Sage Invoice Email SPAM

Also Known As: TrickBot trojan
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

Sage Invoice virus removal guide

What is Sage Invoice?

Discovered by My Online Security, "Sage Invoice" is an email spam campaign used to proliferate a trojan-type virus called TrickBot. Deceptive emails contain a message stating that a type of payment is pending. The email also contains an attachment, a malicious MS Office document. Once opened, this file stealthily downloads and installs the aforementioned trojan.

Sage Invoice malware

As mentioned above, the email states that a type of payment has not been submitted and encourages users to open the attached invoice (an MS Office document) for "detailed information". Be aware, however, that this is a scam - cyber criminals attempt to trick users into opening a file that downloads and installs malware. Research shows that cyber criminals continually register various email addresses and web domains that contain names of legitimate companies or government departments. Once registered, these emails/domains are used to proliferate malware - users are much more likely to open email attachments and visit URLs that look familiar. Note that "Sage Invoice" proliferates a high-risk trojan called TrickBot. This malware gathers various web logins/passwords by hijacking Internet browsers and recording data. Collected information can be misused to generate revenue (online transfers/purchases, identity theft, etc.) Therefore, the presence of a trojan such as TrickBot might lead to significant financial loss and serious privacy issues. Furthermore, "Sage Invoice" is extremely good at removing its tracks. Detecting this malware manually is virtually impossible. Fortunately, most legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suites are capable of detecting and eliminating TrickBot. Therefore, if you have already opened a "Sage Invoice" spam attachment, we strongly advise you to scan your system and remove all threats.

Threat Summary:
NameTrickBot trojan
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)

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TrickBot is virtually identical to Adwind, Pony, FormBook, and dozens of other trojan-type viruses. As with Sage Invoice, most are also distributed using spam campaigns. In addition, they are designed to record information. Some also spread other viruses, such as ransomware. In this way, trojans such as TrickBot pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did Sage Invoice infect my computer?

The "Sage Invoice" spam campaign distributes a malicious MS Word ("invoice.doc") by presenting it as an invoice that must be paid. After opening this document, users are immediately asked to enable macro commands, otherwise the content will not be displayed properly. Once macros are enabled, the attachment immediately executes commands that stealthily download and install TrickBot. Be aware, however, that this will only work if victims open the attachment using MS Word. If the file is opened using another application, the malware will not be decrypted. Furthermore, it targets the Windows Operating System only - users of other platforms (Linux, MacOS, and so on) are safe.

How to avoid installation of malware?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet. Think twice before opening email attachments. If the file seems irrelevant or has been received from a suspicious/unrecognizable email address - do not open it and delete the email immediately. In addition, more recent versions (2010 and above) of MS Office open newly downloaded files in "Protected View" mode. This prevents malicious attachments from downloading and installing malware. Therefore, using old versions is risky. Some trojans are also distributed using fake software updaters and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" (stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software). Installed applications must be kept up-to-date, however, this should be achieved using implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. In addition, carefully analyze each window of the download/installation processes and opt-out of all additionally-included programs (if there are any). Download programs from official sources only (using direct download links), rather than using third party downloaders/installers. Developers monetize these tools by proliferating rogue apps and should never be used. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. If you have already opened a "Sage Invoice" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Sage Invoice" email message:

Hi there,
Payment not received.
Kind Regards,
Dorothy Fraser

Malicious attachment distributed via "Sage Invoice" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Sage Invoice spam campaign

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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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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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 have 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 file associated with the malware, 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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.

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