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Avoid infecting your device via fake "Budapest Bank" emails

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

What is the fake "Budapest Bank" email?

"Budapest Bank email virus" refers to a spam campaign proliferating the LokiBot Trojan. The term "spam campaign" defines a large-scale operation during which scam emails are sent by the thousand. The messages sent through this campaign are presented as payment confirmations from the Budapest Bank.

Note that these emails are fake, and are in no way associated with the real Budapest Bank. The file attached to the scam messages contains LokiBot malware.

Budapest Bank malware-spreading email spam campaign

According to a rough translation, the fake "Budapest Bank" emails (subject/title "Fizetési visszaigazolás 260908 HUF - a Budapest Banktól" may vary) are presented as notifications concerning a successful payment. The messages may seem legitimate as they contain the actual logo and other graphical design elements used by the genuine Budapest Bank.

These scam emails are supposedly sent due to a customer's request to notify the recipient of their payment. The attachment is stated to be the proof of payment. The messages then ask to inform the customer of the payment's successful transfer into the recipient's account. The messages also recommends that the user print the fake bank statement.

Upon opening, however, the malicious attachment triggers the infection chain of the LokiBot Trojan. The primary functionality of LokiBot is extracting and exfiltrating sensitive information. This malware can extract sensitive information (e.g., log-in credentials) from browsers and other applications.

The Trojan also has keylogging capabilities, and can thus record key-strokes (i.e., typed information).

Cyber criminals typically target the following data: browsing and search engine histories, IP addresses, geolocations, log-in credentials (e.g., IDs, usernames, and passwords), names, surnames, addresses, emails, telephone numbers, banking account and credit card details, etc.

For example, hijacked communication accounts (e.g., emails, social media/networking, etc.) can be used to ask contacts for loans and/or spread malware under the guise of the genuine owner. Stolen online bank accounts and others that deal with finances/ financial information can be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.

LokiBot's capabilities are even more extensive on Android operating systems. As well as collecting private data, the Trojan can imitate various app interfaces, lock the screen and encrypt stored data (to make ransom demands), self-proliferate via text messages and emails, etc.

To summarize, LokiBot infections can result in severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. If it is suspected/known that the LokiBot trojan (or other malware) has already infected the system, use anti-virus software to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name LokiBot virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails are presented as successful payment notifications.
Disguise Scam emails are disguised as mail from Budapest Bank.
Attachment(s) Fizetesi visszaigazolas 260908 HUF 02-10-2021-pdf.exe (filename may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), Emsisoft (Dropped:Trojan.GenericKD.36325967 (B)), Fortinet (W32/Androm.ZUM!tr), Malwarebytes (Spyware.LokiBot), McAfee (RDN/Generic.dx), 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 LokiBot
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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"Ministero Dello Sviluppo Economico", "C.H. Robinson", "Zoho Email Virus", and "Cobra Industrial Machines" are some examples of other malware-spreading spam campaigns. The deceptive messages are usually disguised as "official", "priority", "important", and similar.

As well as distribution of malicious programs, spam campaigns are also used for phishing and other scams. Due to the relative prevalence of spam mail, exercise caution with incoming emails.

How did "Budapest Bank email virus" infect my computer?

Typically, cyber criminals behind malspam campaigns send emails with a file attached to them or a download link to the malicious file. Their main goal is to trick recipients into opening/executing the rogue file, which then installs malicious software.

Some examples of files that cyber criminals send via email are Microsoft Office and PDF documents, executables (.exe), JavaScript, and archives (ZIP, RAR).

Note that malicious documents that are opened with Microsoft Office 2010 or newer versions install malicious software only if users enable macros commands (enable editing/content). These versions include "Protected View" mode, which does not allow opened malicious documents to install malware automatically. Older versions do not include this feature and install malicious software without asking permission.

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 "Budapest Bank email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Budapest Bank" scam email message:

Subject: Fizetési visszaigazolás  260908 HUF - a Budapest Banktól

 

Tisztelt Ügyfelünk!

 

A fizető utasítása szerint, hogy értesítse Önt erről a fizetésről. Mellékelten igazolja, hogy az ügyfelünk befizette Önt. Kérjük, értesítse a fizetőt, ha pénz érkezik.
Azt tanácsoljuk, hogy nyomtassa ki ezt a fizési bizonylatot (mellékelve)

 

260908 HUF Sikeres fizetés

 

Üdvözlettel
Budapest Bank Kisvállalkozások

 

HIDD EL, LEHETSÉGES

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "Budapest Bank" spam campaign ("Fizetesi visszaigazolas 260908 HUF 02-10-2021-pdf.exe"):

Detections of the malicious attachment distributed through Budapest Bank spam campaign (Fizetesi visszaigazolas 260908 HUF 02-10-2021-pdf.exe)

Another Budapest Bank-themed spam email used to spread LokiBot malware via attached malicious MS Word document:

Budapest Bank-themed spam email spreading LokiBot malware (2021-03-24)

Text presented within:

Subject: fizetési tanácsadás HUF 2357864 (Budapest Bankál)

 

Fizetési igazolás

Üdvözlettel:

Budapest Bank Kisvállalkozások

BUDAPEST BANK
KISVÁLLALKOZÁSOK

VERSENYKÉPES
FIZETÉSI MEGOLDÁS?
ÚJ POS-TERMINÁLOKKAL
LEHETSÉGES!

BUDAPEST BANK
KISVÁLLALKOZÁSOK

Screenshot of the attached malicious MS Word document:

Malicious MS Word document distributed via Budapest Bank-themed spam emails (2021-03-24)

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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Quick menu:

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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