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14 December 2004
13 February 2007
Also Known As:
Trojan.VBS.Spore.a [Kaspersky], VBS/Sorpe@MM [McAfee]
Systems Affected:

VBS.Sorpe.B@mm is a mass-mailing worm that sends itself to the email addresses gathered from the files on an infected computer. The worm also disables various system utilities including the Registry Editor and Microsoft Notepad.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 14 December 2004
  • Latest Rapid Release version 28 September 2010 revision 054
  • Initial Daily Certified version 14 December 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version 28 September 2010 revision 036
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date 14 December 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When VBS.Sorpe.B@mm is executed, it performs the following actions:

  1. Terminates any running process with the following strings in its name:
    • Script
    • Block

  2. Drops and executes %System%\Winmgmt32.vbs to terminate any process named Taskmgr.exe.

    Note: %System% is a variable that refers to the System folder. By default, this is C:\Windows\System (Windows 95/98/Me), C:\Winnt\System32 (Windows NT/2000), or C:\Windows\System32 (Windows XP).

  3. Copies itself as the following files:
    • %System%\Scmhlpr.vbs
    • %Windir%\System\Scmhlpr.vbs
    • %Windir%\AppLogs\Applog32.vbs
    • C:\Program Files\WindowsUpdate\Wuauclt.tmp\dwnldscn.vbs

      • %ProgramFiles% is a variable that refers to the program files folder. By default, this is C:\Program Files.
      • %Windir% is a variable that refers to the Windows installation folder. By default, this is C:\Windows (Windows 95/98/Me/XP)or C:\Winnt (Windows NT/2000).

  4. Drops and executes the following files:
    • %System%\ActiveUser32.reg
    • %System%\Win32Reg.reg
    • %System%\MsMisc.reg
    • %Windir%\System\Win32Reg.reg
    • %Windir%\System\ActiveUser32.reg
    • %Windir%\System\MsMisc.reg
    • %Windir%\System\MsMisc.reg
    • %Windir%\System\Winmgmt32.vbs

  5. Adds the value:

    "Spore.b" = "%System%\Scmhlpr.vbs"

    to the registry key:


    so that the worm is run when Windows starts.

  6. Adds the values:

    "RestrictRun" = "1"
    "NoFolderOptions" = "1"
    "NoWinKeys" = "1"
    "NoViewContextMenu" = "1"
    "NoClose" = "1"
    "NoSetFolders" = "1"
    "NoDrives" = "0x03ffffff"
    "NoRun" = "1"
    "NoFind" = "1"

    to the registry key:


    to disable various system utilities.

  7. Adds the value:

    "DisableRegistryTools" = "1"

    to the registry key:


    to disable the Registry Editor.

  8. Adds the values:

    "1" = "notepad.exe"
    "2" = "wordpad.exe"
    "3" = "write.exe"
    "4" = "wuauclt.exe"

    to the registry key:


    to disable various system utilities.

  9. Adds the value:

    "Window Title" = "vbs.Spore.b@mm (c) 2004"

    to the registry key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

    to disable various system utilities.

  10. Creates the registry entries:


  11. Adds the value:

    "Sys_Infected" = "vbs.Spore.b@mm"

    to the registry key:


  12. Deletes the files on the Desktop and in the Internet Explorer Favorites folder.

  13. Adds shortcuts to the Favorites folder that mainly point to adult-content Web sites.

  14. Gathers email addresses from the files on fixed and network drives that have the following file extensions:
    • .asp
    • .doc
    • .hta
    • .hte
    • .htm
    • .html
    • .htt
    • .htx
    • .rtf
    • .shtml
    • .stm
    • .txt
    • .xml

  15. Sends a copy of itself to the email addresses that it gathers from the infected computer, using CDO messaging. The email has the following properties:


    To: (Spoofed)

    Subject: (One of the following)
    • Fw: Reminder to be aware of internet scams
    • Re: Have you been a victim to internet scams
    • A friendly reminder to ALL online bank users  
    • Fw: Dont be another victim..!!
    • PHISHING the new way of internet banking scams
    • Re: Help stop the internet scammers
    • Fw: WARNING are a online banker..??
    • Re: Gone phishing online.?? Well others have.!!
    • Have you been hooked by an online PHISHERMAN..???
    • Fw: Could you tell if you have been scammed online.??

      Message Body:

      To whom it may concern,

      We at are just warning all the online banking account users to watch out for suspicious emails and web sites. If you would like to know more about how to report and avoid being a victim to another new internet scam then please read the attached file. Thank you for your time.

      Attachment name: Scmhlpr.vbs

  16. Displays the following error message:

    Windows Script Host

    : (One of the following)
    • wscript.exe
    • cscript.exe

      Line: (Random number between 0 and 499)

      Char: (Random number between 0 and 999)

      Error: (One of the following)
    • Expected end of statement
    • Object required: 'Virus Scan..!!'
    • Expected 'System Update..!!'
    • Syntax error
    • Unterminated string constant

      Code: (One of the following)
    • V!RU$ !nFeCt!oN
    • vbs.Spore.b@mm
    • y0u @sSh0l3
    • To0 l@t3 $uCk3r
    • DaMaGe !s d0n3
    • $yst3m_0v3rl0aD
    • $yst3m_!nFeCt!oN
    • $yst3m_3rRoR
    • BufF3r_Ov3rFl0w
    • FaRr-Qu3 Lo0s3r

      Source: (One of the following)
    • Microsoft VBScript compilation error
    • Microsoft VBScript runtime error


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.

