Threat Explorer

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28 May 2001
13 February 2007
Also Known As:
VBS.Nasara.A@mm, VBS/NastySarah@m is an intended virus, coded to run as a mass-mailing worm that uses MAPI applications, Microsoft Outlook, or Internet Information Server (IIS) to spread. It also attempts to modify the Autoexec.bat file to delete the contents of drive C.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 28 May 2001
  • Latest Rapid Release version 28 September 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version 28 May 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. is an intended virus, coded to use MAPI.

NOTE: The virus suffix ".int" indicates a threat that is intended to spread, but does not, due to bugs or errors in the viral code.

The intention of this virus was to do the following:

If MAPI is not installed, it attempts to spread by using Collaboration Data Objects for NT Server (CDONTS) of Microsoft SMTP Service, which is installed with IIS 4 or later. If it cannot find either, the worm then uses Microsoft Outlook. If the worm cannot find any of these programs, it displays following message and quits:

Hey!  Haven't you heard!  There's a VBS worm spreading by this very filename!  You're lucky you didn't get hit!  Forward this warning on to all of your contacts, so they won't get hit by the bug!

If the worm does find one of these programs, it deletes any email message that includes the word "NASTYSARAH" in the subject or message. It then spreads by automatically replying to messages that you received previously, as follows:

Message: Hey!  Thanks for your mail!  I've been kind of busy lately, and haven't really had time to do a full reply, so, until I do, check this out.

<User Name>

<Copy of message that is being replied to>

Attachment: NastySarah.jpg.vbs

If the recipient replies to that message, the virus then sends following message back to them:

Trust me, the JPG's safe.  Yes, I did send it.

<User Name>

On May 31, the virus modifies the Autoexec.bat file to delete the entire contents of drive C after displaying the following message:

Have you ever heard of that fat, ugly bitch Sarah Gordon?  She claims to be 'discovering what drives us', but really, she just pisses us off!  In honor of Sarah Gordon, fat bitch of the high seas!

VBS/NastySarah@m is Copyright (C), FileSystemObject 2001.


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.

  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

Writeup By: Kaoru Hayashi