Fake CDC H1N1 program – New ZBot variant (Dec 01, 2009)


SonicWALL UTM Research team observed a new wave of the Fake CDC H1N1 program spam campaign starting today morning. The e-mail contains a URL pointing to a fake CDC website that hosts the new variant of ZBot Trojan. This is the first time SonicWALL has seen U.S. Center of Disease Control as a spoofed institution.

The email pretends to arrive from U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and informs the user about launch of a State Vaccination H1N1 program. It advises the user to create their personal H1N1 vaccination profile on CDC website for which the URL is contained in the e-mail. If the user clicks on this URL, it leads to a fake CDC website that asks the user to download their H1N1 vaccination profile document archive. This leads to the download of an executable file vacc_profile.exe which is the new ZBot Trojan variant.

The e-mail looks like:


  • Your personal Vaccination Profile
  • Creation of personal Vaccination Profile
  • Instructions on creation of your personal Vaccination Profile
  • State Vaccination Program

Email Body:
You have received this e-mail because of the launching of State Vaccination H1N1 Program.

You need to create your personal H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov website. The Vaccination is not obligatory, but every person that has reached the age of 18 has to have his personal Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov site. This profile has to be created both for the vaccinated people and the not-vaccinated ones. This profile is used for the registering system of vaccinated and not-vaccinated people.
Create your Personal H1N1 Vaccination Profile using the link:

create personal profile

The e-mail message looks like below:


The site that opens up when user clicks on the URL inside the e-mail is shown below:


As seen in the screenshot the malicious site prompts the user to download and open the Profile documente which in reality is the malware executable file:


The new ZBot variant performs following activities upon execution:

  • Creates following files:
    • (Windows_System)lowseclocal.ds
    • (Windows_System)lowsecuser.ds
    • (Windows_System)lowsecuser.ds.lll
    • (Windows_System)sdra64.exe
    • (Copy of itself)

  • Ensures that it runs every time Windows restart by modifying following registry entry:
    • HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogonUserinit: “(Windows_System)userinit.exe,(Windows_System)sdra64.exe,”
  • It tries to connect to a predetermined IP address on HTTP port and sends following GET requests:
    • http://195.104.41(REMOVED)me/rec.php
    • http://195.104.41(REMOVED)cbd/75.bro
    • http://195.104.41(REMOVED)ip.php
  • It also attempts to download another Trojan from http://promed(REMOVED)css/absderce2.exe [Detected as GAV: Krap.AH_4 (Trojan)]

The Trojan is also known as trojan Trojan.Win32.Scar.auxg [Kaspersky] and TR/Crypt.XPACK.Gen [AntiVir].

SonicWALL Gateway AntiVirus provides protection against this malware via GAV: Zbot.BFV (Trojan) signature.

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The SonicWall Capture Labs Threat Research Team gathers, analyzes and vets cross-vector threat information from the SonicWall Capture Threat network, consisting of global devices and resources, including more than 1 million security sensors in nearly 200 countries and territories. The research team identifies, analyzes, and mitigates critical vulnerabilities and malware daily through in-depth research, which drives protection for all SonicWall customers. In addition to safeguarding networks globally, the research team supports the larger threat intelligence community by releasing weekly deep technical analyses of the most critical threats to small businesses, providing critical knowledge that defenders need to protect their networks.