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Fighting the 911 Virus

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Posted: 3 Apr 2000
 

In case you haven't seen it yet, be aware of the new 911 Virus. Here's the scoop from the SANS Institute:

At 8:00 am on Saturday, April 1 (This is not an April Fool's joke!) the FBI announced it had discovered malicious code wiping out the data on hard drives and dialing 911. This is a vicious virus and needs to be stopped quickly. That can only be done through wide-scale individual action. Please forward this note to everyone who you know who might be affected.

The 911 virus is the first "Windows shares virus." Unlike recent viruses that propagate though e-mail, the 911 virus silently jumps directly from machine to machine across the Internet by scanning for, and exploiting, open Windows shares. After successfully reproducing itself in other Internet-connected machines (to assure its continued survival) it uses the machine's modem to dial 911 and erases the local machine's hard drive. The virus is operational; victims are already reporting wiped-out hard drives. The virus was launched through AOL, AT&T, MCI, and NetZero in the Houston area. The investigation points to relatively limited distribution so far, but there are no walls in the Internet.

Action 1: Defense

Verify that your system and those of all your coworkers, friends, and associates are not vulnerable by verifying that file sharing is turned off.

  • On a Windows 95/98 system, system-wide file sharing is managed by selecting My Computer, Control Panel, Networks, and clicking on the File and Print Sharing button. For folder-by-folder controls, you can use Windows Explorer (Start, Programs, Windows Explorer) and highlight a primary folder such as My Documents and then right mouse click and select properties. There you will find a tab for sharing.
  • On a Windows NT, check Control Panel, Server, Shares.

For an excellent way to instantly check system vulnerability, and for detailed assistance in managing Windows file sharing, see: Shields Up! A free service from Gibson Research.

Action 2: Forensics

If you find that you did have file sharing turned on, search your hard drive for hidden directories named "chode", "foreskin", or "dickhair" (we apologize for the indiscretion - but those are the real directory names). These are HIDDEN directories, so you must configure the Find command to show hidden directories. Under the Windows Explorer menu choose View/Options: "Show All Files".

If you find those directories: remove them.

And, if you find them, and want help from law enforcement, call the FBI National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) Watch Office at 202-323-3204/3205/3206. The FBI/NIPC has done an extraordinary job of getting data out early on this virus and deserves both kudos and cooperation.

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