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TUCoPS :: Hacking Techniques :: ciacg003.txt




                       The U.S. Department of Energy
                    Computer Incident Advisory Capability
                           ___  __ __    _     ___
                          /       |     /_\   /
                          \___  __|__  /   \  \___

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

			    AOLGOLD Trojan Program

November 16, 1995 1300 PST                                          Number G-03

PROBLEM:        A trojan program is being distributed around America
		Online and other networks called AOLGOLD.ZIP.
DAMAGE:         When the INSTALL.EXE program is executed, most files on the
		users C: drive are deleted.
SOLUTION:       See the description below

ASSESSMENT:     Users who download the AOLGOLD.ZIP or INSTALL.EXE trojaned
		programs, unpack, and execute them may destroy files on their
		DOS C: drive.

	  	Information on the AOLGOLD Trojan Program


The AOLGOLD Trojan program was recently discovered on America Online (AOL).
Notice about the Trojan has been circulated to all America Online
subscribers.  Notice about the Trojan and a copy of the Trojan program were
supplied to CIAC by Doug Bigelow, who is on the staff of America Online.

Apparently, an e-mail message is being circulated that contains an attached
archive file named AOLGOLD.ZIP.  A README file that is in the archive
describes it as a new and improved interface for the AOL online service.
Note that there is no such program as AOLGOLD.  Also, simply reading an
e-mail message or even downloading an included file will not do damage to
your machine.  You must execute (or run) the downloaded file to release 
the Trojan and have it cause damage.

If you unzip the archive, you get two files: INSTALL.EXE and README.TXT.
The README.TXT file again describes AOLGOLD as a new and improved interface
to the AOL online service.  The INSTALL.EXE program is a self-extracting ZIP
archive.  When you run the install program, it extracts 18 files onto your
hard drive:


The file list includes another README.TXT file. If you examine the new
README.TXT file, it starts out with "Ever wanted the Powers of a Guide" and
continues with some crude language.  The README.TXT file indicates that the
included program is a guide program that can be used to kick other people
off of AOL.

If you stop at this point and do nothing but examine the unzipped files
with the TYPE command, your machine will not be damaged.  The following
three files contain the Trojan program:


The rest of the files included in the archive appear to have been grabbed
at random to simply fill up the archive and make it look official.

The Trojan program is started by running the INSTALL.BAT file.  The
INSTALL.BAT file is a simple batch file that renames the VIDEO.DRV file to
VIRUS.BAT and then runs it.  VIDEO.DRV is an amateurish DOS batch file that
starts deleting the contents of several critical directories on your C:
drive, including:


It also deletes the contents of several other directories, including those
for several online services and games, such as:


When the batch file completes, it prints a crude message on the screen and
attempts to run a program named DoomDay.EXE.  Bugs in the batch file prevent
the DOOMDAY.EXE program from running.  Other bugs in the file cause it to
delete itself if it is run from any drive but the C: drive.  The programming
style and bugs in the batch file indicates that the Trojan writer appears
to have little programming experience.

- ---------

**WARNING** Do not copy any files onto your hard disk before trying to
recover your hard drive.

The files are deleted with the DOS del command, and can be recovered with
the DOS undelete command.  The files are still on your disk, only the
directory entries have been removed.  If you copy any new files onto your
hard disk, they will likely be written over the deleted files, making it
impossible to recover the deleted files.

If you have delete protection installed on your system, recovery will be
relatively easy.  If not, the DOS undelete command can be used, but you will
have to supply the first letter of each file name as it is recovered.  In
many cases, you will probably want to restore the directories by
reinstalling them from the original installation disks, but do that last.
You must recover any unreplaceable files first using undelete and then
replace any others by copying or reinstalling them from the distribution

To recover the system:

1. Boot the system with a clean, locked floppy containing the recovery
program for the recovery files you have installed, or the DOS UNDELETE.EXE
program if you do not have recovery files installed.

2. Type the VIRUS.BAT file to get a list of the directories the Trojan
tried to delete. Ignore any directories that don't exist on your machine.

3. Run the recovery program and recover your files. You may have to help it
find the recovery files, such as MIRROR, which will be in the root
directory. You may have to recover the MIRROR file first and then use it to
recover the other files.

If you are using only the DOS undelete command, type:

   undelete directory

where directory is the name of the directory to examine. To undelete the
files in the dos directory, use:

   undelete c:\dos

The undelete program will present you with a list of deleted files with the
first letter replaced with a question mark. Without delete protection, you
will have to supply this letter in order to undelete the file.

4. After you have restored as many files as you want or can using the
UNDELETE command, replace any others by reinstalling them using the
original installation disks.

The Operations staff at America Online has released the following 
bulletin to their users:


Dear Member:

As you know, we strive to keep you informed on various issues regarding
online safety.

We want to take this opportunity to remind you about potential computer
viruses and Trojan horses and how to protect your computer.  First, a virus
is a program that is designed to spread and usually attaches itself to a
program with the goal of spreading to other computers.  A Trojan horse is a
program that is intended to corrupt your computer but has to be activated
before it can be executed.  For example, a Trojan horse can be distributed as
an attached file to an email but the file has to be downloaded and executed
before harm is done.

If you receive email from unknown senders with an attached file, it is a good
rule of thumb not to download the files.  In addition, if you ever receive a
file in email you believe could cause problems, please forward it immediately
to TOSEMAIL1, and explain your concerns to our Terms of Service staff.

We have received recent inquiries regarding a Trojan horse that is sent as an
attached file in an email message entitled "AOLGOLD" and "Install.exe". It is
important to understand that no virus or Trojan horse can be passed along by
simply reading email.  However, we strongly urge that if you receive email
with an attached file with this name not to download it.

