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Discovered: February 25, 2009
Updated: March 04, 2009 7:46:58 PM
Also Known As: W32/Xirtem@MM!8b1f20b9 [McAfee]
Type: Worm
Infection Length: 266, 240 bytes
Systems Affected: Windows

W32.Ackantta.B@mm is a mass-mailing worm that gathers email addresses from the compromised computer and spreads by copying itself to removable drives and shared folders.

Note: As of February 25, 2009, Symantec began observing an increase in the number of Trojan.Vundo infections as a direct result of W32.Ackantta.B@mm.

For more information, please see the following resources:

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version February 25, 2009 revision 036
  • Latest Rapid Release version May 12, 2019 revision 017
  • Initial Daily Certified version February 25, 2009 revision 039
  • Latest Daily Certified version May 13, 2019 revision 002
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date March 04, 2009

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

Writeup By: Jeong Mun

Discovered: February 25, 2009
Updated: March 04, 2009 7:46:58 PM
Also Known As: W32/Xirtem@MM!8b1f20b9 [McAfee]
Type: Worm
Infection Length: 266, 240 bytes
Systems Affected: Windows

The worm may arrive on the computer as the following file with a snowman icon:

Once executed, it may display an image of cartoon animals with the following characteristic:

It then creates a copy of itself as the following file:

The worm also drops the following files:
%System%\[RANDOM FILE NAME].dll

The worm creates one of the following registry entries, so that it runs every time Windows starts:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\"SunJava Updater v7" = "%System%\javale.exe"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\"Sun Java
Updater v7.4" = "%System%\javawx.exe"

It may then create the following registry entries to alter Explorer settings:
n2.3" = "[RANDOM MONTH]"
2.3" = "[RANDOM DAY]"

It may also create the following registry entries to register itself as a COM object:
\"(Default)" = "%System%\[RANDOM FILE NAME].dll
\"ThreadingModel" = "Both"

It then creates the following registry keys;

The worm also modifies the following registry entries:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SharedAccess\Parameters\FirewallPolicy\StandardProfile\AuthorizedApplications\List\%System%\"javale.exe" = "%System%\javale.exe:*:Enabled:Explorer"
    cations\List\"%System%\javawx.exe" = "%System%\javawx.exe:*:Enabled:Explorer"
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\"javastation1.1" = "02"
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\"ultrasparc1.1" = "25"
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download\"CheckExeSignatures" = "0x1"
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download\"RunInvalidSignatures" = "no"
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Associations\"LowRiskFileTypes" = ".zip;.rar;.cab;.txt;.exe;.reg;.msi;.htm;.html;.bat;.cmd;.pif;.scr;.mov;.mp3;.wav"
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\3\"1A10" = "1"

The worm then injects itself into Explorer.exe.

The worm connects to the following URL to get the IP address of the compromised computer:

It may then attempt to contact the following URL and download other threats which may include Trojan.Vundo and Trojan.Awax :

It then gathers email addresses from the Windows Address Book and sends a copy of itself to the addresses found.

The email has the following characteristics:
  • Job offer from Coca Cola!
  • Thank you for your application
  • You have got a new E-Card from your friend!
  • You have received A Hallmark E-Card!


The worm uses the content and images from the following Web sites as the message of the body.
  • http://hallmark.com
  • http://www.americangreetings.com
  • http://www.us.huxleyengineering.com/en/SubmitCV/Home
  • http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/careers


  • copy of your CV.zip
  • e-card.zip
  • job-application-form.zip
  • postcard.zip

The worm does not send the email to email addreses that contains any of the following strings:
  • .gov
  • .mil
  • abuse
  • accoun
  • acd-group
  • acdnet.com
  • acdsystems.com
  • acketst
  • admin
  • ahnlab
  • alcatel-lucent.com
  • anyone
  • apache
  • arin.
  • avira
  • berkeley
  • bitdefender
  • bluewin.ch
  • borlan
  • bpsoft.com
  • bsd
  • bugs
  • buyrar.com
  • certific
  • cisco
  • clamav
  • contact
  • debian
  • drweb
  • eset.com
  • example
  • f-secure
  • feste
  • fido
  • firefox
  • fsf.
  • ghisler.com
  • gimp
  • gnu
  • gold-certs
  • gov.
  • help
  • honeynet
  • honeypot
  • iana
  • ibm.com
  • icrosof
  • icrosoft
  • idenfense
  • ietf
  • ikarus
  • info
  • inpris
  • isc.o
  • isi.e
  • jgsoft
  • kaspersky
  • kernel
  • lavasoft
  • linux
  • listserv
  • math
  • mcafee
  • messagelabs
  • mit.e
  • mozilla
  • msn.
  • mydomai
  • nobody
  • nodomai
  • noone
  • not
  • nothing
  • ntvi
  • page
  • panda
  • pgp
  • postmaster
  • prevx
  • privacy
  • qualys
  • quebecor.com
  • rating
  • redhat
  • rfc-ed
  • root
  • ruslis
  • samples
  • security
  • sendmail
  • service
  • site
  • slashdot
  • soft
  • somebody
  • someone
  • sopho
  • sourceforge
  • spam
  • spm
  • submit
  • sun.com
  • support
  • suse
  • syman
  • tanford.e
  • the.bat
  • unix
  • usenet
  • utgers.ed
  • virusbuster
  • webmaster
  • wireshark
  • www.ca.com
  • www.secur
  • you
  • your

