archiv~1.txt: SETI Fw: (meteorobs) FW: [ASTRO] Public Service Announce

SETI Fw: (meteorobs) FW: [ASTRO] Public Service Announce

Walt Williams ( (no email) )
Sun, 28 Mar 1999 23:23:43 -0800

Another classic example of MicroSoft not following the IETF

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From: "KEN UK" <>
To: "Argus (E-mail)" <>
Cc: <>, "SETI-UK" <>,
<>, <>
Subject: SETI Fw: (meteorobs) FW: [ASTRO] Public Service Announcement
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 06:12:38 +0100

Hi all,

I would not normally forward this type of message, but in this
instance I think you all might benefit from it's
contents............Best regards, Ken UK. -----Original
Message----- From: Wayne T Hally <> To:
'' <> Date: Monday, March
29, 1999 12:31 AM Subject: (meteorobs) FW: [ASTRO] Public Service

>Hi All,
> I don't usually do this, but as a fairly experienced e-mail and web user,
>this threat seems real enough, so I thought I'd forward it to the list. I
>am aware of the many hoaxes, but as far as I can tell, this is a real,
>uninnoculated threat, so I thought I'd forward what I had. If I'm a doofus
>for being taken in, so be cranial filter says this could be a real
>PS see the URL here for a documented real hoax/threat site
>From: Mark Taylor[]
>Sent: Saturday, March 27, 1999 3:30 PM
>To: (My astronomy friends at:);
>Subject: [ASTRO] Public Service Announcement
>There are a lot of email messages out there warning you not to open mail
>messages with one subject line or another. 99.99% of these are bogus,
>but this is the second REAL one I've seen as many weeks!! Both of the
>viruses have nailed us where I work, so I know first hand just how real
>they are.
>Unfortunately I no longer have the warning details for the first one,
>("happy99" - if you see that name, DELETE it) but here's the scoop on
>the latest and most viscious of the two (called "W97M_Melissa virus")...
>If a mail message comes in from <someone you probably know>
>and the subject reads:
> Subject: Important message from <someone you probably know>
>and the body contains text like:
> Here is that document you asked for ... don't show anyone else ;-)
>and there is a WORD document attached....
>This is a VISCIOUS one. Here's the full techie details on the virus...
> Mark
>Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 07:05:36 -0500
>From: CERT Advisory <>
>Subject: CERT Advisory CA-99.04 - Melissa Macro Virus
>Organization: CERT(sm) Coordination Center - +1 412-268-7090
>CERT Advisory CA-99-04-Melissa-Macro-Virus
> Original issue date: Saturday March 27 1999
> Last Revised: Saturday March 27, 1999
>Systems Affected
> * Machines with Microsoft Word 97 or Word 2000
> * Any mail handling system could experience performance problems or
> a denial of service as a result of the propagation of this macro
> virus.
> At approximately 2:00 PM GMT-5 on Friday March 26 1999 we began
> receiving reports of a Microsoft Word 97 and Word 2000 macro virus
> which is propagating via email attachments. The number and variety of
> reports we have received indicate that this is a widespread attack
> affecting a variety of sites.
> Our analysis of this macro virus indicates that human action (in the
> form of a user opening an infected Word document) is required for this
> virus to propagate. It is possible that under some mailer
> configurations, a user might automatically open an infected document
> received in the form of an email attachment. This macro virus is not
> known to exploit any new vulnerabilities. While the primary transport
> mechanism of this virus is via email, any way of transferring files
> can also propagate the virus.
> Anti-virus software vendors have called this macro virus the Melissa
> macro or W97M_Melissa virus.
>I. Description
> The Melissa macro virus propagates in the form of an email message
> containing an infected Word document as an attachment. The transport
> message has most frequently been reported to contain the following
> Subject header
> Subject: Important Message From <name>
> Where <name> is the full name of the user sending the message.
> The body of the message is a multipart MIME message containing two
> sections. The first section of the message (Content-Type: text/plain)
> contains the following text.
> Here is that document you asked for ... don't show anyone else ;-)
> The next section (Content-Type: application/msword) was initially
> reported to be a document called "list.doc". This document contains
> references to pornographic web sites. As this macro virus spreads we
> are likely to see documents with other names. In fact, under certain
> conditions the virus may generate attachments with documents created
> by the victim.
> When a user opens an infected .doc file with Microsoft Word97 or
> Word2000, the macro virus is immediately executed if macros are
> enabled.
> Upon execution, the virus first lowers the macro security settings to
> permit all macros to run when documents are opened in the future.
> Therefore, the user will not be notified when the virus is executed in
> the future.
> The macro then checks to see if the registry key
> "HKEY_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Office\Melissa?"
> has a value of "... by Kwyjibo". If that registry key does not exist
> or does not have a value of "... by Kwyjibo", the virus proceeds to
> propagate itself by sending an email message in the format described
> above to the first 50 entries in every MAPI address book readable by
> the user executing the macro. Keep in mind that if any of these email
> addresses are mailing lists, the message will be delivered to everyone
> on the mailing lists. In order to successfully propagate, the affected
> machine must have Microsoft Outlook installed; however, Outlook does
> not need to be the mailer used to read the message.
> Next, the macro virus sets the value of the registry key to "... by
> Kwyjibo". Setting this registry key causes the virus to only propagate
> once per session. If the registry key does not persist through
> sessions, the virus will propagate as described above once per every
> session when a user opens an infected document. If the registry key
> persists through sessions, the virus will no longer attempt to
