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18 September 2000
13 February 2007
Also Known As:

VBS.Funny.A is a worm that spreads using Microsoft Outlook. When executed, the worm opens your Web browser and attempts to connect to the following Web site:

(Visiting this location does not damage your computer.) The worm then checks for the existence of a registry key used by the United Bank of Switzerland's PIN software. If the key exists, the worm creates an executable file. This file is a Trojan horse. It logs cached passwords and keyboard input. The Trojan horse is detected as Infostealer.

NOTE: This worm was previously detected as VBS.NewLove.A.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 18 September 2000
  • Latest Rapid Release version 20 August 2008 revision 017
  • Initial Daily Certified version 18 September 2000
  • Latest Daily Certified version 20 August 2008 revision 016
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date pending
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When executed, this worm creates the Funny_story.htm.vbs file in the \Windows\System folder. It attempts to connect to . It then begins executing the malicious payload, as follows:
  1. The worm searches for the following registry key:


    This registry key is set by the PIN software from the UBS bank and only exists if the PIN software is installed.
    • If the UBS banking PIN software is not installed, the worm emails itself to everyone in the Microsoft Outlook address book. It then deletes itself from the \Windows\System folder.
    • If the worm finds the PIN software from UBS bank, it creates an executable file named Startx.exe. This is accomplished by first creating a temporary file and a .bat file.
  2. Next, the worm inserts the temporary file into Debug.exe. This results in a file named Startx. The .bat file renames Startx to Startx.exe. The .bat file then executes the newly created executable file and deletes the worm from the \Windows\System folder.
Startx.exe is a Trojan horse. It is detected as Infostealer. This Trojan horse steals passwords and logs keyboard inputs. The worm modifies a file named Hsys.ocx in the \Windows\System folder. This file appears to be related to the PIN software from UBS.


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.

To remove this worm:
  1. Run LiveUpdate to make sure that you have the most recent virus definitions.
  2. Start Norton AntiVirus (NAV), and run a full system scan, making sure that NAV is set to scan all files.
  3. Delete any files detected as VBS.Funny.A.

Writeup By: Neal Hindocha