Due to the private nature of electronic mail, we cannot scan files in email
for viruses as we do with files in public areas of the service.

We have never had an occurrence of a virus or Trojan horse being spread
through simply reading email.  In order for one to spread to your computer,
you would have to proactively select the attached file and download it to
your hard drive.  It is therefore advisable never to download attached files
from an unknown sender.

AOL incorporates virus protection throughout the service and scans all posted
software, text, and sound files in public areas. We also offer our members
the Virus Information Center on AOL where you'll find information about the
latest virus or Trojan horse, along with updates to all the popular
commercial, shareware, and freeware anti-virus tools.  Keyword: VIRUS.

Thank you for taking an active role in maintaining a safe online environment.

AOL Operations Staff



CIAC wishes to thank the staff of America Online, especially Mr. Don Bigelow for
their assistance in providing the information necessary to prepare this 

CIAC, the Computer Incident Advisory Capability, is the computer security 
incident response team for the U.S. Department of Energy. CIAC is located at 
the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. CIAC is 
also a founding member of FIRST, the Forum of Incident Response and Security 
Teams, a global organization established to foster cooperation and 
coordination among computer security teams worldwide. 

CIAC services are available to DOE and DOE contractors, and CIAC can be 
contacted at:
    Voice:    510-422-8193
    FAX:      510-423-8002
    STU-III:  510-423-2604

For emergencies and off-hour assistance, DOE and DOE contractor sites may 
contact CIAC 24-hours a day. During off hours (5PM - 8AM PST), call the CIAC 
voice number 510-422-8193 and leave a message, or call 800-759-7243 
(800-SKY-PAGE) to send a Sky Page. CIAC has two Sky Page PIN numbers, the 
primary PIN number, 8550070, is for the CIAC duty person, and the secondary 
PIN number, 8550074 is for the CIAC Project Leader.

Previous CIAC notices, anti-virus software, and other information are 
available from the CIAC Computer Security Archive. 

   World Wide Web:
   Anonymous FTP: (
   Modem access:  	(510) 423-4753 (14.4K baud)
                  	(510) 423-3331 (9600 baud)

CIAC has several self-subscribing mailing lists for electronic publications:
1. CIAC-BULLETIN for Advisories, highest priority - time critical information 
   and Bulletins, important computer security information;
2. CIAC-NOTES for Notes, a collection of computer security articles;
3. SPI-ANNOUNCE for official news about Security Profile Inspector (SPI) 
   software updates, new features, distribution and availability;
4. SPI-NOTES, for discussion of problems and solutions regarding the use of 
   SPI products.

Our mailing lists are managed by a public domain software package called 
ListProcessor, which ignores E-mail header subject lines. To subscribe (add 
yourself) to one of our mailing lists, send the following request as the 
E-mail message body, substituting CIAC-BULLETIN, CIAC-NOTES, SPI-ANNOUNCE or 
SPI-NOTES for list-name and valid information for LastName FirstName and 
PhoneNumber when sending

E-mail to
	subscribe list-name LastName, FirstName PhoneNumber
  e.g.,	subscribe ciac-notes OUHara, Scarlett W. 404-555-1212 x36

You will receive an acknowledgment containing address, initial PIN, and 
information on how to change either of them, cancel your subscription, or 
get help. 

PLEASE NOTE: Many users outside of the DOE and ESnet computing communities
receive CIAC bulletins.  If you are not part of these communities, please
contact your agency's response team to report incidents. Your agency's team
will coordinate with CIAC. The Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams
(FIRST) is a world-wide organization. A list of FIRST member organizations and
their constituencies can be obtained by sending email to
with an empty subject line and a message body containing the line: send

This document was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the
United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor the
University of California nor any of their employees, makes any warranty,
express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the
accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product,
or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately
owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process,
or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not
necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favoring by
the United States Government or the University of California. The views and
opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those
of the United States Government or the University of California, and shall not
be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.

LAST 10 CIAC BULLETINS ISSUED (Previous bulletins available from CIAC)

(F-21)  Protecting SUN OS Systems Against SATAN
(F-22)  SATAN Password Disclosure
(F-23)  Protecting IBM AIX Systems Against SATAN
(F-24)  Protecting SGI IRIX Systems Against SATAN
(F-25)  Cisco IOS Router Software Vulnerability
(F-26)  OSF/DCE Security Hole
(F-27)  Incorrect Permissions on /tmp
(F-28A) Vulnerability in SunOS 4.1.* Sendmail (-oR option)
(G-1)   Telnetd Vulnerability
(G-2)	SunOS 4.1.X Loadmodule Vulnerability

RECENT CIAC NOTES ISSUED IN FY1995 (Previous Notes available from CIAC)

Notes 07 - 3/29/95
A comprehensive review of SATAN

Notes 08 - 4/4/95
A Courtney update

Notes 09 - 4/24/95
More on the "Good Times" virus urban legend

Notes 10 - 6/16/95
Discusses the PKZ300B Trojan, Logdaemon/FreeBSD vulnerability
in S/Key, EBOLA Virus Hoax, and Caibua Virus

Notes 11 - 7/31/95
Features include a Virus Update, Hats Off to Administrators,
America On-Line Virus Scare, SPI 3.2.2 Released, The Die_Hard Virus

Notes 12 - 9/12/95
Features include discussions on securely configuring Public
Telnet Services, X Windows and announces the beta release of Merlin,
describes the Microsoft Word Macro Viruses, and examines allegations
of Inappropriate Data Collection in Win95

Version: 2.6.2


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