The following instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.
  1. Disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP).
  2. Update the virus definitions.
  3. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as VBS.Sorpe.B@mm.
  4. Restore the Registry Editor.
  5. Delete the value that was added to the registry.
  6. Delete the Web sites added to the Internet Explorer Favorites menu.
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. To disable System Restore (Windows Me/XP)
If you are running Windows Me or Windows XP, we recommend that you temporarily turn off System Restore. Windows Me/XP uses this feature, which is enabled by default, to restore the files on your computer in case they become damaged. If a virus, worm, or Trojan infects a computer, System Restore may back up the virus, worm, or Trojan on the computer.

Windows prevents outside programs, including antivirus programs, from modifying System Restore. Therefore, antivirus programs or tools cannot remove threats in the System Restore folder. As a result, System Restore has the potential of restoring an infected file on your computer, even after you have cleaned the infected files from all the other locations.

Also, a virus scan may detect a threat in the System Restore folder even though you have removed the threat.

For instructions on how to turn off System Restore, read your Windows documentation, or one of the following articles:
When you are completely finished with the removal procedure and are satisfied that the threat has been removed, re-enable System Restore by following the instructions in the aforementioned documents.

For additional information, and an alternative to disabling Windows Me System Restore, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article, "Antivirus Tools Cannot Clean Infected Files in the _Restore Folder ," Article ID: Q263455.

2. To update the virus definitions
Symantec Security Response fully tests all the virus definitions for quality assurance before they are posted to our servers. There are two ways to obtain the most recent virus definitions:
  • Running LiveUpdate, which is the easiest way to obtain virus definitions: These virus definitions are posted to the LiveUpdate servers once each week (usually on Wednesdays), unless there is a major virus outbreak. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by LiveUpdate, refer to the Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate).
  • Downloading the definitions using the Intelligent Updater: The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are posted daily. You should download the definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site and manually install them. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, refer to the Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater).

    The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are available: Read "How to update virus definition files using the Intelligent Updater" for detailed instructions.."

3. To scan for and delete the infected files
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files.
  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. If any files are detected as infected with VBS.Sorpe.B@mm, click Delete.

    If your Symantec antivirus product reports that it cannot delete an infected file, Windows may be using the file. To fix this, run the scan in Safe mode. For instructions, read the document, "How to start the computer in Safe Mode." Once you have restarted in Safe mode, run the scan again.

    (After the files are deleted, you can leave the computer in Safe mode and proceed with section 4. When that is done, restart the computer in Normal mode.)
d. Navigate to and delete the following non- viral files, if they exist:
      • %System%\ActiveUser32.reg
      • %System%\MsMisc.reg
      • %System%\Winmgmt32.reg
      • %Windir%\System\ActiveUser32.reg
      • %Windir%\System\MsMisc.reg
      • %Windir%\System\Winmgmt32.reg

4. To restore the Registry Editor
  1. Click Start > Programs > Accessories > Notepad.
  2. Type:


    DisableRegistryTools = dword:00000000

    DisableRegistryTools = dword:00000000

  3. Save the file as fix.reg in My Documents.

  4. Click Start > Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.

  5. Type cd %Userprofile%\My Documents.

    Note: %Userprofile% is a variable that refers to the current user's profile folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User> (Windows NT/2000/XP).
  6. Type regedit /s fix.reg to unlock the Registry Editor.

  7. Type regedit to open the Registry Editor.

5. To delete the value from the registry
Important: Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before making any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify the specified keys only. Read the document, "How to make a backup of the Windows registry ," for instructions.
  1. Navigate to the key:


  2. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "Spore.b" = "%System%\Scmhlpr.vbs"

  3. Navigate to the key:


  4. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "RestrictRun" = "1"
    "NoFolderOptions" = "1"
    "NoWinKeys" = "1"
    "NoViewContextMenu" = "1"
    "NoClose" = "1"
    "NoSetFolders" = "1"
    "NoDrives" = "0x03ffffff"
    "NoRun" = "1"
    "NoFind" = "1"

  5. Navigate to the key:


  6. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "1" = "notepad.exe"
    "2" = "wordpad.exe"
    "3" = "write.exe"
    "4" = "wuauclt.exe"

  7. Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

  8. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "Window Title" = "vbs.Spore.b@mm"

  9. Navigate to and delete the keys:


  10. Navigate to the key:


  11. In the right pane, delete the value:

    "Sys_Infected" = "vbs.Spore.b@mm"

  12. Exit the Registry Editor.

6. To delete the Web sites added to the Internet Explorer Favorites menu
    1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer
    2. Click Favorites > Organize Favorites
    3. Delete the shortcuts that the threat added.

Writeup By: Kevin Ha