W32.Lovgate.Z@mm

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Discovered: July 05, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:25:06 PM
Also Known As: I-Worm.LovGate.ah [Kaspersky], W32/Lovgate.af@MM [McAfee]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


W32.Lovgate.Z@mm is a mass-mailing worm that also spreads through open network shares.

The email will have a variable subject and file attachment name, with a .bat, .exe, .pif, or .scr file extension.

W32.Lovgate.Z@mm spreads through the DCOM RPC vulnerability (described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-026 ) using TCP port 135.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version July 05, 2004
  • Latest Rapid Release version February 26, 2017 revision 021
  • Initial Daily Certified version July 05, 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version February 27, 2017 revision 003
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date July 05, 2004

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

Writeup By: Paul Mangan

Discovered: July 05, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:25:06 PM
Also Known As: I-Worm.LovGate.ah [Kaspersky], W32/Lovgate.af@MM [McAfee]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


When W32.Lovgate.Z@mm is executed, it performs the following actions:

  1. Copies itself as the following:
    • %Windir%\CDPlay.exe
    • %Windir%\Exploier.exe
    • %System%\IEXPLORE.exe
    • %System%\RAVMOND.exe
    • %System%\WinHelp.exe
    • %System%\Update_OB.exe
    • %System%\TkBellExe.exe
    • %System%\hxdef.exe
    • %System%\Kernel66.dll (A hidden file)


      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:\Winnt\System32 (Windows NT/2000), or C:\Windows\System32 (Windows XP).

  2. Creates a file named CDROM.COM in the root folder of all the drives, except the CD-ROM drives.

  3. Creates and executes the file, %System%\iexplorer.exe (61,440 bytes). This file is detected as W32.Lovgate.R@mm. When the file runs, it does the following:
    1. Copies itself as %System%\spollsv.exe.
    2. Adds the value:

      "Shell Extension" = "%system%\spollsv.exe"

      to the registry key:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

      so that the worm runs when you start Windows.

    3. Attempts to create %System%\a in other systems using the Microsoft Windows DCOM RPC Interface Buffer Overrun Vulnerability. This file is an FTP script that is used to get hxdef.exe from the infected system.

    4. May create these files in the %System% folder.
      • results.txt
      • win2k.txt
      • winxp.txt

        These files are not viral by themselves and are not detected as such.

  4. Creates a file named autorun.inf in the root folder of all the drives, which contains the lines:

    [Autorun]
    open="C:\cdrom.com"/StartExplorer

  5. Creates the .zip file <filename>.<ext> in the root folder of all the drives, unless the drive letter is A or B.

    <filename> is one of the following:
    • Bakeup
    • Tools
    • email

      and <ext> is one of the following:
    • RAR
    • ZIP

  6. Adds the values:

    "Winhelp"="%system%\TkBellExe.exe..."
    "Microsoft  Associates, Inc."="%system%\iexplorer.exe"
    "Hardware Profile"="%system%\hxdef.exe..."
    "Program in Windows"="%system%\IEXPLORE.exe"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the worm runs when you start Windows 95/98/Me.

  7. Creates the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
    RunServices

    and adds the values:

    "SystemTra"="%Windor%\CDPlay.EXE"
    "COM++ System"="exploier.exe"

    so that the worm runs as a service when you start Windows.

  8. Modifies the value:

    "(Default)"="Update_OB.exe%1"

    of one of the registry keys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\txtfile\shell\open\command
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\txtfile\shell\open\command

    so that the worm runs when you open any .txt file.

  9. May create the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ZMXLIB1

  10. Adds the value:

    "run"="RAVMOND.exe"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

  11. Stops the following services:
    • Rising Realtime Monitor Service
    • Symantec Antivirus Server
    • Symantec Client

  12. Terminates any processes that contain the following strings:
    • rising
    • SkyNet
    • Symantec
    • McAfee
    • Gate
    • Rfw.exe
    • RavMon.exe
    • kill
    • Nav
    • Duba
    • KAV

  13. Scans all the drives from C to Z. If the drive type is removable, mapped, or fixed, the worm will do the following on all the drives found:
    1. Attempt to rename the extension on all .exe files to .zmx.
    2. Set the attributes of these files to Hidden and System.
    3. Copy itself as the original file name.


      For example, if the worm finds OriginalFile.exe, it will be renamed to OriginalFile.zmx. The worm will then copy itself as OriginalFile.exe.

