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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 Unpublished notes.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 7: Network worms

Sircam worm

See also SirCam Worm coverage comparison

The worm sends itself from infected machines as an attached file stolen from the user My documents (or  Personal on NT 4) folder with a variable name and double extension:


where "ext1" can be one of the following variants: DOC, XLS, ZIP, or EXE.

Worm is sitting at the begining of the attached file and if user clicked on it it infecte the PC and then displays the document to the user.

 It looks like this worm was written by a decent programmer and is at least semi debugged. Can do some nasty damage to reputation of unsuspecting users ;-(. See pretty decent descriptions at Symantec, F-prot and Kaspersky

***** Symantec misses some facts provided by Kaspersky description (see below), but get most facts rights and also provide an important information that can be found nowhere else. For example Symantec was one of the few AV vendors that provided information about how worm uses registry keys can help to determine the extent of the damage. 

Later they even provided a small downloadable free disinfector for home users.

They also provided information about Scmx32.exe and office.exe  Startup folder:

7. There is a 1 in 33 chance that the following actions will occur:

The most important omission is that they hide the fact the worm cannot send any e-mail on Win2000 (and Win NT) systems due to a flaw in the code.  Also the fact that if MAPI is not properly configured on the system worm cannot get mail setting (this is the case on most Netscape only PCs, especially in corporate environment).

**** Kasperski I-Worm.Sircam, virus description [®] It looks like this time Kaspersky provides a quality information, but it misses the content of registry keys. 

*** F-secure info is decent, but lucks both depth and clarity (They improve is as of July 24).

** Sophos article Sircam - are you protected Sophos information is weak

* - W32-SirCam@MM Help Center Initial McAfee coverage was very weak  Later it was substantially improved and as of July 27 is competitive with Symantec and Kasperski. Still the list of documents that the worm send out is wrong. 

Who can be infected?
Any PC running Windows 9x and Windows Me. If can also infect Windows NT and 2000 but due to a flaw in the worm code SirCam cannot replicate itself those OSes.

For Windows 9x users this looks like a really dangerous thing, especially for those who use Outlook or just have MAPI configured correctly on Win32 (including Windows NT and Windows 2000) -- the worm does not need Outlook for functioning -- it has it's own built-in SMTP client. For NT 4 users it's not that dangerous (see above)

The most nasty thing is that this worm seems send certain files from C:\My Documents or C:\WINNT\Profiles\userid\Personal folder to addresses collected both from address book (if any) and IE temp files folder. For regular users of Internet that means hundreds of addresses are usually available for distributing some of My Document or Personal folder files even if the user has no addresses stored in the Outlook.

I would recommend to check My documents/Personal folders just in case ;-)

If case of infection SCam32.exe can be found in System32 folder and RECYCLED folder.

All descriptions seems missed the fact that SMTP settings need to be correct for the worm to work. Fortunately this is the case for many of NT 4 users (but not all).

If the user uses just Netscape and does not have IE or Outlook installed, then MAPI setting are often were not properly configured unless user have some other application that requires them.

One detail for Windows NT and 2000 -- the worm is written in Delphi and seems to have a memory leak --- virtual memory on the system soon is exhausted and Windows complains. This might serve as an early warning system ;-)



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 Hater’s 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

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

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