Threat Explorer

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21 September 2000
13 February 2007
Also Known As:
VBS.President.Worm, VBS/Columbia, VBS.LoveLetter.Variant, VBS.Plan.B

VBS.LoveLetter.BM spreads using Microsoft Outlook. It attempts to email itself to all contacts who have not yet been targeted by the worm. The payload of this worm overwrites files that have certain extensions.

Definitions prior to February 26, 2001 detected this as VBS.Plan.B. Definitions prior to September 21, 2000 detected this as Bloodhound.VBS.Worm.

The subject line is one of the following:
  • [String of 6 random characters]
  • [No Subject]

The body of the email is one of the following:
  • [String of 10 random characters]
  • [No Body Text]

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 21 September 2000
  • Latest Rapid Release version 03 March 2008 revision 035
  • Initial Daily Certified version 21 September 2000
  • Latest Daily Certified version 03 March 2008 revision 037
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date pending
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When executed, VBS.LoveLetter.BM does the following:
  1. It copies itself to:
    • \System\Linux32.vbs
    • \Windows\Reload.vbs
    • \System\[Random File Name].vbs
  2. It modifies the registry so that when Microsoft Internet Explorer starts, it downloads three additional files. If successful, these files are then integrated into the system so that they start automatically when Windows starts.
  3. VBS.LoveLetter.BM then searches out specific files on all available drives, including mapped network volumes, and overwrites them with its own code. Files with the following extensions are targeted:
    • .css
    • .hta
    • .jpeg
    • .jpg
    • .js
    • .jse
    • .mp2
    • .mp3
    • .sct
    • .vbe
    • .vbs
    • .wsh
  4. If the date is September 17 of any year, the following message appears:

    Dedicated to my best brother=Christiam Julian(C.J.G.S.)
    Att. [random word] (M.H.M. TEAM)
  5. An attempt is then made to remove all network drives.


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 that are detected as infected by VBS.LoveLetter.BM.

Writeup By: Gor Nazaryan