Love Letter Email Virus

Also Known As: Love letter virus
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

"Love Letter Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Love Letter Email Virus"?

"Love Letter Email Virus" is a spam campaign used by scammers (cyber criminals) to trick recipients of bogus emails into opening attachments and installing the malicious programs they contain. The presented attachment contains a JavaScript file that downloads and installs a high-risk ransomware-type virus called GandCrab 5.0.4 and the XMRig Miner cryptocurrency miner. We strongly recommend that you avoid opening the included attachment and ignore the "Love Letter Email Virus" email.

Love Letter Email Virus

The attachment is a ZIP archive file called "Love_You_20918824-2019-txt.zip", which contains the JavaSript file, "Love_You_20918824-2019-txt.js". Running this file results in downloading and installing the aforementioned GandCrab 5.0.4 virus and XMRig Miner cryptocurrency miner. GandCrab 5.0.4 is ransomware-type computer infection that encrypts data and makes ransom demands. Therefore, it prevents victims from accessing their files and urges them to pay a ransom (effectively, to purchase a decryption tool or key required for data decryption). More information about this particular ransomware-type infection can be found by clicking the link provided in the introduction above. XMRig is a cryptocurrency miner that mines Monero using the system resources of an infected computer. Furthermore, executing the "Love_You_20918824-2019-txt.js" JavaScript file leads to various random and suspicious processes (such as "wincfg32scv.exe", "1119713827.exe", "2987227227.exe", etc.) running in Task Manager. In summary, extracting the archive file presented in "Love Letter Email Virus" and running the included JavaScript file, causes blocked access to files (data encryption) and installation of a cryptocurrency miner. This can lead to serious problems and, therefore, you should ignore this email and not open the attachment.

Threat Summary:
NameLove letter 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 Combo Cleaner.
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The internet is full of scammers (cyber criminals) who proliferate various computer infections using spam email campaigns. Some examples of other similar campaigns are Outriger Email Virus, Christmas Greetings Email Virus, and Y.E DESIGN Email Virus. Typically, cyber criminals send these emails to infect computers with viruses such as Adwind, FormBook, TrickBot, Emotet, and many others. The aim is to generate revenue by making ransom demands, stealing personal details (such as logins, passwords), spreading additional infections, and so on. If you suspect that your computer is infected with a virus of this type, remove it immediately.

How did "Love Letter Email Virus" infect my computer?

As with most spam email campaigns, "Love Letter Email Virus" infects computers through malicious attachments (in this case, the "Love_You_20918824-2019-txt.js" JavaScript file that is placed within the "Love_You_20918824-2019-txt.zip" ZIP archive file). In other cases, emails might contain web links leading to infected files or malicious attachments such as executable files (.exe), Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, and so on. For example, an opened malicious MS Office document will demand permission to enable macro commands. By enabling them, users give permission to download and install computer infections.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Ignore emails (and web links or attachments presented within them) received from suspicious, unknown or untrustworthy email addresses. Bear in mind that most are presented as legitimate messages, using well-known company names. Additionally, download files (software) using official and trustworthy sources. Having a reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed can also prevent computer infection by viruses or other threats. If you have already opened the "Love Letter Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Love Letter Email Virus" email message:

Subject: My love letter for you


Screenshot of a desktop of a computer infected by GandCrab 5.0.4 ransomware:

desktop of a computer infected by GandCrab 5.0.4 presented in Love Letter email virus

Screenshot of files encrypted by GandCrab 5.0.4 (victim's ID used as an extension):

files encrypted by GandCrab 5.0.4 attached in Love Letter email virus

Screenshot of a GandCrab 5.0.4 ransomware ransom message (the filename always differs, depending on the victim's ID - "ID-DECRYPT.txt"):

GandCrab 5.0.4 ransom note

Message presented in GandCrab 5.0.4 text file:

---=    GANDCRAB V5.0.4  =---




All your files, documents, photos, databases and other important files are encrypted and have the extension: [victim's_ID]      

The only method of recovering files is to purchase an unique private key. Only we can give you this key and only we can recover your files.

The server with your key is in a closed network TOR. You can get there by the following ways:


| 0. Download Tor browser - hxxps://www.torproject.org/

| 1. Install Tor browser
| 2. Open Tor Browser
| 3. Open link in TOR browser:   hxxp://gandcrabmfe6mnef.onion/da9ad04e1e857d00                        
| 4. Follow the instructions on this page


On our page you will see instructions on payment and get the opportunity to decrypt 1 file for free.






Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 pcrisk.com 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.

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