Avoid infecting your system via fake "Universidade de Lisboa" emails

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

"Universidade de Lisboa" email virus"removal guide

What is the fake "Universidade de Lisboa" email?

"Universidade de Lisboa" is the name of an email spam 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 letters distributed through this spam campaign are in Portuguese and they are disguised as mail from Universidade de Lisboa - the University of Lisbon (ULisboa). The emails claim that they need the recipients to quote their offer in accordance to their company's recommendations. It must be emphasized that these scam letters are in no way associated with the University of Lisbon.

Universidade de Lisboa malware-spreading email spam campaign

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 increase the impression of legitimacy. According to a rough translation, the deceptive letters claim that heeding the recipients' company's recommendations under the contract (allegedly, between the company and University of Lisbon), they are requested to make an offer. This matter should be addressed until a date specified in the emails and the offer has to be made in accordance to the 2020 budget, which is detailed in the attached document - "PERDIDO DE OFERTA 07-07-2020·pdf.exe" (filename may vary). It is not a PDF document, the attached file is the malicious executable of LokiBot. Once opened, it initiates the infection process (download/installation) of this malware. The LokiBot trojan is designed to steal a variety of private and sensitive information. Some of its primary abilities 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 the fake "Universidade de Lisboa" emails can result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses and identity theft. If it is suspected that LokiBot (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus suite must be used to eliminate it without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name LokiBot trojan
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 may 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.
Payload LokiBot
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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"Philippine Overseas Employment Administration", "You Must Go To The Law Court" and "Inland Revenue Exchange System" are a couple examples of other malware-proliferating spam campaigns. Such emails are typically presented as "official", "important", "urgent", "priority" and similar. They can wear various disguises, like mail from legitimate entities (e.g. universities, legal institutions, law enforcement agencies, etc.) or contain different messages, meant to trick recipients into trusting them. However, distribution of malicious programs is not the only purpose of spam campaigns, they are also used for phishing and other scams. Regardless of what scam emails claim, offer, request or demand, the end-goal is the same - to generate revenue to 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 letters can contain download links of malicious content. Infectious files can be in various formats, e.g. executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc. When virulent files are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection process/chain is jumpstarted. 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. The newer versions ask users to enable macros (i.e. to enable editing/content); hence, the infection is triggered if the macro commands are enabled manually.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is strongly advised against opening suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, especially ones received from unknown/suspect senders. Any attachments or links present in dubious letters must never be opened - as doing so can result in a serious system infection. Additionally, it is recommended 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 illegitimate updates. Therefore, it is crucial to only download from official/trustworthy sources, as well as 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. Furthermore, such programs must be kept updated, used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. If you've already opened "Universidade de Lisboa Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Universidade de Lisboa" email letter:

Subject: PEDIDO DE OFERTA (Universidade de Lisboa) EUI894/PT4633

 

audações de Universidade de Lisboa,

 

Attn:

 

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.

 

Cumprimentos.

 

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: admin@ulisboa.pt/ 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"):

Universidade de Lisboa malicious attachment detections on VirusTotal

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
LokiBot trojan QR code
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