University of Minnesota Duluth - Information
Technology Systems and Services

Happy99 worm hits e-mail, newsgroup users
by Sally Bradt

Happy99 is a computer worm that has reportedly been received through e-mail and USENET newsgroup postings in Europe and North America. It is sent unknowingly by a user as an attachment. Users who receive this attachment (usually called HAPPY99.EXE) via e-mail should delete the mail and the attachment.

Happy99 arrives to a computer via an e-mail or newsgroup attachment but does not infect the machine unless the user runs the attachment. When run, the program opens a window titled "Happy New Year 1999!!" and shows a firework display to disguise its other actions.

While the fireworks burst on-screen, the computer worm modifies the winsock32.dll file in order to monitor what e-mails and postings are made from the machine. Since all Internet access goes through the wsock32.dll file, Happy99.exe can then spam the newsgroup or e-mail recipient with copies of itself any time the computer user tries to send an Internet message. Because it can basically self-replicate, it has been termed a "worm" and not a "virus".

To remove the worm:

  4. Delete the downloaded file, usually named HAPPY99.EXE.

If you have questions about this worm or find you need assistance removing it, please contact the ITSS Help Desk at x8847.


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Last Modified on Friday, 31-Mar-2000 10:50:44 CST
Publication Date: 4/99