Published Aug 27, 2004 | Updated Sep 15, 2017


Severe |Detected with Windows Defender Antivirus

Aliases: W32/Netsky.p@MM (McAfee) W32.Netsky.P@mm (Symantec) WORM_NETSKY.P (Trend Micro) W32/Netsky-P (Sophos)


Win32/Netsky.P@mm is a mass-mailing worm that targets computers running certain versions of Microsoft Windows. The worm sends itself to e-mail addresses that it finds on the infected computer. The worm is activated when a user opens an e-mail attachment that contains the worm. The worm also exploits a vulnerability that is fixed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-020.
Manual removal is not recommended for this threat. To detect and remove this threat and other malicious software that may have been installed, run a full-system scan with an up-to-date antivirus product such as Microsoft Security Essentials, or the Microsoft Safety Scanner. For more information about using antivirus software, see
To manually recover from infection by Win32/Netsky.P@mm, perform the following steps:
  • Disconnect from the Internet.
  • Restart the computer in safe mode.
  • End the worm process.
  • Delete the worm file from the computer.
  • Delete the worm registry entry.
  • Restart your computer. 
  • Take steps to prevent re-infection.
Disconnect from the Internet
To help ensure that your computer is not actively infecting other computers, you should disconnect it from the Internet before proceeding. Print this Web page or save a copy on your computer; then unplug your network cable and disable your wireless connection. You can reconnect to the Internet after completing these steps.
Restart the computer in safe mode
To start your computer in safe mode
  1. Remove all floppy disks and CDs from your computer, and then restart your computer.
  2. When prompted, press F8. If Windows starts without displaying the Please select the operating system to start menu, restart your computer. Press F8 after the firmware POST process completes, but before Windows displays graphical output.
  3. From the Windows Advanced Options menu, select a safe mode option.
End the worm process
Ending the worm process will help stop your computer from infecting other computers as well as resolve the crashing, rebooting, and performance degradation issues caused by the worm.
To end the worm process
  1. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL once and click Task Manager.
  2. Click Processes and click Image Name to sort the running processes by name.
  3. Select the process FVProtect.exe, and click End Process.
Delete the worm file from the computer
To delete the worm file from the computer
  1. Click Start, and click Run.
  2. In the Open field, type %Windir%\system32
  3. Click OK.
  4. Click Name to sort files by name.
  5. If FVProtect.exe is in the list, delete it.
  6. On the Desktop, right-click the Recycle Bin and click Empty Recycle Bin.
  7. Click Yes.
If deleting the file fails, use the following steps to verify that FVProtect.exe is not running:
  1. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL once and click Task Manager.
  2. Click Processes and click Image Name to sort the running processes by name.
  3. Confirm that FVProtect.exe is not in the list.
Delete the worm registry entry
To delete the worm registry entry
  1. On the Start menu, click Run.
  2. Type regedit and click OK.
  3. In the left pane, navigate to the key:
  4. In the right pane, right-click the following value, if it exists:
  5. Norton Antivirus AV = %Windir%\FVProtect.exe
  6. Click Delete and click Yes to delete the value.
  7. Close the Registry Editor.
Restart your computer 
To restart your computer
  1. On the Start menu, click Shut Down.
  2. Select Restart from the drop-down list and click OK.
Take steps to prevent re-infection
Do not reconnect your computer to the Internet until the computer is protected from re-infection. See the "Preventing Infection" section for more information.
Follow us