Threat Description



Aliases:Maldal, Keyluc, Zacker, CHRISTMAS.EXE, Reeezak


This is a political worm, found on the 19th of December, 2001.

Maldal worms spreads as an e-mail attachment named CHRISTMAS.EXE, which looks like a typical multimedia Christmas Greeting Card.


Automatic action

Once detected, the F-Secure security product will automatically disinfect the suspect file by either deleting it or renaming it.


You may wish to refer to the Support Community for further assistance. You also may also refer to General Removal Instructions for a general guide on alternative disinfection actions.

Technical Details

Maldal is written in Visual Basic for Applictions. It collects e-mail addresses from Outlook database and from MSN Messenger contact list. It sends messages with constant message text and attachment name.

Messages sent by Maldal look like this:

  Name: name-of-the-infected-user
  To: random-name-from-address-book
  Subject: Happy New Year
 Hii , I can't describe my feelings But all I can say
  is Happy new year :-) bye
 Attachment: christmas.exe

When the attachment is opened it displays a Christmas greeting window to disguise the malicious activity.

The worm copies itself to the Windows directory as 'Christmas.exe'. This copy of the worm is added to the registry run keys as


so it will be started whenever Windows starts up.


After activation the worm disables the keyboard and attempts to delete everything from the Windows System directory.

The computer name is set to 'ZaCker' and modifies the Internet Explorer start page to an infected homepage.

Sharoon = a war crimenal
  Bush supports him
Bush = a war crimenal
  American people must protect their country
 otherwise, their
  government will lead them to the hell !
  Best Regards
America Lovers

When the infected page is browsed using Internet Explorer, the JavaScript code in the page will execute, using a vulnerability known as Microsoft VM ActiveX control vulnerability (MS00-075). The JavaScript code will create an file "rol.vbs" in the root of the Windows installation drive and execute it.

At this point, the worm will attempt to remove contens of the following directories on the same drive:

 Program Files\Zone Labs
 Program Files\AntiViral Toolkit Pro
 Program Files\Command Software\F-PROT95
 PC-Cillin 95
 PC-Cillin 97
 Program Files\Quick Heal
 Program Files\FWIN32
 Program Files\FindVirus
 Program Files\McAfeeVirusScan95
 Program Files\Norton AntiVirus

The worm will also drop file "DaLaL.htm" into Windows System directory, which contains a link to the second part of the worm. This file is copied, along with the copy of the worm as "server.vbs" to root of each mapped network drive.

Next the worm goes trough all all fixed and network drives, and appends the content of "DaLaL.htm" to each file with ".htm", ".html" or ".asp" extension.

The worm will also delete files with the following extensions: ".lnk", ".zip", ".jpg", ".jpeg", ".mpg", ".mpeg", ".doc", ".xls", ".mdb", ".txt", ".ppt", ".pps", ".ram", ".rm", ".mp3" and ".swf". After deleting a file, it will create a copy of itself with the same name and extension as the original file but adds ".vbs" extension into the name.

Maldal also searchs for mIRC application's configuration file, "mirc.ini", and replaces it. After that an infected user will show a message when another user joins the IRC channel where the user is. This message contains also a link to the infected web page.

Finally, if the script is executed after 30 minutes of the initial infection, and the number of seconds equals five, it attempts to delete all files from the system, shows a message box and shuts down Windows.

The second part of the worm behaves in the same way as the first part, except it drops another file to the Windows system directory - "outlook.vbs" - and executes it. This file then sends a message with a link to itself to all recipients listed in the Outlook Contacts folder.

The message has the following content:

 Subject Very important !!!
 Body:See this page


There is a wide variety of closely related Maldal-variants, named with variable variant letters, depending on the anti-virus vendor. Latest (at the time of this writing) is known as Maldal.D, Maldal.E, Maldal.F, Maldal.G or Maldal.H, depending on the vendor. This variant (known to us as Maldal.D) and all variants up to it are detected by F-Secure Anti-Virus with the update released on January 3rd, 2002.

Technical Details: Gergely Erdelyi, Katrin Tocheva and Sami Rautiainen, F-Secure Corporation, 19th of December 2001


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