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Avoid infecting your device through "Burofax Online" scam emails

Also Known As: Burofax Online spam
Damage level: Severe

What is the "Burofax Online" scam email?

"Burofax Online" refers to a spam email campaign spreading the Mekotio Trojan. The term "spam campaign" describes a large-scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent.

The messages 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 highly dangerous.

Burofax Online malware-spreading email spam campaign

According to a rough translation, the "Burofax Online" scam emails (the subject/title "Envio de Burofax Online - ultima advertencia - [ id 112989320 ]" may vary) simply state the date and time of some kind of shipment. The messages instruct recipients to download all attachments via a provided link.

These emails mention "Burofax", which is a Spanish service for sending legal documentation (often used by banks, law firms and similar). By presenting spam mail as messages from legitimate entities, or by simply mentioning them, scammers and cyber criminals attempt to give the impression of legitimacy and lower users' suspicions.

The link in "Burofax Online" emails initiates the download of an infectious file, which when opened, triggers the infection process (i.e. download/installation) of the Mekotio Trojan.

As 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, use an anti-virus program to eliminate it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Burofax Online spam
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)

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"Tienes Una Multa Pendiente", "Advance Payment Received", "BRT Email Virus" and "DHL Failed Delivery Notification" are some examples of other malware-spreading spam campaigns. These operations are employed to distribute a wide variety of malicious programs such as Trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, and so on.

The deceptive emails are also used for phishing and other scams. Due to the relative prevalence of spam mail, exercise caution with all incoming emails.

How did "Burofax Online" 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 a "Burofax Online email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

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

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

________________________________________
Notificados
www.notificados.com
Comunicaciones fehacientes - Burofax Online


Descargar todos archivos adjuntos ( 128 kb)


Fecha y hora del envio: Jueves, 07 da enero de 2021, 11:20 hs,
Remitente: depoisARTAMENTO JURIDICO ABOGADOS VINAR DOGARIA VERDU CALLE LIMA
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


Notificados
www.notificados.com
Comunicaciones fehacientes - Burofax Online

Descargar todos archivos adjuntos ( 128 kb)

Fecha y hora del envio: martes, 02 da febrero de 2021, 07:20 hs,
Remitente: DEPARTAMENTO JURIDICO ABOGADOS VINAR DOGARIA VERDU CALLE LIMA
20 28006 MADRID (MADRID)
Numero de paginas 1

Yet another variant of Burofax Online-themed spam email:

Burofax Online-themed spam website (2021-03-24)

Text presented within:

Subject: ultima advertencia - Envio de Burofax Online

 

Notificación

Notificación fehacientes - Burofax Online

correo electronico :-

Descargar todos archivos adjuntos ( 128 kb)

Fecha y hora de envío: martes 24 de marzo de 2021, 7:20 am

Remitente: ABOGADOS DEPARTAMENTO JURÍDICO VINAR DOGARIA VERDU CALLE LIMA

20 28006 MADRID (MADRID)

Burofax Online

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Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing 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.

Email-virus icon 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.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

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:

Example of an email spam

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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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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