Avoid infecting your system through fake "Salesforce" emails

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

"Salesforce" email virus removal guide

What is "Salesforce Email Virus"?

"Salesforce" is the name of an email spam campaign, designed to proliferate the Gozi trojan. The term "spam campaign" refers to a large-scale operation, during which deceptive emails are sent by the thousand. The scam letters of this spam campaign are disguised as order confirmation notifications from the Salesforce company. Salesforce.com, inc. is a cloud-based software company, dealing in customer relationship management (CRM) services and sale of complementary enterprise applications (e.g. relating to customer service, marketing automation, analytics and software development). It must be emphasized that these fake emails are in no way associated to the genuine Salesforce company.

Salesforce malware-spreading email spam campaign

The scam "Salesforce" emails with the subject "salesforce.com Order Confirmation 77190/441 -AU" (titles may vary) do not provide any specific information. The letters state that recipients quote has been processed. It also lists the time of the order's activation. Additionally, it contains the dates of the supposed contract's beginning and end. The details of the fake order are allegedly provided in the attachment. However, once the attached Microsoft Excel document is opened and the macro commands are enabled (i.e. editing/content are enabled) - the infection process/chain of malware is initiated. This malicious file infects systems with the Gozi (also known as Ursnif, IFSB or Dreambot) trojan. This piece of malicious software is designed to steal information. Gozi can exfiltrate both system and user information, extract saved log-in credentials (i.e. usernames and passwords) from certain browsers and applications), record key strokes (keylogging) - and these are just some of the main functionalities of this malware. To summarize, trusting the "Salesforce" deceptive emails - can lead to system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and even identity theft. If it is suspected/known that the Gozi trojan (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus program must be used to eliminate it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Gozi trojan
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Emails are disguised as notifications concerning a confirmed order.
Attachment(s) QO-77190441.xlsm
Detection Names Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Script.Generic), McAfee (W97M/Downloader.cyl), K7AntiVirus (Trojan ( 005686ce1 )), 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 Gozi
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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"Adobe Email Virus", "Universidade De Lisboa", "Philippine Overseas Employment Administration", "You Must Go To The Law Court" - are some examples of other malware-spreading spam campaigns. The deceptive emails are typically presented as "official", "important", "urgent" and similar; they can even be disguised as mail from legitimate companies, institutions, organizations, service providers and other entities. However, spam campaigns can have other goals as well, aside from proliferation of malicious programs. Scam emails are also used for phishing and other scams. While this mail makes varied claims, offers, requests or demands, the end-goal is the same - to generate revenue to the scammers / cyber criminals behind it.

How did "Salesforce Email Virus" infect my computer?

Systems are infected via malicious files distributed through spam campaigns. These files can be attached to and/or linked inside the emails. Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g. Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, etc. When they are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection process/chain (i.e. malware download/installation) is triggered. For example, MS Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010 - macros are executed the moment a document is opened. However, the newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which asks users to enable macro commands (i.e. to enable editing/content) - hence, they are not executed automatically. Therefore, the infection process is initiated only if the macros are enabled manually.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is strongly advised against opening suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, especially any attachments or links found in them - as that can result in high-risk infections. Additionally, it is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Malware proliferation via spam campaigns is just one way of malicious content distribution, other popular methods include 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 fake updaters. Therefore, it is important to use official/verified download sources and activate/update programs with tools or functions provided by genuine developers. To ensure device and user safety, it is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software has to be used to perform regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If you've already opened "Salesforce Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Salesforce" scam email letter:

Subject: salesforce.com Order Confirmation 77190/441 -AU

 

Your Quote# Q-77190441 has been processed. Order# 77190/441 was activated on 7/12/2020 2:16 PM. Your Contract Start Date is 7/13/2020 and your Contract End Date is 6/20/2021.

 

Your order details attached below.

 

Thank you for your business.

Malicious attachment distributed via "Salesforce" spam campaign ("QO-77190441.xlsm"):

Malicious attachment distributed through Salesforce spam campaign (QO-77190441.xlsm)

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
Gozi trojan QR code
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