1. Symantec/
  2. Security Response/
  3. W32.Netsky.P@mm


Risk Level 2: Low

March 21, 2004
March 22, 2004 5:11:17 PM
Also Known As:
Email-Worm:W32/NetSky.P [F-Secure]
Systems Affected:
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.
Summary| Technical Details| Removal

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STAR Antimalware Protection Technologies
2016 Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 21
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