Discovered: May 02, 2005
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:38:19 PM
Also Known As: CME-456, Win32.Sober.N [Computer Associ, Sober.P [F-Secure], Email-Worm.Win32.Sober.p [Kasp, W32/Sober.p@MM [McAfee], W32/Sober-N [Sophos], WORM_SOBER.S [Trend Micro]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


W32.Sober.O@mm is a mass-mailing worm that sends itself as an email attachment to addresses gathered from the compromised computer. It uses its own SMTP engine to spread. The email may be in either English or German.

Note: Customers running the lastest versions of Norton Internet Security, Norton AntiVirus, or Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition can make use of the product's automated removal functionality to remove this risk.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version May 02, 2005
  • Latest Rapid Release version August 08, 2016 revision 023
  • Initial Daily Certified version May 02, 2005
  • Latest Daily Certified version August 09, 2016 revision 001
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date May 02, 2005

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

Writeup By: Rodney Andres

Discovered: May 02, 2005
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:38:19 PM
Also Known As: CME-456, Win32.Sober.N [Computer Associ, Sober.P [F-Secure], Email-Worm.Win32.Sober.p [Kasp, W32/Sober.p@MM [McAfee], W32/Sober-N [Sophos], WORM_SOBER.S [Trend Micro]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


When W32.Sober.O@mm is executed, it performs the following actions:

  1. Displays a message with the following text:

    Title: WinZip Self-Extractor
    Body: Error:  CRC not complete



  2. Creates the following files:

    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\csrss.exe
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\packed1.sbr
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\packed2.sbr
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\packed3.sbr
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\services.exe
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\smss.exe
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\sacri1.ggg
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\sacri2.ggg
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\sacri3.ggg
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\voner1.von
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\voner2.von
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\voner3.von
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\sysonce.tst
    • %Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\fastso.ber
    • %System%\adcmmmmq.hjg
    • %System%\langeinf.lin
    • %System%\nonrunso.ber
    • %System%\seppelmx.smx
    • %System%\xcvfpokd.tqa

      Notes:
    • %Windir% is a variable that refers to the Windows installation folder. By default, this is C:\Windows (Windows 95/98/Me/XP) or C:\Winnt (Windows NT/2000).
    • %System% is a variable that refers to the System folder. By default this is C:\Windows\System (Windows 95/98/Me), C:\Winnt\System32 (Windows NT/2000), or C:\Windows\System32 (Windows XP).
    • The files sacri1.ggg, sacri2.ggg, sacri3.ggg, voner1.von, voner2.von, voner3.von, sysonce.tst, fastso.ber, adcmmmmq.hjg, langeinf.lin, nonrunso.ber, seppelmx.smx, xcvfpokd.tqa are not malicious.

  3. Adds the value:

    " WinStart" = "%Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\services.exe"

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the worm runs every time Windows starts.

  4. Adds the value:

    "_WinStart" = "%Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\services.exe"

    to the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

    so that the worm runs every time Windows starts.

  5. Checks the network connection by contacting an NTP server on port 37, or by connecting to one of the following domains:

    • microsoft.com
    • bigfoot.com
    • yahoo.com
    • t-online.de
    • google.com
    • hotmail.com

  6. Gathers email addresses from files with the following extensions:

    • .abc
    • .abd
    • .abx
    • .adb
    • .ade
    • .adp
    • .adr
    • .asp
    • .bak
    • .bas
    • .cfg
    • .cgi
    • .cls
    • .cms
    • .csv
    • .ctl
    • .dbx
    • .dhtm
    • .doc
    • .dsp
    • .dsw
    • .eml
    • .fdb
    • .frm
    • .hlp
    • .imb
    • .imh
    • .imh
    • .imm
    • .inbox
    • .ini
    • .jsp
    • .ldb
    • .ldif
    • .log
    • .mbx
    • .mda
    • .mdb
    • .mde
    • .mdw
    • .mdx
    • .mht
    • .mmf
    • .msg
    • .nab
    • .nch
    • .nfo
    • .nsf
    • .nws
    • .ods
    • .oft
    • .php
    • .phtm
    • .pl
    • .pmr
    • .pp
    • .ppt
    • .pst
    • .rtf
    • .shtml
    • .slk
    • .sln
    • .stm
    • .tbb
    • .txt
    • .uin
    • .vap
    • .vbs
    • .vcf
    • .wab
    • .wsh
    • .xhtml
    • .xls
    • .xml

      The worm avoids sending itself to email addresses containing the following strings:

