Threat Explorer

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20 August 2001
13 February 2007

VBS.Proud.A@mm is a worm that creates hundreds of files that have the file extensions .doc, .xls, .ppt, and .jpg. It then opens a Web page that covers soccer, and sends email to all contacts in the Microsoft Outlook address book.

Jens Jeremies is a German football (soccer) player.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 20 August 2001
  • Latest Rapid Release version 28 September 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version 20 August 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.

When it is executed, this worm performs the following actions:
  1. It creates a total of 408 files, as follows:
    • It uses the format


      where xxx is a number and yyy is one of the following file extensions: .doc, .xls, .ppt, or .jpg.
    • It creates 51 files of each extension in both the root of drive C and the C:\Windows\Desktop folder. (This results in the creation of 204 files in each location).

      The .doc and .xls files contain the text "Everybody Loves Jens Jeremies!" while the .ppt and .jpg files are empty (zero bytes).
  2. The worm copies itself to the \System folder as the file Mensa_IQ_Test.doc.vbs.
  3. It then adds the value

    AntiVirus   <system folder>\Mensa_IQ_Test.doc.vbs

    to the registry key


    so that the script runs each time that Windows starts.
  4. It resets the value of

    \Start Page

    in both

    Internet Explorer\Main


    Internet Explorer\Main

    to point to a German language Web page that provides coverage of soccer player Jens Jeremies. This resets the home page used by Internet Explorer to this page.
  5. It next resets the value of


    in the registry key



    Jens Jeremies' Computer
  6. It resets the value of


    in the key



    Jens Jeremies
  7. The worm then uses the default Web browser to open the page that it configured as the Internet Explorer home page.
  8. Next, it sends an email message to all contacts in the Microsoft Outlook address book. The message contents are:

    Subject: Try this IQ test
    Hey! Check out this IQ test I found on the net. I scored in the 98th percentile! If you get more than 24 correct then you are a genius. See how you go.
    (the name that was extracted from the RegisteredOwner registry value before it was changed by the worm)
  9. Finally the worm displays the message

    You are very intelligent.
    You scored in the 98th percentile!
    Jens Jeremies is proud of you.


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, perform the following steps (instructions follow):
  • Remove the worm by deleting all files that are detected as VBS.Proud.A@mm.
  • Delete the files that the worm added.
  • Reverse the changes that the worm made to the registry.
  • Reset the Internet Explorer home page.

To remove the 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. Be sure that NAV is configured to scan all files.
  3. Delete all files that are detected as VBS.Proud.A@mm.

To delete the files that the worm added:
  1. Click Start, point to Find or Search, and click Files or Folders.
  2. Make sure that "Look in" is set to (C:) and that Include subfolders is checked.
  3. In the "Named" or "Search for..." box, type--or copy and paste--the following text:

  4. Click Find Now or Search Now.
  5. Delete the files that are displayed.

To edit the registry:

CAUTION : We strongly recommend that you back up the system registry before you make any changes. Incorrect changes to the registry could result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Please make sure that you modify only the keys that are specified. Please see the document How to back up the Windows registry before you proceed.
  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 key

  4. In the right pane, delete the value

    AntiVirus   <system folder>\Mensa_IQ_Test.doc.vbs
  5. (Optional) Navigate to the key


    In the right pane, double-click the value


    and change it back to the correct name for your computer.
  6. (Optional) Navigate to the key


    In the right pane, double-click the value


    and change it back to the register owner of your computer.
  7. Exit the Registry Editor.
To reset the Internet Explorer home page:
  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. Go to the page that you want to use as your home page.
  3. Click Tools, click Internet Options, and then click Use Current.

Writeup By: Dave Adamczyk