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How to avoid installation of malware via the VodaFone malspam email

Also Known As: VodaFone malspam email
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Medium

What is VodaFone email virus?

Users are often tricked into installing malware when malspam emails are sent that contain malicious attachments or download links for rogue files. In most cases, cyber criminals disguise these emails as important, official messages from legitimate companies, organizations, and other entities.

Their main goal is to trick recipients into downloading and opening a file that installs malicious software.

VodaFone email virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

This particular email is disguised as a message from Vodafone. Note that Vodafone has nothing to do with this bogus email. The message contains two website links that download a ZIP file, which contains a malicious VBS file (Virtual Basic script) and a legitimate Java installer.

It is unknown which type of malware the aforementioned VBS file installs, however, it is likely to be ransomware, a Trojan, cryptocurrency miner, or other malicious software. The file installs malware that cyber criminals can use to generate revenue.

For example, the malware could be designed to steal sensitive information (such as login credentials, credit card details) or to mine cryptocurrency using computer hardware. You are strongly advised to ignore these emails and leave files or links in them unopened.

Threat Summary:
Name VodaFone malspam email
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Detection Names BitDefender (VBS.Heur2.ObfDldr.19.69692BF3.Gen), Emsisoft (VBS.Heur2.ObfDldr.19.69692BF3.Gen (B)), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Sehyioa.A!cl), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Script.Generic), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal).
Hoax Email from Vodafone.
Attachment(s) Email contains download links for a malicious ZIP archive file.
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 It is unknown what malicious software cyber criminals distribute via this email.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
Damage Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, data loss, financial loss, 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.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

More examples of malspam emails are "Inditron Enterprises Email Virus", "$100 Amazon Gift Card Email Virus" and "CDP Email Virus". As mentioned, these emails contain a website link or attachment that installs malware. The main difference between malspam campaigns is the malicious software that is delivered through them.

Some examples of malicious programs that cyber criminals attempt to distribute via email are Dridex, Agent Tesla, Ursnif and Trickbot.

How did "VodaFone email virus" infect my computer?

Through this email, recipients can inadvertently cause installation of malware by downloading the ZIP file through the provided website link, extracting its contents and then executing a malicious VBS (.vbs) file. More examples of files that cyber criminals send via email are Microsoft Office and PDF documents, executables (.exe), JavaScript, and archives (ZIP, RAR).

Note that malicious documents that are opened with Microsoft Office 2010 or newer versions install malicious software only if users enable macros commands (enable editing/content). These versions include "Protected View" mode, which does not allow opened malicious documents to install malware automatically.

Older versions do not include this feature and install malicious software without asking permission.

How to avoid installation of malware

You are advised to download files and programs from official websites and via direct download links. Other tools and sources such as third party downloaders and installers, unofficial pages, and Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., eMule, torrent clients) should not be used to download or install software.

Check all "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings (or available checkboxes) for offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Do not click ads on dubious websites, since they can be designed to open bogus web pages or cause unwanted downloads and installations.

Remove any unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins and add-ons installed on the browser, and software of this kind from the operating system. If you have already opened the "VodaFone email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the VodaFone malspam email:

Subject: VodaFone - Cliente, em anexo enviamos uma fatura eletronica em atraso. - ( 29916200685  )
 

Cliente Vodafone, nesta fatura aparecem valores mensais que correspondem apenas aos dias de utilizacao efetiva do servico.
________________________________________
Cliente: ********
Data Emissao: 25/11/2020:11:18:23
Periodo de Faturacao: 20/10/2020 - 20/11/2020
Data Limite de Pagamento: 27/11/2020
Montante do Debito Direto: EUR 402,30

Escolha abaixo a melhor forma de consultar a sua Fatura
Ver em formato PDF
Ver em formato MSI
* Este e-mail foi enviado automaticamente pelo My Vodafone. Favor nao responder.
* Tem 1130 Pontos Clube viva. Oferta disponivel em vodafone.pt
27/11/2020 08:03:01

Malicious VBS file detected as a threat by multiple detection engines in Virustotal:

vodafone email virus malicious vbs file detected as threat by virustotal

An example of yet another VodaFone-themed spam email (targeting Italian-speaking users) used to spread Ursnif (Gozi) malware via an attached malicious MS Word document:

Italian VodaFone-themed spam email spreading Ursnif (Gozi) malware

Text presented within:

Subject: comunicazione  utenza telefonica

 

Come da voi richiesto abbiamo eseguito il passaggio della sua utenza telefonica dal precedente operatore a Vodafone attivando l'offerta " Natale con Vodafone ".
In allegato trovate l'archivio contenente i dettagli e i costi del passaggio, che verranno addebitati direttamente sull'iban da lei fornito trimestralmente.

Cordiali Saluti,
Servizio Clienti Vodafone

Screenshot of the malicious MS Word document attached:

Malicious MS Word document distributed via VodaFone-themed spam emails

Yet another VodaFone-themed spam email spreading a malicious MS Word document:

VodaFone-themed spam email spreading malicious Word doc (2021-03-02)

Text presented within:

Subject: informazione variazione utenza telefonica aziendale


come da voi richiesto abbiamo effettuato il passaggio della vostra utenza telefonica collegata alla vostra azienda dal precedente operatore a Vodafone attivando l'offerta "Internet Unlimited ".
In allegato potete trovare il documento contenente i dettagli, la data di presa in carica della pratica, la compilazione di fattura e i costi del passaggio, che verranno addebitati bimestralmente sul conto corrente aziendale da voi fornito .
Cordiali Saluti,
Servizio Clienti Vodafone

Screenshot of the attached malicious MS Word document:

Malicious MS Word document distributed via VodaFone-themed spam email

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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:
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Quick menu:

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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

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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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