What is "COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA Email Virus"?
There are many 'malspam' campaigns proliferated by cyber criminals to trick recipients into infecting their computers with high-risk malware. This particular malspam campaign is disguised as an email from Cigna (health services organization) in relation to a Coronavirus insurance plan.
Cyber criminals behind it seek to deceive recipients into installing malicious software called Hancitor.
Cyber criminals disguise this spam campaign as a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) insurance plan update reminder and seek to trick recipients into clicking the link (blue button: "Here's your Account invoice"), which is designed to download a "payment report". If clicked, it actually opens malicious websites that download a ZIP archive file.
The archive contains a malicious VBS file, which, If executed, causes installation of Hancitor. Be aware that Hancitor is a Trojan-type program that opens 'backdoors' for other malware. In this way, it causes chain infections by installing other malicious software. It could be used to proliferate ransomware, keyloggers, Remote Access Trojans (RATs), cryptocurrency miners, etc.
Ransomware encrypts files, which is are then impossible to decrypt without specific tools held only by the cyber criminals who designed the ransomware program. To get the tools, victims are encouraged to pay a ransom. Keyloggers are programs that steal personal, confidential information by recording keyboard input.
Cyber criminals use software of this type to steal logins, passwords, credit card details and other sensitive information, which could be misused to generate revenue by make fraudulent purchases and transactions, stealing identities, etc. Remote Access Trojans allow cyber criminals take control over the infected computers and perform a wide range of actions.
For example, to take screenshots, record the screen, manage files, download and execute files/install various software, and so on. RATs can be used to access personal documents, infect computers with malware, steal personal information, etc. Cryptocurrency miners use hardware (CPU, GPU) to mine cryptocurrency by solving mathematical problems.
Cyber criminals proliferate these programs to enable them to use other computers to mine cryptocurrency. This can lead to higher electricity bills, system crashes, reduced computer performance, unexpected shutdowns, etc. In summary, Hancitor can infect systems with malware which enables cyber criminals to generate revenue in various ways.
|Name||COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA spam|
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Hoax||This malspam is disguised as an email relating to an insurance plan from Cigna|
|Detection Names (SE670131329809.vbs)||Arcabit (VB:Trojan.Agent.EMSF), BitDefender (VB:Trojan.Agent.EMSF), Emsisoft (VB:Trojan.Agent.EMSF (B)), Ikarus (Trojan-Dropper.VBS.Agent), 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.|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
Some examples of other malspam campaigns are "Your friend’s account was compromised Email Virus", "Secret Love Email Virus" and "PETRONAS Email Virus". Cyber criminals proliferate these emails to trick recipients into installing malware, which can help them to generate revenue in various ways.
Recipients who open and execute malicious files attached to these emails can suffer monetary and data loss, become victims of identity theft, experience problems relating to privacy and other serious issues. Therefore, ignore these emails and leave the contents unopened.
How did "COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA Email Virus" infect my computer?
Computers are infected with Hancitor through this spam campaign only if recipients execute a VBS file within the ZIP archive file. This archive is downloaded through a website link. Therefore, Hancitor cannot be installed unless recipients execute a malicious file.
How to avoid installation of malware
Do not open files that are attached to irrelevant emails, especially if they are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. The same applies to website links in emails of this kind. Do not open the contents of emails that might be sent by cyber criminals. All files and programs should be downloaded only from official and trustworthy websites.
Unofficial pages, third party downloaders, installers, freeware download pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule) and other tools and channels should not be used. Software must be updated and activated through implemented functions and tools that are designed by official developers.
Third party activation and updating tools often infect computers with malware. Furthermore, it is illegal to activate software with unofficial ('cracking') tools.
Operating systems should be regularly scanned for threats with up to date, reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If you have already opened "COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA Email Virus" email message:
Subject: The above is a safe notification from Cigna.
Insurance plan update reminder
Thanks for purchasing (COVID-19) Coronavirus insurance plan from CIGNA.
Kindly discover your latest payment report in the web link under
Here's your Account invoice
Please do not hesitate to get hold of us. We are very happy to assist you.
You can discover all our contact information along with variety of information on your very own webpage and also the Cigna Mobile app.
Please note: This letter and its content are sensitive and meant only for the receiver. Make sure you notify the message sender in case you have received this e mail in error or just delete it
© 2020 Cigna. All proper rights reserved
Unsubscribe ABOUT US | TERMS | HELP
Screenshot of a malicious file (and its detection names in VirusTotal) distributed via the "COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA" spam campaign:
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:
- What is COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.