Goner is a script kiddie-inspired worm that disables firewalls, antivirus
By Robert Vamosi
December 4, 2001
A fast-spreading worm that looks like a malicious user Web-site defacement could also disable your antivirus and firewall protection.
Let there be no doubt that script kiddies--inexperienced malicious programmers--have taken up the once lowly skill of virus writing. Goner's (w32.Goner.A@mm) pop-up displays look like a typical script kiddie Web-site defacement, complete with the typical script kiddie "greetz." Besides spreading rapidly by e-mail, and therefore posing a threat to e-mail servers, Goner spreads via ICQ and also shuts down antivirus and firewall protection, leaving your Windows computer vulnerable to other attacks. Because it deletes files, Goner ranks a 7 on the ZDNet Virus Meter.
How it works
Goner arrives by ICQ or e-mail bearing a subject line of "Hi" with the body text of "How are you ? When I saw this screen saver, I immediately thought about you I am in a harry, I promise you will love it!" The attached file is gone.scr.
The payload of Goner is written in Visual Basic 6, packed with a UPX file compressor, and is 39KB in size. If executed, the worm makes copies of itself in the Windows System directory under the name gone.scr. It also adds itself to the Registry so that it executes each time the computer reboots.
Goner uses the Outbook Address Book to find addresses to send e-mail copies of itself. If ICQ, a favorite program of script kiddies, is also present on the infected computer, Goner will attempt to spread copies of itself through that service as well.
Besides displaying a message taking credit for the worm--"Pentagone coded by: suid tested by: ThE_SkuLL and Isatanl"--and a traditional script kiddie greetz--"greetings to TraceWar, k9unit, stef16, ^Reno. Greetings also to nonick2 out there where ever you are." This worm also displays a fake error message.
Goner disables antivirus and firewall protection by attempting to delete the following files:
If Goner can't delete the files immediately, it will create a WININIT.INI file to delete the files upon reboot.
Most of the antivirus software companies have updated their signature files to include this worm. For more information on removing this Goner from your system, see Central Command, F-Secure, Kaspersky, McAfee, Sophos, Symantec, and Trend Micro.