  14. Listens on port 6000. The backdoor procedure steals information from an infected computer and stores it in the file, C:\Netlog.txt. Then, the worm emails the stolen information to the attacker.

  15. Copies itself to all the network-shared folders and subfolders as any of the following:
    • WinRAR.exe
    • Internet Explorer.bat
    • Documents and Settings.txt.exe
    • Microsoft Office.exe
    • Windows Media Player.zip.exe
    • Support Tools.exe
    • WindowsUpdate.pif
    • Cain.pif
    • MSDN.ZIP.pif
    • autoexec.bat
    • findpass.exe
    • client.exe
    • i386.exe
    • winhlp32.exe
    • xcopy.exe
    • mmc.exe

  16. Locates the Kazaa file-sharing folder though a registry key and copies itself to that folder as one of the following:
    • wrar320sc
    • REALONE
    • BlackIcePCPSetup_creak
    • Passware5.3
    • word_pass_creak
    • HEROSOFT
    • orcard_original_creak
    • rainbowcrack-1.1-win
    • W32Dasm
    • setup
    • <random file name>

      with a .bat, .exe, .pif, or .scr file extension.

  17. Scans all the computers on the local network, using the following passwords to attempt to log on as "Administrator."
    • Guest
    • Administrator
    • zxcv
    • yxcv
    • xxx
    • win
    • test123
    • test
    • temp123
    • temp
    • sybase
    • super
    • sex
    • secret
    • pwd
    • pw123
    • Password
    • owner
    • oracle
    • mypc123
    • mypc
    • mypass123
    • mypass
    • love
    • login
    • Login
    • Internet
    • home
    • godblessyou
    • god
    • enable
    • database
    • computer
    • alpha
    • admin123
    • Admin
    • abcd
    • aaa
    • 88888888
    • 2600
    • 2004
    • 2003
    • 123asd
    • 123abc
    • 123456789
    • 1234567
    • 123123
    • 121212
    • 11111111
    • 110
    • 007
    • 00000000
    • 000000
    • pass
    • 54321
    • 12345
    • password
    • passwd
    • server
    • sql
    • !@#$%^&*
    • !@#$%^&
    • !@#$%^
    • !@#$%
    • asdfgh
    • asdf
    • !@#$
    • 1234
    • 111
    • root
    • abc123
    • 12345678
    • abcdefg
    • abcdef
    • abc
    • 888888
    • 666666
    • 111111
    • admin
    • administrator
    • guest
    • 654321
    • 123456
    • 321
    • 123

      Note: The worm will also attempt to log on as "Administrator" if a password is not set for the account on the remote computer.

  18. If the worm successfully logs on to the remote computer, it will attempt to copy itself as:

    \\<remote computer name>\admin$\system32\NetManager.exe

    and start the file as the service, "Windows Management NetWork Service Extensions", which is mapped to "NetManager.exe -exe_start".

  19. Replies to all the incoming messages when they arrive in the mailbox of certain MAPI-compliant email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook.

    If the original email is:

    Subject: <subject>
    From: <someone>@<somewhere.com>
    Message: <original message body>

    the worm will attempt to send the following email:

    Subject: Re: <subject>
    To: <someone>@<somewhere.com>
    Message:
    '<someone>' wrote:
    ====
    > <original message body>
    >
    ====

    <sender's domain> account auto-reply:

    followed by one of the following:
    • If you can keep your head when all about you
    • Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    • If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    • But make allowance for their doubting too;
    • If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    • Or, being lied about,don't deal in lies,
    • Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
    • And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
    • ... ... more  look to the attachment.

      > Get your FREE <sender's domain> account now! <


      Attachment: (One of the following)
    • the hardcore game-.pif
    • Sex in Office.rm.scr
    • Deutsch BloodPatch!.exe
    • s3msong.MP3.pif
    • Me_nude.AVI.pif
    • How to Crack all gamez.exe
    • Macromedia Flash.scr
    • SETUP.EXE
    • Shakira.zip.exe
    • dreamweaver MX (crack).exe
    • StarWars2 - CloneAttack.rm.scr
    • Industry Giant II.exe
    • DSL Modem Uncapper.rar.exe
    • joke.pif
    • Britney spears nude.exe.txt.exe
    • I am For u.doc.exe

  20. Retrieves the email addresses from the files with .txt, .pl, .wab, .adb, .tbb, .dbx, .asp, .php, .sht, and .htm extensions in the following folders:
    • %Windir%\Local Settings
    • \Documents and Settings\<current user>\local settings
    • Temporary Internet Files

  21. Uses its own SMTP engine to send itself to the above email addresses that it finds.

    The email will have the following characteristics:

    From: The sender's name is randomly selected from a list that the worm carries.

