Threat Explorer

The Threat Explorer is a comprehensive resource consumers can turn to for daily, accurate, up-to-date information on the latest threats, risks and vulnerabilities.



10 July 2001
13 February 2007

The VBS.Reality.B virus prepends itself to the .htt, .asp, .htm, and .html files on the local computer.

Note: Virus definitions dated prior to February 12, 2004 detect this threat as HTML.Reality.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 10 July 2001
  • Latest Rapid Release version 28 September 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version 10 July 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 this virus is first executed, it modifies the registry so that the security check, which normally prevents scripts from running, is disabled. When the virus is executed on the local computer, it infects the .htt, .asp, .htm, and .html files in the current folder and in several subfolders under the \Windows and \Program Files folders. It does this by prepending itself to the host.

When the virus is executed, there is a 50% chance that the first payload, which drops a parasitic .com infector, will activate. However, due to a number of bugs, the payload is never executed.

On the 5th, 15th, and 30th of any month, the second payload activates. This payload changes the following registry settings:
  • ProductName
  • RegisteredOwner
  • RegisteredOrganization
  • Start Page

These settings are changed to the ones containing profanity.


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.

Run LiveUpdate to make sure that you have the most recent virus definitions.
  1. Start Norton AntiVirus and run a full system scan, making sure that Norton AntiVirus is set to scan all the files.
  2. Delete any files detected as VBS.Reality.B
  3. If necessary, restore the infected files from a clean backup.

Writeup By: Peter Ferrie