The worm also spreads by copying itself to all removable drives as the following files:
  • %DriveLetter%\RECYCLER\S-1-6-21-2434476521-1645641927-702000330-1542\redmond.exe
  • %DriveLetter%\RECYCLER\S-1-6-21-2434476521-1645641927-702000330-1542\Desktop.ini

The worm also creates the following file on all removable drives so that it executes whenever the drive is accessed:

The worm copies itself to following shared folders:
  • C:\program files\icq\shared\folder\[FILE NAME].exe
  • C:\program files\grokster\my grokster\[FILE NAME].exe
  • C:\program files\emule\incoming\[FILE NAME].exe
  • C:\program files\morpheus\my shared folder\[FILE NAME].exe
  • C:\program files\limwire\shared\[FILE NAME].exe
  • C:\program files\tesla\files\[FILE NAME].exe
  • C:\program files\winmx\shared\[FILE NAME].exe
  • C:\Downloads\[FILE NAME].exe

[FILE NAME].exe represents any of the following file names:
  • AVS video converter6.exe
  • Absolute Video Converter 6.2.exe
  • Ad-aware 2008.exe
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader keygen.exe
  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 crack.exe
  • Alcohol 120 v1.9.7.exe
  • Avast 4.8 Professional.exe
  • BitDefender AntiVirus 2009 Keygen.exe
  • CleanMyPC Registry Cleaner v6.02.exe
  • Daemon Tools Pro 4.11.exe
  • Divx Pro + keymaker.exe
  • Download Accelerator Plus v8.7.5.exe
  • Download Boost 2.0.exe
  • G-Force Platinum v3.7.5.exe
  • Google Earth Pro 4.2. with Maps and crack.exe
  • Grand Theft Auto IV (Offline Activation).exe
  • Half life 3 preview 10 minutes gameplay video.exe
  • Internet Download Manager V5.exe
  • K-Lite codec pack 4.0 gold.exe
  • Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 keygen.exe
  • LimeWire Pro v4.18.3.exe
  • Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student keygen.exe
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 KeyGen.exe
  • Microsoft.Windows 7 Beta1 Build 7000 x86.exe
  • Motorola, nokia, ericsson mobil phone tools.exe
  • Myspace theme collection.exe
  • Nero 9 keygen.exe
  • Norton Anti-Virus 2009 Enterprise Crack.exe
  • Opera 10 cracked.exe
  • PDF password remover (works with all acrobat reader).exe
  • Password Cracker.exe
  • Perfect keylogger family edition with crack.exe
  • Power ISO v4.2 + keygen axxo.exe
  • Red Alert 3 keygen and trainer.exe
  • Smart Draw 2008 keygen.exe
  • Sophos antivirus updater bypass.exe
  • Super Utilities Pro 2009 11.0.exe
  • TCN ISO SigmaX2 firmware.bin.exe
  • TCN ISO cable modem hacking tools.exe
  • Total Commander7 license+keygen.exe
  • Tuneup Ultilities 2008.exe
  • Ultimate ring tones package1 (Beethoven,Bach, Baris Manco,Lambada,Chopin, Greensleves).exe
  • Ultimate ring tones package2 (Lil Wayne - Way Of Life,Khia - My Neck My Back Like My Pussy And My Crack,Mario - Let Me Love You,R. Kelly - The Worlds Greatest).exe
  • Ultimate ring tones package3 (Crazy In Love, U Got It Bad, 50 Cent - P.I.M.P, Jennifer Lopez Feat. Ll Cool J - All I Have, 50 Cent - 21 Question).exe
  • Ultimate xxx password generator 2009.exe
  • VmWare keygen.exe
  • WinRAR v3.x keygen RaZoR.exe
  • Winamp.Pro.v6.53.PowerPack.Portable [XmaS edition].exe
  • Windows 2008 Enterprise Server VMWare Virtual Machine.exe
  • Windows XP PRO Corp SP3 valid-key generator.exe
  • Windows2008 keygen and activator.exe
  • Youtube Music Downloader 1.0.exe

