Threat Description



Category: Malware
Type: Worm
Platform: W32
Aliases: Sober.I, W32/Sober.I@mm, I-Worm.Sober.i, W32/Sober.j@MM, W32/Sober.H@mm, W32.Sober.I@mm, WORM_SOBER.I


F-secure has raised alert level of this virus to Radar LEVEL 2:

Email Worm Sober.I is spreading, mostly in Europe. It sends highly variable German and English emails with an attachment. The virus drops several files to infected systems, including spool32dir.exe.


Automatic action

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

More scanning & removal options

More information on scanning or removal options is available in the documentation for your F-Secure security product on the Downloads section of our Home - Global site.

You may also refer to the Knowledge Base on the F-Secure Community site for more information.

Contact Support

For further assistance, F-Secure customers can request support online via the Request support or the Chat forms on our Home - Global site.

Technical Details

The worm is written in Visual Basic. The worm's file is a UPX packed PE executable with length of 56 KiBytes.

Installation to system

When the worm's file is started it shows the following messagebox:

Then the worm installs itself to system. It makes two copies itself to Windows System folder with a semi-randomly generated name and EXE extension. The following text strings are used to generate the file names of the worm's executable:

sys  host  dir  expoler  win  run  log  32  disc  crypt  data  diag  spool  service  smss32   

After that the worm creates startup keys for its files in Windows Registry. The key names are also semi-randomly generated from the above given list. The following keys are created:

[HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]  "" = "%WinSysDir%\.exe"  
[HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]  "" = "%WinSysDir%\.exe %srun%"  
[HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]  "" = "%WinSysDir%\.exe"  
[HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]  "" = "%WinSysDir%\.exe %srun%"   

During its installation cycle the worm creates the following files in Windows System folder:

dgssxy.yoi  sysmms32.lla  cvqaikxt.apk  Odin-Anon.Ger   

These files have zero length and they are used to disable previous variants of Sober if they are installed on an infected computer.

Additionally the worm creates the following files:

clonzips.ssc   clsobern.isc   nonzipsr.noz   zippedsr.piz   

These files are MIME-encoded copies of the worm's executable file and a ZIP archive with the worm's file. These files will be used for spreading of the worm in e-mail messages.

Spreading in e-mails

The worm sends e-mail messages with English and German texts and its file attached. The attached file can be an executable or a ZIP archive containing the worm's executable. The worm composes several different types of messages and the content of these messages is variable. Here's an example of a English message sent by the worm:

Before spreading the worm scans files with certain extensions on all hard disks to harvest e-mail addresses. Files with the following extensions are scanned:

pmr  stm  slk  inbox  imb  csv  bak  imh  xhtml  imm  imh  cms  nws  vcf  ctl  dhtm  cgi  pp  ppt  msg  jsp  oft  vbs  uin  ldb  abc  pst  cfg  mdw  mbx  mdx  mda  adp  nab  fdb  vap  dsp  ade  sln  dsw  mde  frm  bas  adr  cls  ini  ldif  log  mdb  xml  wsh  tbb  abx  abd  adb  pl  rtf  mmf  doc  ods  nch  xls  nsf  txt  wab  eml  hlp  mht  nfo  php  asp  shtml  dbx   

The found e-mail addresses and user names are saved in these 2 files that the worm created in Windows System folder:

winroot64.dal  winsend32.dal   

When the worm is active in memory it blocks access to these files as well as to its MIME-encoded files and its executable file.

The worm ignores e-mail addresses that contain any of the following substrings:

1-000000-000000  tps@  hubak@  ruiv@  farbugs@  ron@  info@  sales@  press@  ventes@  rar.dutch@  rar@  vmlich@  jimaz@  RAR.regsite@  provision@  alex@  webmaster@  rod@  selwyn_arrow@  admin@  inftec@  eugene@  jwpark@  sam@  sites.far@  whatsnew.far@  helpdesk@  fararcbugs@  mark@  cogswell@  licensing@  apply@  Ollydbg@  snaker@  mail@  qwaci@  g-rom@  lorian@  stone@  GOD@  tac_2000@  tac_cracking@  mackt@  christoph@  -   

If the worm sends infected messages to domains with suffixes '.de', '.ch', '.at', '.li' or to 'gmx.' domain, it composes messages in German, otherwise English messages are composed.

The worm can compose English messages from the following text string arrays:

Subject (one of the following):

Details  God it's  Registration confirmation  Confirmation  Your Password  Your mail password  Delivery failure notice  Faulty mail delivery  Mail delivery failed  Mail Error  illegal signs in your mail  invalid mail  Mail Delivery failure  mail delivery system   

Message body (one of the following):

I was surprised, too!  Who could suspect something like that? shity  Your password was changed successfully!  Protected message is attached!  This mail was generated automatically.  More info about --[domain]-- under http:// [domain]

Attachment name (one of the following):

im_shocked  thats_hard  oh_nono  user_info  new_account  info  hostmaster  corrected  full  original  re_mail  auto_mail  mail   

Sober's attachment name can contain a random number and can have one of the following extensions:

.com  .bat  .pif  .scr   

Also the attachment can be sent in a ZIP archive. In this case the worm's file inside the archive will have double extension. The first extension is selected from the following list:

.txt  .doc  .word  .xls  .eml   

The subject of an infected e-mail can have 'FwD:' or 'Re:' string.

Sober.I can place a fake anti-virus scanner report in the message body trying to persuade a recipient that the message was scanned by an on-line scanner and no infection was found.


This Sober variant is detected with FSAV updates:

Detection Type: PC
Database: 2004-11-19_01

Description Details: Katrin Tocheva; November 19th, 2004
Technical Details:Jarkko Turkulainen; November 19th, 2004


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