What is the fake "Universidade de Lisboa" email?
"Universidade de Lisboa" is a spam email campaign designed to spread the LokiBot Trojan. The term "spam campaign" is used to define a large scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The messages distributed through this spam campaign are in Portuguese and disguised as mail from Universidade de Lisboa, the University of Lisbon (ULisboa).
The emails claim that they need recipients to quote their offer in accordance to their companies' recommendations. These scam messages are in no way associated with the University of Lisbon.
The "Universidade de Lisboa" scam emails contain the logos of Universidade de Lisboa (University of Lisbon), Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (NOVA University Lisbon), Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa (Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon) and Instituto de História da Arte Universidade de Lisboa (Institute of Art History, University of Lisbon) to further give the impression of legitimacy.
According to a rough translation, the deceptive messages claim that, heeding the company recommendations under the contract (allegedly, between the company and University of Lisbon), the recipient is obliged to make an offer.
This matter should be addressed by the date specified in the emails and the offer must be made in accordance with the 2020 budget, which is detailed in the attached document, "PERDIDO DE OFERTA 07-07-2020·pdf.exe" (filename might vary). In fact, this is not a PDF document - the attached file is the malicious executable of LokiBot.
Once opened, the infection process starts (download/installation) of this malware. The LokiBot Trojan steals various private and sensitive information. Some of its primary capabilities include extraction of saved log-in credentials (usernames and passwords) from browsers and certain other applications, and keylogging (i.e. recording of key strokes).
In summary, trusting fake "Universidade de Lisboa" emails can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial loss and identity theft. If it is suspected that LokiBot (or other malware) has already infected the system, use an anti-virus suite to eliminate it without delay.
|Name||Universidade De Lisboa spam|
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Hoax||Scam emails are disguised as mail from Universidade de Lisboa (University of Lisbon).|
|Attachment(s)||PERDIDO DE OFERTA 07-07-2020·pdf.exe (filename might vary).|
|Detection Names||AVG (FileRepMalware), BitDefender (Trojan.Delf.FareIt.Gen.7), McAfee (Fareit-FVZ!537B024FE163), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), 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.
"Philippine Overseas Employment Administration", "You Must Go To The Law Court" and "Inland Revenue Exchange System" are some examples of other malware-proliferating spam campaigns. These emails are typically presented as "official", "important", "urgent", "priority" and similar.
They are often disguised as mail from legitimate entities (e.g. universities, legal institutions, law enforcement agencies, etc.) or contain different messages, designed to trick recipients into trusting them. Distribution of malicious programs is not the only purpose of spam campaigns.
They are also used for phishing and other scams. Regardless of what these scam emails claim, offer, request or demand, the purpose is identical: to generate revenue for the scammers/cyber criminals behind them.
How did "Universidade de Lisboa Email Virus" infect my computer?
Infections are caused via malicious files sent in spam campaigns. These files can be attached to the emails (as is the case with the fake "Universidade de Lisboa" emails) or, alternatively, the messages can contain download links of malicious content.
For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In MS Office versions released before 2010, this process begins automatically once a document is opened. Newer versions ask users to enable macros (i.e. to enable editing/content), and hence the infection is triggered only if macro commands are enabled manually.
How to avoid installation of malware
You are strongly advised against opening suspicious or irrelevant emails, especially those received from unknown/suspect senders. Any attachments or links present in dubious messages must never be opened, as doing so can result in a serious system infection.
Additionally, you are advised to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010, however, proliferation through spam campaigns is not the only malware distribution method. Malicious software is also spread via dubious download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation ("cracking") tools and bogus updates.
Therefore, it is crucial to only download from official/trustworthy sources, and activate and update products with tools/functions provided by genuine developers. To ensure device and user safety, it is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed.
Keep these programs updated and use them to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. If you have already opened "Universidade de Lisboa Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Universidade de Lisboa" email message:
Subject: PEDIDO DE OFERTA (Universidade de Lisboa) EUI894/PT4633
audações de Universidade de Lisboa,
De acordo com as recomendações da sua empresa pelo nosso contrato, somos da Universidade de Lisboa, sob orientação de António Sampaio da Nóvoa.
Precisamos da sua cotação para o nosso orçamento para 2020 (em anexo).
Envie sua oferta até o prazo de 11 de julho de 2020 ou antes.
Universidade de Lisboa
M Alameda da Universidade 1649-004 Lisbon
T +351 217 967 624 | +351 210 113 400
F +351 210 113 402
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ www.ulisboa.pt
Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "Universidade de Lisboa" spam campaign ("PERDIDO DE OFERTA 07-07-2020·pdf.exe"):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 Universidade De Lisboa 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.