How to recognize malicious emails like ANSR email?
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is ANSR email virus?
The purpose of emails used to deliver malware is to trick recipients into opening a malicious file. Usually, these emails are disguised as letters from legitimate institutions, companies, or other entities. This particular malspam campaign is used to distribute a malicious VBS script.
This email is written in Portuguese. It claims that a recipient has to pay 1.018 euros for a road traffic accident that has occurred on the specified date and address. The purpose of this email is to trick recipients into clicking on the "Consultar" hyperlink designed to download a malicious script.
The type of malware that the script mentioned above distributes is unknown. It could be designed to infect computers with a Trojan, ransomware, cryptocurrency miner, or other malicious software. Either way, it is strongly recommended to ignore this email.
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Hoax||Recipient has to pay a fine for a traffic accident|
|Malicious Download||VBS script|
|Detection Names||Avast (SNH:Script [Dropper]), Combo Cleaner (VB:Trojan.Valyria.5090), Fortinet (VBS/SAgent.8799!tr), MAX (Malware (ai Score=81)), 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||Malicious software (unknown type)|
|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.
Malspam campaigns in general
Most cybercriminals behind malicious emails pretend to be legitimate companies or other entities. They achieve their goal when users open a malicious file. A couple of examples of other malspam campaigns are "INTERLINK Email Virus", "Erweka Email Virus", and "Baldur Email Virus".
How did ANSR email virus infect my computer?
Recipients infect computers by opening a malicious VBS script downloaded through a hyperlink provided in this email. A couple of examples of other that can be used to deliver malware are PDF or MS Office documents, archive files, executable files.
Malicious documents opened with MS Office 2010 and later versions do not infect computers unless users enable macros commands (or editing, content). Documents opened with older MS Office versions infect computers instantly. It is because those versions do not include the "Protected View" mode.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Avoid opening files and website links in irrelevant emails sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Use official websites and direct links to download files or programs. Updated and activate the software with tools provided by its official developer.
Scan the operating system for threats regularly. Run scans with reputable security software and keep it up to date. If you've already opened "ANSR email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the ANSR email letter:
Subject: FW: Registro de contraordenacao nao paga ANSR - Protocolo: P006Y3ZTSQ
Registro de contraordenacao nao paga ANSR
NOTIFICAMOS AUTO DE CONTRAORDENACAO N. 22140001454-411
DATA: 25/09/2021 Hora: 11:02:50
Lugar: Avenida de Casal de Cabanas #6352
INFRACAO: inversao do sentido da marcha
VALOR DO DEBITO: 1,018 EUR
acesse nosso site e verifique a contraordenacao em questao -
ou clique no botao abaixo para consulta
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:
- What is ANSR spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious 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.
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.
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:
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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why did I receive this email?
Usually, cybercriminals send the exact same email to every recipient hoping that someone will open a malicious file (open email attachment or file downloaded via website link). These emails are never personal.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to this email, is my computer infected?
If the file was an executable, then most certainly yes. If the file was a document (like PDF, DOC, or similar), then you may have avoided the infection. Malicious documents cannot infect the system unless they get permission for that (for example, they get permission to enable macros commands).
I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?
Opening an email by itself is completely harmless. Computers get infected when a website link (a file downloaded from it) or email attachment is opened.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is can detect and eliminate almost all known malware infections. Since high-end malware usually hides deep in the system, It is recommended to scan the system using a full scan.
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