How to rezognize malicious emails like Erweka email virus?

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

What is Erweka email virus?

Emails used as a channel to distribute malware contain a malicious attachment or website link. Cybercriminals behind them pretend to be legitimate companies, organizations. Users infect computers after opening a malicious file. This email is used to deliver FormBook malware.

Erweka email virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

Erweka email virus in detail

Cybercriminals behind this malicious email attempt to trick recipients into believing that they have received a letter regarding a new purchase order. They encourage recipients to confirm the receipt of a purchase order - to open the attachment (a file named "538375308232021.lzh". Its name may vary).

That email attachment is an archive file that contains a malicious executable designed to install FormBook malware. FormBook can be used to take screenshots, steal clipboard data, login credentials saved in web browsers, record keystrokes (pressed keys). Also, it can be used to distribute other malicious software (for example, ransomware).

Threat Summary:
Name FormBook malware
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax The email attachment is a purchase order that needs to be reviewed
Attachment(s) 538375308232021.lzh (its name may vary)
Detection Names (malicious executable in the attachment) Avast (Win32:MalwareX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.37463436), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Formbook.AA), Kaspersky (HEUR:Backdoor.MSIL.Remcos.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:MSIL/AgentTesla.CMY!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 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.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Emails used to deliver malware in general

Most of the malicious emails are disguised as official, important letters from legitimate companies. More examples of similar emails are "Interhydro Email Virus", "Baldur Email Virus", and "Taxve Inc. Email Virus". Typically, cybercriminals attempt to trick recipients into thinking that the attached files, included links will open important documents.

How did "Erweka email virus" infect my computer?

Recipients install malware when they open a malicious Microsoft Office or PDF document, contents of the attached ZIP, RAR or another archive file, JavaScript file, executable file, or some other file. Malicious documents opened with MS Office 2010 and later versions cannot install malware without permission.

Those documents ask for permission to enable macros commands (editing or content). Users install malware when they enable macros commands. Older MS versions do not have the "Protected View" mode. Thus, malicious documents opened with them do not ask for any permission - they install malware automatically.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Installed software has to be updated and activated with tools that its developers provide. Received irrelevant emails containing website links or files should not be ignored (especially when such emails are sent from unknown addresses). Files and programs should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links.

The operating system should be scanned for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. It is highly advisable to keep the installed security suite up to date. If you've already opened "Erweka email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Appearance of the Erweka malicious email (GIF):

erweka malicous email appearance in gif image

Text presented in this email:


Dear Sir/Madam

Please confirm the receipt of our purchase order and attachments immediately by email to the above address, quoting our order number.

Please advise us verbally or in writing if documents/drawings are incomplete or cannot be opened.

Have a good day and with best regards


Thorsten Boettcher
Director – Business Development Asia & Middle East

Erweka Asia Pacific Ltd
A, 11/F., Man Lok Bldg.
93 Bonham Strand
Hong Kong

T: +852 2291 6300
F: +852 2291 6311


Erweka Asia Pacific Ltd; Managing Director: Thorsten Bottcher; BR Reg No.:67128051-000-01-17-04

Malicious executable in the attached file detected as malicious in Virustotal:

erweka email virus attachment detected in virustotal as malicious

FormBook running in Task Manager as "RiskAP" (its name may vary):

erweka email virus formbook running in task manager as riskap

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Most cybercriminals send the exact same email to thousands of recipients hoping that someone will open a file or link in it. These malicious emails are never personal.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to this email, is my computer infected?

If the opened file was an executable (for example, EXE/.exe file), then most certainly it has infected a computer. If it was a document (like PDF, DOC), then it is possible that a computer is safe. Pretty often, it is not enough to open a document. The opened document needs permission to enable macros commands or to do something else.

I have read the email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, opening an email by itself is completely harmless. Recipients infect computers after clicking on received website links or by opening malicious attachments.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating almost all known malware infections. High-end malware can be capable of hiding deep in the operating system. Therefore, it is recommended to run a full system scan.

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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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