Here Is Your Fax Email Virus
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Here Is Your Fax Email Virus?
"Here Is Your Fax Email Virus" is another spam email campaign used to distribute the Hancitor trojan. As usual, cyber criminals send thousands of emails containing deceptive messages encouraging users to open attached files. This is an attempt to trick unsuspecting users into opening files that download and install Hancitor onto the system.
The "Here Is Your Fax Email Virus" message states that the user has received a fax within an attached Microsoft Office document to download. This is a scam. The opened document immediately infects the system with Hancitor. Note that the email contains the logo of HelloFax, a legitimate fax service. HelloFax itself has nothing to do with this scam.
Cyber criminals often claim to be employees of legitimate companies or governmental agencies. In doing so, they significantly increase the number of infections they can proliferate - users are much more likely to open files received from familiar people or companies. Hancitor is a high-risk trojan designed to proliferate other viruses.
Distributed malware (e.g., Pony) might perform various malicious actions, including tracking of personal information (logins/passwords, keystrokes, web browsing activity, etc.), encryption of stored files (ransomware), cryptocurrency mining, and so on.
Cyber criminals are also known to hijack accounts on social networks, banks, etc. to generate revenue (via online purchases, money transfers, and so on). Furthermore, these people demand ransom payments in exchange for file decryption. These chain infections can lead to serious privacy issues, significant financial, and data losses.
Therefore, if you have recently opened a "Here Is Your Fax Email Virus" campaign attachment, there is a high probability that your computer has been infected with the Hancitor trojan. Therefore, scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and eliminate all threats.
|Name||Here Is Your Fax spam|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
There are dozens of trojan-type viruses distributed using email spam campaigns. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) FormBook, Adwind, TrickBot, and Emotet.
Unlike Hancitor, most of these viruses do not proliferate malware - they record personal information. In summary, however, all trojans pose a significant to your privacy and Internet browsing safety. For these reasons, they must be eliminated immediately.
How did Here Is Your Fax Email Virus infect my computer?
Immediately after opening the "Here Is Your Fax Email Virus" campaign attachment, users are asked to enable macro commands, otherwise the content will supposedly not be displayed properly, however, in doing so they inadvertently grant malicious attachments permission to run commands that infect the system.
Although this malware distribution method is simple and effective, it has a flaw. Malicious attachments are only able to download Hancitor if they are opened using the Microsoft Office suite.
Therefore, if .doc files are opened using any application other than MS Word, the malware will not be downloaded. The proliferated trojan targets the Microsoft Windows Operating System only and users of other platforms are safe.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet. We strongly recommend that you carefully study each email attachment received.
Files that seem irrelevant or have been received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. In addition, 2010 and newer versions of MS Office open newly-downloaded documents in "Protected View" mode - this prevents malicious attachments from infecting the system.
Therefore, we strongly advise you to keep your Microsoft Office suite up-to-date. Using a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite is also paramount. If you have already opened "Here Is Your Fax Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Here Is Your Fax Email Virus" email message:
Subject: HelloFax, Here is Your Fax
The quickest way to sign and send faxes online
Number of pages: 4
Reference ID: TSH657448K.
Thanks for going paper-less!
- HelloFax Community
Malicious attachment distributed via "Here Is Your Fax Email Virus" 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:
- What is Here Is Your Fax spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.
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