Do not open the link in the COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA email

Also Known As: Hancitor virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA Email Virus" removal guide

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.

COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA Email Virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

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.

Threat Summary:
Name Hancitor virus
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.
Payload Hancitor
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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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. Emotet, TrickBot, Adwind and LokiBot are other malicious programs that cyber criminals attempt to distribute through emails.

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. Cyber criminals commonly send emails that contain a malicious attachment. Examples are Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, archive files such as ZIP, RAR, executable files such as .exe and JavaScript files. Note that these emails are generally disguised as important, official, etc.

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 Malwarebytes 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:

COVID-19 Insurance Plan From CIGNA Email Virus distributed malicious attachment

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.

QR Code
Hancitor virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Hancitor virus on your mobile device.
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