Author: John Anthony Banes   

 PLATFORM:

Windows

 OVER ALL RISK RATING:
 DAMAGE POTENTIAL:
 DISTRIBUTION POTENTIAL:
 REPORTED INFECTION:
 INFORMATION EXPOSURE
Low
Medium
High
Critical

  • Threat Type:
    Ransomware

  • Destructiveness:
    No

  • Encrypted:
     

  • In the wild:
    Yes

  OVERVIEW

This Ransomware arrives on a system as a file dropped by other malware or as a file downloaded unknowingly by users when visiting malicious sites.

It is capable of encrypting files in the affected system.

It drops files as ransom note.

  TECHNICAL DETAILS

File size: 241,160 bytes
File type: EXE
Memory resident: Yes
INITIAL SAMPLES RECEIVED DATE: 14 March 2018

Arrival Details

This Ransomware arrives on a system as a file dropped by other malware or as a file downloaded unknowingly by users when visiting malicious sites.

Installation

This Ransomware drops the following copies of itself into the affected system:

  • %Application Data%\Microsoft\{6 Random Characters}.exe

(Note: %Application Data% is the Application Data folder, where it usually is C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Application Data on Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP (32- and 64-bit); C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming on Windows Vista (32- and 64-bit), Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit), Windows 8 (32- and 64-bit), Windows 8.1 (32- and 64-bit), Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012.)

Autostart Technique

This Ransomware adds the following registry entries to enable its automatic execution at every system startup:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
{11 Random Characters} = %Application Data%\Microsoft\{6 Random Characters}.exe

Other Details

This Ransomware connects to the following URL(s) to get the affected system's IP address:

  • http://ipv4bot.whatismyipaddress.com/

It connects to the following possibly malicious URL:

  • http://{BLOCKED}.{BLOCKED}.191.67/ghai?b=scaif

It is capable of encrypting files in the affected system.

Ransomware Routine

This Ransomware appends the following extension to the file name of the encrypted files:

  • .CRAB

It drops the following file(s) as ransom note:

  • {folder of encrypted files}\CRAB-DECRYPT.txt

  SOLUTION

Minimum scan engine: 9.850
First VSAPI Pattern File: 14.128.03
First VSAPI Pattern Release Date: 14 March 2018
VSAPI OPR PATTERN-VERSION: 14.129.00
VSAPI OPR PATTERN DATE: 15 March 2018

Step 1

Before doing any scans, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users must disable System Restore to allow full scanning of their computers.

Step 2

Note that not all files, folders, and registry keys and entries are installed on your computer during this malware's/spyware's/grayware's execution. This may be due to incomplete installation or other operating system conditions. If you do not find the same files/folders/registry information, please proceed to the next step.

Step 3

Restart in Safe Mode

[ learnMore ]

Step 4

Delete this registry value

[ learnMore ]

Important: Editing the Windows Registry incorrectly can lead to irreversible system malfunction. Please do this step only if you know how or you can ask assistance from your system administrator. Else, check this Microsoft article first before modifying your computer's registry.

  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
    • {11 Random Characters} = %Application Data%\Microsoft\{6 Random Characters}.exe

Step 5

Search and delete these files

[ learnMore ]
There may be some files that are hidden. Please make sure you check the Search Hidden Files and Folders checkbox in the "More advanced options" option to include all hidden files and folders in the search result.
  • {folder of encrypted files}\CRAB-DECRYPT.txt

Step 6

Restart in normal mode and scan your computer with your Trend Micro product for files detected as RANSOM_GANDCRAB.TIAOBFZ. If the detected files have already been cleaned, deleted, or quarantined by your Trend Micro product, no further step is required. You may opt to simply delete the quarantined files. Please check this Knowledge Base page for more information.

Step 7

Restore encrypted files from backup.


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