Y2KCount, Y2KCount


The Y2KCount trojan first appeared on September 15th, 1999.

Automatic action

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.

Suspect a file is incorrectly detected (a False Positive)?

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 detection database 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.

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Submit a sample

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Technical Details

It came as a Y2KCount.EXE file attached to a message supposedly sent from Microsoft support. The message looked like that:

					 From: support@microsoft.com
					 Sender: support@microsoft.com
					 Subject: Microsoft Announcement
					 Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 00:49:57 +0200

					 To All Microsoft Users,
					 We are excited to announce Microsoft Year 2000 Counter.					 Start the countdown NOW.					 Let us all get in the 21 Century.
					 Let us lead the way to the future and we
					 will get YOU there FASTER and SAFER.

					 Thank you,
					 Microsoft Corporation

The email was definitely faked, but the trick worked and a number of users launched the attachment and became infected. The attachment - Y2KCount.EXE is a self-extracting ZIP archive that contains installation pack for the new Internet trojan. The archive has 5 files (PROJECT1.EXE and 4 DAT files) and the PROJECT1.EXE file serves as an installer for the trojan. When run the Y2KCount.EXE shows a fake error message:

This is a disguise. At the same time the trojan installs itself to system. It copies 4 files into \Windows\System\ directory:


Then the SYSTEM.INI file is modified so that the trojan could be automatically started during next Windows bootup. The trojan adds 'ntsvsrv.dll' string after the list of drivers to start (after 'drivers=' tag). During next Windows startup the NTSVSRV.DLL gets control and renames WSOCK32.DLL to NLHVLD.DLL and copies PROCLIB16.DLL as WSOCK32.DLL. This will allow the trojan to monitor Internet activities on the infected system.

Being active the trojan checks Internet traffic for text strings 'login', 'password' and 'username'. This is done to get user's dial-up and network passwords. This action is typical for password stealing trojans.

F-Secure provides detection and removal of Y2KCount trojan with the latest updates that can be downloaded from our ftp site free of charge:

  • ftp://ftp.europe.F-Secure.com/anti-virus/tools/fp-def.zip

You can also try to manually remove the trojan from your system. This should be done only from DOS. The following 4 trojan files should be deleted from \Windows\System\ folder:


The 'ntsvsrv.dll' string (trojan startup command) should be removed from SYSTEM.INI file. You can edit this file using EDIT comand at DOS prompt. The trojan execution string follows other drivers to be started after 'drivers=' tag (it should be the last in the list in case of recent infection). Finally the NLHVLD.DLL should be renamed to WSOCK32.DLL. This will restore Windows Sockets library renamed by the trojan. After that the system should be restarted for the changes to take effect.