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TLP:WHITE

Alert (SA04-028A)

MyDoom.B Virus

Original release date: January 28, 2004 | Last revised: January 30, 2004

Systems Affected

Any system running Microsoft Windows (Windows 95 and newer) that are used for reading email or accessing peer-to-peer file sharing services.

Overview

A new variant of the previously discovered MyDoom virus, MyDoom.B, has been identified. In addition to the common traits of email-borne viruses, this virus may prevent your computer from updating anti-virus and other software.

Description


Quick Links
Protect | Identify | Recover


Protect Your Systems

To protect your systems from infection by this virus, we recommend that you take the following steps. In addition to these steps, US-CERT encourages home users to review the "Home Network Security" and "Home Computer Security" documents.

  1. Avoid opening attachments from suspicious email messages

    Emails sent out by Mydoom.B are generated randomly. The From address may also be spoofed to appear as though the message is from a different address.

    The subject of the message will include one of the following:

    • Delivery Error
    • hello
    • Error
    • Mail Delivery System
    • Mail Transaction Failed
    • Returned mail
    • Server Report
    • Status
    • Unable to deliver the message

    Not all email messages with these subject lines carry the MyDoom.B virus, some may be legitimate status messages.

    The message body will include one of the following:

    • RANDOMIZED CHARACTERS
    • test
    • The message cannot be represented in 7-bit ASCII encoding and has been sent as a binary attachment.
    • sendmail daemon reported: Error #804 occured during SMTP session. Partial message has been received.
    • The message contains Unicode characters and has been sent as a binary attachment.
    • The message contains MIME-encoded graphics and has been sent as a binary attachment.
    • Mail transaction failed. Partial message is available.

    The attachment will have one of the following filenames:

    • body
    • doc
    • text
    • document
    • data
    • file
    • readme
    • message

    The filename also contains an extension (.exe, .bat, .scr, .cmd, or .pif). When the attachment is opened, the MyDoom.B virus is launched and the system is infected.

  2. Run and maintain an antivirus product

    It is important that you use antivirus software and keep it up to date. Most antivirus software vendors frequently release updated information, tools, or virus databases to help detect and recover from virus infections. Many antivirus packages support automatic updates of virus definitions. US-CERT recommends using these automatic updates when possible.

    You may wish to read CERT Incident Note IN-2003-01 for more information on anti-virus software and security issues.

  3. Do not run programs of unknown origin

    Do not download, install, or run a program unless it was written by a person or company that you trust.

    Email users should be wary of unexpected attachments. Be sure you know the source of an attachment before opening it. Also remember that it is not enough that the mail originated from an email address you recognize. The Melissa virus spread precisely because it originated from a familiar email address.

    In addition, MyDoom.B attempts to spread through file-sharing services like KaZaA. Peer-to-peer file sharing users should be particularly careful of running software sent to them by other users. This is a commonly used method among intruders attempting to build networks of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) agents.

  4. Use a personal firewall

    A personal firewall will not necessarily protect your system from an email-borne virus, but a properly configured personal firewall may prevent the virus from downloading additional components or launching attacks against other systems.

How to Identify a MyDoom.B Infection

To confirm that your system has been infected with the MyDoom.B virus, perform the following steps.

  1. Check the 'hosts' file

    MyDoom.B overwrites the Windows 'hosts' file. The file it replaces it with will probably prevent your system from accessing your antivirus vendor's web site as well as some other web sites. You can check your hosts file by following these steps:

      Windows NT/2000/XP Systems
    1. Click on the Start menu and select Run
    2. In the dialog box that appears, type cmd and hit OK (a DOS window should appear)
    3. At the prompt in the DOS window type type %windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
    4. If you see multiple lines starting with 0.0.0.0, your system is probably infected

      Windows 95/98/Me Systems
    1. Click on the Start menu and select Run
    2. In the dialog box that appears, type command and hit OK (a DOS window should appear)
    3. At the prompt in the DOS window type type %windir%\hosts
    4. If you see multiple lines starting with 0.0.0.0, your system is probably infected

  2. Check for files left by the virus

    MyDoom.B drops several files on an infected computer. The existence of these files is a good indication of infection. Be aware that thereare legitimate Windows files with names similar to those left by the virus. Only files with these names and in these specific directories indicate an infection.

      Windows NT/2000/XP Systems
    1. Click on the Start menu, select Search and then select For Files and Folders
    2. In the search box type explorer.exe
    3. The existence of explorer.exe in the System32 directory (typically C:\Windows\System32) is an indication of infection
    4. In the search box type ctfmon.dll
    5. The existence of ctfmon.dll in the System32 directory (typically C:\Windows\System32) is another indication of infection

      Windows 95/98/Me Systems
    1. Click on the Start menu, select Search
    2. In the search box type explorer.exe
    3. The existence of explorer.exe in the System directory (typically C:\Windows\System) is an indication of infection
    4. In the search box type ctfmon.dll
    5. The existence of ctfmon.dll in the System directory (typically C:\Windows\System) is another indication of infection
  3. Examine the Windows Registry

    The MyDoom.B virus also makes some changes to the Windows registry. Users who are unfamiliar with the registry should probably skip this step because it may cause serious damage to the operating system if accidental changes are made.

      Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP Systems
    1. At a DOS command prompt, type regedit.exe (the registry editor should appear)
    2. Search the Registry for the value Explorer=C:\WINDOWS\system32\explorer.exe in the key HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    3. The existence of this value is an indication of MyDoom.B infection

If Your System is Infected

If your system is infected, you will probably be unable to access your antivirus vendor's web site for assistance due to some changes the virus has made to your system. If this is the case, follow these steps to delete a file installed by the virus (do not do this unless you are infected; it may affect the normal operation of your system):

    Windows NT/2000/XP Systems
  1. Click on the Start menu and select Run
  2. In the dialog box that appears, type del %windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

    Windows 95/98/Me Systems
  1. Click on the Start menu and select Run
  2. In the dialog box that appears, type del %windir%\hosts

After deleting this file, you should be able to access your antivirus vendor's web site, obtain the updates to your antivirus software and perform a full scan of your system. Some antivirus vendors may produce a Removal Tool and make it available on their web site. If your vendor provides such a tool, you may want to use it first.

If you are still unsuccessful at removing the virus, contact your antivirus vendor to obtain further assistance with removal and recovery.

Additional Information

For additional technical details about this virus, please see US-CERT Technical Alert TA04-028A.html

Copyright 2004 Carnegie Mellon University. Terms of use

Revision History

  • January 28, 2004: Initial release
    January 30, 2004: Added formatting, revised content

    Last updated

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