Do not open virulent attachments found in "BRT" scam emails

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

"BRT Email Virus" removal guide

What is the fake "BRT" email?

"BRT Email Virus" refers to a spam campaign, spreading the Ursnif trojan. The term "spam campaign" defines a large-scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive emails are distributed. The "BRT" scam emails target Italian users and are presented as notifications about due invoices. These letters have infectious files attached to them, which upon opening (execution of malicious macro commands) initiate the infection chain of Ursnif malware.

BRT malware-spreading email spam campaign

The "BRT Email Virus" letters (subject/title "BRT S.P.A. - Codice cliente 01871770 (ID3802490)"; may vary) are disguised as due invoice alerts. The total pending sum is stated to be 355,50 EUR. To create the impression of legitimacy, the scam emails list five real Italian banks: Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banco BPM, Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit. The messages are concluded with a statement that according to current law, these letters and/or their attachments may contain confidential/privileged information. Should users not be the intended recipients, they are warned against taking action, using, copying or otherwise disclosing this information. Additionally, if the fake invoices have been received by error, recipients are asked to contact the sender and delete the emails. It must be emphasized that the "BRT Email Virus" letters" are fake and none of the information provided by them is true. The sole purpose of these emails is to infect recipients' systems with the Ursnif trojan.

The infection process (i.e. malware download/installation) is triggered by opening the Microsoft Office document ("756834.xlsm"; filename may vary) attached to the "BRT" scam emails. Specifically, infection begins the moment macro commands (i.e. editing/content) are enabled. The main functionality of the Ursnif trojan is stealing information from infected devices. Data of interest includes: user and system information, browsing activity, log-in credentials (i.e. IDs, usernames and passwords) stored on browsers and other applications, as well as key strokes (i.e. typed data). Other abilities of this malicious program is restarting the system, taking screenshots and infiltrating/executing files (typically used to download/install additional malware). To summarize, Ursnif's infections can result in severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. If it is suspected or known that Ursnif (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus must be used to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name BRT Email Virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails are disguised as due invoices
Attachment(s) 756834.xlsm
Detection Names Avast (SNH:Script [Dropper]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.45553196), ESET-NOD32 (VBA/Agent.VR), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Script.Generic), Microsoft (TrojanDownloader:O97M/Dridex.AJ!MTB), 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 Malwarebytes.
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"DHL Failed Delivery Notification", "Bill Of Lading", "Order Confirmation", "EniGaseLuce" and "Universal Medical Equipment" are some examples of other malware-proliferating spam campaigns. Emails sent through these operations are usually presented as "important", "urgent", "priority" and similar; they may even be disguised as mail from genuine institutions, companies, service providers and other entities. Deceptive emails are not employed just for distributing malicious software, they are also used for phishing and other scams.

How did "BRT Email Virus" infect my computer?

Spam campaigns lead to infections via virulent files distributed through them. These files can be attached to the emails and/or the letters can contain download links of such content. Infectious files can be in various formats, e.g. Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so on. When these files are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection process/chain begins. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010 - malware download/installation starts the moment a virulent document is opened. The newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents automatic execution of macros; instead, users are asked to enable them (i.e. to enable editing/content). Hence, infection can only be jumpstarted after macro commands are manually enabled.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid malware spread via spam mail, it is expressly advised against opening suspicious/irrelevant emails - especially, any attachments or links present in them. In addition, it is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Untrustworthy download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation ("cracking") tools and fake updaters - are other popular ways of proliferating malware. Therefore, it is important to always use official/verified download sources, activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To ensure device and user safety, it is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. Furthermore, this software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If you've already opened "BRT Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "BRT" scam email letter:

Subject: BRT S.P.A. - Codice cliente 01871770 (ID3802490)


Gentile cliente,

 

Le segnaliamo che sono in scadenza le fatture di seguito riportate:

 

----------------------------------------------
       Fattura          Data
   Numero    Data     scadenza         Importo
-------------------- ---------- --------------
   756834 18.12.2020 18.01.2021          355,50
----------------------------------------------
Totale EUR          355,50
==============

 

Per il pagamento attraverso bonifico bancario BENEFICIARIO BRT S.p.A., con
specifica nella descrizione del bonifico del seguente codice cliente 01871770,
le indichiamo le nostre coordinate bancarie:

 

------------------------------------------------------------------
Banca                               IBAN                SWIFT BIC
-------------------- --------------------------------- -----------
BNL                  IT05 C010 0502 5980 0000 0011 453 BNLIITRRXXX
Monte Paschi Siena   IT51 T010 3002 4020 0000 0378 047 PASCITM1BO2
Banco BPM            IT27 R050 3402 4100 0000 0111 323 BAPPIT21586
Intesa Sanpaolo      IT55 R030 6902 5060 7400 0000 178 BCITITMM
UniCredit            IT81 R020 0805 3640 0000 1097 497 UNCRITMMORR
------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Per eventuali informazioni può contattarci al numero di telefono 0975511416   .

 

Cogliamo l'occasione per inviarle distinti saluti.

 

BRT S.P.A.

 

Ai sensi della vigente normativa in ambito di protezione dei dati personali si precisa che le informazioni contenute in questo messaggio sono riservate ed a uso esclusivo del destinatario. Qualora il messaggio in parola Le fosse pervenuto per errore, la preghiamo di eliminarlo senza copiarlo e di non inoltrarlo a terzi, dandocene gentilmente comunicazione. Grazie.

 

This message, according to the present law, may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the addressee or authorized to receive this for the addressee, you should not use, copy, disclose or take any action based on this message or any information herein If you have received this message in error, please advise the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message. Thank you for your cooperation.

Malicious attachment distributed via "BRT Email Virus" spam campaign ("756834.xlsm"):

Malicious attachment distributed through BRT Email Virus spam campaign (756834.xlsm)

An example of BRT-themed spam email used to promote a phishing website:

BRT-themed spam email promoting a phishing website

Text presented within:

Subject: B‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌-R‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌-T : REF 1004165840

Gentile cliente:

Il tuo pacco è stato bloccato nel Terminal 1 a causa di spese di spedizione non pagate
Conferma il pagamento di 4,36 euro
Conferma la consegna
Se spese di spedizione non viene pagato entro 48 ore, annulleremo la consegna
Grazie
BRT S.p.A. Tutti i diritti riservati - Codice fiscale 04507990150 - Registro Imprese Milano n. 04507990150 - Partita IVA IT04507990150

Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:

BRT-themed phishing website

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.

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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.

QR Code
Ursnif virus QR code
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