Threat Explorer

The Threat Explorer is a comprehensive resource consumers can turn to for daily, accurate, up-to-date information on the latest threats, risks and vulnerabilities.

Dr Watson

Dr Watson

13 February 2007
Also Known As:
Dr.Watson, Dr W, DrWatson.1503, Dr W.1503

This virus infects DOS .COM files. The Dr Watson virus can spread through intranets, the Internet, or other e-mail. This virus has never been encountered by our customers. It is 1503 bytes long. This virus installs itself as a memory-resident program. This virus does not contain a destructive payload. It is not encrypted in any way. It does not exhibit multipartite behavior. In other words, it is incapable of infecting floppy disk or hard drive boot records. It virus does not try to actively conceal itself. This virus infects files in a manner that makes disinfection impossible.

The virus creates a file called C:\DRWATSON.COM and adds the line "@drwatson" to C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT. May display the message "Tracing mode has been destroyed." Please also note that Windows does have a tool called Dr Watson(DRWATSON.EXE) which is usually located in the WINDOWS directory. The virus probably uses this file name to confuse the user and make this file (C:\DRWATSON.COM) less suspicious.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 21 December 2000
  • Latest Rapid Release version 26 October 2017 revision 038
  • Initial Daily Certified version 21 December 2000
  • Latest Daily Certified version 27 October 2017 revision 003
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date pending
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

No additional information.

Symantec Security Response will update this write-up if/when more information is available.


Symantec Security Response encourages all users and administrators to adhere to the following basic security "best practices":

  • Use a firewall to block all incoming connections from the Internet to services that should not be publicly available. By default, you should deny all incoming connections and only allow services you explicitly want to offer to the outside world.
  • Enforce a password policy. Complex passwords make it difficult to crack password files on compromised computers. This helps to prevent or limit damage when a computer is compromised.
  • Ensure that programs and users of the computer use the lowest level of privileges necessary to complete a task. When prompted for a root or UAC password, ensure that the program asking for administration-level access is a legitimate application.
  • Disable AutoPlay to prevent the automatic launching of executable files on network and removable drives, and disconnect the drives when not required. If write access is not required, enable read-only mode if the option is available.
  • Turn off file sharing if not needed. If file sharing is required, use ACLs and password protection to limit access. Disable anonymous access to shared folders. Grant access only to user accounts with strong passwords to folders that must be shared.
  • Turn off and remove unnecessary services. By default, many operating systems install auxiliary services that are not critical. These services are avenues of attack. If they are removed, threats have less avenues of attack.
  • If a threat exploits one or more network services, disable, or block access to, those services until a patch is applied.
  • Always keep your patch levels up-to-date, especially on computers that host public services and are accessible through the firewall, such as HTTP, FTP, mail, and DNS services.
  • Configure your email server to block or remove email that contains file attachments that are commonly used to spread threats, such as .vbs, .bat, .exe, .pif and .scr files.
  • Isolate compromised computers quickly to prevent threats from spreading further. Perform a forensic analysis and restore the computers using trusted media.
  • Train employees not to open attachments unless they are expecting them. Also, do not execute software that is downloaded from the Internet unless it has been scanned for viruses. Simply visiting a compromised Web site can cause infection if certain browser vulnerabilities are not patched.
  • If Bluetooth is not required for mobile devices, it should be turned off. If you require its use, ensure that the device's visibility is set to "Hidden" so that it cannot be scanned by other Bluetooth devices. If device pairing must be used, ensure that all devices are set to "Unauthorized", requiring authorization for each connection request. Do not accept applications that are unsigned or sent from unknown sources.
  • For further information on the terms used in this document, please refer to the Security Response glossary.