Brexit Email Virus

Also Known As: Brexit Barometer virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Brexit Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Brexit Email Virus"?

These email scams are often used to trick recipients into downloading and opening an attachment. In this case, users are encouraged to click a link that leads to a malicious file. Scammers/cyber criminals use "Brexit Email Virus" to distribute Ursnif, a trojan-type computer infection used to record personal/sensitive details. If you have received this email, we strongly recommend that you ignore it and certainly do not click/open any links.

Brexit Email Virus

Scammers behind this scam present this email as relating to the Brexit voting forecasts, possible impact on the UK's currency, and so on. Within the message, scammers encourage recipients to set up a personalized 'rate alert', which supposedly notifies users when the market reaches a chosen currency rate, and also allows them to follow the latest news relating to Brexit and receive recent market movements. The main goal of this scam is to trick people into clicking the "Latest Brexit Update" button. This link then downloads a "Brexit_Barometer.exe" file from Google Docs. Once opened (executed), this file installs the aforementioned Ursnif trojan. This is a malicious program that cyber criminals employ to collect user-information such as keystrokes, logins and passwords, browsing-related data, system information, and other data. Furthermore, these tools might enable criminals to gain access to personal online accounts such as banks, emails, social networks, etc., and to use stolen data to generate revenue. It is also possible that cyber criminals will be able to take control of the operating system and perform various actions such as restarting the computer, taking screenshots, stealing or clearing cookies, downloading files such as executables and use them to install unwanted apps such as malware. Generally, having a computer infected with these viruses can cause data loss, financial/privacy issues, browsing safety problems, and various other issues. If you have executed the "Brexit_Barometer.exe" file, a process called "Android ADB API" will be shown running in Windows Task Manager. Android ADB is a legitimate command-line tool that enables communication with a specific device, however, Ursnif uses the name of a legitimate process to conceal its malicious purpose. Therefore, do not click the link provided in the "Brexit Email Virus", and more importantly, do not execute the "Brexit_Barometer.exe" executable file.

Threat Summary:
NameBrexit Barometer 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.

Different spam email campaigns are used to proliferate different computer infections. For example, other scams of this type might be used to spread Adwind, FormBook, TrickBot, LokiBot, Emotet, or other threats. Whatever the exact purpose of viruses proliferated through spam campaigns, most are capable of causing serious problems. Therefore, you should eliminate these threats immediately.

How did "Brexit Email Virus" infect my computer?

In this case, the Ursnif trojan-type virus infiltrates computers if users click the "Latest Brexit Update" link (button) that leads to an executable file placed in Google Docs. Once executed, the "Brexit_Barometer.exe" file installs the trojan. In other cases, the malicious file might be a Microsoft Office document, RAR (or other archive file), PDF document, executable, and so on. For example, if the downloaded attachment is a Microsoft Office document, it will demand permission to enable macros commands. Once permission is given, it downloads and installs another virus. In any case, these infections cannot happen without manual user-intervention.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not to open attachments in emails without studying them first. Do not open any attachment if it is presented in an email received from an unknown or suspicious address or if the email itself seems irrelevant. The same applies to web links. The best option is to simply ignore and delete these emails. Another way to keep your computer safe from various infections is to have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed. These programs can prevent infections attacking the system. If you have already opened "Brexit Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Brexit Email Virus" email message:

Subject: Brexit 2019

Introducing the Brexit Barometer
With the “meaningful vote” in the UK Parliament on Tuesday the 11th and the final EU summit on the 13th and 14th of December, you should be prepared for all possible outcomes given there is a strong possibility the vote will fail in the UK parliament.

Our looks at the potential impact we think Brexit could have on the pound. As Theresa May tours the country in the lead up to the “meaningful vote”, we can expect to see significant volatility in Sterling in the event of a ‘disorderly Brexit”.

Handling volatility in the market
We’ve outlined some ways you can stay up-to-date with the market so that you can transfer at a time that works best for you.
o Set up a personalised Rate Alert – be alerted the minute the market reaches your desired rate
o Keep an eye out for our regular Brexit updates so you can keep up with the latest announcements
o Sign up for our Market Watch so you can receive daily updates on market movements

Contact us
If you’d like to discuss your situation with us in more detail, please contact us and our team will be happy to help.

The details expressed in this transmission and accompanying documents are for information purposes only and are not intended as a solicitation for funds or a recommendation to trade. HiFX Europe Limited accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damages suffered through any act or omission taken as a result of reading or interpreting any of the above information. HiFX Europe Limited is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017, registration 462444, for the provision of payment services. HiFX Europe Limited is also a registered MSB with HM Revenue & Customs. Registration number: 12131222. HiFX is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 3517451. Registered office: Maxis 1, Western Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1RT.

Please note that by unsubscribing you will no longer receive marketing messages from HiFX. However to maintain your HiFX account you will receive service messages from time to time.

Screenshot of the "Brexit_Barometer.exe" file together with the Ursnif process ("Android ADB API") in Windows Task Manager:

Malicious attachment distributed through Brexit 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
Brexit Barometer 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 Brexit Barometer virus on your mobile device.
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