Avoid infecting your system via fake "Adobe Acrobat" emails

Also Known As: TrickBot trojan
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is "Adobe Acrobat email virus"?

"Adobe Acrobat email virus" refers to a malware-spreading spam campaign. The term "spam campaign" defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign - claim to contain a review of the recipient's company.

It must be emphasized that these emails are fake. Therefore, when users attempt to view the fraudulent report, the malware infection process is triggered. The "Adobe Acrobat" scam letters aim to infect recipients' devices with the TrickBot trojan.

Adobe Acrobat malware-spreading email spam campaign

"Adobe Acrobat" scam email in detail

The fake "Adobe Acrobat" emails (subject/title "Feedback TIU65944"; may vary) ask recipients to review the attached report. This document supposedly contains feedback concerning the recipients' companies. When users click the image representing a button ("View Report"), it downloads a malicious PDF document. When the file is opened - TrickBot's download/installation is jumpstarted.

TrickBot malware functionalities

TrickBot is a sophisticated piece of malicious software. There are multiple variants of this trojan with different/additional functionalities. In general, this malware has data-stealing abilities, it can also operate as ransomware, and even cause chain infections.

To elaborate on these features, TrickBot can extract data from the system, browsers, and other installed apps (e.g., VPNs, mobile service provider products, email and FTP clients). Targeted information includes: browsing activity, log-in credentials (i.e., IDs, email addresses, usernames, and passwords) of various accounts and platforms, personally identifiable details, finance-related data (e.g., banking account details, credit card numbers, etc.), and so forth.

Certain versions of TrickBot can work as screen-locking ransomware, i.e., it can lock the device's screen and demand payment for access recovery. Furthermore, this trojan is capable of downloading/installing additional malware (e.g., ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.).

In summary, by trusting the "Adobe Acrobat" scam emails, users can experience multiple system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is suspected or known that TrickBot (or other malware) has already infected the device - an anti-virus must be used to eliminate it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name TrickBot trojan
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails claim to contain feedback regarding the recipients' companies.
Detection Names Avast (FileRepMalware), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Zusy.398038), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/GenKryptik.FJDI), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Banker.Win32.Trickster.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/TrickBotCrypt.EM!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 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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Spam campaigns in general

"UAT Feedback", "The Best Price List", and "TOA Vietnam Co. Email Virus" are a few examples of malware-proliferating spam campaigns. The deceptive emails are typically presented as "urgent", "priority", and similar; they can even be disguised as letters from genuine organizations, authorities, companies, and other entities.

Aside from malicious software distribution, spam emails are also used to facilitate phishing and various other scams. Scammers and cyber criminals widely use spam mail. Therefore, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails and messages.

How did "Adobe Acrobat email virus" infect my computer?

Spam campaigns spread malware via infectious files distributed through them. These files are attached to the emails, or they contain download links of such content. Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., PDF and Microsoft Office documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, etc. When the files are opened - the infection chain is initiated.

It is noteworthy that Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins 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).

How to avoid installation of malware?

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

Malware is also spread through dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to download only from official/verified sources. Software must always be activated/updated with tools provided by genuine developers.

It is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept up-to-date. These programs must be used to run regular system scans and to remove threats. If you've already opened "Adobe Acrobat email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Adobe Acrobat" scam email letter:

Subject: Feedback TIU65944


Adobe Acrobat


Please review attached report..
Feedback regarding your company

View Report


August 17 2021


Manage Your Account | Customer Support | Forums | Terms of Use | Report Abuse


Adobe, the Adobe logo, the Adobe PDF logo, and Acrobat are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Adobe, 345 Park Ave., San Jose, CA 95110 USA

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "Adobe Acrobat" spam campaign:

Adobe Acrobat email virus attachment detections

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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