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Win32/Allaple


Win32/Allaple is a multi-threaded, polymorphic network worm capable of spreading to other computers connected to a local area network (LAN) and performing denial-of-service (DoS) attacks against targeted remote Web sites.


What to do now

Manual removal is not recommended for this threat. Use the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft Safety Scanner, or another up-to-date scanning and removal tool to detect and remove this threat and other unwanted software from your computer. For more information on Microsoft security products, see http://www.microsoft.com/protect/products/computer/default.mspx.

Threat behavior

Win32/Allaple is a multi-threaded, polymorphic network worm capable of spreading to other computers connected to a local area network (LAN) and performing denial-of-service (DoS) attacks against targeted remote Web sites.
 
When executed, the worm launches several threads which accomplish different tasks simultaneously:
  • DoS attack against a specific IP address
  • DoS attack against specific Web sites
  • Infecting open shares across a network
 
In order to commit the hard-coded DoS attack against the remote IP address, Win32/Allaple sends an echo ping request and awaits a response. When a response is received, Win32/Allaple initiates a DoS by flooding several network ports. Win32/Allaple also attempts DoS attacks against three remote Web sites with a .ee domain suffix. 
 
Win32/Allaple seeks other machines across a network and attempts to gain access in one of two ways:
  • by exploiting computers not updated with Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-040
  • by exploiting weak logon passwords - Worm:Win32/Allaple.A uses a built-in dictionary attack, testing the ability to connect and logon to remote computers

If Allaple can remotely connect, it writes a copy of the worm to open shares.
 
Win32/Allaple has a built-in polymorphic engine that changes the worm executable for every infection. The polymorphism is accomplished by encrypting the worm body differently for each infection, producing a different executable and filename each time.
 
Win32/Allaple writes itself to the infected computer in multiple locations, including folders where HTML files are stored. It then modifies the registry to reference a unique CLSID pointing to this file and modifies the HTML (.htm and .html) files to execute this CLSID when the HTML file is executed.
 
Win32/Allaple may copy itself to the Windows system folder as "urdvxc.exe" or "irdvxc.exe", and may modify the registry to load this copy at each Windows startup:
Adds value: ImagePath
With data: <system folder>\<Allaple filename> /service
To subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSWindows

Symptoms

The following symptoms may be indicative of a Win32/Allaple infection:
  • Unexpected presence of randomly named .EXE files in folders containing HTML files.
  • Presence of the following registry modification:
    ImagePath = <system folder>\<filename> /service 
    In subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSWindows

Prevention

Take the following steps to help prevent infection on your computer:
  • Enable a firewall on your computer.
  • Get the latest computer updates for all your installed software.
  • Use up-to-date antivirus software.
  • Limit user privileges on the computer.
  • Use caution when opening attachments and accepting file transfers.
  • Use caution when clicking on links to Web pages.
  • Avoid downloading pirated software.
  • Protect yourself against social engineering attacks.
  • Use strong passwords.
Enable a firewall on your computer
Use a third-party firewall product or turn on the Microsoft Windows Internet Connection Firewall.
Get the latest computer updates
Updates help protect your computer from viruses, worms, and other threats as they are discovered. It is important to install updates for all the software that is installed in your computer. These are usually available from vendor Web sites.
 
You can use the Automatic Updates feature in Windows to automatically download future Microsoft security updates while your computer is on and connected to the Internet.
Use up-to-date antivirus software
Most antivirus software can detect and prevent infection by known malicious software. To help protect you from infection, you should always run antivirus software, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, that is updated with the latest signature files. For more information, see http://www.microsoft.com/security/antivirus/av.aspx.
Limit user privileges on the computer
Starting with Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft introduced User Account Control (UAC), which, when enabled, allowed users to run with least user privileges. This scenario limits the possibility of attacks by malware and other threats that require administrative privileges to run.
 
You can configure UAC in your computer to meet your preferences:
Use caution when opening attachments and accepting file transfers
Exercise caution with e-mail and attachments received from unknown sources, or received unexpectedly from known sources.  Use extreme caution when accepting file transfers from known or unknown sources.
Use caution when clicking on links to Web pages
Exercise caution with links to Web pages that you receive from unknown sources, especially if the links are to a Web page that you are not familiar with, unsure of the destination of, or suspicious of. Malicious software may be installed in your computer simply by visiting a Web page with harmful content.
Avoid downloading pirated software
Threats may also be bundled with software and files that are available for download on various torrent sites. Downloading "cracked" or "pirated" software from these sites carries not only the risk of being infected with malware, but is also illegal. For more information, see 'The risks of obtaining and using pirated software'.
Protect yourself from social engineering attacks
While attackers may attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in hardware or software to compromise a computer, they also attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in human behavior to do the same. When an attacker attempts to take advantage of human behavior to persuade the affected user to perform an action of the attacker's choice, it is known as 'social engineering'. Essentially, social engineering is an attack against the human interface of the targeted computer. For more information, see 'What is social engineering?'.
Use strong passwords
Attackers may try to gain access to your Windows account by guessing your password. It is therefore important that you use a strong password – one that cannot be easily guessed by an attacker. A strong password is one that has at least 8 characters, and combines letters, numbers, and symbols. For more information, see http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/create.mspx.

Alert level: High
This entry was first published on: Jun 07, 2007
This entry was updated on: Apr 17, 2011

This threat is also detected as:
  • Win32/Mallar (CA)