This Ransomware is still in the Christmas spirit (Jan 10, 2017)


Ransomware continues to be the most prevalent malware nowadays and this week, the SonicWALL Threat Research team received a report of yet another variant. This ransomware however appears to still be in the Christmas spirit a couple of weeks after the holiday. Besides encrypting the victim’s files, this ransomware also gathers information from the compromised computer and sends them out to a remote server.

Infection Cycle:

Upon execution, this ransomware makes a DNS query to the following server:


It then gathers information about the compromised machine such as the computer name, user login information, whether the user has administrative privileges, computer system information, currently running processes and installed programs. All these data are then sent out to a remote server.

It appends the extension “.RMCM1” to all the files it encrypted. It also leaves a copy of the file named “YOUR_FILES_ARE_DEAD.HTA” in every directory where files have been encrypted.

This .HTA file opens a window titled “Merry X-Mas!” and warns the user that their files will be deleted if payment has not been made within the given time limit. Contact information of the cybercriminals is listed as part of this warning message as well.

To ensure that this warning message appears during start up, the following key has been added to the registry:

  • HKCRSofwateMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun “Adobe2” “%USER%DesktopYOUR_FILES_ARE_DEAD.HTA”

Because of the prevalence of these types of malware attacks, we urge our users to back up their files regularly.

SonicWALL Gateway AntiVirus provides protection against this threat with the following signatures:

  • GAV: Ransom.XMAS (Trojan)
  • GAV: Ransom.XMAS_2 (Trojan)
Security News
The SonicWall Capture Labs Threat Research Team gathers, analyzes and vets cross-vector threat information from the SonicWall Capture Threat network, consisting of global devices and resources, including more than 1 million security sensors in nearly 200 countries and territories. The research team identifies, analyzes, and mitigates critical vulnerabilities and malware daily through in-depth research, which drives protection for all SonicWall customers. In addition to safeguarding networks globally, the research team supports the larger threat intelligence community by releasing weekly deep technical analyses of the most critical threats to small businesses, providing critical knowledge that defenders need to protect their networks.