Invoice Email SPAM

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

Invoice Email SPAM virus removal guide

What is Invoice Email SPAM?

"Invoice Email SPAM" (also known as "Outstanding Invoice Email SPAM") is a spam email campaign used to proliferate a high-risk trojan called TrickBot. This "Invoice Email SPAM" shares many similarities with a number of other spam campaigns, such as (for example), eFax, Important Documents IRS, and especially HM Revenue & Customs Outstanding Amount. The text within "Invoice Email SPAM" emails might differ, even though the delivered message is essentially identical: the user has supposedly received an invoice (via an MS Word attachment) and must pay. Be aware, however, that the attached file is malicious and designed to download and install TrickBot malware.

Invoice Email SPAM malware

As mentioned, the email messages state that payments have not been submitted and encourages users to open the MS Word attachment, which contains an invoice. This is a scam. Cyber criminals attempt to trick gullible users into opening a malicious file that infects the system. The text in "Invoice Email SPAM" campaign emails can vary, since cyber criminals register various web domains and email addresses with the names of legitimate companies and government departments. These URLs/email addresses are then used to send spam - it is easier to give the impression of legitimacy when the sender is familiar to the user. Be aware that TrickBot is high-risk malware. It hijacks web browsers and collects various logins/passwords. Collected data is sent to a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. These people can receive sensitive information (e.g., criminals might gain access to users' social networks, bank accounts, and so on). The presence of this malware can lead to significant financial loss or even identity theft. Therefore, data tracking might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you have opened emails/attachments that belong to an "Invoice Email SPAM" spam campaign, you should immediately scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and remove all detected threats.

Threat Summary:
Name TrickBot trojan
Threat Type Trojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.
Damage Stolen 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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

TrickBot is virtually identical to dozens of other trojan-type viruses, such as Pony, Adwind, FormBook, and many others. As with TrickBot, these viruses are also distributed using spam campaigns. In addition, their behavior is also very similar - all collect data. Some trojans are also designed to distribute other viruses (typically, ransomware). Therefore, these viruses pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did Invoice Email SPAM infect my computer?

"Invoice Email SPAM" comes together with malicious MS Word attachments presented as invoices. After opening these files, users are asked to enable macro commands, otherwise the content will not be displayed properly. In doing so, however, users grant permission for the attachments to run scripts that stealthily download/install malware. Note that this will only work if the attachment is opened using the MS Word program. If the file is opened using other software capable of reading these formats, the scripts will not be executed. Furthermore, the malware only targets the Windows Operating System and, thus, users who run other platforms are safe.

How to avoid installation of malware?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. 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, it should never be opened - these emails should be deleted without reading. Furthermore, some trojans are distributed using the "bundling" method (stealth installation of rogue apps together with regular software), and fake updaters. Therefore, be cautious when downloading/installing/updating software. Carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Your programs should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. In addition, keep installed applications up-to-date. To achieve this, use implemented features or tools provided by the official developer only. We also strongly recommend that you have a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running. More recent versions (2010 and above) of MS Office open newly-downloaded files in "Protected Mode", thereby preventing malicious attachments from downloading/installing malware. Therefore, you are strongly advised to avoid using old versions. The key to computer safety is caution. If you have already opened an "Invoice Email SPAM" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Examples of messages presented in various "Invoice Email SPAM" email messages:

Subject: RE: Outstanding INVOICE BIA/066250/5423
The invoices came to us very late. Both are enclosed in attachement.
hxxp://www.perezdearceycia.cl/
alexa.ballantine@gmail.com

 

------------------------------------------------------


Subject: INCORRECT INVOICE
We are waiting for the confirmation from your side so that we can send you the Invoice & Credit card link to process the payment and start the services. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact us. We hope for a positive reply.
hxxp://cqfsbj.cn/
This message is confidential and/or contains legally privileged information. It is intended for the addressees only.
Jamacapq@sbcglobal.net

 

------------------------------------------------------

 

Subject: Outstanding INVOICE XOJR/7763411/6403
We have not received payment or an update on when the overdue invoices will be paid. Our payment terms are strictly 30 days. Please let me know when these invoices will be paid. Please see below the list of overdue invoices:
hxxp://minami.com.tw/
Regards
Priyanka Kapadia

