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.



23 November 1998
13 February 2007
Also Known As:
Backdoor.Netbus.170 [KAV]
Systems Affected:

Netbus.170.W95.Trojan is a backdoor Trojan that gives remote attackers full control over a victim's computer. This includes, but is not limited to, uploading files, executing applications, stealing documents, and deleting files.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 24 November 1998
  • Latest Rapid Release version 04 November 2019 revision 019
  • Initial Daily Certified version 24 November 1998
  • Latest Daily Certified version 04 November 2019 revision 065
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date 25 November 1998
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

Typically when a Netbus.170.W95.Trojan or one of its variants runs, it copies itself to some specific system folder and then creates a registry value that launches the Trojan each time the operating system is restarted.

Netbus.170.W95.Trojan also typically inserts a keylogger file onto the victim's system. The file's purpose is to monitor and log any keystrokes from the user.

Some examples of files created by the Trojan are:

%Windir%\MSCOMCNFG.EXE (the backdoor)
%Windir%\KeyHook.dll (the keylogger, which is often detected as Netbus.W95.Trojan)

An example of a resultant registry value is


which would be created under the registry key


Netbus.170.W95.Trojan then sets up a listening port connection, waiting for incoming connections. These ports can be configured to anything, but one configuration uses ports 12345 and 12346.


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.

These instructions pertain to all current and recent Symantec antivirus products, including the Symantec AntiVirus and Norton AntiVirus product lines.
  1. Update the virus definitions.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Windows 95/98/Me: Restart the computer in Safe mode.
    • Windows NT/2000/XP: End the Trojan process.
  3. Run a full system scan, and delete all files that are detected as Netbus.170.W95.Trojan or Netbus.W95.Trojan.
  4. Reverse the changes that the Trojan made to the registry.
For details on each of these procedures, read the following instructions.

Updating the virus definitions
Symantec Security Response fully tests all the virus definitions for quality assurance before they are posted to our servers. There are two ways to obtain the most recent virus definitions:
  • Running LiveUpdate, which is the easiest way to obtain the virus definitions. These virus definitions are posted to the LiveUpdate servers once each week (usually on Wednesdays), unless there is a major virus outbreak. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by LiveUpdate, refer to the Virus Definitions (LiveUpdate), in the "Protection" section, at the top of this writeup.
  • Downloading the definitions using the Intelligent Updater. The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are posted on U.S. business days (Monday through Friday). You should download the definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site and manually install them. To determine whether definitions for this threat are available by the Intelligent Updater, refer to the Virus Definitions (Intelligent Updater), in the "Protection" section, at the top of this writeup.

    The Intelligent Updater virus definitions are available here. For detailed instructions on how to download and install the Intelligent Updater virus definitions from the Symantec Security Response Web site, click here.

Restarting the computer in Safe mode or ending the Trojan process
  • Windows 95/98/Me
    Restart the computer in Safe mode. All Windows 32-bit operating systems, except for Windows NT, can be restarted in Safe mode. For instructions on how to do this, read the document, "How to start the computer in Safe Mode."
  • Windows NT/2000/XP
    To end the Trojan process:
    1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete once.
    2. Click Task Manager.
    3. Click the Processes tab.
    4. Double-click the Image Name column header to alphabetically sort the processes.
    5. Scroll through the list and look for MSCOMCNFG.EXE.
    6. If you find the file, click it, and then click End Process.
    7. Exit the Task Manager.
Scanning for and deleting the infected files
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and make sure that it is configured to scan all the files.
  2. Run a full system scan.
  3. If any files are detected as infected with Netbus.170.W95.Trojan or Netbus.W95.Trojan, click Delete.

Reversing the changes that the Trojan made to the registry

: Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before you make any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify the specified keys only. Read the document, How to make a backup of the Windows registry for instructions.
  1. Click Start, then click Run. (The Run dialog box appears.)
  2. Type regedit and then click OK. (The Registry Editor opens.)
  3. Navigate to the key

  4. In the right pane, delete the value

  5. Exit the Registry Editor.

Writeup By: Atli Gudmundsson