The worm may end the following processes:
  • AlMon.exe
  • ALSvc.exe
  • APvxdwin.exe
  • ashdisp.exe
  • avcenter.exe
  • avciman.exe
  • AVENGINE.exe
  • avgnt.exe
  • avgrsx.exe
  • avgtray.exe
  • avguard.exe
  • avgwdsvc.exe
  • avp.exe
  • bdagent.exe
  • bdss.exe
  • CCenter.exe
  • drweb32w.exe
  • drwebupw.exe
  • egui.exe
  • ekrn.exe
  • emproxy.exe
  • FPAVServer.exe
  • FprotTray.exe
  • FPWin.exe
  • guardgui.exe
  • HWAPI.exe
  • iface.exe
  • isafe.exe
  • K7EmlPxy.exe
  • K7RTScan.exe
  • K7SysTry.exe
  • K7TSecurity.exe
  • K7TSMngr.exe
  • livesrv.exe
  • mcagent.exe
  • mcmscsvc.exe
  • McNASvc.exe
  • mcods.exe
  • mcpromgr.exe
  • McProxy.exe
  • Mcshield.exe
  • mcsysmon.exe
  • mcvsshld.exe
  • MpfSrv.exe
  • mps.exe
  • mskagent.exe
  • msksrver.exe
  • NTRtScan.exe
  • Pavbckpt.exe
  • PavFnSvr.exe
  • PavPrSrv.exe
  • PAVSRV51.exe
  • pccnt.exe
  • PSCtrlS.exe
  • PShost.exe
  • PsIMSVC.exe
  • psksvc.exe
  • Rav.exe
  • RavMon.exe
  • RavmonD.exe
  • RavStub.exe
  • RavTask.exe
  • RedirSvc.exe
  • SavAdminService.exe
  • SavMain.exe
  • SavService.exe
  • sbamtray.exe
  • sbamui.exe
  • spidergui.exe
  • SrvLoad.exe
  • TmListen.exe
  • TPSRV.exe
  • vetmsg.exe
  • vsserv.exe
  • Webproxy.exe
  • xcommsvr.exe

The worm may end the following services:
  • antivirscheduler
  • antivirservice
  • aswupdsv
  • avast!
  • avast! Antivirus
  • avg8wd
  • AVP
  • BDAgent
  • bdss
  • CaCCProvSP
  • ccEvtMgr
  • ccproxy
  • ccpwdsvc
  • ccsetmgr
  • cctray
  • DrWebScheduler
  • egui
  • Ehttpsrv
  • ekrn
  • Emproxy
  • FPAVServer
  • F-PROT Antivirus Tray application
  • ISTray
  • K7EmlPxy
  • K7RTScan
  • K7SystemTray
  • K7TSMngr
  • K7TSStart
  • liveupdate
  • LiveUpdate Notice Service
  • McAfee HackerWatch Service
  • McENUI
  • mcmisupdmgr
  • mcmscsvc
  • mcODS
  • mcpromgr
  • mcproxy
  • mcredirector
  • mcshield
  • mcsysmon
  • MPS9
  • msk80service
  • MskAgentexe
  • navapsvc
  • OfficeScanNT Monitor
  • RavTask
  • RSCCenter
  • RSRavMon
  • Savadminservice
  • SAVScan
  • Savservice
  • SBAMTray
  • Sophos Autoupdate Service
  • Spam Blocker for Outlook Express
  • SpamBlocker
  • SpIDerMail
  • Symantec Core LC
  • ThreatFire

The worm may prevent access to the following sites:
  • aladdin.com
  • authentium.com
  • avast.com
  • avg.com
  • avp.com
  • bitdefender.com
  • ca.com
  • customer.symantec.com
  • dispatch.mcafee.com
  • download.mcafee.com
  • eset.com
  • ewido.com
  • f-secure.com
  • free-av.com
  • global.ahnlab.com
  • grisoft.com
  • hispasec.com
  • ikarus-software.at
  • kaspersky-labs.com
  • kaspersky.com
  • liveupdate.symantec.com
  • liveupdate.symantecliveupdate.com
  • mast.mcafee.com
  • mcafee.com
  • my-etrust.com
  • nai.com
  • networkassociates.com
  • pandasecurity.com
  • quickheal.com
  • securityresponse.symantec.com
  • sophos.com
  • symantec.com
  • trendmicro.com
  • us.mcafee.com
  • virus-buster.com
  • viruslist.com
  • virustotal.com


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: Jeong Mun

Discovered: February 25, 2009
Updated: March 04, 2009 7:46:58 PM
Also Known As: W32/Xirtem@MM!8b1f20b9 [McAfee]
Type: Worm
Infection Length: 266, 240 bytes
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 entry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\"SunJava Updater v7" = "%System%\javale.exe"

  5. Restore the following registry entries to their previous values, if required:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SharedAccess\Parameters\FirewallPolicy\StandardProfile\AuthorizedApplications\List\%System%\"javale.exe" = "%System%\javale.exe:*:Enabled:Explorer"
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\"javastation1.1" = "02"
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\"ultrasparc1.1" = "25"
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download\"CheckExeSignatures" = "0x1"
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download\"RunInvalidSignatures" = "no"
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Associations\"LowRiskFileTypes" = ".zip;.rar;.cab;.txt;.exe;.reg;.msi;.htm;.html;.bat;.cmd;.pif;.scr;.mov;.mp3;.wav"

  6. 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.

Writeup By: Jeong Mun