Payroll Timetable Email Virus

Also Known As: Payroll virus
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

Payroll Timetable Email Virus removal guide

What is Payroll Timetable Email Virus?

Similar to Companies House Email Virus, Royal Bank Of Scotland Email Virus, and many others, "Payroll Timetable Email Virus" is a spam email campaign used to proliferate a high-risk trojan called TrickBot. Developers send thousands of deceptive emails encouraging users to open attached files (Microsoft Office documents). Opening these files typically results in infiltration of the TrickBot virus.

Payroll Timetable Email Virus malware

"Payroll Timetable Email Virus" messages are presented as notifications of monthly payroll timetables. It essentially states that there are some 'irregularities' that must be reviewed and encourage users to open an attached MS Office document. This is a scam. Opening the document simply downloads and installs TrickBot onto the system. Cyber criminals claim to be employees of a legitimate company called PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has nothing to do with this scam. These criminals often hide behind names of popular companies and governmental institutions. In doing so, they significantly increase the number of infections, since users are much more likely to download and open malicious attachments when they are received from familiar names. Be aware that TrickBot records personal data (mainly account credentials) by modifying visited website content so that all entered logins/passwords are saved to a remote server controlled by TrickBot's developers. These people might gain access to bank accounts, social networks, and other accounts. They aim to generate as much revenue as possible and will not hesitate to misuse these accounts, potentially leading to significant financial loss and even identity theft. If you have already opened a "Payroll Timetable Email Virus" campaign email, immediately scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and eliminate all detected threats.

Threat Summary:
NamePayroll virus
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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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TrickBot is similar to dozens of other trojan-type viruses that are also distributed using spam campaigns. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) Emotet, FormBook, Adwind, and Hancitor. The behavior of each virus might differ - some record information, whilst others cause chain infections (one malware infection distributes another), and so on. In any case, these viruses pose a direct threat to your privacy and web browsing safety, and they should be eliminated.

How did Payroll Timetable Email Virus infect my computer?

As mentioned above, the "Payroll Timetable Email Virus" campaign delivers a malicious MS Office attachment. Once opened, this file immediately asks to enable macro commands, otherwise the content will supposedly not be displayed. In fact, enabling them will allow the malicious document to download and install TrickBot into the system. This malware distribution method is simple and effective, however, it is not flawless. The document is only capable of infecting the system when it is opened using tools from the MS Office suite. Therefore, if opened using another application capable of reading MS Office formats, the malware will not be downloaded. Furthermore, TrickBot works only on the Microsoft Windows platform and users of other operating systems (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. Caution is the key to safety. Therefore, pay attention when browsing the Internet. Carefully analyze each email attachment received. Files that are irrelevant and those sent by unrecognizable/suspicious email addresses should never be opened. Furthermore, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running, since these tools can detect and eliminate malicious files before they do any damage. Note that 2010 and more recent versions of MS Office are developed to open newly-downloaded documents in "Protected View" mode. Therefore, we strongly advise you to avoid using older versions of this suite. If you have already opened a "Payroll Timetable Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Payroll Timetable Email Virus" email message:

Subject: September 2018 Payroll Timetable
Please find attached the September 2018 Payroll Timetable, the timings differ from the usual timetable as I will be going on A/L.

Kind Regards

Claire Rhodes
PwC | Manager
Mobile: +44 784 333 1234
Email: claire.rhodes@pwc.com
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
1 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB

——————– End of message text ——————–
This email is confidential and is intended for the addressee only. If you are not the addressee, please delete the email and do not use it in any way.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP accepts no liability for any use of or reliance on this email by anyone, other than the intended addressee to the extent agreed in the relevant contract for the matter to which this email relates (if any).
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England under registered number OC303525, with its registered address at 1 Embankment Place, London, WC2N 6RH. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for designated investment business and by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for regulated legal activities For security purposes and other lawful business purposes, PwC monitors outgoing and incoming emails and may monitor other telecommunications on its email and telecommunications systems.

Malicious attachment distributed via "Payroll Timetable Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Payroll Timetable 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:
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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 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 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 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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