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Avoid infecting your system through fake "Romanian Post" emails

Also Known As: FormBook virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

"Romanian Post email virus" removal guide

What is the fake "Romanian Post" email?

"Romanian Post email virus" is the name of a malware-proliferating spam campaign - a large-scale operation during which deceptive emails are sent by the thousand. The letters distributed through this campaign - are disguised as notifications from the national Romanian Post (Poșta Română) and target Romanian users. It must be emphasized that despite their legitimate appearance, these emails are fraudulent and in no way associated with the real Romanian Post. The scam letters claim that recipients have a package addressed to them waiting in one of the postal offices. To receive the nonexistent parcel, the emails instruct recipients to print the recipient attached to them and use it in any of the offices. The fake receipt attachment contains FormBook malware's executable file, which initiates this malicious program's download/installation upon opening.

Romanian Post malware-spreading email spam campaign

According to a rough translation, the "Romanian Post" scam emails (subject/title "Notificare de expediere"; may vary) inform recipients that a package addressed to them has reached the post office. However, the fictional parcel could not be delivered due to errors in the provided address. These notifications state that recipients must print the attachment (which contains the receipt) and present it in any of their postal offices - to receive the package in question. As mentioned in the introduction, these emails are fake and all of the information provided by them is false. Instead of containing a receipt, the attached file downloads/installs the FormBook malicious program - when it is opened.

FormBook malware's primary functionality is data theft. It monitors computer activity and collects information relating to browsing, clipboard data, account log-in credentials (i.e., IDs, usernames, and passwords), financial details (e.g., online bank account log-in credentials, saved credit card numbers, etc.), and so on. Furthermore, this program can receive and execute certain commands on an infected device. This includes: taking screenshots, recording keystrokes (keylogging), clearing browsing cookies, rebooting and shutting down the operating system, self-updating, etc. It is noteworthy that FormBook can be used to cause chain infections, as it can infiltrate files into the system and subsequently execute them. In other words, this malicious program can download/install additional malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). To summarize, by opening the attachment distributed through the fake "Romanian Post" emails, users can experience multiple system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. If it is suspected or known that FormBook (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus must be used to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name FormBook virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails are disguised as notifications from Poșta Română (Romanian Post) regarding an undelivered package.
Attachment(s) PR119042245RO.exe (filename may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.36739750), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/TrojanDownloader.Delf.DFG), Kaspersky (HEUR:Backdoor.Win32.Remcos.gen), Microsoft (TrojanDownloader:Win32/Serokuping.STA), 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 FormBook
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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"KIO KOREA Email Virus", "Socar Email Virus", "Empros Lines Email Virus", "Employee Retention Credit", and "I Have Obtained Document You Mailed Me" are some examples of malware-spreading spam campaigns. The letters sent through these massive operations - are usually presented as "important", "urgent", "priority", and similar; they may even be disguised as mail from official institutions, authorities, organizations, companies, service providers, and other entities. Aside from the distribution of malicious programs, scam emails are also used for phishing and other scams. Due to spam mail's prevalence, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How did "Romanian Post email virus" infect my computer?

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

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the system via spam mail, it is advised against opening suspicious and irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links present in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also distributed through untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders), illegal activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to only perform downloads from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To ensure device integrity and user privacy, it is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and updated. Furthermore, this software has to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened "Romanian Post email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Romanian Post" scam email letter:

Subject: Notificare de expediere

 

NUMĂRUL PARCELĂ: PR119042245RO
DATA SOSIRII: LUNI 19 APRILIE 2021

 

Dragă client,

 

Pachetul dvs. a ajuns la biroul nostru. curierul nostru nu a putut să-l livreze
la adresa dvs. din cauza adresei greșite furnizate de clientul nostru.
Pentru a primi pachetul, vă rugăm să mergeți la oricare dintre birourile noastre și să prezentați această chitanță mai jos.

 

Faceți clic pe atașament pentru a descărca și imprima chitanță.

 

Toate cele bune,

 

Post romănesc

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "Romanian Post" spam campaign ("PR119042245RO.exe" filename):

Romanian Post email virus attachment detections (PR119042245RO.exe filename)

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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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.

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
FormBook virus QR code
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