Ernst & Young Email Virus

Also Known As: Ernst & Young invoice virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Ernst & Young Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Ernst & Young Email Virus"?

"Ernst & Young Email Virus" is categorized a spam campaign that cyber criminals use to distribute a high-risk trojan virus called TrickBot. The working principle of this campaign is simple: scammers send emails to many users and detail a legitimate and important matter in the subject line. The purpose of this spam campaign is infect computers with malware by tricking as many users as possible into opening the attachment.

Ernst & Young Email Virus

According to the email sent by fictitious sender sender, Caroline Artis from Ernst & Young (or a victim of a misappropriated identity), this email is a final warning message. As stated in the email (entitled Overdue Invoice!), an overdue amount of £12.481.73 must be paid within fourteen days. If not, Ernest & Young will appeal to the County Court. There is a link provided that allows recipients to download the document and view the "invoice" details. As mentioned, this is just a scam and we advise against downloading and opening files via the link. Most cyber criminals claim to be representatives of well-known companies, in this case, Ernst & Young. Note that Ernst & Young and Caroline Artis have nothing to do with this. The scam email campaign is designed to to trick people into opening the attachment, which will then download and install the TrickBot virus. This virus hijacks visited websites and modifies the content. The modifications allow TrickBot to gather banking details and various logins and passwords of personal accounts. The more details gathered, the more damage can be done. Cyber criminals use the information to generate revenue. Typically, data tracking applications (viruses such as TrickBot) cause multiple financial and privacy issues. If you have already opened the attachment included in the "Ernst & Young Email Virus" email, there is a high possibility that your computer is already infected. You should scan your system with reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software immediately.

Threat Summary:
NameErnst & Young 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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

Many viruses are similar to TrickBot including, for example, FormBook, Emotet, and Adwind. They may differ in some ways, but most cause safety/privacy issues and potential financial problems. If you believe that your system might be infected by one of these viruses, remove it as soon as possible.

How did "Ernst & Young Email Virus" infect my computer?

BMO account report, HMRC, Confidential Fax (and others) are all similar spam email campaigns that promote a malicious file presented in the form of a Microsoft Office document. The "Ernst & Young Email Virus" spam campaign is used to promote an Excel (.xls) document. When opened, it usually asks for permission to enable macros commands. Once enabled, they trigger execution of specific commands that download and install the TrickBot virus. Note, however, that this works only with Microsoft Office and associated documents. The virus cannot be downloaded and installed if the document is opened using other products (not Microsoft Office). Therefore, users of other platforms should be safe.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Carefully study each received email, especially those containing attachments or if the email is sent from a suspicious email address. Do not open attachments that are presented in emails from unknown/suspicious senders. Have reputable anti-virus and/or anti-spyware software installed and keep it enabled at all times. Do not open Microsoft Office documents using a Microsoft Office version that is older than MS Office 2010. Newer versions (MS Office 2010 and later) have "Protected View" mode that prevents files (malicious email attachments) from downloading and installing viruses such as TrickBot. If you have already opened a "Ernst & Young Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Ernst & Young Email Virus" email message:

Subject: FW: Overdue Invoice!
Overdue Invoice!
Final Warning
Iím writing you further to my letter, relateing to the overdue invoice as detailed above.
The amount of £12,481.73 is still outstanding on your account. If the full amount is not received within fourteen days the EY will have no alternative but to commence legal proceesings through the County Court.
have enclosed a copy of the invoice for your reference, you can download / view using this link :
Caroline Artis
Senior London Partner
+44 (0)20 7951 4084

Malicious attachment distributed via "Ernst & Young Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Ernst & Young 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 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, 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.

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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 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.

QR Code
Ernst & Young invoice virus QR code
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