Do not trust the "I have obtained document you mailed me" scam email

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

"I have obtained document you mailed me" email virus removal guide

What is the "I have obtained document you mailed me" scam email?

"I have obtained document you mailed me" is an excerpt from a scam email. This fragment is used as the name of the spam campaign distributing the letters in question. The term "spam campaign" defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. These letters are presented as requests to provide certain missing details from a document previously sent by the recipients. The file that is supposedly lacking some necessary data - is attached to the emails. The attachment is an archive, which contains an infectious Microsoft Office Excel file. The aim of this spam campaign is to trick recipients into opening the malicious document, which is designed to stealthily download/install the Qakbot banking trojan.

I have obtained document you mailed me malware-spreading email spam campaign

The "I have obtained document you mailed me" scam emails (subject/title "Re: New"; may vary) state that the sender had successfully received the file recipients have allegedly sent to them yesterday. The letters inform that important information is absent from the document, and recipients are asked to rectify this. The original file is attached to the emails. As mentioned in the introduction, all the claims made by the deceptive letters - are false. Hence, instead of containing the stated information - the attachment is intended to infect the email recipients' devices with malware. The archive file "doc (95).zip" has the "document-626637232.xls" document (filenames may vary) enclosed in it. Once the latter is opened, and its macro commands enabled - Qakbot trojan's infection chain is initiated.

The Qakbot malicious program is classified as a banking trojan. It primarily targets banking information. The malware can obtain this data by extracting it from browsers; alongside other sensitive information, e.g., various account log-in credentials (i.e., usernames and passwords), browsing activity (URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, etc.), Internet cookies, and so on. Another information-stealing functionality that Qakbot has - is keylogging. This means that the trojan can record keystrokes, thereby compromising any and all typed data's privacy. The stolen information can be abused in a wide variety of ways. In cases of banking-data targeting malware, the cyber criminals often aim to use the information for making fraudulent monetary transactions, online purchases, and so forth. To summarize, by trusting the "I have obtained document you mailed me" scam emails, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is known/suspected that the Qakbot trojan (or other malware) has already infected the device - an anti-virus must be used to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Qakbot virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails claim the sender has received the document recipients have sent them, yet the file is supposedly missing important information.
Attachment(s) doc (95).zip containing document-626637232.xls (filenames may vary)
Detection Names DrWeb (Exploit.Siggen3.14549), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.36442035), ESET-NOD32 (DOC/TrojanDownloader.Agent.CRN), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSOffice.SAgent.gen), Microsoft (TrojanDownloader:O97M/Qakbot.AKQ!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 Qakbot
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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"Qel Email Virus", "Federal Ministry Of Health Germany", "Consignment Was Booked Via DHL Express", and "Galp Energia Email Virus" are some examples of malware-spreading spam campaigns. The deceptive emails are usually presented as "important", "urgent", "priority" and similar; they may even be disguised as mail from legitimate institutions, organizations, companies, service providers, and other entities. Spam campaigns are not used exclusively to proliferate malicious software. These operations are also employed to facilitate phishing and various other scams. Due to the prevalence of spam mail, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How did "I have obtained document you mailed me" infect my computer?

Spam campaigns spread malware via infectious files distributed through them. These files can be attached to the emails, and/or the letters can contain download links of such content. Virulent files can be in different formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so on. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain/process (i.e., malware download/installation) is triggered. Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010 - this process begins the moment a document is opened. 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 potential risks. In some cases, like with the virulent Excel document sent through the "I have obtained document you mailed me" spam campaign, the Microsoft Office files contain deceptive messages that attempt to convince users to enable macros.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments and/or links found in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also proliferated via untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates. Therefore, it is advised to only download from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by genuine developers. It is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened "I have obtained document you mailed me Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "I have obtained document you mailed me" scam email letter:

Subject: Re: New


Greetings, I have now obtained document you mailed me yesterday.
Regrettably, some important details are missing in it. Please add details.
You'll find your document attached to the e-mail.


On 2020-12-25 19:18,  wrote:
> [1]
> Links:
> ------
> [1] hxxp://46dc63d6.pinnacleglobalinc.com?36daeb

Screenshot of the malicious attachment distributed via "I have obtained document you mailed me" spam campaign ("document-626637232.xls"):

Malicious attachment distributed through I have obtained document you mailed me spam campaignm (document-626637232.xls)

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment:

I have obtained document you mailed me email attachment detections

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
Qakbot virus QR code
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