    Subject: (One of the following)
    • test
    • hi
    • hello
    • Mail Delivery System
    • Mail Transaction Failed
    • Server Report
    • Status
    • Error

      Message: (One of the following)
    • pass
    • Mail failed. For further assistance, please contact!
    • The message contains Unicode characters and has been sent as a binary attachment.
    • It's the long-awaited film version of the Broadway hit. The message sent as a binary attachment.


      Attachment: (One of the following)
    • document
    • readme
    • doc
    • text
    • file
    • data
    • test
    • message
    • body

      with one of the following extensions:
    • .bat
    • .exe
    • .scr
    • .pif

  22. Creates a network share named "Media", which is mapped to the %Windir%\Media folder.

  23. Attempts to find .exe files. If successful, the worm creates a viral file in %System%\win~.uuu and prepends this file to the .exe file.


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: Paul Mangan

Discovered: July 05, 2004
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:25:06 PM
Also Known As: I-Worm.LovGate.ah [Kaspersky], W32/Lovgate.af@MM [McAfee]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


Removal using the W32.HLLW.Lovgate Removal Tool
Symantec Security Response has created a removal tool to clean the infections of W32.Lovgate.Z@mm.This is the easiest way to remove this threat.

Manual Removal
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. Reverse the changes made to the registry.
  4. Restart the computer in Safe mode or VGA mode.
  5. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as W32.Lovgate.Z@mm.
  6. Rename the .zmx files to the .exe files.
For 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:
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: 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. To reverse the changes made to the registry

Before continuing, 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. For instructions, read the document, "How to make a backup of the Windows registry."
  1. Click Start > Run.
  2. Type regedit

    Then click OK.

  3. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  4. In the right pane, delete the values:

    "Winhelp"="%system%\TkBellExe.exe"
    "Hardware Profile"="%system%\hxdef.exe"
    "Program in Windows"="%system%\IEXPLORE.exe"
    "Microsoft  Associates, Inc."="%system%\iexplorer.exe"
    "Shell Extension"= "%system%\spollsv.exe"

  5. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\
    RunServices

  6. In the right pane, delete the values:

    "Systemtra"="%Windir%\CDPlay.exe"
    "COM++ System"="exploier.exe"

  7. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

  8. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "run"="RAVMOND.exe"

  9. Navigate to the following keys:

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\txtfile\shell\open\command\
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\txtfile\shell\open\command

  10. In the right pane, delete the value:

    (Default)="Update_OB.exe %1"

  11. Exit the Registry Editor.

4. To restart the computer in Safe mode or VGA mode
Shut down the computer and turn off the power. Wait for at least 30 seconds, and then restart the computer in Safe mode or VGA mode.
  • For Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, or XP users, restart the computer in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document, "How to start the computer in Safe Mode."
  • For Windows NT 4 users, restart the computer in VGA mode.

5. To scan for and delete 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.Lovgate.Z@mm, click Delete.
  4. 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."

6. To rename the .zmx files to the .exe files
As W32.Lovgate.Z@mm modifies the .exe files, correct this for relevant programs to function correctly.
  1. Follow the instructions for your operating system:
    • Windows 98/Me/2000
      1. On the Windows desktop, click the Start button > Find or Search > Files or Folders.
      2. In the Search Results window, set "Look in" to the first removable, mapped, or fixed drive type with a drive letter greater than E.
      3. Check Include subfolders.
      4. In the Named or Search for... box, type, or copy and paste, the following:

        *.zmx

      5. Click Find Now or Search Now.

    • Windows XP
      1. On the Windows desktop, click the Start button > Search.
      2. Click All files and folders.
      3. In the "All or part of the file name box," type, or copy and paste, the following:

        *.zmx

      4. Verify that "Look in" is set to the first removable, mapped, or fixed drive type with a drive letter greater than E.
      5. Click More advanced options.
      6. Select Search system folders.
      7. Select Search subfolders.
      8. Select Search hidden files and folders.
      9. Click Search.

  2. For every file that is found, right click it, select Rename, and then change the .zmx extension to .exe.

  3. Repeat step 6 for every removable, mapped, or fixed drive type with a drive letter greater than E.


Writeup By: Paul Mangan