> propagate even if the affected user opens an infected document.
> The macro then infects the template file. By default, all
> Word documents utilize the template; thus, any newly
> created Word document will be infected. Because unpatched versions of
> Word97 may trust macros in templates the virus may execute without
> warning. For more information please see:
> Finally, if the minute of the hour matches the day of the month at
> this point, the macro inserts into the current document the message
> "Twenty-two points, plus triple-word-score, plus fifty points for
> using all my letters. Game's over. I'm outta here."
> Note that if you open an infected document with macros disabled and
> look at the list of macros in this document, neither Word97 nor
> Word2000 list the macro. The code is actually VBA (Visual Basic for
> Applications) code associated with the "" method. You can
> see the code by going into the Visual Basic editor.
> If you receive one of these messages, keep in mind that the message
> came from someone who is affected by this virus and they are not
> necessarily targeting you. We encourage you to contact any users from
> which you have received such a message. Also, we are interested in
> understanding the scope of this activity; therefore, we would
> appreciate if you would report any instance of this activity to us
> according to our Incident Reporting Guidelines document available at:
>II. Impact
> * Users who open an infected document in Word97 or Word2000 with
> macros enabled will infect the template causing any
> documents referencing this template to be infected with this macro
> virus. If the infected document is opened by another user, the
> document, including the macro virus, will propagate. Note that
> this could cause the user's document to be propagated instead of
> the original document, and thereby leak sensitive information.
> * Indirectly, this virus could cause a denial of service on mail
> servers. Many large sites have reported performance problems with
> their mail servers as a result of the propagation of this virus.
>III. Solutions
> * Block messages with the signature of this virus at your mail
> agents.
> With Sendmail
> Nick Christenson of provided information about
> configuring sendmail to filter out messages that may contain the
> Melissa virus. This information is available from the follow URL:
> elissa-filter.txt
> * Utilize virus scanners
> Most virus scanning tools will detect and clean macro viruses. In
> order to detect and clean current viruses you must keep your
> scanning tools up to date with the latest definition files.
> + McAfee / Network Associates
> + Symantec
> + Trend Micro
> * Encourage users at your site to disable macros in Microsoft Word
> Notify all of your users of the problem and encourage them to
> disable macros in Word. You may also wish to encourage users to
> disable macros in any product that contains a macro language as
> this sort of problem is not limited to Microsoft Word.
> In Word97 you can disable automatic macro execution (click
> Tools/Options/General then turn on the 'Macro virus protection'
> checkbox). In Word2000 macro execution is controlled by a security
> level variable similar to Internet Explorer (click on
> Tools/Macro/Security and choose High, Medium, or Low). In that
> case, 'High' silently ignores the VBA code, Medium prompts in the
> way Word97 does to let you enable or disable the VBA code, and
> 'Low' just runs it.
> Word2000 supports Authenticode on the VB code. In the 'High'
> setting you can specify sites that you trust and code from those
> sites will run.
> * General protection from Word Macro Viruses
> For information about macro viruses in general, we encourage you
> to review the document "Free Macro AntiVirus Techniques" by Chengi
> Jimmy Kuo which is available at.
> We would like to thank Jimmy Kuo of Network Associates, Eric Allman
> and Nick Christenson of, Dan Schrader of Trend Micro, and
> Jason Garms and Karan Khanna of Microsoft for providing information
> used in this advisory.
> Additionally we would like to thank the many sites who reported this
> activity.
> ______________________________________________________________________
> This document is available from:
> ______________________________________________________________________
>CERT/CC Contact Information
> Email:
> Phone: +1 412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline)
> Fax: +1 412-268-6989
> Postal address:
> CERT Coordination Center
> Software Engineering Institute
> Carnegie Mellon University
> Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890
> U.S.A.
> CERT personnel answer the hotline 08:00-20:00 EST(GMT-5) / EDT(GMT-4)
> Monday through Friday; they are on call for emergencies during other
> hours, on U.S. holidays, and on weekends.
>Using encryption
> We strongly urge you to encrypt sensitive information sent by email.
> Our public PGP key is available from
> If you prefer to use DES, please call the CERT hotline for more
> information.
>Getting security information
> CERT publications and other security information are available from
> our web site
> To be added to our mailing list for advisories and bulletins, send
> email to and include SUBSCRIBE
> your-email-address in the subject of your message.
> Copyright 1999 Carnegie Mellon University.
> Conditions for use, disclaimers, and sponsorship information can be
> found in
> * "CERT" and "CERT Coordination Center" are registered in the U.S.
> Patent and Trademark Office
> ______________________________________________________________________
> Any material furnished by Carnegie Mellon University and the Software
> Engineering Institute is furnished on an "as is" basis. Carnegie
> Mellon University makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or
> implied as to any matter including, but not limited to, warranty of
> fitness for a particular purpose or merchantability, exclusivity or
> results obtained from use of the material. Carnegie Mellon University
> does not make any warranty of any kind with respect to freedom from
> patent, trademark, or copyright infringement.
> ______________________________________________________________________
>Revision History
>Version: 2.6.2
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