This page shows details and results of our analysis on the malware X97M/Hongo.c

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Threat Detail

  • Malware Type: Virus
  • Malware Sub-type: Macro
  • Protection Added: 2000-01-18

This is a virus detection. Viruses are programs that self-replicate recursively, meaning that infected systems spread the virus to other systems, which then propagate the virus further. While many viruses contain a destructive payload, it's quite common for viruses to do nothing more than spread from one system to another.

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Malware Proliferation

This is a macro virus for Excel workbooks. This virus will infect Excel environments which have been updated to SR1 update and above. This virus consists of a single module named "module1" and within a hidden sheet named "diana". This virus has various time or date activated payloads, some of them random. This virus will create a registry script file named "c:\sys32.reg" and then invoke regedit.exe using this script to disable macro warning setting associated with Excel97.

This virus will write its source code to the local machine as a file "c:\caete.sys" as a temporary file in order to transfer the virus code to host workbooks. In addition, this virus will also save an infected workbook named "PERSONAL.XLS" to either the XLSTART folder (in U.S. version of Excel97) or in the "startup" folder named INICIAR (in Spanish version of Excel97).

When opening infected workbooks on the 25th of any month, it is possible for the AUTOEXEC.BAT to be renamed to "beldat.bat" and a new AUTOEXEC.BAT file is created with the following text:

Tu BelleZa emboba a cualquier ser

Also on the 25th, a 1% chance of the following modification to a workbook can occur:

* Erase contents of cells "a1" to "i100"
* Insert text "D I A N A" in cell E15
* Insert text "UNA BELDAD" in cell E16
* Insert text "Tu Belleza Emboba a cualquier ser" in cell E17
* Insert text "Autor: Luis CACI-I SISE" into cell E18
* Send this selected sheet to printer 50 times

Existence of the files "c:\sys32.reg" and "c:\caete.sys", message at boot time as mentioned above (via AUTOEXEC.BAT), sheet modifications as mentioned above, printout of 50 copies of worksheet as mentioned above, existence of file PERSONAL.XLS in XLSTART or INICIAR folder as mentioned above.

This virus will write its source code to the local machine as a file "c:\caete.sys" as a temporary file in order to transfer the virus code to host workbooks.

All Users :
Script,Batch,Macro and non memory-resident:
Use current engine and DAT files for detection and removal.

PE,Trojan,Internet Worm and memory resident :
Use specified engine and DAT files for detection. To remove, boot to MS-DOS mode or use a boot diskette and use the command line scanner:


Additional Windows ME/XP removal considerations

Users should not trust file icons, particularly when receiving files from others via P2P clients, IRC, email or other mediums where users can share files.

AVERT Recommended Updates :

* Office2000 Updates

* Malformed Word Document Could Enable Macro to Run Automatically (Information/Patch )

* scriptlet.typelib/Eyedog vulnerability patch

* Outlook as an email attachment security update

* Exchange 5.5 post SP3 Information Store Patch 5.5.2652.42 - this patch corrects detection issues with GroupShield

For a list of attachments blocked by the Outlook patch and a general FAQ, visit this link .
Additionally, Network Administrators can configure this update using an available tool - visit this link for more information .

It is very common for macro viruses to disable options within Office applications for example in Word, the macro protection warning commonly is disabled. After cleaning macro viruses, ensure that your previously set options are again enabled.