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Internet VIRUS alert

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Peter E. Yee

Nov 3, 1988, 2:28:00 AM11/3/88
We are currently under attack from an Internet VIRUS. It has hit UC Berkeley,
UC San Diego, Lawrence Livermore, Stanford, and NASA Ames. The virus comes in
via SMTP, and then is able to attack all 4.3BSD and SUN (3.X?) machines. It
sends a RCPT TO that requests that its data be piped through a shell. It copies
in a program, compiles and executes it. This program copies in VAX and SUN
binaries that try to replicate the virus via connections to TELNETD, FTPD,
FINGERD, RSHD, and SMTP. The programs also appear to have DES tables in them.
They appear in /usr/tmp as files that start with the letter x. Removing them
is not enough as they will come back in the next wave of attacks. For now
turning off the above services seems to be the only help. The virus is able
to take advantage of .rhosts files and hosts.equiv. We are not certain what the
final result of the binaries is, hence the warning.

I can be contacted at (415) 642-7447. Phil Lapsley and Kurt Pires at this
number are also conversant with the virus.

-Peter Yee

Rick Adams

Nov 3, 1988, 10:59:11 AM11/3/88
Please install this patch from Berkeley if you are running sendmail.


From bos...@okeeffe.Berkeley.EDU Thu Nov 3 06:38:39 1988
Received: from okeeffe.Berkeley.EDU by beno.CSS.GOV (5.59/5.17)
id AA03506; Thu, 3 Nov 88 06:38:26 EST
Received: by okeeffe.Berkeley.EDU (5.61/1.29)
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Date: Thu, 3 Nov 88 02:58:55 PST
From: bos...@okeeffe.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Message-Id: <881103105...@okeeffe.Berkeley.EDU>
To: ri...@beno.CSS.GOV,
Status: RO

Guys, if you could post this to whatever appropriate newsgroups,
as soon as possible, we'd appreciate it.



Subject: Fixes for the virus
Index: usr.lib/sendmail/src/srvrsmtp.c 4BSD

There's a virus running around; the salient facts. A bug in
sendmail has been used to introduce a virus into a lot of
Internet UNIX systems. It has not been observed to damage the
host system, however, it's incredibly virulent, attempting to
introduce itself to every system it can find. It appears to
use rsh, broken passwords, and sendmail to introduce itself
into the target systems. It affects only VAXen and Suns, as
far as we know.

There are three changes that we believe will immunize your
system. They are attached.

Thanks to the Experimental Computing Facility, Center for
Disease Control for their assistance. (It's pretty late,
and they certainly deserved some thanks, somewhere!)

First, either recompile or patch sendmail to disallow the `debug'
option. If you have source, recompile sendmail after first
applying the following patch to the module svrsmtp.c:

*** /tmp/d22039 Thu Nov 3 02:26:20 1988
--- srvrsmtp.c Thu Nov 3 01:21:04 1988
*** 85,92 ****
"onex", CMDONEX,
# ifdef DEBUG
- "debug", CMDDBGDEBUG,
# endif DEBUG
# ifdef WIZ
# endif WIZ
--- 85,94 ----
"onex", CMDONEX,
# ifdef DEBUG
# endif DEBUG
+ # ifdef notdef
+ "debug", CMDDBGDEBUG,
+ # endif notdef
# ifdef WIZ
# endif WIZ

Then, reinstall sendmail, refreeze the configuration file,
using the command "/usr/lib/sendmail -bz", kill any running
sendmail's, using the ps(1) command and the kill(1) command,
and restart your sendmail. To find out how sendmail is
execed on your system, use grep(1) to find the sendmail start
line in either the files /etc/rc or /etc/rc.local

If you don't have source, apply the following patch to your
UP! This is mildly tricky -- note, some versions of strings(1),
which we're going to use to find the offset of the string
"debug" in the binary print out the offsets in octal, not
decimal. Run the following shell line to decide how your
version of strings(1) works:

/bin/echo 'abcd' | /usr/ucb/strings -o

Note, make sure the eight control 'G's are preserved in this
line. If this command results in something like:

0000008 abcd

your strings(1) command prints out locations in decimal, else
it's octal.

The patch script for sendmail. NOTE, YOUR OFFSETS MAY VARY!!
This script assumes that your strings(1) command prints out
the offsets in decimal.

Script started on Thu Nov 3 02:08:14 1988
okeeffe:tmp {2} strings -o -a /usr/lib/sendmail | egrep debug
0096972 debug
okeeffe:tmp {3} adb -w /usr/lib/sendmail
?m 0 0xffffffff 0
radix=10 base ten
96972: debug
96972?w 0
96972: 25701 = 0
okeeffe:tmp {4} ^D
script done on Thu Nov 3 02:09:31 1988

If your strings(1) command prints out the offsets in octal,
change the line "0t10$d" to "0t8$d".

After you've fixed sendmail, move both /bin/cc and /bin/ld to
something else. (The virus uses the cc and the ld commands
to rebuild itself to run on your system.)

Finally, kill any processes on your system that don't belong there.
Suspicious ones have "(sh)" or "xNNNNNNN" where the N's are random
digits, as the command name on the ps(1) output line.

One more thing, if you find files in /tmp or /usr/tmp that
have names like "xNNNNNN,l1.c", or "xNNNNNN,sun3.o", or
"xNNNNNNN,vax.o" where the N's are random digits, you've been

Jerry Scott

Nov 3, 1988, 11:37:00 AM11/3/88
I guess I am not that familiar with the Unix mail systems
of the Sun and Vax. Is this sendmail? Does sendmail have the ability
of receiving mail for a process? If so, this is the biggest security
hole I have heard about in a long time.


Moses Mason

May 29, 2011, 7:09:26 AM5/29/11
Good luck~

Barry Margolin

May 29, 2011, 7:06:23 PM5/29/11
In article
Moses Mason <> wrote:

> Good luck~

Did you notice the date of the message? I think they might be out of
the wood by now.

> On Thursday, November 3, 1988 3:28:00 PM UTC+8, Peter E. Yee wrote:

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE don't copy me on replies, I'll read them in the group ***

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