How to uninstall malware that got installed via Adobe malspam campaign?

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Adobe Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Adobe Email Virus"?

Typically, cyber criminals behind spam campaigns like this one send emails disguised as official, important with a purpose to trick recipients into installing some malicious software. In most cases they succeed when recipients open/execute a malicious file (attachment) that is designed to install malware. In this particular case the attached contains a malicious website link designed to download some malicious file. Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to trust emails of this type and do not open files or links in them.

Adobe Email Virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

It is common that cyber criminals disguise malspam campaigns as official, important letters from legitimate companies. Although, those companies do not ever have anything to do with such campaigns. This particular malspam campaign disguised as a letter from KE Innovations regarding some purchase order, it contains an attachment which supposed to be some invoice. However, the attached "Invoice#9037.pdf" (its name may vary) PDF file contains a website link which is designed to download/open a download page for malicious file. It is very likely that cyber criminals behind this malspam campaign attempt to deceive recipients into installing some ransomware, Trojan, cryptocurrency miner or other malicious software. Typically, such campaigns are used to distribute malware that would encrypt victim's files, steal personal information (e.g., by logging keystrokes, collecting saved passwords, autofill data) and/or use computer hardware to mine cryptocurrency. Recipients who would open malicious links or files in such emails may suffer monetary, data loss, become victims of identity theft, lose access to personal accounts (e.g., email, banking, social media accounts), experience problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, receive higher electricity bills and/or other serious problems. Any of this can be avoided by leaving links or attached files unopened.

Threat Summary:
Name possible malware infections
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax This malspam campaign is disguised as a letter regarding some invoice
Attachment(s) Invoice#9037.pdf (its name may vary)
Detection Names SentinelOne (Static ML) (DFI - Malicious PDF), 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 Ransomware, Trojan or some other malware
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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Typically, cyber criminals use malspam campaigns as tools to distribute malware that would help them to generate revenue in one or another way (e.g., by stealing login credentials, credit card details, sensitive documents). A couple of examples of other malspam campaigns are "Billtrust Email Virus", "Universidade De Lisboa Email Virus" and "Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Email Virus". Examples of malicious programs that can be and often are distributed this way are NanoCore, LokiBot, TrickBot, Echelon.

How did "Adobe Email Virus" infect my computer?

Some of the most common ways to distribute various malware are by using spam campaigns, fake software updaters, untrustworthy file, software download channels, unofficial (third party) activators and Trojans. Quite often cyber criminals send emails with malicious attachments or website links in them. Either way, their main goal is to deceive recipients into executing a malicious file that would install malware. Typically, such emails have malicious Microsoft Office documents, archive files (like ZIP, RAR), PDF documents, JavaScript files or executable files like .exe attached to them. Fake software updaters are unreliable tools that often do not update, fix any installed software. Instead of doing that they install malware or infect computers by exploiting bugs, flaws of some outdated software. Untrustworthy software download channels are often used to distribute malware too. Users who download files through Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, various free file hosting, freeware download websites and other similar channels risk to download malicious files (usually they are disguised as regular). When executed, those files infect computers with malicious software. Software 'cracking' tools (unofficial activators) supposed to activate licensed software for free. Nevertheless, instead of activating it they often install malware. Trojans are malicious programs that often are designed to proliferate other programs of this kind: if a computer is infected with a Trojan, then it is very likely that it will get infected with some other software of this kind as well.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Files, programs should be downloaded only from official, reliable websites and via direct links. Other channels, tools (some examples are mentioned in the previous paragraph) should not be trusted - cyber criminals often use them as tools to distribute malicious files, programs. Operating system and installed software must be updated and/or activated with implemented functions and/or tools that are provided (designed) by official developers. Unofficial, third party tools often are designed to infect computers with malware. Also, it is not legal to activate any software with 'cracking' tools/unofficial activators. Attachments and website links in irrelevant emails that are received from suspicious, unknown addresses should never be opened. It is common that such emails are sent by cyber criminals who attempt to trick recipients into installing malware on their computers. Such emails tend to be disguised as important, official. Additionally, it is recommended to regularly scan the operating system/computer with a reputable and up-to-date antivirus or anti-spyware software. If you've already opened "Adobe Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Screenshot of another "Adobe Email Virus" variant:

adobe email virus another variant

Text in both variants:

Subject: FW: Invoice#9037

 

Enclosed is our purchase order with all necessary information.

 

kindly arrange P/I for advance payment.

 

If any question please kindly inform me Thanks a lot and waiting for your reply.


Best Regards,

 

Sale Manager.
Jamie Enzo.
KE Innovations.
TEL: 406-5551-753
Admin Office
SALE Code: 25600

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.

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