mailing list archives
Spam exploiting MS05-016
From: Nick FitzGerald <nick () virus-l demon co uk>
Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 01:30:53 +1200
Yesterday at least two of my spam-traps received the following message
(I've elided the MIME boundary values just in case...):
Subject: We make a business offer to you
Hello! It is not spam, so don't delete this message.
We have a business offer to you.
Read our offer.
You can increase the business in 1,5 times.
We hope you do not miss this information.
Best regards, Keith
<<encoded ZIP file data>>
There are a few trivial differences between the messages to the
different addresses I checked, so don't anyone try to turn the above
into a totally literal filtering rule...
Anyway, the "agreement.zip" attachment held only one file, apparently
called "agreement.txt", but on closer inspection it turned out the file
was called "agreement.txt " where the apparent trailing space was
actually a 0xFF character. This "pseudo-TXT" file was, in fact, an
OLE2 format file (originally a Word document file) with the OLE2 Root
Entry CLSID set to that of the Microsoft HTML Application Host (MSHTA).
This was all done as per the description in the iDEFENSE advisory
announcing this vulnerability:
This "pseudo-TXT" file is an example of what is produced by the PoC
generator posted to Bugtraq. Oddly, that message is not archived in
SecurityFocus' own mailing list archives, but its PoC code is listed
with the vulnerability's BID entry:
That PoC may be identified from the comment at the top of its code:
Made By ZwelL
zwell () sohu com
Anyway, the "agreement.txt " file contained a script to write a text
file with commands and responses for use with the Windows ftp client
via its "-s" option and further commands to run ftp with those scripted
commands and then to run the executable that ftp script would cause to
be downloaded from a Russian web site. At the time of writing, that
site is still up and the executable that is downloaded (a backdoor) is
the same one that was there when the spam was first seen.
If you haven't installed the MS05-016 Windows Shell patch yet:
or at least taken reasonable precautions to defang possible
exploitation of this vulnerability (particularly through MSHTA), it
would be advisable to do so now. When initially discovered, only two
of more than 20 tested virus scanning engines detected the exploit in
"agreement.txt ". Since alerting the antivirus developer community of
the field discovery of this exploit, a couple more "big name" scanners
have added a degree of detection for this exploit, and I expect that
number to grow as the new week dawns and new updates are pushed to
Computer Virus Consulting Ltd.
Ph/FAX: +64 3 3267092
- Spam exploiting MS05-016 Nick FitzGerald (May 31)