How to avoid installation of ZLoader through deceptive Orange email?

Also Known As: ZLoader trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Orange Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Orange Email Virus"?

Orange is the name of a legitimate French multinational telecommunications corporation, although, in this case cyber criminals exploit its name for malicious purposes. To be more precise, they send an email which is disguised as invoice from the aforementioned company. Their main goal is to trick recipients into opening the attached malicious MS Excel file and allowing it to enable content. If allowed, it installs the ZLoader - a malicious program.

Orange Email Virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

The whole email is written in Polish language, although, it does not necessarily mean that cyber criminals behind it target only users who live in Poland/speak Polish. As mentioned in the introduction, this email is disguised as an invoice from Orange. However, the actual Orange company has nothing to do with it. It is very common that cyber criminals exploit names of well known, legitimate companies to deceive users into believing that their emails are legitimate too. The purpose of this email is to trick recipients into opening a malicious Excel file which is designed to infect computers with ZLoader. Although, in order for this document to install ZLoader users need to give it a permission to enable content (macros commands). ZLoader (also known as DELoader and Terdot) is designed to cause a chain infection - after installation it installs another malware called Zeus. Zeus is a banking Trojan which cyber criminals use to steal online banking credentials so they could use them to make fraudulent transactions, purchases or simply sell them to third parties. Therefore, victims of Zeus attack can suffer monetary loss. In other to prevent this from happening it is obligatory not to open the document which is attached to deceptive Orange email. Any other emails of this type should be ignored too.

Threat Summary:
Name ZLoader trojan
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax This email is disguised as an invoice from Orange
Attachment(s) faktura_59.xlsm
Detection Names Alibaba (TrojanDownloader:VBA/MalDoc.ali1000101), Ikarus (Trojan.Doc.Agent), Microsoft (TrojanDownloader:O97M/EncDoc.SY!MTB), Qihoo-360 (Macro.office.07defname.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 ZLoader (a Trojan which is designed to install banking malware named Zeus)
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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A couple of examples of other spam campaigns that are used to distribute malicious software are "Spring Company Invoice Email Virus", "Office Depot Email Virus" and "Polícia de Segurança Pública Email Virus". Computers get infected through them when recipients open a malicious attachment or a malicious file that they downloaded through the included website link. Typically, such emails are used to distribute ransomware, Trojans, Remote Administration Tools and/or some other malware.

How did "Orange Email Virus" infect my computer?

In this case Zeus gets installed through ZLoader, a malicious program which gets installed through a malicious MS Excel file which is attached to this email. Either way, all of this can be avoided by simply leaving the aforementioned document unopened. More examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are PDF documents, other MS Office documents (like Word), executable files (like .exe), archive files (like ZIP, RAR), JavaScript files. It is worthwhile to mention that malicious MS Office documents can install malware only if they are allowed to enable editing/content (macros commands). Although, it is not necessary when a malicious document is opened with a Microsoft Office version which was released before year 2010. Those versions do not include the "Protected View" mode and cannot prevent malicious documents from installing malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Attachments and website links that in irrelevant emails should not be trusted (opened). Especially if such emails are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. All software and files should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct links. Other channels (examples are mentioned in the previous paragraph) can be and often are used to distribute malware. Software must be updated and activated only through tools and/or functions that are designed by official developers. Besides, it is not legal to use various 'cracking' (unofficial activation) to activate licensed programs. One more way to keep computers safe is to regularly scan them for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite and always keep such software up to date. If you've already opened "Orange Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Orange Email Virus" email letter:

Subject: e-faktura 05.2020

 

Zrobisz to sprawdzajac 48616076 (number konta Klienta)
swoje dane:

 

Dzien

 

przesylamy e-fakture za uslugi mobilne w Orange.

 

Number rozliczenia 18414672838324
Data wystawienia 2020-05-19
Termin platnosci 2020-05-30

 

Dzieki terminowej wplacie unikniesz odsetek i nie utracisz rabatow uzaleznionych
od terminowej wplaty. E-fakture wygodnie oplacisz korzystajac z Polecenia Zaplaty
lub Platnosci Elektronicznej, do ktorej link masz tez na e-fakturze albo po
zalogowaniu do Moj Orange.

 

Pozdrawiamy,
Orange

 

Powyzsza wiadomosc zostala wyslana automatycznie, nie musisz na nia
odpowiadac.
Adres do korespondencji: Orange Polska S.A., ul. Jagiellonska 334, 96-100
Skierniewice www.orange.pl/kontakt.

 

Orange Polska Spolka Akcyjna z siedziba i adresem w Warszawie (02-326) przy Al.
Jerozolimskich 160, wpisana do Rejestru Przedsiebiorcow prowadzonego przez Sad
Rejonowy dla m.st. Warszawy XII Wydzial Gospodarczy Krajowego Rejestru
Sadowego pod numerem 0000010681; REGON 012100784, NIP 526-02-50-995; z
pokrytym w calosci kapitalem zakladowym wynoszacym 3.937.072.437 zlotych

Malicious attachment distributed via "Orange Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Orange Email Virus spam campaign

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
ZLoader trojan QR code
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