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Avoid infecting your device via "Accounts & Export Depart" scam email

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

"Accounts & Export Depart email virus" removal guide

What is the "Accounts & Export Depart" scam email?

"Accounts & Export Depart email virus" is the name of a malware-spreading spam campaign. The term "spam campaign" defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign - are presented as notifications about overdue invoices. The file attached to these emails contains FormBook malware. When the attachment is opened - download/installation of the malicious program is triggered.

Accounts & Export Depart malware-spreading email spam campaign

The "Accounts & Export Depart" scam emails (subject/title "OUTSTANDING PAYMENT REMINDER"; may vary) informs recipients that they have an overdue unpaid invoice, amounting to 48,481.00 US dollars. Recipients are asked to review the attached invoice. It must be emphasized that all of the information provided by these deceptive letters - is false. Therefore, when users open the attachment - they inadvertently initiate FormBook malware's infection process.

FormBook is designed to steal information. It targets system and user information, and it can extract data from browsers and other installation applications. Information of interest includes: browsing activity, account/platform log-in credentials (i.e., usernames and passwords), IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, and so on. Furthermore, this malicious program can cause chain infections. In other words, it can download/install additional trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, and other malware. Hence, in addition to severe privacy issues, users can also experience data loss, hardware damage, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is suspected/known that FormBook (or other malware) has already infected the system - it is crucial to immediately remove it.

Threat Summary:
Name Formbook virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails claim recipients have an overdue unpaid invoice.
Attachment(s) OUTSTANDING PAYMENT REMINDER.pdf.z containing OUTSTANDING PAYMENT REMINDER.exe (filenames may vary)
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), DrWeb (Trojan.Loader.809), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Formbook.AA), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Phonzy.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 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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"Your Address Is Invalid", "OCEANIC PROJECTS Email Virus", "CARGO ARRIVAL NOTICE", "Bank Payment Copy", "WMS Technologies Email Virus", and "Employee Retention Credit" are some examples of malware-proliferating spam campaigns. This deceptive mail is typically presented as "urgent", "official", "important", "priority", and similar. These emails are not used exclusively to distribute malicious software. They are also employed to facilitate phishing and other scams. Therefore, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How did "Accounts & Export Depart" email virus infect my computer?

Spam campaigns spread malware via malicious files distributed through them. These files can be attached to and/or linked inside the emails. Infectious files can be in various formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. This process starts 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 can manually enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands), and they are warned of the risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the system via spam mail, it is advised against opening suspicious and/or 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 proliferated through dubious 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 perform downloads only from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. It is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened "Accounts & Export Depart" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Accounts & Export Depart" scam email letter:

Subject: OUTSTANDING PAYMENT REMINDER

 

Dear sir/Madam,


Kindly reply about our attached overdue pending invoice having no 201100039 dated 09-04-2021 amounted to USD 48,481.00


Please reply ASAA


Thanks And Regards


M. Ahmed Bilwani
Cell No: +92-321-626621
Accounts & Export Depart


Shekhani Industries
Plot # F-17, Maripur Road, S.I.T.E


Karachi-Pakistan 75840
Voice:+92(21) 32079404~5(2 Lines),


Off Mob.+92 300 8410483
Cell # +92 324 2563503

Appearance of the "Accounts & Export Depart" scam email (GIF):

Accounts & Export Depart email appearance (GIF)

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "Accounts & Export Depart" spam campaign ("OUTSTANDING PAYMENT REMINDER.exe"):

Accounts & Export Depart email virus attachment detections (OUTSTANDING PAYMENT REMINDER.exe)

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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