Al Hafez Trading Company Email Virus

Also Known As: "Al Hafez Trading Company invoice confirmation" virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Al Hafez Trading Company Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Al Hafez Trading Company Email Virus"?

THe "Al Hafez Trading Company Email Virus" scam is used by cyber criminals to spread the NanoCore remote access trojan (RAT). They send emails that contain a malicious Microsoft Office document and hope that people will open it. If opened, the document causes download and installation of the RAT. Having this software installed might cause serious problems and, therefore, we strongly recommend that you ignore emails relating to this scam.

Al Hafez Trading Company Email Virus

Scammers present this email as a message from Al Hafez Trading, an existing pharmaceutical company based in Kuwait. In fact, this company has nothing to do with this email. Typically, cyber criminals disguise their scams as official messages using the names of legitimate companies. This email states that a payment is being processed and recipients are asked to confirm invoice and bank details by checking the attached Excel file. This is the malicious document that downloads the NanoCore RAT. Note, however, that this cannot be done without first opening the file. Furthermore, once opened, this document will demand permission to enable macros commands (to disable "Protected View"). If permission is not granted, this file will not be able to cause any damage. NanoCore is a high-risk trojan that allows distributors to remotely control the infected system. It could be used to steal personal details such as passwords and logins of various accounts, or to download and install unwanted, malicious software such as ransomware. If a computer is infected with NanoCore, victims might experience problems such as data/financial loss, diminished system performance, and it might also lead to privacy browsing safety issues, etc. If you suspect that this trojan is installed on your computer, remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Al Hafez Trading Company invoice confirmation" virus
Threat Type Trojan, Password-stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
Hoax Cyber criminals claim to be representatives of Al Hafez Trading Company and encourage users to open the attached invoice, which is actually a malicious Microsoft Office document that infects the system.
Attachment(s) ORDER-235262672882.xlsx
Detection Names (ORDER-235262672882.xlsx) Avira (EXP/CVE-2017-11882.Gen), BitDefender (Exploit.CVE-2017-11882.Gen), ESET-NOD32 (probably a variant of Win32/Exploit.CVE-2017-11882.C), Kaspersky (HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.Generic), 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 NanoCore RAT.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.
Damage Stolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, 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 Malwarebytes.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

There are many spam campaigns of this type. Some examples are "Maersk Email Virus", "Confirm Bank Account Email Virus", and "Paychex Email Virus". Generally, they are used to proliferate high-risk computer infections such as Adwind, TrickBot, FormBook, LokiBot, and many others. In most cases, having computers infected with such malware causes serious problems. Therefore, do not trust dubious emails or open files attached to them.

How did "Al Hafez Trading Company Email Virus" infect my computer?

NanoCore infects computers when people open an MS Excel file and allow it to enable macros commands (disable "Protected View" mode). This is the only way for this file to cause download and installation of this particular malicious program. Other cyber criminals might try to achieve using files such as PDF documents, JavaScript files, executable files (.exe), ZIP, RAR, or others. Despite this, to infect computers, the files must first be opened.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not download or open/execute files that are attached to irrelevant emails or received from suspicious, untrustworthy, or unknown email addresses. Emails sent by scammers/cyber criminals can usually be identified, since they are irrelevant, and yet, presented as legitimate and official. Furthermore, avoid downloading software using third party downloaders, unofficial pages, torrent clients, eMule, or other Peer-to-Peer networks. The safest way to download software is using official websites. Keep installed software up-to-date, however, use implemented, official tools that are provided by software developers, and not third party/fake tools. Bear in mind that is illegal to activate installed software using 'cracking' tools, which can be used by cyber criminals to proliferate high-risk computer infections. Use reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software and keep it enabled. If you have already opened "Al Hafez Trading Company Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Al Hafez Trading Company Email Virus" email message:

Dear sir, We are processing the payment of your last Invoice, kindly confirm your invoice and bank details are correct as attached to proceed with the payment and please find attached our new purchase Order.
Awaiting your responds.
Al Hafez Trading Company limited.

Malicious attachment distributed via "Al Hafez Trading Company Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Al Hafez Trading Company Email Virus spam campaign

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes 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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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Malwarebytes for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example, using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":


manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Malwarebytes for Windows.

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 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.

QR Code
Al Hafez Trading Company invoice confirmation virus QR code
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