Threat Explorer

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08 March 2001
13 February 2007

VBS.MXBot@mm is a worm that emails itself to all addresses in the Microsoft Outlook address book.

VBS.MXBot@mm, like many other worms, is written in the Visual Basic Scripting language.
  • If you are using Norton AntiVirus 2001, a free program update is available that includes Script Blocking. Please run LiveUpdate to obtain this.
  • For other versions of Norton AntiVirus, SARC offers a tool to disable the Windows Scripting Host.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 09 March 2001
  • Latest Rapid Release version 28 September 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version 09 March 2001
  • Latest Daily Certified version 28 September 2010 revision 036
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date pending
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

VBS.MXBot@mm is a generic Visual Basic worm. It spreads by using Microsoft Outlook to send an email message to all address entries found within all Outlook address books. The email message is as follows:

Subject: NewMatrix Bot [Test Run only]

Message: NewMatrix Bot [Test Run only] if you send me anymore advertisement and there's gonna other bot coming.
you can get the cure at http: // -People2People Chat (ask the AI for the cure)

Attachment: Matrixbot.vbs

The worm changes the home page of Internet Explorer to http: //, and it modifies the registry so that it executes when you start Windows:

Registry changes in Windows 98
  • To the key


    it adds the value

    MSKernel32   C:\windows\system\MSKernel32.dll
  • To the key


    it adds the value

    Win32DLL     C:\WINDOWS\Win32DLL.vbs

Registry changes in Windows 2000
  • To the key


    it adds the value

    MSKernel32     C:\winnt\system32\MSKernel32.dll
  • To the key


    it adds the value

    Win32DLL     C:\WINNT\Win32DLL.vbs


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, follow these steps (detailed instructions follow):
  • Delete files detected as VBS.MXBot@mm
  • Remove the changes made to the registry
  • Restore the Internet Explorer home page.

To delete the worm files:
  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.MXBot@mm.

To edit the registry:

CAUTION : We strongly recommend that you back up the system registry before making any changes. Incorrect changes to the registry could result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Please make sure you modify only the keys specified. Please see the document How to back up the Windows registry before proceeding.
  1. Click Start, and click Run. The Run dialog box appears.
  2. Type regedit and then click OK. The Registry Editor opens.
  3. Navigate to the following key:

  4. In the right pane, locate and delete the value

    MSKernel32  <Path>

    NOTE: The <Path> will differ with the operating system.
  5. Navigate to the following key:

  6. In the right pane, locate and delete the value

    Win32DLL     <Path>

    NOTE: The <Path> will differ with the operating system.
  7. Close the Registry Editor.

To restore the Internet Explorer home page:
This will vary with your version of Internet Explorer. See the Internet Explorer documentation for instructions.

Writeup By: Kaoru Hayashi