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Do not trust the fake "Federal Ministry of Health Germany" emails

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

"Federal Ministry of Health Germany email virus" removal guide

What is the "Federal Ministry of Health Germany" scam email?

"Federal Ministry of Health Germany email virus" is a spam campaign designed to spread the GuLoader malware. The term "spam campaign" defines a mass-scale operation during which deceptive emails are sent by the thousand. These scam email letters are presented as product quotation requests from the German Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit). It must be emphasized that these emails are in no way associated with the real Health Ministry, and none of the information provided by them is true. The files attached to the scam letters contain GuLoader malicious program, which operates by causing chain infections.

Federal Ministry of Health Germany malware-spreading email spam campaign

The scam emails with the subject/title "Federal Ministry of Health Germany" (may vary) request recipients to provide the availability status and best price offer for the items listed in the attached file. Additionally, the letters ask to provide the following information - payment terms, lead time, and delivery terms. The emails are concluded with information relating to the Federal Ministry of Health; some of these details are genuine (e.g., ministry's address, minister's name, etc.). When the attached file - "BMG BUND.exe", which is archived within "BMG BUND.zip" (filenames may vary), is opened - GuLoader malware's infection chain is triggered. In other words, upon the file's opening - download/installation of the malicious program begins.

The primary functionality of GuLoader is causing chain infections, i.e., downloading/installing additional malware. Programs of this type can infect systems with a wide variety of malware. To elaborate on what abilities the malicious software could possess, then ransomware operates by encrypting data and/or locking the device - to demand ransoms for decryption/ access recovery. Trojans can have a broad range of heinous functionalities: enabling remote access and control over infected devices, spying (recording audio, video, and/or keystrokes), downloading content/information from the infected system, extracting data from browsers and other installed applications, etc. Cryptominers use system resources to mine (i.e., generate) cryptocurrency, potentially to the point of permanent system failure. To summarize, by trusting the fake "Federal Ministry of Health Germany" emails, users can experience multiple system infections, data loss, device damage, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is suspected or known that GuLoader (or other malware) has already infected the device - it is strongly advised to use an anti-virus program to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name GuLoader virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Emails are presented as product quotation requests.
Disguise Federal Ministry of Health (Germany)
Attachment(s) BMG BUND.zip archive that contains BMG BUND.exe (filenames may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.45827191), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HJTG), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Vebzenpak.aebc), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.B!ml), 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 GuLoader
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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"Consignment Was Booked Via DHL Express", "Galp Energia Email Virus", and "Delayed Payment Confirmation Caused By Covid-19" are a few examples of malware-proliferating spam campaigns. Deceptive/Scam emails are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent", "priority", and similar. Regardless of what such letters request, promise, offer, or demand, the end-goal is always the same - to generate profit for the scammers/ cyber criminals behind them. Aside from spreading malicious programs, these campaigns are also used for phishing and other scams. Due to spam mail's relative prevalence, it is highly recommended to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How did "Federal Ministry of Health Germany email virus" infect my computer?

Systems are infected via virulent files sent through spam campaigns. The files can be attached to the emails, and/or the letters can contain download links of infectious content. These files can be in various formats, e.g., archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, and so on. When the malicious files are opened - malware download/installation is jumpstarted. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins the moment a document is opened in Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users are asked to enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands) and warned of the risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the device through spam mail, it is advised against opening suspicious/irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links present in them. It is also recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Malware is commonly distributed through untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updaters. Therefore, it is important to only download from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To protect device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and updated. This software is to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened "Federal Ministry of Health Germany email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Federal Ministry of Health Germany" email letter:

Subject: Federal Ministry of Health Germany

 

Good day,


Greetings from Federal Ministry of Health Germany.


I would like to request the best price offer and availability for this enclose listed items. Please find attached file above.
Also, request to please mention the following in your quotation.

 

1. Payment Terms.

2. Lead Time.

3. Delivery Terms.


Should you have any questions, please let me know,

 

Thank you.
Jens Spahn
Manager director
Federal Ministry of health Germany

 

Friedrichstraße 108
Berlin 10117
Tel.: +49 30184514520, +49 30184412063
Fax: +49 30184417900
Email: jens.spahn@bmg.bund.de
hxxp://www.bmg.bund.de

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "Federal Ministry of Health Germany" spam campaign ("BMG BUND.exe"):

Federal Ministry of Health Germany email attachment detections (BMG BUND.exe)

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.

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.

QR Code
GuLoader 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 GuLoader virus on your mobile device.
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