Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus

Also Known As: Christmas bonus gift virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Christmas Day Bonus Gift Email Virus" removal guide

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:
NameChristmas bonus gift virus
Threat TypeTrojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
SymptomsTrojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.
DamageStolen 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 Malwarebytes.
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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 Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

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

Subject: Wages December

Greetings,
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 computer skills. Malwarebytes 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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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Malwarebytes for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example, using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

 

manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck the "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Malwarebytes for Windows.

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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.

QR Code
Christmas bonus gift virus QR code
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