GandCrab ransomware scuttles files, demands TOR download to retrieve files

Over the last three days LMNTRIX Labs has been tracking an influx of GandCrab ransomware. The ransomware samples are being pushed by RIG Exploit delivery channels.  

The sample we discovered for analysis is: 5d53050a1509bcc9d97552fa52c1105b51967f4ccf2bde717b502605db1b5011

File size: 129 KB


Figure 1 Ransom_GANDCRAB detection

Versions and resources of both the files are same:


Figure 2 Resource -Icon of the file


Figure 3 Versions details of both the ransomware samples


We loaded the sample in our debugger to further explore the malware’s behaviour:

00401424   |.  FF15 54F04000  CALL DWORD PTR DS:[<&KERNEL32.GlobalAlloc>]                  ; \GlobalAlloc

GlobalAlloc functions are used in memory management, mostly in decrypting or decoding the codes in the file.


Figure 4 decoding functions

We traversed to the highlighted subroutines in the above snapshot: Address 4011F1. When we execute all those instructions, we arrived at the below location:

Figure 5 Jmp to decrypting code

After further debugging the code, we found the file included a number of anti-debugging tricks:

0405927: call dword ptr [0040F0CCh]    //IsDebuggerPresent@KERNEL32.DLL 
040592d: mov dword ptr [004153B8h], eax
040593a: push 00000000h 
040593c: call dword ptr [0040F0C8h]   //SetUnhandledExceptionFilter@KERNEL32.DLL 
0405942: push 0040F530h 
0405947: call dword ptr [0040F0C4h]    //UnhandledExceptionFilter@KERNEL32.DLL 
040594d: cmp dword ptr [004153B8h], 00000000h 
0405954: jne 0040595Eh
0405956: push 00000001h 
0405958: call 00409B47h
040595d: pop ecx 
040595e: push C0000409h 
0405963: call dword ptr [0040F0C0h]    //GetCurrentProcess@KERNEL32.DLL 
0405969: push eax 
040596a: call dword ptr [0040F068h]   //TerminateProcess@KERNEL32.DLL

The above code all centres on anti-debugging tricks. We also observed multiple network-related artefacts in the code:

0406ddb: push dword ptr [esi+04h] 
0406dde: call dword ptr [004091D0h]   //InternetConnectW@WININET.DLL 
0406e2a: push 00410938h    //HTTP/1.1 
0406e30: push dword ptr [ebp+28h] 
0406e34: call dword ptr [004091C4h]    //HttpOpenRequestW@WININET.DLL 
0406e4d: call dword ptr [004091C0h]    //HttpSendRequestW@WININET.DLL 
0406e96: call dword ptr [004091D4h]    //InternetReadFile@WININET.DLL 

These instructions are picked selectively to spot network connection calls. During our analysis, we observed the malware contact the following domains:

• – this is used to detect the network’s IP address.

•    a.dnspod(.)com – we checked this in Virustotal which Fortinet AV flagged as malware.

Registry entries and file creation:

A duplicate MD5 of the parent file is dropped in the %appdata%\Microsoft folder with a random name.

C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Microsoft\wgpspj.exe

And same file is targeted in the created registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce "ulclieptfog"
Type: REG_SZ
Data: "C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Microsoft\wgpspj.exe"

To find the randomness of the file name and registry key value, we reverted to the clean state before executing the file. A duplicate file gets created with <random name.exe>. The ‘Runonce’ key’s value part is also randomly generated. An example is below:

C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Microsoft\<random file name.exe>

Random value:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce "<random value part>"
Type: REG_SZ
Data: "C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Microsoft\<random file name.exe>"

In %appdata% location, the malware drops a text file called ‘GDCB-DECRYPT.txt’. This contains the malware’s ransom note. The user is instructed to purchase a private key after downloading the Tor browser:


Figure 6 GDGB-DECRYPT.txt

Threat Indicators – IOC details

File Hashes:

SHA 256: 5d53050a1509bcc9d97552fa52c1105b51967f4ccf2bde717b502605db1b5011

Malicious domain:


TOR Link:




File extension added by this variant of ransomware:


Registry key:


Value: "Random value name on each execution"

Physical location: %appdata% under <Microsoft folder> <Random file name on each execution>


We advise users to apply the IOC details and set alerts in order to prevent infection. Further, users should always exercise caution when receiving attachments from unknown users. 

Updated anti-malware with anti-ransomware modules can also help combat ransomware attacks.

On 2018-01-31

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