Avoid installation of FormBook via Universal Medical Equipment emails
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Universal Medical Equipment email virus?
Generally, malspam emails contain a malicious attachment or download link for a malicious file. To trick recipients into downloading and opening this file, cyber criminals disguise their malspam emails as official messages from legitimate companies.
If recipients download and open the malicious file that was sent to them via this type of email, they infect their computers with malware. This particular email is used to distribute FormBook.
This email is disguised as a message from a company named Universal Medical Equipment. Its main purpose is to trick recipients into opening the malicious attachment named "Medical Equipment Order.xlsx" (its name may vary), which supposedly contains items that the company intends to purchase from them.
In fact, the file attached to this malspam email distributes/installs FormBook, a malware infection that can be used to log keystrokes (record keyboard input), take screenshots, collect data saved on the system clipboard, steal logins/passwords saved on browsers, and other personal, sensitive information.
This malware can also execute commands received via a Command and Control (C2) server. Therefore, victims of FormBook might lose access to various accounts, suffer monetary loss, have their computers infected with other malware, become victims of identity theft, and encounter other serious issues related to privacy and browsing safety.
|Name||Universal Medical Equipment spam|
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Hoax||A company intends to purchase some items|
|Attachment(s)||Medical Equipment Order.xlsx (its name may vary)|
|Detection Names (Medical Equpment Order.xlsx)||Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.Phishing.AEX), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.Generic), Symantec (Trojan.Gen.NPE), 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.|
|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.
More examples of malspam campaigns are "Findomestic Email Virus", "Request For Payment Email Virus" and "MSC Email Virus". Most are designed to appear like official, important and urgent messages from legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities. Most also contain a malicious attachment or website link.
Some examples of malware distributed via malspam are Ursnif, Agent Tesla and Dridex.
How did "Universal Medical Equipment email virus" infect my computer?
This malspam email contains a malicious Excel document (named "Medical Equipment Order.xlsx", however, its name may vary in different emails). If opened and allowed to enable macros commands (editing/content), this file installs FormBook.
Note that malicious documents opened with Microsoft Office versions released before 2010 infect computers automatically, since those versions do not include "Protected View" mode.
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 a "Universal Medical Equipment email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the Universal Medical Equipment email:
Subject: Jan 21 Medical Equipments Order
We are Universal Medical Equipment. We have been to your website and would like to place other for the attached medical equipment samples.
Kindly get back to us with your best quote and possible shipment day, as for payment terms, we don't mind 100% advance because we need goods urgently.
Await your reply asap.
Office & Sales Administrator
Mobile: : +97366950668 (Whatsapp/Viber)
Universal Medical Equipments
Company Mobile: +973 33432556 (Whatsapp/Viber)
Tel: +973 17310118
Fax: +973 17310117
Skype: Universal Medical Equipments Bahrain
Malicious file ("Medical Equipment Order.xlsx") attached to the Universal Medical Equipment malspam 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:
- What is Universal Medical Equipment spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.
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