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Avoid malware infections proliferated via fake Findomestic emails

Also Known As: Ursnif virus
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is the fake "Findomestic" email?

"Findomestic Email Virus" refers to a spam campaign proliferating Ursnif trojan-type malware. The term "spam campaign" defines a mass-scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent.

This spam campaign targets Italian users and is disguised as a notification concerning recipients' debts, supposedly from Findomestic, which is a legitimate consumer credit institution.

Note that these messages are in no way associated with the Findomestic banking company and none of the information provided in them is genuine. The purpose of these scam emails is to trick recipients into opening the file attached to them, thereby initiating the infection process of Ursnif. This Trojan stealthily infiltrates systems and extracts information stored in and accessed through them.

Findomestic malware-spreading email spam campaign

According to a rough translation, the fake "Findomestic" emails (subject/title, "saldo disponibile 966", which might vary) inform recipients of their current credit balance. Allegedly, they are in significant debt and this is a concerning development. Recipients are instructed to review the attached document, which is stated to contain the relevant payment details. Additionally, the scam messages inform users that the sum must be paid within five days.

As mentioned, these "Findomestic" emails are scams, intended to infect recipients devices with the Ursnif Trojan. The malware's download/installation process is triggered by the attachments being opened (specifically, by execution of its malicious macro commands).

The main purpose of this malicious program is data theft. It targets system and user/private information, browsing data, and this also malware has keylogging capabilities. To elaborate on the latter, it can record key strokes. This functionality is typically used to obtain log-in credentials (i.e. IDs, usernames and passwords) of email, social networking/media, communication platform, data storage and transferring, e-commerce (online store), digital wallet and banking accounts.

Ursnif's features are not limited to information theft. It can also restart/reboot the compromised device, take screenshots, and so on. Furthermore, this Trojan can infiltrate (upload) and execute files, and hence can potentially be used to infect the system with additional malware (e.g. ransomware, cryptominers, etc.).

To summarize, by trusting the fake "Findomestic" messages, users might experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial loss and identity theft. If it is suspected or known that the Ursnif Trojan (or other malware) has already infected the system, use anti-virus software to eliminate it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Ursnif virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails notify recipients of their debt
Attachment(s) saldo_scaduto_4299402.doc
Detection Names GData (Macro.Trojan-Downloader.Agent.MU), TACHYON (Suspicious/WOX.Downloader.Gen), McAfee-GW-Edition (BehavesLike.Downloader.dc), F-Secure (Heuristic.HEUR/Macro.Downloader.MRKB.Gen), Tencent (Heur.MSWord.Downloader.d), 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 Ursnif
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 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.

"Request For Payment", "MSC Email Virus" and "FedEx Freight" are some examples of other spam campaigns that proliferate malware. The deceptive messages are usually disguised as "official", "important", "urgent", "priority", and similar. These emails can spread a wide variety of malicious programs, which can cause likewise varied and serious problems.

Note that spam campaigns are not used exclusively to distribute malware. They are also used for phishing and other scams. Regardless of what scam messages claim or how they operate, their purpose is identical: to generate revenue for the scammers/cyber criminals behind them.

Due to the relative prevalence of spam mail, you are strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How did "Findomestic Email Virus" infect my computer?

Ransomware and other malware infections are commonly spread through malspam campaigns, untrusted file/software download sources, fake (third party) software updating tools, Trojans and unofficial software activation tools.

Using malspam, criminals send emails that have a malicious file attached, or include a website link designed to download a malicious file. Their main goal is to trick recipients into executing the file, which then infects the computer with malware. Cyber criminals usually attach a Microsoft Office document, archive file (ZIP, RAR), PDF document, executable file (.exe) or JavaScript file, and wait until recipients open it.

Note that malicious MS Office documents can install malware only when users enable editing/content (macros commands). If the documents are opened with MS Office versions prior to 2010, however, the documents install malicious software automatically, since these older versions do not include "Protected View" mode.

Examples of untrusted file and software download sources are Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients), free file hosting websites, freeware download sites, and unofficial web pages. These are used to distribute malicious files by disguising them as legitimate and regular. When users download and open (execute) the files, however, they inadvertently install malware.

Fake software updating tools cause damage by installing malware rather than updates/fixes for installed software, or by exploiting bugs/flaws of outdated software. Trojans are malicious programs that can cause chain infections by installing other software of this kind. Note that malware can only be distributed in this way if Trojans are already installed on computers.

Unofficial activation ('cracking') tools are illegal programs that supposedly activate licensed software free of charge and bypass activation, however, they often install other malicious programs instead.

How to avoid installation of malware

To avoid malware spread via spam mail, you are strongly advised against opening suspicious or irrelevant emails, especially those with any attachments or links present within them.

Additionally, use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Malicious programs also proliferate through untrusted download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updaters.

Therefore, only download from official/verified sources and activate and update software with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers.

To ensure device integrity and user privacy, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. Furthermore, use these programs to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats.

If you have already opened "Findomestic Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Findomestic" scam email message:

Subject: saldo disponibile 966


Gentile Cliente, vi segnaliamo che,
in base ad un controllo relativo alla Vostra situazione
contabile svolta in data odierna, risulta un
saldo scaduto a nostro credito della cifra di
Euro 5.780 .
La Vostra situazione debitoria riguarda il
prestito riportato nel prospetto allegato,
recante anche gli estremi per effettuare il pagamento .
Restiamo pertanto in attesa del Vostro pagamento
della somma a noi dovuta, entro e non oltre 5 giorni dalla data di oggi,
mediante bonifico del totale scaduto presso iban indicato in allegato.

Malicious attachment distributed via "Findomestic" spam campaign ("saldo_scaduto_4299402.doc"):

Malicious attachment distributed through Findomestic spam campaign

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.

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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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