directory name contains the following strings:

shared files
my shared folder

copies the worm itself into that directory as the following names:

"Kazaa Lite 4.0 new.exe"
"Britney Spears Sexy archive.doc.exe"
"Kazaa new.exe"
"Britney Spears porn.jpg.exe"
"Harry Potter all e.book.doc.exe"
"Britney sex xxx.jpg.exe"
"Harry Potter 1-6 book.txt.exe"
"Britney Spears blowjob.jpg.exe"
"Harry Potter e book.doc.exe"
"Britney Spears cumshot.jpg.exe"
"Harry Potter.doc.exe"
"Britney Spears fuck.jpg.exe"
"Harry Potter game.exe"
"Britney Spears.jpg.exe"
"Harry Potter 5.mpg.exe"
"Britney Spears and Eminem porn.jpg.exe"
"Britney Spears Song text archive.doc.ex"...
"Britney Spears full album.mp3.exe"
"Britney Spears.mp3.exe"
"Eminem Song text archive.doc.exe"
"Eminem Sexy archive.doc.exe"
"Eminem full album.mp3.exe"
"Eminem Spears porn.jpg.exe"
"Eminem sex xxx.jpg.exe"
"Eminem blowjob.jpg.exe"
"Altkins Diet.doc.exe"
"Eminem Poster.jpg.exe"
"American Idol.doc.exe"
"Saddam Hussein.jpg.exe"
"Arnold Schwarzenegger.jpg.exe"
"Windows 2003 crack.exe"
"Windows XP crack.exe"
"Adobe Photoshop 10 crack.exe"
"Microsoft WinXP Crack full.exe"
"Teen Porn 15.jpg.pif"
"Adobe Premiere 10.exe"
"Adobe Photoshop 10 full.exe"
"Best Matrix Screensaver new.scr"
"Porno Screensaver britney.scr"
"Dark Angels new.pif"
"XXX hardcore pics.jpg.exe"
"Microsoft Office 2003 Crack best.exe"
"Serials edition.txt.exe"
"Full album all.mp3.pif"
"Ahead Nero 8.exe"
"netsky source code.scr"
"E-Book Archive2.rtf.exe"
"Doom 3 release 2.exe"
"How to hack new.doc.exe"
"Learn Programming 2004.doc.exe"
"WinXP eBook newest.doc.exe"
"Win Longhorn re.exe"
"Dictionary English 2004 - France.doc.ex"...
"RFC compilation.doc.exe"
"1001 Sex and more.rtf.exe"
"3D Studio Max 6 3dsmax.exe"
"Keygen 4 all new.exe"
"Windows 2000 Sourcecode.doc.exe"
"Norton Antivirus 2005 beta.exe"
"Gimp 1.8 Full with Key.exe"
"Partitionsmagic 10 beta.exe"
"Star Office 9.exe"
"Magix Video Deluxe 5 beta.exe"
"Clone DVD 6.exe"
"MS Service Pack 6.exe"
"ACDSee 10.exe"
"Visual Studio Net Crack all.exe"
"Cracks & Warez Archiv.exe"
"WinAmp 13 full.exe"
"DivX 8.0 final.exe"
"Opera 11.exe"
"Internet Explorer 9 setup.exe"
"Smashing the stack full.rtf.exe"
"Ulead Keygen 2004.exe"
"Lightwave 9 Update.exe"
"The Sims 4 beta.exe"


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.

Discovered: March 21, 2004
Updated: March 22, 2004 5:11:17 PM
Also Known As: Email-Worm:W32/NetSky.P [F-Secure]
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.
  4. Delete any values added to the registry.

For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. To disable 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 are satisfied that the threat has been removed, reenable 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. To update 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.

    If you use Norton AntiVirus 2006, Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 10.0, or newer products, LiveUpdate definitions are updated daily. These products include newer technology.

    If you use Norton AntiVirus 2005, Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 9.0, or earlier products, LiveUpdate definitions are updated weekly. The exception is major outbreaks, when definitions are updated more often.

  • Downloading the definitions using the Intelligent Updater: The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are posted daily. You should download the definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site and manually install them.

The latest Intelligent Updater virus definitions can be obtained here: Intelligent Updater virus definitions . For detailed instructions read the document: How to update virus definition files using the Intelligent Updater .

3. To run a full system scan
  1. 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.

  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. If any files are detected, follow the instructions displayed by your antivirus program.
Important: If you are unable to start your Symantec antivirus product or the product reports that it cannot delete a detected file, you may need to stop the risk from running in order to remove it. To do this, run the scan in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document, How to start the computer in Safe Mode . Once you have restarted in Safe mode, run the scan again.
After the files are deleted, restart the computer in Normal mode and proceed with the next section.

Warning messages may be displayed when the computer is restarted, since the threat may not be fully removed at this point. You can ignore these messages and click OK. These messages will not appear when the computer is restarted after the removal instructions have been fully completed. The messages displayed may be similar to the following:

Title: [FILE PATH]
Message body: Windows cannot find [FILE NAME]. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.

4. To delete the value from the registry
Important: 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 subkeys only. For instructions refer to the document: How to make a backup of the Windows registry .
  1. Click Start > Run.
  2. Type regedit
  3. Click OK.

    Note: If the registry editor fails to open the threat may have modified the registry to prevent access to the registry editor. Security Response has developed a tool to resolve this problem. Download and run this tool, and then continue with the removal.

  4. Navigate to and delete the following registry entries:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\Run\"Norton Antivirus AV"="%Windir%\FVProtect.exe"

  5. Exit the Registry Editor.

    Note: If the risk creates or modifies registry subkeys or entries under HKEY_CURRENT_USER, it is possible that it created them for every user on the compromised computer. To ensure that all registry subkeys or entries are removed or restored, log on using each user account and check for any HKEY_CURRENT_USER items listed above.