How to avoid infecting a computer via "Missing Invoice" malicious email

Also Known As: Missing Invoice malspam
Damage level: Severe

What is "Missing Invoice"?

In the course of our review, it has been identified that this email is crafted by cybercriminals who attempt to trick users into infecting their computers. This letter is disguised as a notification regarding a missing invoice, and it contains a malicious attachment designed to inject Formbook into systems.

Missing Invoice malware-spreading email spam campaign

"Missing Invoice" malspam overview

In this deceptive email, the recipient is addressed with a sense of urgency, indicating that there is a missing invoice attached that requires immediate attention. The sender insists on prompt action, asking for a copy of the bank payment confirmation if the mentioned invoice has already been settled.

The email further includes a threat, stating that failure to clear the payment before the specified date will result in subsequent orders or inquiries being disregarded. The tone and urgency in the email are classic characteristics of a phishing attempt, aiming to manipulate the recipient into opening the attachment.

The file attached to this email (Word document) is used to distribute the Formbook malware. This malicious software meticulously monitors computer activities, recording keystrokes, capturing screenshots, and extracting various data, including details from visited websites, clipboard contents, and saved logins/passwords.

Notably, FormBook is not confined to data gathering. It is also equipped to execute commands sent from remote Command and Control servers. These commands grant malevolent actors the ability to perform a range of remote tasks, from system reboots and shutdowns to downloading and executing files, which may lead to additional high-risk computer infections or system corruption.

Users are strongly advised to employ a legitimate anti-virus suite for thorough system scans, particularly if they have opened suspicious email attachments containing Formbook or other malware.

Threat Summary:
Name Missing Invoice malspam
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax An invoice is missing
Attachment(s) Invoice3392.doc (its name can vary)
Detection Names Avast (RTF:Obfuscated-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.71008195), Emsisoft (Trojan.GenericKD.71008195 (B)), Kaspersky (HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2018-0802.gen), Microsoft (Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.RVCF), 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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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.

Similar emails in general

These emails typically employ urgent or alarming language, urging recipients to open the attached files quickly. They may imitate legitimate senders or organizations, attempting to deceive users into trusting the content. Additionally, these emails commonly feature unexpected attachments, such as invoices or purported important documents, encouraging users to open them without due scrutiny.

In order to enhance their deceit, malicious attachments are often disguised with seemingly harmless file types, such as PDF or Word documents, concealing the embedded malware. Therefore, users should exercise extreme caution with unexpected attachments, especially when the context and sender raise suspicions.

Examples of similar campaigns are "Packing List Email Virus", "Social Security Statement Email Virus", and "Comprobante De Transferencia Bancaria Email Virus".

How did "Missing Invoice" infect my computer?

In this campaign, cybercriminals aim to trick users into executing the Formbook malware via the attached file (MS Office document named "Invoice3392.doc" or similarly). Upon opening the document, users receive instructions to enable editing. The infection with Formbook occurs once users comply with the instructions to enable editing, triggering the execution of macros commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Stay informed about common online threats, phishing techniques, and social engineering tactics. Be wary of unexpected emails from unknown addresses, especially those with attachments or links. Download software, apps, and files only from official and reputable sources. Regularly update operating systems, antivirus programs, and all software.

Avoid enabling macros in documents received from unknown or untrusted sources, as they can be used to deliver malware. Do not interact with ads, pop-ups, or similar content on dubious websites. Never download pirated software or tools that are supposed to bypass software activation.

If you have already opened "Missing Invoice" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Missing Invoice" email letter:

Subject: missing invoice 3392

Urgent Attention

Find attached missing invoice

if this invoice has been settled please send bank payment copy

note if payment is not cleared before 31st December 2023, all subsiquient order or inquiry will not be honored

kindly do the needful asap

Malicious attachment distributed via "Missing Invoice" spam campaign:

Missing Invoice email virus malicious document (Invoice3392.doc)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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?

You have become a target of a spam campaign where mass emails were sent to numerous recipients in the hope that some individuals would open a malicious attachment.

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

Having opened the attached Word document without enabling editing ensures your computer is not infected unless the file was accessed using a version of MS Office released before 2010. However, enabling editing indicates that your computer is already infected with Formbook malware.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Merely opening an email poses no harm. System infections occur when you click links within the email or open attached files.

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

Certainly, Combo Cleaner is designed to eradicate malware from your computer, with the ability to identify almost all recognized malware. It is crucial to bear in mind that advanced malware tends to hide deeply within the system. Therefore, conducting a full system scan is essential for effective removal.

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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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