How to spot malspam campaigns like "Invoices Copies Are Not Clear"
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What is "Invoices Copies Are Not Clear" email virus?
After examining this email, our team found that it was sent by cybercriminals who aim to trick recipients into infecting their computers with malware via malicious attachments. Threat actors claim that files attached to the email are invoices. The type of malware that is distributed via those files is currently unknown.
More about the "Invoices Copies Are Not Clear" malspam campaign
Cybercriminals behind this email are pretending to be Wendy Wei, an account supervisor at Open Payments Europe AB. They claim that the invoices attached to the email are "not clear". Therefore, an invoice payment cannot be made. They urge recipients to respond quickly so the company can pay the invoice before the holiday.
This email contains two files (with the same icons and content): "Proforma Invoice.doc" and "Revised PI.doc". These documents instruct users to click the "Enable Editing" button (enable macros commands). Enabling macros commands in malicious documents infects computers with malware.
As we mentioned in the introduction, the type of malware distributed via this email is unknown. Cybercriminals use emails to trick recipients into executing ransomware, Trojans, cryptocurrency miners, clippers, or other malware.
Ransomware is malware that encrypts files. It is used to blackmail victims. Typically, it is impossible to decrypt files without tools purchased from the attackers. Trojans can be used to steal sensitive information, inject other malware, and other purposes.
Cryptocurrency miners use computer hardware to mine cryptocurrency. Typically, victims suffer a monetary loss due to higher electricity bills. Also, infected computers operate slower (or do not respond). Clippers change the data copied into the clipboard. One of the most common ways to monetize clippers is to replace cryptocurrency wallets with the ones owned by cybercriminals.
|Name||Invoices Copies Are Not Clear malspam campaign|
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Hoax||Attached invoices are "not clear"|
|Attachment(s)||Proforma Invoice.doc and Revised PI.doc|
|Detection Names (Proforma Invoice.doc)||Avast (Script:SNH-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (VBS.Heur.Nyx.1.F6FD4EBE.Gen), ESET-NOD32 (VBS/TrojanDownloader.Agent.XZG), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Script.Generic), Microsoft (Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-8570.PDC), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (Revised PI.doc)||Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (VBS.Heur.Nyx.1.F6FD4EBE.Gen), ESET-NOD32 (VBS/TrojanDownloader.Agent.XZG), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Script.Generic), Microsoft (Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-8570.PDC), 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||The type of malware delivered via this email is currently unknown|
|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.
Emails of this type in general
Most emails used to deliver malware share these qualities: they are disguised important/urgent/official letters from legitimate entities or individuals and contain malicious links or attachments. In all cases, threat actors aim to trick recipients into opening malicious pages or files.
Examples of similar malspam campaigns are "TEXTIMA Export Email Virus", "CTM Arrangment Email Virus", and "Stromag Email Virus".
How did "Invoices Copies Are Not Clear" infect my computer?
This email contains two Microsoft Office documents with the same names ("Proforma Invoice.doc" and "Revised PI.doc"). Both documents contain text instructing visitors to enable editing (enable macros commands). Computers get infected after clicking the "Enable Editing" or "Enable Content" button.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Inspect emails before clicking links or opening attachments. Note that irrelevant emails sent from unknown addresses can contain malicious files or links. Also, keep the operating system and installed programs updated. Download software from official websites (or stores). Avoid clicking suspicious links or ads on questionable pages.
Use antivirus software for computer protection and run system scans regularly. If you've already opened "Invoices Copies Are Not Clear" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Invoices Copies Are Not Clear" email letter:
Please note that the attached invoices copies are not clear, We will not be able to pay them.
We do not want the issue of money being returned and we will not be responsible for the extra bank charges.
Kindly respond so we make payment before the holiday
Waiting for your soonest reply!
Thanks & best regards
Open Payments Europe AB
111 51 Stockholm, Sweden
Malicious attachment distributed via "Invoices Copies Are Not Clear" spam campaign:
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 Invoices Copies Are Not Clear malspam campaign?
- 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?
This email was sent to many addresses. As a rule, malspam campaigns (emails used to deliver malware) are not personal.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to this email, is my computer infected?
No, computers get infected via malicious MS Office documents after enabling macros commands (enabling content or editing). MS Office opens suspicious documents in Protected View mode (unless a document is opened with MS Office released before 2010). However, when recipients open malicious executables, computers get infected without taking additional steps.
I have read the email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, opening emails is harmless. Malware cannot infect computers without opening links or files included in emails.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?
Yes, Combo Cleaner has an antivirus scanner that can detect almost all known malware. Since high-end malware usually hides deep in the system, it is strongly recommended to run a full system scan.
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