Threat Explorer

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13 February 2007

VBS.Scary.A presents itself as a genie who will give the answer to the secret of life. Very soon after clicking through the first several message boxes it turns out to be a pest and a worm, e-mailing itself to all entries in the Outlook address book. The e-mail subject is "The Secret of Life" and the worm file is attached. To distract the user's attention, this worm heavily relies on human interaction, asking several questions.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 17 November 2000
  • Latest Rapid Release version 28 September 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version 17 November 2000
  • 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 VBS.Scary is first run, it checks for the presence of the files WinGen.dll in the Windows\System directory and Godzilla in the Temp directory. If WinGen.dll is found, VBS.Scary.A displays a message box asking:
"[Name], don't you think I've caused enough trouble?"
    • If the user replies by answering No, the worm replies with "Here we go again..." and a flag is set to not resend itself and not to display the initial presentation of itself.
    • If the user replies by answering Yes, the worm replies with "I agree too. 'Bye".

Immediately thereafter, VBS.Scary.A starts to email itself to all addresses in the Outlook address book.

During the first run, this worm asks the users' name and make a derogatory comment about it. It will then ask if it can format all available drives. After answering Yes or No, the worm pretends to fetch and transmit passwords to someone. In reality, this does not happen. It is just a fake message. After that, VBS.Scary.A pretends to format all available drives, while in reality it only inserts dummy files to show drive activity.


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.

Files detected as VBS.Scary.A should be deleted.
Writeup By: Andre Post