"Verizon Email Virus" removal guide
What is "Verizon Email Virus"?
"Verizon Email Virus" is a scam distributed using a spam (email) campaign. Cyber criminals use the scam to infect computers with Emotet (a malicious program). The main purpose of "Verizon Email Virus" is to trick people into clicking a presented website link associated with a malicious document, which then leads to download and installation of the Emotet malicious program. We strongly advise you to ignore this email. Do not open (click) the presented website link.
This scam is presented as an email received from Verizon, a well-known telecommunications company. Note, however, that cyber criminals use Verizon's company name only to make this scam seem trustworthy. This company has nothing to do with it. Scammers often use established company names for credibility. This email is presented as an invoice that can be viewed online by clicking the presented website link. The link (hxxps://enterprisecenter.verizon.com/...) is an official Verizon website link, however, the text is actually linked with another website (that leads to the malicious Microsoft Word document). In this example, the document is named "bill_20190204.doc" (as in the screenshot below), however, the name can vary. Once opened, this MS Office Word document issues a notification that "Macros have been disabled". Enabling them will allow this malicious document to download and install the Emotet, high-risk malicious program. Emotet is a computer infection that records various personal data and proliferates other infections. Cyber criminals use it to gather sensitive information that might include logins/passwords and browsing activity, or even banking information. Thus, having it installed can lead to significant financial loss. Furthermore, this malicious program also operates as a Trojan by opening "backdoors" for other high-risk infections (such as ransomware). In this way, it cause chain infections. Therefore, do not trust scams such as "Verizon Email Virus". Never open attachments or web links that are presented within emails of this type. If your computer is already infected with Emotet, you should be able to to find a malicious "Icelandic Keyboard Layout" process running in Task Manager.
|Name||Verizon 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.
Many cyber criminals use these email scams to infect computers with high-risk computer infections. Some examples of other spam campaigns similar to "Verizon Email Virus" include "Unicredit Bank Email Virus", "Love Letter", and "Y.E DESIGN". Emotet is not the only malicious program that is proliferated using these scams - they might be used to spread infections such as Adwind, LokiBot, TrickBot, and other malicious programs. The main purpose of these scams remains identical: to generate as much revenue as possible by employing computer infections to steal personal data.
How did "Verizon Email Virus" infect my computer?
In this case cyber criminals, attempt to trick people into installing Emotet when they click the presented link, which leads to a malicious Microsoft Office document. Opening document is not enough (if it is opened using MS Office 2010 or later) - The user is also required to give permission to enable macros commands. Once this is done, the attachment starts installing the aforementioned high-risk malware. This is a common method used to infect systems - cyber criminals present web links that lead to malicious files or attach these files directly to received emails.
How to avoid installation of malware?
To avoid computer infections with Emotet or other malicious programs, deal with received emails carefully. If you receive an email from an unknown, suspicious/irrelevant address and it contains attachment (or website links), we strongly recommend that you do not open it (at least check that it is safe). Note that cyber criminals use well-known company names and present these emails as legitimate. In some cases, they make offers to participate in lotteries, win prizes, and so on. Download, install, and update software using official tools and sources. Bear in mind that many third party tools (such as software downloaders, installers, peer-to-peer networks, and so on) are used by cyber criminals to proliferate computer infections. Avoid using software cracking tools, since this is illegal and cyber criminals employ them to infect computers with malicious programs. Have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and running. These tools help to avoid many possible computer infections. If you have already opened a "Verizon Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Verizon Email Virus" email message:
For the account(s) noted below, Verizon invoice(s) are now available to view online at via the Verizon Enterprise Center:
Master Acct. No.
Use the View Invoices function or locate the account on the List of Accounts table.
Please do not reply to this e-mail message.
Your Verizon Team
If you have received this notification in error, or if you need further assistance accessing your invoice, please contact Verizon Enterprise Center Support at (800) 694-0036
Malicious attachment distributed via "Verizon Email Virus" spam campaign:
Screenshot of Emotet malicious process ("Icelandic Keyboard Layout") running in Task Manager:
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 "Verizon Email Virus"?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of Emotet 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 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.