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Discovered: April 03, 2006
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:52:22 PM
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows

W32.Spybot.AGEN is a worm that has distributed denial of service, back door and rootkit capabilities. The worm spreads by exploiting vulnerabilities and through AOL instant messenger. It also lowers the security settings of the compromised computer.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version April 03, 2006
  • Latest Rapid Release version April 03, 2006
  • Initial Daily Certified version April 03, 2006
  • Latest Daily Certified version April 03, 2006
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date April 05, 2006

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

Writeup By: Mircea Ciubotariu

Discovered: April 03, 2006
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:52:22 PM
Type: Worm
Systems Affected: Windows

When W32.Spybot.AGEN is executed, it performs the following actions:

  1. Checks for the presence of a debugger and terminates itself if one is found. The worm will also terminate itself if it detects that it is running on a VMware virtual machine.

  2. Copies itself as %Windir%\mgsev.exe.

    Note: %Windir% is a variable that refers to the Windows installation folder. By default, this is C:\Windows or C:\Winnt.

  3. Registers itself as the following service so that it is executed every time Windows starts:

    Service name: Microsoft HTTP Protocol
    Display name: Microsoft HTTP Protocol
    Image path: %Windir%\mgsev.exe
    Description: Microsoft HTTP Protocol

  4. Creates following registry subkeys in relation to the service referenced above:

    Microsoft HTTP Protocol

  5. Drops the following device driver file detected as Hacktool.Rootkit, using the file to hide the presence of its own process:


    Note: %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).

  6. Creates the following device service to run Hacktool.Rootkit:

    Display name: rofl
    Image path: %System%\rofl.sys

  7. Creates the following registry subkeys in relation to the service referenced above:


  8. Modifies the values:

    "UpdatesDisableNotify" = "1"
    "AntiVirusDisableNotify" = "1"
    "FirewallDisableNotify" = "1"
    "AntiVirusOverride" = "1"
    "FirewallOverride" = "1"

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center

    to disable Windows Security Centre.

  9. Modifies the value:

    "EnableFirewall" = "0"

    in the registry subkeys:


    to disable the Windows firewall.

  10. Modifies the value:

    "Start" = "4"

    in the registry subkeys:


    to lower security settings.

  11. Modifies the value:

    "AutoShareWks" = "0"

    in the registry subkeys:


    to disable administrative shares on all local hard drives on the compromised computer.

  12. Modifies the value:

    "AUOptions" = "1"

    in the registry subkey:

    WindowsUpdate\Auto Update

    to disable Windows Auto Updates.

  13. Modifies the value:

    "DoNotAllowXPSP2" = "1"

    in the registry subkey:


    to stop Windows XP Service Pack 2 from being downloaded.

  14. Modifies the value:

    "restrictanonymous" = "1"

    in the registry subkey:


    to lower security settings.

  15. Modifies the value:

    "EnableDCOM" = "N"

    in the registry subkey:


    to lower security settings.

  16. Modifies the value:

    "WaitToKillServiceTimeout" = "7000"

    in the registry subkey:


    to prevent the services from being terminated.

  17. May also attempt to delete network shares.

  18. Ends the following services:

    • Tlntsvr
    • RemoteRegistry
    • Messenger
    • SharedAccess
    • wscsvc

  19. Opens a back door by connecting to the IRC server fuck.syn-flood.us on TCP port 1863 which allows the remote attacker to perform the following actions on the compromised computer:

    • Download and execute files
    • Update itself
    • Encrypt files and upload them
    • Scan for open ports
    • List and end threads or processes
    • Get information relating to the Internet Explorer start page
    • Steal passwords and email information
    • Read, write, and delete registry values
    • Perform denial of service attacks

  20. Attempts to copy itself to remote machines based on a list of randomly generated IP addresses. The worm uses a hardcoded list of passwords against the list of users obtained from the remote machines. It will copy itself to one of the following folders:

    • IPC$
    • Admin$
    • Admin$\system32
    • c$\winnt\system32
    • c$\windows\system32
    • d$\winnt\system32
    • d$\windows\system32

  21. Uses the following hardcoded list of passwords:

    • admin
    • root
    • 0
    • 1
    • 111
    • 12
    • 123
    • 1234
    • 12345
    • 123456
    • 654321
    • !@#$
    • !@#$%
    • !@#$%^
    • !@#$%^&
    • asdf
    • asdfgh
    • server

  22. May spread through AOL Instant Messenger by modifying info.backup and info.htm in the AIM directory.

  23. Spreads to computers by exploiting the following vulnerabilities:


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: Mircea Ciubotariu

Discovered: April 03, 2006
Updated: February 13, 2007 12:52:22 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. Find and stop the service.
  3. Update the virus definitions.
  4. Run a full system scan.
  5. Delete any values added to the registry.
  6. Restore the Windows Security Center.
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:
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 find and stop the service
  1. Click Start > Run.
  2. Type services.msc, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and select the service that was detected.
  4. Click Action > Properties.
  5. Click Stop.
  6. Change Startup Type to Manual.
  7. Click OK and close the Services window.
  8. Restart the computer.

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:
    • 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. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, refer to 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 run a full system scan
  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, 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.

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.

    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 subkeys:

    Microsoft HTTP Protocol

  5. Exit the Registry Editor.

6. To restore the Windows Security Center
This risk attempts to disable the features in the Windows Security Center, available in Windows XP Service Pack 2. If you are running Windows XP Service Pack 2 and would like to restore the full functionality of the Windows Security Center, please complete the following steps:

Important: If your computer is connected to a domain, you may not be able to adjust these settings. If so, contact your network administrator for more information.
  1. Click Start > Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Security Center.
  3. In the right pane, click Windows Firewall. The Windows Firewall appears.
  4. Select On.
  5. Click OK to close the Windows Firewall.
  6. In the left pane of the Security Center, select Change the way Security Center alerts me.
  7. Click Alert Settings.
  8. Select Alert Settings, Firewall, and Virus Protection.
  9. Click OK
  10. Click Automatic Updates.
  11. Select Automatic.
  12. Click OK.
  13. Exit the Security Center.

Writeup By: Mircea Ciubotariu