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07 June 2001
13 February 2007

Mac.Simpsons@mm is an AppleScript worm that targets the Macintosh platform. It may open Microsoft Outlook Express or Entourage, and send a copy of itself with the original message to everyone in your address book. The name of the script is "Simpsons Episodes." This worm does not appear to be particularly malicious, and is similar to other mass-mailing worms that affect Window's computers such as VBS.LoveLetter. Symantec Security Response has received very few submissions of this worm.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 11 June 2001
  • Latest Rapid Release version 20 August 2008 revision 017
  • Initial Daily Certified version 11 June 2001
  • Latest Daily Certified version 20 August 2008 revision 016
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date pending
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

When executed, the worm launches a script (written in AppleScript) that opens Outlook Express or Entourage in the background, and sends a copy of the script and message to everyone in your address book. The message is:
Hundreds of Simpsons episodes were just secretly produced and sent out on the internet, if this message gets to you, the episodes are enclosed on the attachment program, which will only run on a Macintosh. You must have system 9.0 or 9.1 to watch the hilarious episodes, in high quality. Just download and open it. From, <your name> -- To get random signatures put text files into a folder called "Random Signatures" into your Preferences folder.
Entourage should warn you of suspicious behavior before sending out the mass emails. There are currently no reports of any warnings from Outlook Express.
The worm also copies itself to the Startup Items folder. Attempting to quit either Internet Explorer or Entourage may result in them restarting. The worm may also delete all sent email from the sent items folder. They are moved to the deleted folder and can be restored from there.


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.

  1. Run LiveUpdate to make sure that you have the most recent virus definitions.
  2. Start Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh and run a full system scan.
  3. Delete any files detected as Mac.Simpsons@mm

Writeup By: Ralph Gutierrez