Threat Description



Aliases:Silver, IWorm_Silver, I-Worm.Silver
Category: Malware
Platform: W32


Silver is a dangerous worm spreading through the Internet and IRC channels, as well as infecting files on a local network. The worm itself is a Windows application written in Delphi. It is about 90Kb long (the worm also may be compressed by a PE EXE compression tool, so the actual file size can be less than original).


Automatic action

Once detected, the F-Secure security product will automatically disinfect the suspect file by either deleting it or renaming it.


You may wish to refer to the Support Community for further assistance. You also may also refer to General Removal Instructions for a general guide on alternative disinfection actions.

Technical Details

The worm tries two different methods to send infected e-mails from infected computers. First of all, it looks for Eudora e-mailer installed in a system. If it is present, the worm scans Eudora outgoing email database (OUT.MBX file), gets e-mail addresses from there and sends infected e-mails with the attached worm's copy to these addresses. The worm's messages look like this:

Subject: concerning last week ...
 Text: Please review the enclosed and get back with me ASAP.
 Double click the Icon to open it.
 Attach:  c:\silver.exe

Then the worm tries to access an installed e-mail system not depending on the brand. The worm uses MAPI functions to do this: it connects to the installed e-mail system, gets messages from there, reads e-mail addresses and uses them to send its copies. In this case the messages look like this:

Subject: Re: now this is a nice pic :-)
 Text: Thought you might be interested in seeing her
 Attach:  naked.jpg.exe

To affect IRC clients the worm looks for C:\MIRC, C:\MIRC32, C:\PIRCH98 directories and overwrites IRC scripts in there with a program that sends a copy of the worm to each user who enters an infected IRC channel.

The mIRC script has also additional features. When a user sends a message to IRC channel that contains a word 'silverrat', the worm replies to that user with 'I have the Silver Rat virus' message (so the worm reports about infected computers). If the 'pyrealrat' text is found in a channel, the script opens the C: drive on affected machine as file server (that gives access to all data on the C: drive to a hacker).

To infect remote computers on the network, the worm scans all drives from C: to Z: and looks for WINDOWS directory. If there is one, the worm copies itself there and registers itself in Windows. The worm adds its execution string to auto-run section in WIN.INI file, or to Registry depending on Windows version (Win9x or WinNT). This means that the worm is able to infect remote computers in case their drives are shared for reading/writing.

To install itself into the system, the worm copies itself to directories with these names:

 to C: drive root dir:  SILVER.EXE

The worm then registers itself in auto-run fields in the system registry:


All these fields contain the instruction:

 "Silver Rat" = WinDir\silver.exe

where "WinDir" is the name of the Windows directory.

As a result the worm copy is executed four times on each Windows startup. Furthermore, the worm affects more registry keys to run itself more times (and to send more infected emails as a result).

Windows applications are linked with filename extensions by special records in the system registry. These records point to application that is run to process files with specified extension. When a file is opened, Windows gets its extension and then refers to system registry to get the name of application that processes files of that type.

The worm uses that Windows feature and modifies more than 100 such registry keys - it replaces original reference to applications with a reference to its own copy (SILVER.VXD). The worm does that for three different keys per application:


The patched registry keys looks like follows:

HKCR\AIFFFILE\shell\open\command = "C:\WINDOWS\silver.vxd 33157 "%1" %"
 HKCR\AIFFFILE\shell\play\command = "C:\WINDOWS\silver.vxd 53157 "%1" %"
 HKCR\ASFFILE\shell\open\command = "C:\WINDOWS\silver.vxd 379157 "%1" %"

where digits in the line are IDs to run the host file (see below).

The list of affected applications (registry keys that link filename extension with application) is rather large:

accesshtmlfileiqyfile regeditfonfile
 accessthmltemplate  IVFfile regfileGatewayFile
 AIFFFILEjpegfileSHCmdFile htafile
 AllaireTemplate  JSFile  SoundRec  icsfile
 anifile ldap tgafilemhtmlfile
 artfile mailto  txtfileMMS
 aspfile mic  VBSFileMMST
 AudioCD MIDFile wab_auto_fileMMSU
 aufile  moneyWinamp.File  NSM
 Briefcase  MPEGFILEWinRAR.ZIPmotiffile
 cdafile MPlayer WinZip Msi.Package
 Chat mscfile wrifileMsi.Patch
 CSSfile msee WSFFileofc.Document
 curfile msgfile x-internet-signup  ofx.Document
 DrWatsonLogNet2PhoneApp  xmlfilePNM
 Excel.Workspace  NetscapeMarkupxnkfileqwb.Document
 ftp  news xslfilertsp
 giffile nntp m3ufilescpfile
 helpfileNotes.Link ASFFilescriptletfile
 hlpfile ossfile ASXFileSSM
 htfile  outlook BeHostFileThemeFile
 htmlfilePBrush  ChannelFile  TIFImage.Document
 http pcxfile chm.file  ttffile
 httpspngfile CMCDWangImage.Document
 icofile powerpointhtmlfile  Connection Manager Profile  Whiteboard
 icquser ramfile eybfileWIFImage.Document
 inifile RealMedia FilefndfileWSHFile

The worm stores original keys in the another registry key:

HKLM\Software\Silver Rat

This key contains the list of all keys that were replaced as it was shown above. This list is used by the worm to run original application: the worm gets application name and command line from that "backup" list, and spawns it.

Such method of affecting system registry is very dangerous. In the case that the worm copy is removed from the system, Windows cannot pass files to applications that are listed above. As a result, Windows stays mostly nonfunctional after that. In a case that a file from affected list is opened, it reports an error message that the associated SILVER.VXD cannot be found.

The worm pays special attention to system backup files and gets rid of them to prevent restoring the registry files from backup. The worm corrupts (overwrites first 5K of each file with trash data) and deletes the files to do this:

USER.DA0 and SYSTEM.DA0 in Windows directory
 SYSTEM.1ST in root directory of C: drive

The worm has a payload routine that is run in a case of "uninstalling". The worm creates the "uninstall" key in system registry:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Silver Rat
  DisplayName  = "Silver Rat Virus"
  UninstallString = "c:\silver.exe /uninstall"

As a result, the worm record is visible in ControlPanel/AddRemovePrograms window as "Silver Rat Virus". If the "Remove" button is pressed, the worm displays the message box:

 "I have to return some videos" - American Psycho

and fills the header line in the Recycle Bin window with garbage.

The worm looks for active anti-virus applications and terminates them by their names:

AVP Monitor
 Norton AntiVirus Auto-Protect
 Norton AntiVirus v5.0
 McAfee VirusScan Scheduler
 WRQ NAMApp Class

It also looks for anti-virus files (databases) and deletes them:

 *.DAT (NAI)

The worm also tries to affect VBS files but fails because of a bug.

Description Created: Sami Rautiainen, July 13th, 2005;
Technical Details: Eugene Kaspersky, KL


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