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Malware Defense History

by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov.

Copyright: Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov 1994-2013. Unpublished notes. Version 0.80.October, 2013

Contents : Foreword : Ch01 : Ch02 : Ch03  : Ch04 : Ch05 : Ch06 : Ch07 : Ch08 : Ch09 : Ch10 : Ch11 : Ch12 : Ch13

Chapter 6: Mail Worms

Magistr Worm

March 13, 2001

W32.Magistr.24876@mm is a virus that has email worm capability. It is also network aware. It infects Windows Portable Executable (PE) files, with the exception of .dll system files, and sends email messages to addresses that it gathers from the Outlook/Outlook Express mail folders (.dbx, .mbx), the sent items file from Netscape, and Windows address books (.wab), which are used by mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Express,. The email message may have up to two attachments, and it has a randomly generated subject line and message body.


Technical description

When a file that is infected by W32.Magistr.24876@mm is executed, it searches in memory for a readable, writable, initialized section inside the memory space of Explorer.exe. If one is found, a 110-byte routine is inserted into that area, and the TranslateMessage function is hooked to point to that routine. This code first appeared in W32.Dengue.

When the inserted code gains control, a thread is created and the original TranslateMessage function is called. The thread waits for three minutes before activating. Then the virus obtains the name of the computer, converts it to a base64 string, and depending on the first character of the name, creates a file in either the \Windows folder, the \Program Files folder, or the root folder. This file contains certain information, such as the location of the email address books and the date of initial infection. Then it retrieves the current user's email name and address information from the registry (Outlook, Exchange, Internet Mail and News), or the Prefs.js file (Netscape). The virus keeps in its body a history of the 10 most recently infected users, and these names are visible in infected files when the virus is decrypted. After this, the virus searches for the Sent file in the Netscape folder, and for .wab, .mbx, and .dbx files in the \Windows and \Program Files folders.

If an active Internet connection exists, the virus searches for up to five .doc and .txt files and chooses a random number of words from one of these files. These words are used to construct the subject and message body of the email message. Then the virus searches for up to 20 .exe and .scr files smaller than 128 KB, infects one of these files, attaches the infected file to the new message, and sends this message to up to 100 people from the address books. In addition there is a 20-percent chance that it will attach the file from which the subject and message body was taken, and an 80-percent chance that it will add the number 1 to the second character of the sender address. This last change prevents replies from being returned to you and possibly alerting you to the infection.

After the mailing is done, the virus searches for up to 20 .exe and .scr files, and infect one of these files. Then there is a 25-percent chance, if the Windows directory is named one of the following:

that the virus will move the infected file into the \Windows folder and alter the file name slightly. Once the file is moved, a run= line is added to the Win.ini file to run the virus whenever the computer is started. In the other 75 percent of cases, the virus will create a registry subkey in


The name of this subkey is the name of the file without a suffix, and the value is the complete file name of the infected file. The virus then searches all local hard drives and all shared folders on the network for up to 20 .exe and .scr files to infect, and add the run= line if the \Windows folder exists in that location.

If the computer has been infected for one month and at least 100 people have been sent an infected file, and if at least three files contain at least three examples from the following list:

sentences you
sentences him to
sentence you to
ordered to prison
, judge
circuit judge
trial judge
found guilty
find him guilty
judgment of conviction
guilty plea
trial court
trial chamber
sufficiency of proof
sufficiency of the evidence
against the accused
habeas corpus
trouvons coupable
a rembourse
sous astreinte
aux entiers depens
aux depens
ayant delibere
le present arret
vu l'arret
conformement a la loi
execution provisoire
audience publique
a fait constater
cadre de la procedure
recurso de apelaci
pena de arresto
y condeno
mando y firmo
calidad de denunciante
costas procesales
diligencias previas
antecedentes de hecho
hechos probados
dictando la presente
los autos
en autos
denuncia presentada

then the virus will activate the first of its payloads. This payload is similar to that of W32.Kriz, and it does the following:

This payload is repeated infinitely.

If the computer has been infected for two months, then on odd days the desktop icons are repositioned whenever the mouse pointer approaches, giving the impression that the icons are "running away" from the mouse:

If the computer has been infected for three months, then the infected file is deleted.

For files that are infected by W32.Magistr.24876@mm, the entry point address remains the same, but up to 512 bytes of garbage code is placed at that location. This garbage code transfers control to the last section. A polymorphic encrypted body is appended to the last section. The virus is hostile to debuggers and will crash the computer if a debugger is found.



Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

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