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How to avoid installation of malware via VodaFone malspam email?

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

VodaFone email virus removal guide

What is VodaFone email virus?

One of the ways to trick users into installing malware is to send malspam emails that contain malicious attachments or download links for malicious files. In most cases cyber criminals disguise such emails as important, official letters from legitimate companies, organizations or other entities. Their main goal is to trick recipients into downloading and opening a file that is designed to install malicious software.

VodaFone email virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

This particular email is disguised as a letter from Vodafone. It is important to know that the actual Vodafone company has nothing to do with this email. This email contains two website links that are designed to download a ZIP file that contains malicious VBS file (Virtual Basic script) and a legitimate Java installer. It is unknown what type of malware the aforementioned VBS file is designed to install, although, it is likely that it installs some ransomware, Trojan, cryptocurrency miner, or other malicious software. In one way or another, that file is designed to install malware that cyber criminals could use to generate revenue. For example, that malware could be designed to steal sensitive information (like login credentials, credit card details), mine cryptocurrency using computer hardware. It is strongly recommended to ignore emails like this one 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)

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More examples of malspam emails are "Inditron Enterprises Email Virus", "$100 Amazon Gift Card Email Virus" and "CDP Email Virus". As mentioned in the first paragraph, such emails contain a website link or attachment that is designed to install malware. The main difference between malspam campaigns is the malicious software that is delivered through them. A couple of examples of malicious programs that cyber criminals can try to distribute via email are Dridex, Agent Tesla, Ursnif and Trickbot.

How did "VodaFone email virus" infect my computer?

Recipients can cause installation of malware via this email by downloading the ZIP file via provided website link, extracting its contents and executing a malicious VBS (.vbs) file. More examples of files that cyber criminals use to deliver malware via their malspam campaigns are malicious Microsoft Office, PDF documents, JavaScript files, executable files (e.g., .exe), other archive files like RAR. As a rule, malware gets installed when users execute a malicious file. However, malicious documents install malware on computers automatically only if users open them with Microsoft Office version that was released prior to year 2010. In newer versions malware does not get installed if users do not enable editing/content (macros commands) in malicious documents. It is because newer versions include the "Protected View" feature which prevents malicious documents from installing malware automatically.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Irrelevant emails that are received from suspicious (and/or unknown) addresses, and contain some attachment or website link should not be trusted. In most cases such emails are sent by cyber criminals who seek to trick recipients into installing malware on their computers. Files and programs should not be downloaded from unofficial pages, via Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, third party downloaders, free file hosting sites, or other sources of this kind. They should be downloaded only from official websites and via direct download links. Already installed programs have to be updated and/or activated only with tools that are provided by their official developers. It is never safe to use third party, unofficial tools. Also, it is not legal to activate licensed software with third party activation ('cracking') tools, or use installers for pirated software. One more to keep computers safe is to scan them for threats regularly and do that by using an up-to-date and reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If you've already opened "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 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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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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