"Pricewaterhouse Coopers Email Virus" removal guide
What is "Pricewaterhouse Coopers Email Virus"?
"Pricewaterhouse Coopers" is classified a spam email campaign used to proliferate the TrickBot trojan, a high-risk virus. Typically, these emails contain an attached file (document) and are sent to many people. Cyber criminals present these emails as legitimate and important in attempts to trick people into opening the attachments.
Generally, cyber criminals who use spam email campaigns claim to be representatives of a well-known company, in this case James McMillan from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The email states that an amount of £23,412.98 is outstanding and must be paid within 14 days of the email being sent. The origin of this "debt" is not explained, however, people associated with this email attempt to persuade users not to ignore it. The purpose of the message is to trick people into opening the attachment that supposedly contains "important details" regarding the invoice. As mentioned in the introduction, this email attachment proliferates a TrickBot trojan, a virus used to hijack visited websites by modifying their content. In this way, it is used to steal personal information such as bank account details, logins and passwords of various accounts, and so on. Cyber criminals use the stolen data to generate revenue. Therefore, data tracking programs such as TrickBot trojan might cause privacy/security issues and financial problems. If you have already opened the attachment presented in the "Pricewaterhouse Coopers" email scam, it is very likely that your computer is infected.
|Name||Pricewaterhouse Coopers invoice 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.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)|
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
Frequently, the purpose of these emails is to infect computers with TrickBot (or other viruses such as FormBook, Emotet, Adwind. etc). These viruses might be developed by different cyber criminals, but they pose a significant threat to your privacy and their presence should not be ignored. Remove them immediately.
How did "Pricewaterhouse Coopers Email Virus" infect my computer?
There are many spam campaigns similar to "Pricewaterhouse Coopers" including, for example "Ernst & Young", "BMO account report", "HMRC", and "Confidential Fax". All are used to send emails that contain a Microsoft Office document - Excel (.xls) files. Once opened, the document asks for permission to enable macros commands. If enabled, these allow TrickBot to be downloaded and installed. Note, however, that if the Excel file is opened with a product other than Microsoft Office, the virus will not be able to proliferate. These particular spam campaigns usually target people who use Microsoft Office only.
How to avoid installation of malware?
To avoid these infections, we strongly recommend that you study each email, particularly if it seems irrelevant or sent from a suspicious email address. Certainly do not open any included attachments. Have reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and keep it enabled - this should detect viruses before they infect computers. Bear in mind that older versions of Microsoft Office (prior to MS Office 2010) do not include "Protected View" mode that prevents downloaded attachments (presented in emails such as "Pricewaterhouse Coopers") from automatically downloading and installing malware. If you have already opened a "Pricewaterhouse Coopers Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Pricewaterhouse Coopers Email Virus" email message:
Subject: Overdue Invoice
We note that the balance of the invoice, attached to this letter for your ease of reference, and listed in the table below totalling £23,412.98 has not been paid. This invoice was due for payment as shown in the table.
If you have made payment before receiving this letter, we apologise for any invonvenience caused and thank you for your attention to this matter.
If you have not done so, we might also be able to offer you repayment options should you wish to discuss this. Alternatively, kindly within 14 days of the date of this email make payment of the full outstanding amount, set out in the table. Payment can be made by the methods shown in the invoice.
Kindly note that if you should choose to ingnore this letter, we shall claim further interest on the outstanding amount that you are liable for until the date of full payment. We shall also make a claim for resonable recovery costs.
PwC | Manager
Mobile: +44 751 812 7218
Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The contents of this email message and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee(s) and may contain confidential and/or privileged information and may be legally protected from disclosure.
Malicious attachment distributed via "Pricewaterhouse Coopers" 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:
- What is "Pricewaterhouse Coopers 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 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:
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 Malwarebytes for Windows.