New Coronavirus-themed malspam campaign delivers FormBook Malware

Pierluigi Paganini March 08, 2020

Experts uncovered a new Coronavirus (COVID-19)-themed campaign that is distributing a malware downloader that delivers the FormBook information-stealing Trojan.

Experts at MalwareHunterTeam uncovered a new malspam campaign exploiting the fear in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to deliver malware.

The campaign uses emails that pretend being sent by members of the World Health Organization (WHO), the messages distribute a malware downloader that installs the FormBook information-stealing Trojan.

The emails come with a ZIP file attachment and have the subject “Coronavirus Updates.”

Coronavirus spam email

The emails will, though, prompt you to view the email in a browser, which properly displays the content of the email.

The emails provide updates on the Coronavirus outbreak, it includes stats on the epidemic and contains an email of [email protected] that is likely used for phishing purposes.

The message is composed to trick the victims into opening the attached ZIP archive that includes ‘MY-HEALTH.PDF.’

The executable employed in this campaign is a strain of the GuLoader malware downloader.

Once the GuLoader malware has downloaded an encrypted file from, it will decrypt it and inject the malware into the legitimate Windows wininit.exe process.

The final payload is the FormBook information-stealing Trojan, a malware that was first spotted by researchers at FireEye in October 2017.

FormBook data-stealing malware was used with cyber espionage purposes, like other spyware it is capable of extracting data from HTTP sessions, keystroke logging, stealing clipboard contents.

FormBook can also receive commands from a command-and-control (C2) server to perform many malicious activities, such as downloading more payloads.

“The malware injects itself into various processes and installs function hooks to log keystrokes, steal clipboard contents, and extract data from HTTP sessions. The malware can also execute commands from a command and control (C2) server. The commands include instructing the malware to download and execute files, start processes, shutdown and reboot the system, and steal cookies and local passwords.” states the analysis published by FireEye.

According to the researchers, one most interesting features implemented by the malware authors allows the malicious code to read “Windows’ ntdll.dll module from disk into memory, and calls its exported functions directly, rendering user-mode hooking and API monitoring mechanisms ineffective.”

Researchers explained that FormBook is easy to use, it is offered for sale in the criminal underground since July 2017, it was offered for $29 a week up to a $299 full-package “pro” deal. The customers could pay for access to the platform and generate their executable files as a service.

Recently another spam campaign was spotted targeting users in Italy, attackers exploited the interest on Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the attempt of delivering the TrickBot information-stealing malware.

Spam messages pretend to be from a doctor (Dr. Penelope Marchetti) at the World Health Organization (WHO), they have a subject of “Coronavirus: Informazioni importanti su precauzioni.”

This week, the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency shared the following tips on how to prevent Coronavirus-themed:

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking,Coronavirus)

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