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How to remove Assurance Certificates email virus?

Also Known As: FormBook malware
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is Assurance Certificates email virus?

When an email letter is used to deliver malware, it contains a malicious attachment or website link. In both cases, the main purpose of such email is to trick its recipients into opening a file designed to install malware on the operating system. This particular email is used to deliver FormBook malware.

Assurance Certificates email virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

Assurance Certificates email virus in detail

Usually, cybercriminals behind emails of this type pretend to be legitimate organizations, companies, or other entities and encourage recipients to open the attached file (or website link). Cybercriminals behind this email attempt to trick recipients into believing that the files attached to this email are quality assurance certificates.

The files attached to this email are named "001 NEW ORDER.PDF.rar" and "002 NEW ORDER.PDF.rar". The first archive file contains an executable file named "001 NEW ORDER.PDF.exe" and the second one contains another executable file named "002 NEW ORDER.PDF.exe". Both of these executable files are designed to install FormBook.

FormBook is a type of malware designed to steal information from web browsers and some other programs. This information stealer collects cookies, browsing history, Internet Protocol addresses, usernames, email address passwords (or other login credentials), credit card details (e.g., cardholder name, CVV number, expiry date), and other sensitive data.

Also, FormBook can operate as a keystroke logger. It means that this malware can record everything that victims type with their keyboard. Additionally, FormBook can install additional malware (e.g., ransomware, Trojan, cryptocurrency miner). This malware should be removed from infected computers as soon as possible.

Threat Summary:
Name FormBook malware
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Files attached to this email are assurance certificates
Attachment(s) 001 NEW ORDER.PDF.rar, 002 NEW ORDER.PDF.rar
Detection Names (001 NEW ORDER.PDF.exe) Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.37308938), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HLWI), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-PSW.Win32.Stealer.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Spynoon.PO!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (002 NEW ORDER.PDF.exe) Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.46698530), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HLWI), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-PSW.Win32.Stealer.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Spynoon.PO!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Information stealers 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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Malspam campaigns in general

Typically, cybercriminals behind emails used to deliver malware attempt to trick recipients into infecting their computers with malware designed to encrypt their files, steal sensitive information, distribute other malware, or mine cryptocurrency. More examples of malspam campaigns are "Order Loading Information", "LINPRA", and "Kaseya".

How did Assurance Certificates email virus infect my computer?

As mentioned previously, this email has two attachments: "001 NEW ORDER.PDF.rar" and "002 NEW ORDER.PDF.rar". Both of these RAR files contain a malicious executable file (the first archive file contains "001 NEW ORDER.PDF.exe", the second one contains "002 NEW ORDER.PDF.exe"). These EXE (executable) files install ForbmBook malware when users execute (open) them.

It is worth mentioning that emails used to deliver malware can contain different types of files, for example, Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, JavaScript files. Typically, it is enough to open a malicious file so it could start the installation of malicious software.

However, malicious documents opened with Microsoft Office 2010, and newer need permission to enable macros commands (editing/content) so they could infect computers. It does not apply to malicious documents opened with older MS Office versions - older versions do not have the "Protected View" mode.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Emails containing attachments or website links should be examined. Especially if received emails are not relevant and sent from an unknown, suspicious address. It is common for the email to be used as a channel to deliver malware. Another important thing is to download files, programs from legitimate, trustworthy sources such as official websites and use direct download links.

Installed software has to be updated and activated with tools or functions provided by its official developers. Any other (third-party, unofficial) tools can be malicious. Moreover, it is not legal to use cracking tools to activate legitimate software or use pirated (cracked) software.

Additionally, it is recommended to have a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software installed on the operating system and scan it for threats regularly. If you've already opened "Assurance Certificates email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the Assurance Certificates email letter:

Subject: ASSURANCE CERTIFICATES FOR NEW ORDER ENQUIRY

Dear Customer,

Do you have any quality assurance certificates for this goods in attached, please send us pricelist after reviewing my order enquiry.

Saygılarımla / Best Regards / Groeten

Gamze CENGİZ

İmport Manager

Avenue /  Cumhuriyet Mah. D-100 Karayolu Cad.

No:48/53 Buyukcekmece / İstanbul  Tel : 0212 886 10 75

Mobile : 0549 470 0880

E-mail : import@asaaa.com.tr  Web :    www.asaaa.com.tr

Nakliye sigortanızı yaptırdınız mı ? CMR sigortalarında nakliyecinin sorumluluğun kg bazında değer limiti olduğunu biliyor musunuz? Taşımacı firmanın önüne geçemeyeceği ( sel,deprem,doğal afet v.b) ve engelleyemeceği nedenlerden hasar meydana geldiğinde hukuksal sorumluluğun olmadığını biliyor muydunuz ?

Screenshot of the file named "001 NEW ORDER.PDF.rar" detected as malicious:

assurance certificates email virus 001 new order pdf exe file virustotal detecions

Screenshot of the file named "002 NEW ORDER.PDF.rar" detected as malicious:

assurance certificates email virus 002 new order pdf exe file virustotal detecions

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.

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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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