Threat Descriptons



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W97M/Ping.A virus infects when open documents. The virus payload consists of pinging to four Internet sites with a big buffer size, until it is interrupted. The virus hides this process.

Ping.A does not spread automatically over email, unlike the B variant.


Based on the settings of your F-Secure security product, it will either move the file to the quarantine where it cannot spread or cause harm, or remove it.

A False Positive is when a file is incorrectly detected as harmful, usually because its code or behavior resembles known harmful programs. A False Positive will usually be fixed in a subsequent database update without any action needed on your part. If you wish, you may also:

  • Check for the latest database updates

    First check if your F-Secure security program is using the latest updates, then try scanning the file again.

  • Submit a sample

    After checking, if you still believe the file is incorrectly detected, you can submit a sample of it for re-analysis.

    Note: If the file was moved to quarantine, you need to collect the file from quarantine before you can submit it.

  • Exclude a file from further scanning

    If you are certain that the file is safe and want to continue using it, you can exclude it from further scanning by the F-Secure security product.

    Note: You need administrative rights to change the settings.

Technical Details

Variant:Ping.B (Syndicate)

W97M/Ping.B (also known as Syndicate.A) is a macro virus, related to the famous Melissa virus.

Ping.B spreads in Word documents and transfers itself via email, using Microsoft Outlook. It sends email to 69 first aliases listed in the Outlook Address Book. This is done only once per machine, during initial infection.

The messages look like this:

From: (name of infected user) Subject: Fun and games from
 (name of infected user) To: (69 names from alias list)
 Hi! Check out this neat doc I found on the Internet!
 Attachment: (random document infected with Syndicate)

Do notice that Syndicate can arrive in any document, not necessarily just in the DADDYS~1.DOC, XXXPASS.DOC or SERIALZ.DOC files it was initally distributed in.

Syndicate also sends an additional email:

To: Subject: "Guess whos infected:
 (name of infected user)
 Attachment: (the same document as above)

The is an anonymous email address which can not be traced back to its owner.

The virus contains these comments that are never shown to the user:

'W97M/Project1 by Patient Zero -(The Syndicate)- circa 1999 'The
Syndicate: underground to the underground. 'Greets to Kwyjibo and the
CodeBreakers: Hey, dont we know each other? ;-)

This virus was posted to many newsgroups (including, and alt.binaries.warez) on the 30th and 31st of March 1999. The files that were posted were called DADDYS~1.DOC, XXXPASS.DOC and SERIALZ.DOC. The messages were posted from this account: Secret Squirrel <>

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