Prevent installation of Emotet through Greta Thunberg email scam

Also Known As: Greta Thunberg email spam virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Greta Thunberg Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Greta Thunberg Email Virus"?

This spam campaign is disguised as an invitation to a biggest climate protest. Cyber criminals behind it seek to trick recipients into opening attached document or website link and installing Emotet. Emotet is a malicious program which is categorized as Trojan, it is designed to steal sensitive information. We strongly recommend to ignore this email and not to click the included link or open the attached file (document).

Greta Thunberg Email Virus

Recipients are encouraged to support Greta Thunberg by joining a climate protest. Also, they are encouraged to forward this letter to all colleagues, friends and relatives. As stated in this scam, details regarding time and date of the protest are provided in the attached document (or a website). Cyber criminals behind this spam campaign spread templates written in different languages, it is known that they send emails written in English, Spanish, German and French languages. There are people who received this email in Japanese language as well. Either way, their main goal is to infect systems with Emotet. In order for that to happen recipients have to open the attached Microsoft Office (or other) document and then enable editing, and content, or execute a file that gets downloaded through the included link. Emotet is a Trojan which is designed to steal sensitive information, for example, logins, passwords, details related to browsing activity, and other data. Also, it can be used to spread other malware, in other words, to infect systems with other malicious software (e.g., ransomware). Either way, having a computer infected with Emotet could lead to identity theft, financial, data loss, problems with browsing safety, online privacy, and other serious issues. In this particular case it can be avoided by not opening the website link or attachment that is included in this email.

Threat Summary:
Name Greta Thunberg email spam virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax This email is disguised as an invitation to the biggest climate protest.
Attachment(s) Support Greta Thunberg - Time Person of the Year 2019.doc (its name may vary).
Detection Names Avira (W97M/Agent.39307107), BitDefender (W97m.Downloader.ITD), ESET-NOD32 (VBA/TrojanDownloader.Agent.QXY), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSOffice.SAgent.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent, and thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Payload Emotet
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
Damage Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, the victim's computer added to a botnet.

To eliminate Greta Thunberg email spam virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

More examples of similar spam campaigns and malicious programs that are proliferate through them are "Christmas Party Email", "HARASSMENT COMPLAINT", "Ministry of Justice", and Nymeria, FormBook, Adwind, and TrickBot. As a rule, these emails are disguised as legitimate, official, important, and so on. In one way or another, cyber criminals send them with a purpose to trick recipients into infecting their systems with some high-risk malware that would help them to generate revenue in various ways.

How did "Greta Thunberg Email Virus" infect my computer?

As we mentioned in the second paragraph, in this case cyber criminals spread Emotet through a malicious Microsoft Office document or website link that downloads some malicious file. They seek to trick people into opening that document and giving it a permission to enable editing and content. Once it is done, that document installs Emotet. However, they could use other MS Office documents for that too, or archive files like ZIP, RAR), executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files, PDF documents. In one way or another, computer can get infected only if a recipient opens a malicious file. It is worth mentioning that only MS Office 2010 and later versions ask for a permission to enable editing and content (open documents in Protected View mode), previous versions do not do that and automatically allow for malicious documents to infect systems with some malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Files that are attached to suspicious and irrelevant emails, especially if they are received from unknown addresses, should not be opened. The same applies to website links. It is worth mentioning that quite often these emails are disguised as important, official, and so on. Software and files should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links, other channels, tools like third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial pages, etc., should not be trusted. Installed software should not be updated using unofficial, fake updating tools. The only proper and safe way to update programs is by using tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers. Software that is not free should not be activated using unofficial activation/'cracking' tools. Tools of this are often designed to infect systems with malicious software. Also, it is not legal to activate licensed software with tools that are designed by third parties. One more way to keep systems safe is to regularly scan them with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and always remove detected threats as soon possible. If you've already opened "Greta Thunberg Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Greta Thunberg Email Virus" email letter (English version):

Subject: Support Greta Thunberg - Time Person of the Year 2019


You can spend Christmas Eve looking for gifts for children. They will tell you Thank you only that day.
But the children will thank you all their lives if you come out for the biggest demonstration in the protest against the inaction of the government in connection with the climate crisis.
Support Greta Thunberg - Time Person of the Year 2019

I invite you. Time and address are attached in the attached file.

FORWARD this letter to all colleagues, friends and relatives RIGHT NOW, until you forget!

Many thanks.

Screenshot of a "Greta Thunberg Email Virus" variant written in Spanish language:

greta thunberg email virus spanish variant

Text in this version:

Subject: Apoye a Greta Thunberg - Persona de tiempo del año


Puedes pasar la Nochebuena buscando regalos para niños. Te dirán Gracias solo ese día.
Pero los niños te lo agradecerán toda su vida si vienes a la manifestación más grande en protesta por la inacción del gobierno en relación con la crisis climática.
Apoye a Greta Thunberg - Persona de tiempo del año 2019

Te invito. La hora y la dirección se adjuntan en el archivo adjunto.

¡ENVÍE esta carta a todos sus colegas, amigos y familiares AHORA MISMO, hasta que se olvide!

Muchas gracias.

Screenshot of a "Greta Thunberg Email Virus" variant written in German language:

greta thunberg email virus german variant

Text in this version:

Subject: Unterstützen Sie Greta Thunberg - Zeitmensch des Jahres 2019


Sie können Heiligabend auf der Suche nach Geschenken für Kinder verbringen. Sie werden dir nur an diesem Tag danken.
Aber die Kinder werden Ihnen ihr ganzes Leben lang danken, wenn Sie sich für die großte Demonstration gegen die Untätigkeit Unterstützen Sie Greta Thunberg - Zeitmensch des Jahres 2019

Ich lade Sie ein. Zeit und Adresse sind in der angehängten Datei angefügt.

Leiten Sie diesen Brief an alle Kollegen, Freunde und Verwandten weiter, bis Sie ihn vergessen!

Danke vielmals.

Malicious attachment distributed via "Greta Thunberg Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Greta Thunberg Email Virus spam campaign

Instant automatic removal of Greta Thunberg email spam virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Greta Thunberg email spam virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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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 Spyhunter 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 1Download 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 "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 Spyhunter for Windows.

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.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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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
Greta Thunberg email spam virus QR code
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