    • -dav
    • .dial.
    • .kundenserver.
    • .ppp.
    • .qmail@
    • .sul.t-
    • @arin
    • @avp
    • @ca.
    • @example.
    • @foo.
    • @from.
    • @gmetref
    • @iana
    • @ikarus.
    • @kaspers
    • @messagelab
    • @nai.
    • @panda
    • @smtp.
    • @sophos
    • @www
    • abuse
    • announce
    • antivir
    • anyone
    • anywhere
    • bellcore.
    • bitdefender
    • clock
    • detection
    • domain.
    • emsisoft
    • ewido.
    • free-av
    • freeav
    • ftp.
    • gold-certs
    • google
    • host.
    • icrosoft.
    • ipt.aol
    • law2
    • linux
    • mailer-daemon
    • mozilla
    • mustermann@
    • nlpmail01.
    • noreply
    • nothing
    • ntp-
    • ntp.
    • ntp@
    • office
    • password
    • postmas
    • reciver@
    • secure
    • service
    • smtp-
    • somebody
    • someone
    • spybot
    • sql.
    • subscribe
    • support
    • t-dialin
    • t-ipconnect
    • test@
    • time
    • user@
    • variabel
    • verizon.
    • viren
    • virus
    • whatever@
    • whoever@
    • winrar
    • winzip
    • you@
    • yourname

  7. Attempts to send a copy of itself to the email addresses gathered. The email may be in either English or German, and has the following characteristics:

    German:

    From:
    One of the following:

    • FIFA@[random domain]
    • Gewinn@[random domain]
    • fifa@[random domain]
    • WM-Ticket@[random domain]
    • OK2006@[random domain]
    • Ticket@[random domain]
    • Verlosung@[random domain]
    • Administrator@[random domain]

      Subject:
      One of the following:

    • Ihr Passwort
    • Mail-Fehler!
    • Ihre E-Mail wurde verweigert
    • Ich bin's, was zum lachen ;)
    • Glueckwunsch: Ihr WM Ticket
    • WM Ticket Verlosung
    • WM-Ticket-Auslosung

      Message:
      One of the following:

    • Passwort und Benutzer-Informationen befinden sich in der beigefuegten Anlage.
      http:/ /www.[random domain]
      *-* MailTo: PasswordHelp
    • Diese E-Mail wurde automatisch erzeugt
      Mehr Information finden Sie unter http:/ /www.[random domain]
      Folgende Fehler sind aufgetreten:
      Fehler konnte nicht Explicit ermittelt werden
      Aus Datenschutzrechtlichen Gruenden, muss die vollstaendige E-Mail incl. Daten gezippt & angehaengt werden.
      Wir bitten Sie, dieses zu beruecksichtigen.
      Auto ReMailer#
    • Nun sieh dir das mal an
      Was ein Ferkel ....
    • Herzlichen Glueckwunsch,
      beim Run auf die begehrten Tickets fr die 64 Spiele der Weltmeisterschaft 2006 in Deutschland sind Sie
      dabei.Weitere Details ihrer Daten entnehmen Sie bitte dem Anhang.
      St. Rainer Gellhaus
      --- Pressesprecher Jens Grittner und Gerd Graus
      --- FIFA Fussball-Weltmeisterschaft 2006
      --- Organisationskomitee Deutschland
      --- Tel. 069 / 2006 - 2600
      --- Jens.Grittner@ok2006.de
      --- Gerd.Graus@ok2006.de

      Appends one of the following randomly to the bottom of the message:

    • Mail-Scanner:  Es wurde kein Virus festgestellt
    • AntiVirus:  Kein Virus gefunden
    • AntiVirus-System:  Kein Virus erkannt
    • WebSite:  http:/ /www.[random domain]

      Attachment:
      One of the following:

    • LOL.zip
    • autoemail-text.zip
    • _PassWort-Info.zip
    • Fifa_Info-Text.zip
    • okTicket-info.zip

      Note: The attachment will be a zip file containing a copy of the worm. The file name within the zip file will be Winzipped-Text_Data.txt[many spaces].pif or Winzipped-Text_Data.txt[many spaces].exe.


      English:

      From:
      One of the following:

    • Service@[random domain]
    • Webmaster@[random domain]
    • Register@[random domain]
    • Info@[random domain]
    • Hostmaster@[random domain]
    • Postmaster@[random domain]
    • Admin@[random domain]

      Subject:
      One of the following:

    • Re:Your Password
    • Re:Registration Confirmation
    • Re:Your email was blocked
    • Re:mailing error
    • Re: [blank]

      Message:
      One of the following:

    • ok ok ok,,,,, here is it
    • Account and Password Information are attached!
      Visit: http:/ /www.[random domain]
    • This is an automatically generated E-Mail Delivery Status Notification.
      Mail-Header, Mail-Body and Error Description are attached

      Appends one of the following to the bottom of the message:

    • Attachment-Scanner: Status OK
    • AntiVirus: No Virus found
    • Server-AntiVirus: No Virus (Clean)
    • http:/ / www.[random domain]

      Attachment:
      One of the following:

    • our_secret.zip
    • mail_info.zip
    • error-mail_info.zip
    • account_info.zip
    • account_info-text.zip

      Note: The attachment will be a zip file containing a copy of the worm. The file name within the zip file will be Winzipped-Text_Data.txt[many spaces].pif or Winzipped-Text_Data.txt[many spaces].exe.

