How to rezognize malicious emails like BBVA Bank email virus?

Also Known As: BBVA Bank spam
Damage level: Severe

What is BBVA Bank email virus?

The purpose of this email is to deliver FormBook malware. It is disguised as a letter from BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria), a legitimate Spanish multinational financial services company. It contains a malicious attachment (an archive file).

BBVA Bank email virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

BBVA Bank email virus in detail

This malicious email is written in Spanish. It contains details such as deposit account, beneficiary's name, transaction amount and date, and some other information. Cybercriminals use this legitimate-looking email to trick recipients into extracting an executable file from the attachment named "Copia rápida de BBVA Bank.r11" and then executing it.

The aforementioned executable file is designed to infect computers with FormBook. This malicious program steals information from web browsers and certain other programs. It collects cookies, browsing history, IP addresses, usernames, email account login credentials, credit card details, and other sensitive information.

Formbook is also capable of functioning as a keystroke logger - a tool that records keyboard input. Moreover, FormBook can be used as a tool to infect computers with other malware (for example, ransomware, a Trojan).

Threat Summary:
Name BBVA Bank spam
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax The file attached to this email contains details regarding a bank transaction
Attachment(s) Copia rápida de BBVA Bank.r11 (its name may vary)
Detection Names (Malicious Attachment) Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.47495027), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.ADOI), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.PowerShell.cxk), Microsoft (Trojan:MSIL/SpyNoon.SSS!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.
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Malicious emails in general

Emails containing malware are disguised as official letters from legitimate entities. They contain malicious attachments or website links. The purpose of these emails is to trick recipients into downloading and executing files designed to infect computers with malware. More examples of similar emails are "Erweka Email Virus", "Interhydro Email Virus".

How did BBVA Bank email virus infect my computer?

This email has a file named "Copia rápida de BBVA Bank.r11" (its name may vary) attached to it. That archive file contains an executable file. A computer gets infected with FormBook after executing that file. More examples of files that cybercriminals attach to their emails are MS Office, PDF documents, JavaScript files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not trust irrelevant emails sent from unknown, suspicious addresses. Especially when they contain files (attachments) or links - they are likely to be malicious. Also, download files and programs only from legitimate sources (such as official pages). Always use tools provided by its official developers to update and activate the installed software.

Have reputable antivirus software installed on the operating system and keep it up to date. If you've already opened "BBVA Bank email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "BBVA Bank email virus" email letter:

Subject: Re: ALEXAR | buscar copia rápida del banco adjunta


Transferencia Interbancaria a otros Bancos
Buscar copia rápida del banco adjunta

Titular de la cuenta de retiro FLEXART,SA DE CV

Banco Destino HSBC

Cuenta de depósito **************3546

Nombre del beneficiario AVERY DENNISON SA DE CV

Importe $ 127,071.34

Fecha de operación 22 de Noviembre de 2021, 1:21:24 PM

Forma de depósito MISMO DÍA (SPEI)

Concepto de pago 992

Folio Internet 2289648212

MENSAJE: PAGO FACTURAS 535305 535496 536399 536448

Este correo constituye sólo una referencia de los términos en que se realizó la operación, el único comprobante oficial es el estado de cuenta de cheques que emite BBVA México S.A., Institución de Banca Múltiple, Grupo Financiero BBVA México.

Malicious attachment detected as malicious in VirusTotal:

bbva bank email virus virustotal detections for the malicious attachment

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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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Cybercriminals behind emails used to deliver malware, extract personal information, or for other purposes send emails to everyone in their email database. These emails are never personal.

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

The file attached to this email is an archive file. Opening this file does not infect a computer. However, executing/opening its contents (an executable file) does. If you have executed a file extracted from the attachment, then your computer is already infected.

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

No, opening an email is harmless. Computers get infected only after opening links, files in emails (after executing malicious files).

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. Keep in mind that high-end malware usually hides deep in the system. For this reason, running a full system scan is a must.

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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.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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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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