Learn How Your ISA Server Helps Block Sobig.F Traffic

This page was first published on August 22 at 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time.

The first course of action taken against W32.Sobig.F (Sobig) must be protecting and patching all affected computers. Find out what you should know about the Sobig worm.

The following information explains how to use Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 to help prevent malicious traffic created by Sobig and its variants and to possibly prevent computers on internal networks from additional infection. Unpatched servers running ISA Server in cache mode cannot restrict Sobig.F traffic.

The first section of this article contains technical details about Sobig:

In addition, this article details three scenarios where ISA Server can mitigate a Sobig attack:

This article also discusses:

Microsoft makes no warranties about this information. In no event shall Microsoft be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of or with the use or spread of this information. Any use of this information is at the user's own risk.

Table 1 lists affected ports known to be used by Sobig. You should block those ports used by Sobig. This data is current as of 12:00 P.M. on August 22, 2003.

# Port Number IP Protocol Known to Be Used by Sobig??













By default, servers running ISA Server in firewall or integrated modes effectively help protect against Sobig by blocking the external attacks on the affected ports.

For the network protected by a server running ISA Server to be vulnerable, specific rules would need to be written to allow traffic on these ports.

  • DO enable Internet protocol (IP) packet filtering.
Customers who have not enabled IP packet filtering should review the packet filtering section of this page.
Do not create server publishing rules using the ports listed in Table 1.

Default installations of ISA Server in firewall or integrated mode prevent the spread of Sobig to external networks. However, if your ISA Server is configured with an "allow all" policy for outbound traffic, then you must create protocol rules to block Sobig on its known ports.

To help prevent outbound attacks through ISA Server:

  • DO create protocol rules that block traffic on all ports listed in Table 1.
Customers who have not blocked this traffic should review the block outbound traffic procedure on this page.
NTP (UDP) may be a typical part of your deployment, as this is the default protocol/port used by the Windows Time Service. In this case, you may not want to block this traffic.
  • DO disable the Firewall Client for malicious Sobig processes, if the Firewall Client is being used in your environment. If all outbound access is authenticated, this will prevent the worm from acting as a Firewall Client through ISA Server.
For instructions how to do this, review the disable malicious Sobig processes section on this page.

A computer that has ISA Server installed is only vulnerable to attack by the Sobig worm if:

  1. You used an e-mail client on the server running ISA Server.
  2. You open an e-mail attachment delivered by Sobig.F.
To help protect the ISA Server computer itself from a Sobig attack, do not use the ISA Server computer as a workstation.

To enable IP packet filtering:

  1. In ISA Management, expand Servers and Arrays, <ISA Server name>, Access Policy.
  2. Right-click IP Packet Filters, select Properties.
  3. Check the Enable Packet Filtering box.
  4. Click OK.

To verify that no server publishing rules use Sobig.F ports:

  1. In ISA Management, expand Servers and Arrays, <ISA Server name>,Publishing Rules.
  2. Click Protocol Definitions.
  3. In the right-side pane, click the Port Number column header to sort the list by port number.
  4. Write down the names of any protocol definitions that include the port and protocol combinations as listed in Table 1.
  5. In the left pane, expand Publishing.
  6. Click Server Publishing Rules.
  7. Examine all the server publishing rules. If anything in the Protocol column matches the name of a protocol definition that you wrote down in Step 4, that server publishing rule must be disabled or deleted.

If you are using an "allow all" policy for outbound traffic, protocol definitions need to be created for all ports listed in Table 1, except for #1 (a definition for port 123 UDP already exists and is called NTP (UDP)). You should create a protocol definition for each port to be blocked, where:

  • <port number> is the number of the port from the second column of Table 1
  • <IP protocol> is UDP

To block outbound traffic on known Sobig ports listed in Table 1:

Where a listing includes a range of ports, you must repeat Steps 2–8 for each port in the range.
  1. In ISA Management, expand Servers and Arrays, <ISA name Server>, Policy Elements.
  2. Right-click Protocol Definitions, point to New, and then click Definition.
  3. Type Sobig (<port number>, <ip protocol>) in the Protocol Definition Name dialog box and then click Next.
  4. Type <port number> in the Port Number dialog box.
  5. Select <protocol type> in the Protocol Type drop-down list.
  6. Select Outbound from the Direction dialog box.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Select No from the Do you want to use secondary connections? option, and then click Next.
  9. Click Finish.

To prevent traffic on known Sobig ports:

  1. In the left pane, expand Access Policy.
  2. Right-click Protocol Rules, point to New, and then click Rule.
  3. Type Block W32.Sobig.F in the Protocol Rule Definition Name dialog box and then click Next.
  4. Select Deny from the Response to client requests to use this protocol option.
  5. Select Selected protocols from the Apply this rule drop-down list.
  6. In Protocols, check the boxes for the newly created protocol definitions in Steps 1–9 and NTP (UDP).
  7. Click Next.
  8. Select Always from the Use this schedule drop-down list and then click Next.

The malicious Sobig process is winppr3.exe. A Firewall Client rule must be created to disallow this process access through the Firewall Client.

To disable the Firewall Client for the malicious Sobig process:

  1. In ISA Management, expand Servers and Arrays, <ISA name Server>.
  2. Click Client Configuration.
  3. In the right pane, right-click Firewall Client and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Application Settings tab.
  5. Click New.
  6. Type winppr32 in the Application dialog box.
  7. Select Disable from the Key drop-down list.
  8. Select 1 from the Value drop-down list.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Click OK.

Disabling the Firewall Client for winppr32.exe only prevents the malicious processes on an infected LAT host from acting as a Firewall Client. If the host is also configured as a SecureNAT client, then this setting may have no effect. (To prevent SecureNAT client access across ISA Server, make sure that there are no anonymous Site and Content or Protocol rules.)