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Avoid infecting your system with malware via "UAT Feedback" scam email

Also Known As: UAT Feedback spam
Damage level: Severe

What is "UAT Feedback email virus"?

"UAT Feedback email virus" refers to a malware-proliferating spam campaign. This term defines a large-scale operation during which thousands of scam emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign - request recipients to review the attached UAT feedback. It must be emphasized that these emails are fake and intended solely for the purpose of infecting recipients' devices with the TrickBot trojan.

UAT Feedback malware-spreading email spam campaign

"UAT Feedback" email in detail

The "UAT Feedback" scam emails greet the recipient as a co-worker, thereby implying that the sender is a colleague. The letters state that the file attached to them - contains UAT feedback. UAT (User Acceptance Testing) is one of the final testing states in software development, intended to verify whether a product can perform the required tasks.

Recipients are asked to review the fake document and update the status section. Once the attachment is opened - it triggers TrickBot's infection chain. The process begins with a JavaScript-based loader malware, which downloads/installs the trojan in question.

TrickBot malware functionalities

There are multiple versions of the TrickBot trojan, and it is a highly versatile piece of malicious software. To overview the malware's primary functionalities, it has several anti-detection features - namely, it can disable the Microsoft Defender Antivirus (Windows Defender).

Many of this program's abilities are centered on stealing a broad range of personal and sensitive information. It can obtain data relating to the infected device, extract information from browsers and hijack them to modify the displayed webpages, steal vulnerable details from mobile service provider products, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), email and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) clients, and other applications.

Information of interest includes (but is not limited to): users-system data, databases, browsing activity, Internet cookies, IP addresses, mobile service PIN numbers, various account/platform log-in credentials (i.e., IDs, email addresses, usernames, and passwords), finance-related information (e.g., banking account details, credit card numbers, etc.), and personally identifiable data.

Furthermore, TrickBot can operate as screen-locking ransomware. In other words, this trojan can lock the device's screen in order to make ransom demands for access recovery (screen unlocking). What is more, TrickBot can cause chain infections (i.e., download/install additional malware).

To summarize, by trusting the "UAT Feedback" scam emails, users can experience multiple system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is suspected or known that the TrickBot trojan (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus must be used to remove it without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name UAT Feedback spam
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails request recipients to review the attached UAT feedback.
Attachment(s) document_report_0038774.zip (filename may vary)
Detection Names ALYac (Trojan.Downloader.Script.gen), ESET-NOD32 (PowerShell/TrojanDownloader.Agent.XF), GData (Script.Trojan.Agent.OV9IGC), Symantec (Trojan Horse), 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 TrickBot
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)

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Spam campaigns in general

"US$51,000.00 Had Been Transferred Into Your Account", "The Best Price List", and "Inbank Email Virus" are a few examples of scam emails designed to spread malware. These letters are typically presented as "official", "urgent", "priority", "important", and similar.

Deceptive emails are not used exclusively to distribute malicious software, they are also employed to facilitate phishing and other scams. Due to how widespread spam mail is, it is highly recommended to exercise caution with incoming emails and messages.

How did "UAT Feedback email virus" infect my computer?

Systems are infected via malicious files distributed through spam campaigns. The scam emails can contain download links of infectious files, or they can be attached to the letters. Virulent 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 (i.e., malware download/installation) is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process is automatic in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010.

Newer Microsoft Office versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents immediate execution of macros. Instead, users can manually enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands), and they are warned of the potential risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the system through spam mail, it is strongly advised against opening suspicious and irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links present in them. Additionally, it is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also proliferated via dubious download channels (e.g., Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, unofficial and freeware sites, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to download only from official/verified sources. Furthermore, all programs must be activated/updated using functions provided by genuine developers.

It is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove threats. If you've already opened "UAT Feedback email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "UAT Feedback" scam email letter:

Subject: ***UNCHECKED*** Feedback IJL23874

 

Dear co-worker,

 

I trust this finds you well.

 

Attached is the copy of the UAT feedback IJL23874 collected ever since we started testing.

 

Kindly take time to review and update as far as the status section is concerned.

 

Thank you.

 

Kind regrds,

 

ecampos@ahnsa.com

 

document_report_0038774.zip

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

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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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