"HMRC Email Virus" removal guide
What is "HMRC Email Virus"?
"HMRC Email Virus" is a spam campaign used to spread a high-risk virus called TrickBot. This is achieved by sending numerous emails that attempt to persuade users to open attachments. There are many similar spam email campaigns (including Confidential Fax Email Virus, BESTLABS Email Virus, UPS Email Virus, and so on) that serve the same purpose: to infect computers once attachments are opened.
This particular "HMRC Email Virus" spam campaign is presented as a monthly report in the form of an attachment containing 'confidential and privileged information'. According to the sender, Brenda Kimbell (probably a fake identity), a business analyst, it is sent only to specific individuals. It is also stated that if you received the email by mistake, you should delete it and report this to the sender. These are merely attempts to trick users into opening the attachment. Note that opening it will probably result in infiltration of the TrickBot virus. As mentioned, it is very likely that Brenda Kimbell is a fake identity and the mobile telephone numbers are fake, or used to contact cyber criminals who will claim to be employees of a legitimate company or organization. Cyber criminals often claim to be legitimate parties (they use familiar company names) to cause as many infections as possible. This method is very effective. People often open these attachments and infect their computers with various high-risk viruses. This TrickBot virus is used to hijack visited websites and modify the content. In this way, the virus records data such as entered passwords, logins, and other credentials. These are saved to a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. Furthermore, TrickBot developers steal users' bank account details and blackmail them. The main purpose of this virus is to gather as much personal information as possible and then use it to generate revenue. Most data tracking applications often lead to privacy issues or cause financial problems. If you have opened the "HMRC Email Virus" attachment, your computer is probably already infected with the TrickBot virus. In this case, scan your computer with reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software and remove all detected threats immediately.
|Name||HMRC monthly report 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.|
To eliminate HMRC monthly report virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
There are countless trojan viruses that are distributed using spam campaigns. The list of examples includes Adwind, Emotet, and FormBook. These viruses may differ to some extent, but all cause problems relating to privacy, computer safety, and so on. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you eliminate viruses such as TrickBot (and other viruses) as soon as possible.
How did "HMRC Email Virus" infect my computer?
The "HMRC Email Virus" distributes a malicious Microsoft Office Excel (.xls) file. When the attachment is opened, Excel asks permission to enable Macros commands, otherwise the content of the document supposedly cannot be displayed. These malicious attachments often demand such permissions. When Macro commands are enabled, the TrickBot virus is downloaded and installed and computers are then infected. Note, however, that the TrickBot virus can proliferate only through Microsoft Office products. Therefore, if other products are used to open the attachment, the virus will not be able to infect the system. Clearly, TrickBot developers target mostly Windows systems and Microsoft Office users.
How to avoid installation of malware?
The easiest way to prevent computer infection by viruses such as TrickBot is to analyze all emails that include attachments. If the email is sent from an unknown or suspicious sender, do not open the attachments. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and enabled at all times. Do not use versions of Microsoft Office that were released before 2010. Newer versions have a "Protected View" feature that allows users to open downloaded documents safely and preventing them from downloading and installing malware. If you have already opened a "HMRC Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "HMRC Email Virus" email message:
Subject: Month End Report Sep 2018.xls
Ofc: +44 0202088480
NOTICE: This electronic mail transmission is for the use of the named individual or entity to which it is directed and may contain information that is privileged or confidential. It is not to be transmitted or received by anyone other than the named addressee (or a person authorized to deliver it to the named addressee). It is not to be copied or forwarded to any unauthorized persons. If you have received this electronic transmission in error, delete it from your system without copying or forwarding it, and notify the sender of the error by replying via e-mail to the sender so that the address record can be corrected.
Malicious attachment distributed via "HMRC Email Virus" spam campaign:
Another variant of "HMRC Email Virus" spam campaign letter:
Text presented within this letter:
Outstanding Amount £11,612.91
You do not appear to have paid the full amount due as shown on the attached Statement of Liabilities.
Please check attached excel document for more information.
About this notice
If you agree the amount is due , then you need to pay in full now. Go to www.hmrc.gov.uk/payert/index.htm
It is possible that this E-mail has been received by you in error. If so, please note that it may contain confidential information, and we ask that you notify the author by replying to it, then delete it immediately, and take no further action as a result of receiving it. Although we take care by ensuring that any files attached to E-mails sent from our office have been checked with up-to-date virus detection software, you should carry out your own virus check before opening any attachment. We accept no liability for any loss or damage which may be caused by software viruses.
GOV.UK LogoAll content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
Malicious document attached to this email:
Instant automatic removal of HMRC monthly report virus:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of HMRC monthly report virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is "HMRC Email Virus"?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of TrickBot 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 Spyhunter 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 the "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, be sure to 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 Spyhunter for Windows.