Job Applications Email Virus removal guide
What is Job Applications Email Virus?
"Job Applications Email Virus" is a spam email campaign used to distribute the AZORult trojan and, in some cases, and Hermes 2.1 ransomware. Developers send thousands of fake job applications within malicious MS Word attachments that are presented as applicants' CVs. Once opened, however, the attachment stealthily downloads and installs malware.
As mentioned above, the deceptive email essentially contains an introduction together with an expression of interest in a job. The message also contains an attached resume. This is a scam. The malicious MS Word document will infect the system. "Job Applications Email Virus" is a somewhat different from most other spam email campaigns. In most cases, cyber criminals claim to be employees of various popular companies (e.g., PayPal, HSBC, etc.) or governmental institutions. This makes it much simpler to trick regular users into opening attachments. In this case, however, cyber criminals claim to be searching for a job in the hope of tricking companies and employers. Regular users (who are not employers) will not be interested in resumes and will probably delete the email immediately, but this does not necessarily mean that there are no infections. Therefore, it is worth taking a closer look at the distributed malware. AZORult is a high-risk trojan that gathers various sensitive information. It is designed mainly to target saved logins and passwords (and then attempt to gain access to victims' cryptocurrency wallets, email accounts, and FTP servers and XMPP clients), however, this trojan also gathers other sensitive data, such as Skype/Jabber history, cookies, browsing history, and so on. Cyber criminals misuse recorded information to generate revenue. Therefore, having AZORult installed on your computer might lead to serious privacy issues and significant financial loss. Hermes 2.1 encrypts data using RSA-2048, a very complex asymmetric cryptography. There are currently no tools capable of cracking this algorithm and restoring files compromised by Hermes 2.1 (the only solution is to restore everything from a backup). Therefore, infiltration of this virus can lead to permanent data loss. If you have recently opened any suspicious email attachments, you should immediately scan the system with a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware software and eliminate all threats.
|Name||Job Application virus|
|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.
There are dozens of trojans similar to AZORult including, for example, FormBook, Adwind, and TrickBot. As with AZORult, these viruses are typically distributed using spam campaigns and also gather sensitive information. In some cases, however, trojans proliferate other viruses (usually ransomware). Hermes 2.1 shares many similarities with other ransomware-type viruses (such as CryptoConsole, Locky Imposter, TQV, etc.) As with Hermes 2.1, these ransomware infections also encrypt data and make ransom demands in exchange for decryption. In summary, trojans and ransomware pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.
How did Job Applications Email Virus infect my computer?
As mentioned, Job Applications Email Virus distributes a malicious attachment, an MS Office document. After opening this file, users are encouraged to enable macro commands. Immediately after macros are enabled, the attachment executes commands that stealthily download and install AZORult or Hermes 2.1. Be aware, however, that this malware distribution method has a major flaw. The malicious attachment is only able to download viruses if it is opened using the MS Word program. Therefore, opening the attachment using other apps will not result in system infection.
How to avoid installation of malware?
To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Carefully analyze all received email attachments. Files that seem irrelevant or have been received from a suspicious/unrecognizable email address should never be opened. Have a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running. In addition, 2010 and newer versions of MS Office open newly-downloaded documents in "Protected View" mode. This prevents malicious documents from downloading/installing malware and, therefore, using older versions of MS Office is not recommended. The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. If you have already opened the "Job Applications Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Example of text presented in the "Job Applications Email Virus" email message:
Subject: Job Application
How's you day going?
My name is Dayna and I'm interested in a job.
I've attached a copy of my resume.
The password is 321
Looking forward to hearing back from you!
Malicious attachment distributed via "Job Applications Email Virus" spam campaign:
Another variant of campaign that distributes Nymaim trojan:
Text presented in this email:
My name is Antoinette and I'm interested in a position.
I've attached a copy of my resume.
The password is "1234"
Nymaim trojan's process in Windows Task Manager:
Another variant of "Job Application Email Virus" spam campaign (also proliferates Nymaim trojan):
Text presented within this email:
My name is Mike Broman and I'm interested in a job.
I've attached a copy of my CV.
Please click here to download my resume.
The password is 1234
Nymaim trojan's process ("WoRldcoin") in Windows Task Manager:
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:
- What is Job Applications Email Virus?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of malware.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
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:
If you 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:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart 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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In the Autoruns application click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.
Check 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".
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.
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.