Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus

Also Known As: Christmas Day Bonus Gift spam
Damage level: Severe

What is "Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus"?

"Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus" is a spam campaign used to trick people (email recipients) into clicking the displayed website link. Clicking this link leads to a computer infection called Ursnif, a trojan-type computer infection designed to record various sensitive data. We advise you not to open the link presented in this scam - the best option is to simply ignore it.

Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus

"Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus" is a short email message regarding a bonus wage payment. To receive the bonus, which will supposedly be paid before Christmas, scammers behind this email encourage recipients to click the presented link. Note that clicking the link leads to a Google Docs attachment called "Payroll Slip 5636.exe" (the filename might differ).

Once opened/executed, this executable file installs the aforementioned Ursnif malicious program. As mentioned above, this infection records/steals various personal user-information such as keystrokes, browsing-related data, saved passwords and logins, and so on.

Furthermore, it might be capable of gaining access to personal accounts such as social networks, emails, banks, and others. In summary, these trojan-type programs are used to generate as much revenue as possible.

Furthermore, Ursnif might be used to download and install executable files onto an infected computer, thus leading to more computer infections. If you receive the "Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus" email, we strongly recommend that you ignore/delete it.

Threat Summary:
Name Christmas Day Bonus Gift spam
Threat Type Trojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.
Damage Stolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, victim's computer added to a botnet.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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There is are countless spam campaigns online, and the number is growing daily. Some examples of other similar scams are A2 Trading Corp Email Virus, Brexit Email Virus, and FORTUNADIGITAL Email Virus. Ursnif is not the only high-risk virus that is spread using these email campaigns.

Others include Adwind, FormBook, TrickBot, and Emotet. These infections might cause serious problems relating to privacy, online safety, personal/business finances, computer infections, and so on. You are strongly advised to remove these threats as soon as possible.

How did "Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus" infect my computer?

The "Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus" spam campaign is used to proliferate the Ursnif virus via a web link that leads to an executable file stored in Google Docs. Once downloaded and opened (executed), the executable installs and causes the aforementioned computer infection.

Other scams of this type infect computers via email attachments such as Microsoft Office, PDF documents, archive or executable files, and so on. For example, when downloaded and opened, a malicious MS Office document will demand permission to enable macro commands.

If enabled, they grant permission for a specific computer infection to be downloaded and installed. Note, however, that viruses proliferated via spam campaigns can infect computers only when the attachments or web links are opened manually (thereby granting permission to install the infection).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open attachments or web links presented in dubious emails. If the message is received from an unknown, suspicious address, do not open it, unless you are sure it is safe. Ignore emails that are irrelevant or do not concern you. To avoid viruses, have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed.

These programs can detect and eliminate threats before they do any damage. If you have already opened the "Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus" email message:

Subject: Wages December

Please explore your payroll down the page,
Your Christmas day Bonus gift is 286 ?.
This month wage will be paid usually before christmas.

Screenshot of a Urnsnif malicious process running in Task Manager under the name "UNACE Dynamic Link Library":

christmas day bonus gift malicious ursnif proccess named unace dynamic link library in task manager

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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