"Institut za zdravstvo Srbije" removal guide
What is "Institut za zdravstvo Srbije"?
It is not uncommon that cyber criminals attempt to exploit the coronavirus crisis in various ways. This malspam campaign is disguised as a COVID-19 themed letter from Institute of Health of Serbia regarding distribution of protective equipment, cyber criminals behind it attempt to trick recipients into infecting their computers with GuLoader through the malicious executable in the attached archive file. Therefore, it is strongly recommend not to trust this email and leave its attachment unopened.
As stated in this email, companies registered in Serbia can receive free protective equipment that supposed to help with the COVID-19 infection prevention. It can be done by filling out the form and sending it to the provided email address. Recipients supposed to find that form in the attached archive file ("obrazac zahtjeva za preventivnu opreme.pdf.zip"). Although, this file contains a malicious executable ("obrazac zahtjeva za preventivnu opreme.pdf.exe") which, if executed, installs GuLoader. GuLoader is a malicious program which is used by cyber criminals to distribute other malware. Simply said, if a computer is infected with GuLoader, then it is very likely that it will get infected with some Remote Access Trojan (RAT), ransomware, cryptocurrency miner, or other high-risk malware. Having a computer infected with such malware be the reason behind problems like identity theft, monetary, data loss, issues related to online privacy, browsing safety, etc. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to ignore email like this one and not to open files (or website links) that are attached to/included in them.
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Hoax||Recipients are offered to apply for a free protection equipment|
|Attachment(s)||obrazac zahtjeva za preventivnu opreme.pdf.zip (its name may vary)|
|Detection Names||Avast (FileRepMalware), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Razy.677016), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/TrojanDownloader.Agent.FCI), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Rogue Process Name||obrazac zahtjeva za preventivnu opreme.pdf.exe (its name may vary)|
|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 Malwarebytes.
Some more examples of malspam are "Spring Company Invoice Email Virus", "Supreme Court Email Virus", "Office Depot Email Virus". Typically, such emails are disguised as important, official and sent with a purpose to deceive users into opening some malicious attachment or of file downloaded through included website link that would infect a computer with some malware. In this particular case by executing a malicious file in the attached ZIP file recipients would install GuLoader. Some examples of malicious programs that could be installed through GuLoader are Agent Tesla, FormBook, LokiBot, NetWire, Remcos and Vidar.
How did "Institut za zdravstvo Srbije" infect my computer?
How to avoid installation of malware?
Attachments and website links in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. It is important to analyze such emails and open their contents only when there is no reason to believe that it may be not safe. Files and programs should be downloaded via direct links and trustworthy, official websites. Other download channels tools should not be trusted. Some examples of unreliable download (and installation) channels are third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., eMule, torrent clients), free file hosting pages. Installed software (or operating system) must be updated or activated with tools and/or implemented functions that are provided by software developers. Various 'cracking' (unofficial activation) and third party updaters should not be used. Also, it is not legal to activate software with third party, unofficial tools. Operating system should be regularly scanned for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite, it is important to always keep such software up to date. If you've already opened "Institut za zdravstvo Srbije" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Institut za zdravstvo Srbije" email letter:
Subject: Distribucija zaštitne opreme Covid-19 (Ministarstvo zdravlja Srbije) Juna 2020
Mi Institut za zdravstvo Srbije u saradnji sa Ministarstvom zdravlja Srbije i prema direktivi naše Vlade Srbije o odgovoru na covid-19, vršiće se besplatna distribucija zaštitne opreme covid-19 svim registrovanim kompanijama i preduzećima u Srbiji. Jasno ispunite prižoleni obrazac, budite sigurni da su u ovom obrascu dobro napisani tačan broj zaposlenih i adresa kompanije.
Ispunite prižoleni obrazac i vratite nam kopiju prije zatvaranja rada danas, čekajući vaš brzi odgovor.
Svi popunjeni obrazac treba poslati na ovaj e-mail: -
Head of Healthcare Quality Improvement Unit
Institut za javno zdravlje Srbije
"Dr Milan Jovanović Batut"
Dr Subotića 5, 11000 Beograd
Malicious executable detected as a threat by multiple detection engines in virustotal
Malicious exexutable running in Task Manager as "obrazac zahtjeva za preventivnu opreme.pdf.exe":
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:
- What is "Institut za zdravstvo Srbije"?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of GuLoader malware.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
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:
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:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart 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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In 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.
Check 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".
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.
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.