W32.sobig.b@mm.html email worm virus removal

Dennis Faas's picture

Today I received well over 200 virus-infected emails, courtesy of the W32.sobig.b@mm.html and Friendship Screensaver worm / virus.

So, why do I get bombarded with email viruses more than the average Joe?

The answer to my dilemma is compound. Since literally thousands of users have emailed me in the past ... and because mail programs such as Outlook / Outlook Express automatically save contacts [email addresses] once mail has been replied to, ... and and because most email viruses propagate through email Contact Lists: my email addresses have been become exceptionally targeted by email worms.

Lucky me.

Details about the W32.sobig.b@mm.html Virus

W32.sobig.b@mm.html propagates by email and network shares. The worm arrives with a file attachment, supposedly from support@microsoft.com.

Note, however, that the email isn't really from Microsoft: this information has been falsified by the virus. You should never open an email attachment unless you specifically asked for a file and you recognize the source.

W32.sobig.b@mm.html email may use the following subject lines:

  • Your details
  • Approved (Ref: 38446-263)
  • Re: Approved (Ref: 3394-65467)
  • Your password
  • Screensaver
  • Re: My details
  • Cool screensaver
  • Re: Movie
  • Re: My application

W32.sobig.b@mm.html also has aliases

According to Symantec, the W32.sobig.b@mm.html is also known as: W32.HLLW.Mankx@mm, W32/Palyh@MM [McAfee], W32/Palyh-A [Sophos], I-Worm.Palyh [KAV], WORM_PALYH.A [Trend], or Win32.Palyh.A [CA].

How to avoid infection

Do not open / execute any email attachment that you do not recognize. For additional protection, firewall and anti-virus software are recommended. See "Free anti-virus and anti-hacker software" (below) for further detail.

Virus propagation and payload

The worm propagates by sending itself to email addresses found on an infected machine. The only threat is large-scale emailing, which generally slows Internet response and clogs mailboxes (sound familiar?).

Removal and Additional Information

Symantec Security Response has provided a free-to-use tool to remove W32.Sobig.B@mm. Sophos.com provides very easy-to-follow instructions for manual removal (see "Recovery"). In-depth information about this worm can be found online the Symantec web site:


RE: Free Anti-Virus and Anti-Hacker Software

A little while back, I put together a report on How to Stop Hackers and Viruses -- all without the need to spend a penny. The report is used to entice users to subscribe to this newsletter and contains links to free anti-virus and anti-hacker firewall software:


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