  8. Deletes the following files if they exist:

    • %ProgramFiles%\Symantec\Liveupdate\a*.exe
    • %ProgramFiles%\Symantec\Liveupdate\luc*.exe
    • %ProgramFiles%\Symantec\Liveupdate\ls*.exe
    • %ProgramFiles%\Symantec\Liveupdate\luu*.exe

      Note: %ProgramFiles% is a variable that refers to the program files folder. By default, this is C:\Program Files.

  9. Overwrites the file %Program Files%\Symantec\Liveupdate\luall.exe with a copy of itself, if it exists.

  10. Checks for the correct date and time on remote NTP and Time servers.

  11. If the date received from the NTP/Time service is May 9, 2005 or earlier, the worm sends a mass-mailing.

  12. If the date is May 10, 2005 or later, the worm attempts to connect to the following URLs instead of sending a mass-mailing:

    • free.[domain removed].at/nswjqauhszsx/aqnd.wgfa
    • home.[domain removed].de/bergershomepage/test.exe
    • home.[domain removed].de/bfqcoxxycbw/cowzl.exe
    • home.[domain removed].de/cmjpvvilpcm/ehz.eyb
    • home.[domain removed].de/fffeqfbs/vuq.fxa
    • home.[domain removed].de/gdkmmwbgsammp/tpsg.gypa
    • home.[domain removed].de/jyvmnlvnm/etsvu.exe
    • home.[domain removed].at/ekmdwdyjuo/ylh.czl
    • people.[domain removed].de/apqxawjwlxjbj/gza.pyw
    • people.[domain removed].de/bcxxryazzc/tnsx.ynz
    • people.[domain removed].de/hzhgrdsfrzksw/chcc.exe
    • people.[domain removed].de/lbhynepwoven/modoo.exe
    • people.[domain removed].de/rriuuzs/qoyzr.exe
    • people.[domain removed].de/spjjepr/sga.whk
    • people.[domain removed].de/wgldbtsyxy/vhn.exe
    • scifi.[domain removed].at/qhclkofj/axye.cly

NOTE: At the time of writing, there were no files located at the above URLs.

Symantec Gateway Security 5400 Series and Symantec Gateway Security v1.0
  • Antivirus component: An update for the Symantec Gateway Security AntiVirus engine to protect against the W32.Sober.O worm is available. Symantec Gateway Security 5xxx users are advised to run LiveUpdate.
  • IDS/IPS component: No update is currently planned for this worm.
  • Full application inspection firewall component: By default, Symantec's full application inspection firewall technology protects against the propagation of the W32.Sober.O@mm worm by blocking compromised computers from directly sending email to the Internet.

Symantec Enterprise Firewall 8.0.x, 7.0.x and Symantec VelociRaptor 1.5
By default, Symantec's full application inspection firewall technology protects against the propagation of the W32.Sober.O@mm worm by blocking compromised computers from directly sending email to the Internet.

Symantec Clientless VPN Gateway
Symantec Clientless VPN Gateway v5.0 is not affected by this threat. To reduce risk of further propagation you should also include a rule that only allows mail access from authenticated remote users to your internal mail server.

Symantec Gateway Security 300 and 400 Series
For protection against this threat, Symantec recommends that administrators use the Anti-virus Policy Enforcement (AVpe) feature of the SGS 300/400 series to make sure all their SAVCE or SCS clients are up-to-date with the latest virus definitions. Administrators are also encouraged to only allow inbound/outbound mail traffic to/from their internal mail servers to reduce the risk of further worm propagation.

Symantec Firewall/VPN 100/200 Series
Administrators are encouraged to only allow inbound/outbound mail traffic to/from their internal mail servers to reduce the risk of further worm propagation.


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: Rodney Andres

Discovered: May 02, 2005
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:38:19 PM
Also Known As: CME-456, Win32.Sober.N [Computer Associ, Sober.P [F-Secure], Email-Worm.Win32.Sober.p [Kasp, W32/Sober.p@MM [McAfee], W32/Sober-N [Sophos], WORM_SOBER.S [Trend Micro]
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows


Removal using the W32.Sober Removal Tool
Symantec Security Response has developed a removal tool to clean the infections of W32.Sober.O@mm. Use this removal tool first, as it 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. Reinstall the current version of LiveUpdate
  3. Update the virus definitions.
  4. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as W32.Sober.O@mm.
  5. 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 reinstall the current version of LiveUpdate
3. 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 document: Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate).
  • 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. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, refer to the document: Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater).

    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.

4. 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.Sober.O@mm, click Delete.

    Note:
    If your Symantec antivirus product reports that it cannot delete an infected file, Windows may be using the file. To fix 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, as the threat has not been fully removed at this point. Please ignore these messages and just 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.

5. 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.

  4. Navigate to the subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  5. In the right pane, delete the value:

    " WinStart" = "%Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\services.exe"

  6. Navigate to the subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  7. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "_WinStart" = "%Windir%\Connection Wizard\Status\services.exe"

  8. Exit the Registry Editor.


Writeup By: Rodney Andres