Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus

Also Known As: Apple purchase invoice virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus removal guide

What is Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus?

"Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus" is a spam email campaign similar to AT&T Invoice Email Virus, Here Is Your Fax Email Virus, and many others. This campaign is used to proliferate a trojan-type virus called Hancitor. Users receive fake notifications from Apple encouraging them to open a link - this downloads a malicious Microsoft Office document designed to download and install Hancitor onto the system.

Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus malware

"Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus" emails are presented as notifications about recent purchases made via users' devices. They are encouraged to view the purchases by clicking the link provided and downloading an MS Office document. This is a trick - opening the file causes infiltration of Hancitor malware. Obviously, the Apple corporation has nothing to do with this scam. Criminals hide behind the name of this company in an attempt to give the impression of legitimacy. This technique is very common among cyber criminals. By claiming to be employees of huge companies or governmental institutions, these people significantly increase the number of infections, since users are much more likely to open links/attachments when they are received from familiar names. Hancitor cause chain infections - it opens "backdoor" for other viruses to infiltrate the system. Infiltrated viruses can perform a number of malicious actions, such as recording sensitive information (e.g., account credentials), encrypting stored data, using system resources to stealthily mine cryptucurrencies, and so on. The data might include information relating to web browsing habits. The presence of these viruses can lead to significant financial/data losses and even identity theft. If you have already opened the link promoted by the "Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus" campaign, immediately scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and eliminate all detected threats.

Threat Summary:
NameApple purchase invoice 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 Malwarebytes.
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The Internet is full of trojan-type viruses proliferated using spam campaigns. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) TrickBot, Emotet, Adwind, and LokiBot. They are created by different developers and their behavior may also vary (some record information, whilst others cause chain infections, and so on), but all of these viruses have one thing in common: they pose a significant threat to your privacy and web browsing safety. Therefore, eliminate them immediately.

How did Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus infect my computer?

As mentioned above, the "Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus" campaign essentially proliferates a malicious Microsoft Office document. Once opened, this file immediately asks victims to enable macro commands, otherwise the content will not be displayed properly, however, this will grant the document file permission to download and install Hancitor onto the system. Note that "Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus" campaign letters are essentially presented as notifications for users of Apple's products. Hancitor malware works only on the Microsoft Windows Operating System. Therefore, Apple customers (who are much more likely to open the link) are safe, whilst Microsoft customers should be the main target.

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, be cautious when browsing the Internet. Think twice before opening email attachments and links. If the email is received from a suspicious/unrecognizable address and the file/link seems irrelevant, do not open it. Furthermore, we strongly advise you to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running, since these tools are likely to detect and eliminate malicious files before they infect the system. Note that 2010 and newer versions of MS Office open newly-downloaded documents in "Protected View" mode. This prevents malicious attachments from infecting the system. Therefore, using older versions is risky. If you have already opened "Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus" email message:

Subject: Apple Notification Regarding Your Recent Order

Recent Purchase
Your Apple ID was just used to purchase from Apple Online store on a laptop or computer that hadn't previously been associated with Apple ID. You may be getting this email if you reset your security password since your previous order. If you place this order, you can disregard this email. It was only set notify to you in case you didn't make the purchase yourself.
View Details Here (malicious link)
If you did not make this purchase, we highly recommend that you go to modify your password, then see Apple ID: Security and your Apple ID for additional support.
Best regards,
Apple Team

Malicious attachment distributed via "Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Apple Recent Purchase Email Virus spam campaign

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 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 "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 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, be sure to 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
Apple purchase invoice virus 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 Apple purchase invoice virus on your mobile device.
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