Avoid infecting your device through "Burofax Online" scam emails

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

"Burofax Online" email virus removal guide

What is the "Burofax Online" scam email?

"Burofax Online" refers to an email spam campaign, spreading the Mekotio trojan. The term "spam campaign" describes a large-scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent. The letters sent in this particular campaign are disguised as notifications concerning an unspecified shipment. However, instead of containing any information about the fake shipment, the link in the emails initiates the infection process of Mekotio malware. This trojan is designed to target banking information and is deemed to be highly dangerous.

Burofax Online malware-spreading email spam campaign

According to a rough translation, the "Burofax Online" scam emails (subject/title "Envio de Burofax Online - ultima advertencia - [ id 112989320 ]"; may vary) simply state the date and time of some kind of shipment. The letters instruct recipients to download all attachments via provided link. These emails are mention "Burofax", which is a Spanish service for sending legal documentation (often used by banks, law firms and similar). By presenting spam mail as letters from legitimate entities or by mentioning such - scammers and cyber criminals attempt to create an impression of legitimacy and lower users' suspicion.

The link in "Burofax Online" emails initiates the download of an infectious file, which upon opening - triggers the infection process (i.e. download/installation) of the Mekotio trojan. As previously mentioned, this malicious program targets banking and financial information. Data of interest may include: log-in credentials (i.e. IDs, usernames and passwords) of banking, online money transferring, digital wallet, e-commerce and other similar accounts; bank account details; credit card numbers, and so on. To summarize, by trusting the "Burofax Online" scam emails, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. If it is suspected or known that Mekotio (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus program must be used to eliminate it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Mekotio virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails are presented as notifications concerning a shipment
Detection Names DrWeb (Trojan.DownLoader36.36911), Fortinet (JS/Banload.ZM!tr.dldr), ESET-NOD32 (JS/TrojanDownloader.Banload.ZM), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.Script.SLoad.gen), McAfee (RDN/Generic Downloader.x), 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 Mekotio
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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"Tienes Una Multa Pendiente", "Advance Payment Received", "BRT Email Virus" and "DHL Failed Delivery Notification" are a few examples of other malware-spreading spam campaigns. These operations are employed to distribute a wide variety of malicious programs, e.g. trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, and so forth. However, deceptive emails are also used for phishing and other scams. Due to the relative prevalence of spam mail, it is strongly recommended to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How did "Burofax Online" email virus infect my computer?

Spam campaigns infect systems via virulent files distributed through them. The scam emails can contain download links of such files and/or they can be simply attached to the emails. Malicious files can be in various formats, e.g. executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc. When these files are executed, run or otherwise opened - malware download/installation is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010, macros are executed the moment a document is opened. New versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users are asked to enable macro commands (i.e. to enable editing/content); hence, infection can only be triggered by manually enabling macros.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid malware sent via spam mail, it is expressly advised against opening suspicious/irrelevant emails - especially, any links or attachments found in them. Additionally, it is recommended to only use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malicious programs are also spread through untrustworthy download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updaters. Therefore, it is important to only download from official/verified sources, as well as activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To protect device integrity and user safety, it is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If you've already opened "Burofax Online email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Burofax Online" scam email letter:

Subject: Envio de Burofax Online - ultima advertencia - [ id 112989320  ]

Comunicaciones fehacientes - Burofax Online

Descargar todos archivos adjuntos ( 128 kb)

Fecha y hora del envio: Jueves, 07 da enero de 2021, 11:20 hs,
20 28006 MADRID (MADRID)
Numero de paginas 1
08/01/2021 04:26:58

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious file distributed via "Burofax Online" spam campaign:

Burofax Online email virus attachment VirusTotal detections

Another example of Burofax Online-themed spam email:

Burofax Online-themed spam email (2021-02-05)

Text presented within:

Subject: Notificados

Comunicaciones fehacientes - Burofax Online

Descargar todos archivos adjuntos ( 128 kb)

Fecha y hora del envio: martes, 02 da febrero de 2021, 07:20 hs,
20 28006 MADRID (MADRID)
Numero de paginas 1

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
Mekotio virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Mekotio virus on your mobile device.
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