 

------------------------------------------------------


Subject: Outstanding INVOICE FQOVN/2773110/730
Please see below the list of overdue invoices, of which 223.00 euro is due since last month. Can you please advise when payment will be made.
hxxp://www.legionofboomfireworks.com/
This message is confidential and/or contains legally privileged information. It is intended for the addressees only.
Thanks
Kira Holden

 

------------------------------------------------------


Subject: Invoice Number 55057
Last one year we started to charge for CRB check. They pay us first and we apply for CRB. =0DI do not have invoices.
hxxp://www.caglarturizm.com.tr/
Kind Regards,
andy

 

------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Final Account
Please find attached your confirmation documents. What you need to do Urgently Print off, sign and scan/send back the full proposal form within 7 days
hxxp://www.jxprint.ru/
Many Thanks
CYNTHIA HARRY

Malicious attachment distributed via "Invoice Email SPAM" campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Invoice Email SPAM spam campaign

Example of yet another invoice-themed spam email delivered in Portuguese language:

Invoice-themed spam email (2020-09-16)

Text presented within:

Subject: Estimado Cliente Pingo Doce - Segue em anexo a sua Fatura Eletronica. - ( 685809856280  )

Prezado (a) atendimento@pcrisk.pt ,

Segue em anexo a sua Fatura Eletronica.

Anexo: NFe-311502664715151006891154.PDF

Envio automatico, Favor nao Responder
Atenciosamente,
DPC Pingo Doce
Lisboa, Portugal 21 380 8520
    
Este email foi escaneado pelo Avast antivirus.
www.avast.com

16/09/2020 09:41:16

Another invoice-themed spam email used to spread a malicious MS Excel document:

Invoice-themed spam email used to distribute a malicious MS Excel document (2020-11-03)

Text presented within:

Subject: Invoice 523389

 

Invoice Due:11/02/2020
523389    Amount Due: $1,860.00

Dear Customer:

Your PAST DUE invoice is attached. Please remit payment at your earliest convenience

Thank you for your business - we appreciate it very much.

Sincerely,
Accounts Payable

Screenshot of the attached malicious MS Excel document:

Malicious MS Excel document distributed via invoice-themed spam emails

Example of yet another invoice-themed spam email used to spread a malicious MS Excel document which injects Dridex malware into the system:

Invoice-themed spam email used to spread a malicious MS Excel document which injects Dridex malware into the system

Text presented within:

Subject: Electronic Invoice (#00332731)

 

Per your request, here is the invoice you have asked to be sent via email. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 800-485-1863

Screenshot of the attached MS Excel document:

Malicious MS Excel doc used to spread Dridex malware

Yet another invoice-themed spam email used to spread a malicious .IMG file (the links within lead to the download of said file):

Invoice-themed spam email spreading a malicious .IMG file (2020-11-10)

Text presented within:

Subject: INV-209734564

Good Day
 
Please see attached Invoice.
 
For any other concern, please inform me.
 
Thanks.
Best Regards,
 
Ellen Maralit
Procurement Specialist
Sodexo On-Site Services, Inc.
Tel:  (2) 499-4356
Mobile:  9167781908
 
pdf.gif  Invoice .pdf
194K View as HTML  Scan and download
 
Disclaimer and Confidentiality
This e-mail, attachments included, is confidential. It is intended solely for the addressees. If you are not an intended recipient, any use, copy or diffusion, even partial of this message is prohibited. Please delete it and notify the sender immediately. Since the integrity of this message cannot be guaranteed on the Internet, SODEXO cannot therefore be considered liable for its content.Ce message, pieces jointes incluses, est confidentiel. Il est etabli a l'attention exclusive de ses destinataires. Si vous n'etes pas un destinataire, toute utilisation, copie ou diffusion, meme partielle de ce message est interdite. Merci de le detruire et d'en avertir immediatement l'expediteur. L'integrite de ce message ne pouvant etre garantie sur Internet, SODEXO ne peut etre tenu responsable de son contenu.
Please consider the environment before printing this message.


Avast logo       
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
www.avast.com

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 seems 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, 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.

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.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
TrickBot trojan QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of TrickBot trojan on your mobile device.
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