Do not open attachments in emails related to the QuickBooks spam campaign

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

QuickBooks Email Virus removal guide

What is "QuickBooks Email Virus"?

QuickBooks is legitimate accounting software developed by Intuit, however, this company has nothing to do with this email/spam campaign. Scammers commonly disguise their emails as messages from legitimate or well-known companies, using their names and the names of associated products, services, and so on. Cyber criminals behind this spam campaign proliferate the virus to trick recipients into opening an attachment disguised as an invoice, which then installs a malicious program called Dridex. Do not trust this email or open its contents.

QuickBooks Email Virus

According to the message, a process to transfer funds ($6239) from the recipient's account has been initiated. To get more detailed information, recipients are encouraged to check the attached document, which can be downloaded by clicking the link provided. This link downloads a .vbs file, which is presented as a Microsoft Office Word document, an invoice relating to QuickBooks software. When the file is executed, a pop-up window appears stating that an unexpected error has occurred and the document cannot be processed. In fact, this pop-up appears only to trick users into believing that they cannot open the file - when executed, the .vbs file receives permission to install Dridex. This malicious software steals banking credentials so that the cyber criminals responsible can use them to access victims' bank accounts and make fraudulent transactions, purchases, etc. Dridex steals this confidential information by operating as a keylogger - recording keys pressed. Computers infected with this malware can lead to financial loss, identity theft, problems with privacy, browsing safety, and so on. To avoid any this situation, do not to trust these emails and never open web links or attachments that are included within them.

Threat Summary:
Name QuickBooks email spam virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax This email is disguised as an email related to invoice from Intuit.
Attachment(s) .vbs (VBS) file that is presented as MS Office Word document (.doc).
Detection Names ALYac (Trojan.Downloader.VBS.Agent), GData (Script.Trojan.Agent.GLGFGA), Ikarus (Trojan.Script.Agent), Symantec (Trojan.Dropper), 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 Dridex
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.
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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Dridex is not the only malicious software that cyber criminals proliferate through spam campaigns (including malicious files or web links into emails). Generally, they disguise these emails as important, official, and so on. More examples of malicious programs that might be distributed in this way include Emotet, Adwind, LokiBot, and AZORult. Cyber criminals also send emails to trick recipients into infecting their computers with ransomware. They proliferate malware that can cause serious problems. Some examples of other spam campaigns used to proliferate malware are "Greta Thunberg Email Virus", "Christmas Party Email" and "HARASSMENT COMPLAINT".

How did "QuickBooks Email Virus" infect my computer?

In this case, cyber criminals proliferate Dridex through a malicious .vbs file, which is downloaded after clicking a link presented in an email (disguised as a message regarding an invoice from a legitimate company called Intuit). The purpose of this spam campaign is to trick recipients into opening/executing the attachment, which then infects systems with Dridex. Cyber criminals proliferate rogue programs through emails by attaching malicious files to emails. Other examples of files that they attach are Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, executables .exe, PDF documents, and archives as ZIP, RAR. Typically, malware is installed when recipients download and open (execute) the attached file, or they open (execute) a file downloaded through a presented link.

How to avoid installation of malware

Do not open files that are attached to irrelevant emails, especially if they are received from unknown, suspicious email addresses. The same applies to website links. Software should be downloaded from official websites and via direct download links. Unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders (and installers), etc., should never be used to download or install software. Update software and operating systems through tools and/or implemented functions that are provided by official developers. Installed software should not be activated through unofficial ('cracking') tools. This is illegal and they often cause installation of malware. Operating systems should be regularly scanned for threats with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. Remove any detected threats immediately. If you have already opened "QuickBooks Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

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

This email confirms that you submitted this total amount for processing:
        Deposit Date: 15.01.2020
        Account: The Stuck Market
        Merchant ID (last 4 digits): 1441
        Batch Deposit ID    Amount
        13477843156        $6239.00
For more detailed information, please see the attached document.


Please note: Your bank determines when this activity will post to your bank aco reserves the right to hold funds when necessary. To see more information about alert, log in to merchantercenter.untuit.com or QuickBooks.

Thanks for being a valued customer of intuit!

The Payments Team

Screenshot of a pop-up that appears after opening the malicious .vbs file:

quickbooks emai virus pop-up displayed after opening vbs file

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 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 autoruns.zip 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 Malwarebytes 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 pcrisk.com 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.

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