The worm tries two different methods to send infected emails from infected computers. First of all, it looks for Eudora emailer installed in a system. If it is present, the worm scans Eudora outgoing email database (OUT.MBX file), gets email addresses from there and sends infected emails with the attached worm's copy to these addresses. The worm's messages look like this:
Subject: concerning last week ...
Please review the enclosed and get back with me ASAP.
Double click the Icon to open it.
Then the worm tries to access an installed email system not depending on the brand. The worm uses MAPI functions to do this: it connects to the installed email system, gets messages from there, reads email addresses and uses them to send its copies. In this case the messages look like this:
Subject: Re: now this is a nice pic :-)
Thought you might be interested in seeing her
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 Windows dir:
SILVER.EXE, SILVER.VXD, NAKED.JPG.EXE, NAKED.JPG.SCR
to C: drive root dir:
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:
AudioCD MIDFile wab_auto_file
AVIFile MOVFile WinRAR
cdafile MPlayer WinZip
curfile msgfile x-internet-signup
hlpfile ossfile ASXFile
Connection Manager Profile
icquser ramfile eybfile
inifile RealMedia Filefndfile
The worm stores original keys in the another registry key:
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:
= "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:
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:
BAVAP.VXD, NAVKRNLN.VXD (NAV)
The worm also tries to affect VBS files but fails because of a bug.