CSE331 Fall “I Love You” Virus/Worm Infection Rate –At 5:00 pm EDT(GMT-4) May 8, 2000, CERT had received reports from more than 650 sites –> 500,000 individual systems VBScript Propagation – , Windows file sharing, IRC, USENET news
CSE331 Fall Love Bug Signature –An attachment named "LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.VBS" –A subject of "ILOVEYOU" –Message body: "kindly check the attached LOVELETTER coming from me."
CSE331 Fall Love Bug Behavior Replaced certain files with copies of itself –Based on file extension (e.g..vbs,.js,.hta, etc) Changed Internet Explorer start page –Pointed the browser to infected web pages Mailed copies of itself Changed registry keys
CSE331 Fall Detecting Viruses Scanning Integrity checking Heuristic detection
CSE331 Fall Virus Signatures Viruses can’t be completely invisible: –Code must be stored somewhere –Virus must do something when it runs Fragments of the virus code itself –Strings “kindly check the attached LOVELETTER” Effects on the computing environment –Changes to the Windows registry Propagation Behavior –Copying/modifying system files.
CSE331 Fall Virus Scanners Search the system for virus signatures –Main memory –All files in file system –Should also check boot sector When to scan? –On access (when a program is run) –On demand (at user’s request, or scheduled) –When is received? –Before web content is displayed?
CSE331 Fall Virus Scanning: Pros & Cons Pros –Effectively detects known viruses before they can cause harm –Few false alarms Cons –Can detect only viruses with known signatures –Signature set must be kept up to date –Virus writers can easily change virus signatures
CSE331 Fall Integrity Checks Virus scanner computes hash or checksum of executable files –Assumed to be virus free! –Stores the hash information Verifies new hash vs. saved one during scan
CSE331 Fall Integrity Checks: Pros & Cons Pros –Can detect corruption of executables too –Reliable –Doesn’t require virus signatures Cons –False positives (i.e. recompilation) –Can’t use it on documents (they change too often) –Not supported by most vedors
CSE331 Fall Heuristic Detection Collection of ad hoc rules that identifies virus behavior or virus-like programs –Modification of system executables –Modification of “template documents” like normal.doc –Self-modifying and self-referential code –…
CSE331 Fall Heuristics: Pros & Cons Pros –Perhaps able to detect unknown viruses Cons –Heuristics are hard to develop –Too may false positives
CSE331 Fall Polymorphic Viruses Virus writers know that virus signatures are the most effective way to detect viruses Polymorphic viruses mutate themselves during replication to prevent detection –Virus should be capable of generating many different descendents –Simply embedding random numbers into virus code is not enough
CSE331 Fall Strategies for Polymorphic Viruses Change data: –Use different subject lines in Encrypt most of the virus with a random key –Virus first decrypts main body using random key –Jumps to the code it decrypted –When replicating, generate a new key and encrypt the main part of the replica Still possible to detect decryption portion of the virus using virus signatures
CSE331 Fall Advanced Polymorphic Viruses Randomly modify the decryption portion of the virus by: –Inserting no-op instructions: subtract 0, move value to itself –Reordering independent instructions –Using different variable/register names –Using equivalent instruction sequences y = x + x vs. y = 2 * x
CSE331 Fall CERT Advice 1 Use virus protection software Use a firewall Don't open unknown attachments Don't run programs of unknown origin Disable hidden filename extensions Keep all applications, including your operating system, patched
CSE331 Fall Internet Worms November 2, 1988 Robert T. Morris Jr. unleashed Internet worm –Graduate student at Cornell University –Convicted in 1990 of violating Computer Fraud and Abuse Act –$10,000 fine, 3 yr. Suspended jail sentence, 400 hours of community service –Son of the chief scientist at the National Computer Security Center -- part of the National Security Agency –Today he’s a professor at MIT
CSE331 Fall Morris Worm Transmission Find user accounts on the target machine –Dictionary attack on /etc/passwd –If it found a match, it would log in and try the same username/password on other local machines Exploit bug in fingerd –Classic buffer overflow attack Exploit trapdoor in sendmail –Programmer left DEBUG mode in sendmail, which allowed sendmail to execute an arbitrary shell command string.
CSE331 Fall Morris Worm Infection Sent a small loader to target machine –99 lines of C code –It was compiled on the remote platform (cross platform compatibility) –The loader program transferred the rest of the worm from the infected host to the new target. –Used authentication! To prevent sys admins from tampering with loaded code. –If there was a transmission error, the loader would erase its tracks and exit.
CSE331 Fall Morris Worm Stealth When loader obtained full code –It put into main memory and encrypted –Original copies were deleted from disk –(Even memory dump wouldn’t expose worm) Worm periodically changed its name and process ID
CSE331 Fall Effects Resource exhaustion –Denial of service –There was a bug in the loader program that caused many copies of the worm to be spawned per host System administrators cut their network connections –Couldn’t use internet to exchange fixes! 6,000 networks were shut down or disconnected –Down for several days –Damage estimates: $100,000 — $97 Million