Removal of HawkEye keylogger presented in OSM Maritime email

Also Known As: Maritime email spam virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Maritime Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Maritime Email Virus"?

"Maritime Email Virus" is a spam campaign that cyber criminals use to trick people into installing the HawkEye keystroke logger. They send emails that are disguised as messages from OSM Maritime Group and hope that recipients open the attached file. If opened, this file infects computers with the aforementioned malicious program. Do not trust this email or open the contents. Note, however, that OSM Maritime is a legitimate company and has nothing to do with malware distribution. Cyber criminals often hide behind names of legitimate companies (especially banks and governmental institutions) in attempts to give the impression of legitimacy and gain recipients' trust.

Maritime Email Virus

This email encourages recipients to open the attached file, which is supposedly confirmation of a payment. The attached ZIP archive file is called "Swift copy.zip" and contains another file that, if extracted and opened/executed, downloads and installs HawkEye. Cyber criminals use this program to record keystrokes (keys pressed on the victim's keyboard) and steal information from various messaging apps, email clients, browsers, and so on. Therefore, it could be used to steal personal information such as passwords and logins of various personal accounts to hack them. Hacked accounts might be used to make online purchases, money transfers, etc. People who have their accounts stolen might experience privacy and browsing safety issues, financial loss, and so on. To avoid damage that might be caused with this keystroke logger and similar malicious programs, we advise you to leave files attached to emails such as "Maritime Email Virus" unopened.

Threat Summary:
Name Maritime email spam virus
Threat Type Trojan, Password-stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
Hoax This email is presented as a request to confirm a payment
Attachment(s) Swift copy.zip
Detection Names Arcabit (Trojan.Zmutzy.51), BitDefender (Trojan.Zmutzy.51), Fortinet (W32/Injector.DYNQ!tr), McAfee (Fareit-FLN!29242816BD40), 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 HawkEye keystroke logger
Malicious Process Name Swift copy.exe
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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There are many other spam campaigns online. Some examples are "Managing Director Email Virus", "Xerox Color Workstation Email Virus", and "Confirm Bank Account Email Virus". Typically, cyber criminals send these emails to trick people into installing malicious programs. For example, Adwind, Pony, FormBook, AZORult, and many others.

How did "Maritime Email Virus" infect my computer?

Typically, these emails are harmless as long as attached files remain unopened. In this particular case, computers become infected when people execute the file within the attached ZIP file ("Swift copy.zip"). In other cases, cyber criminals send emails that contain Microsoft Office or PDF documents, JavaScript files, executables (.exe), and other files. In all cases, files cannot cause installation of malicious software without first being opened.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Study each email received, especially if it contains an attachment or web link and is received from an unknown, suspicious address. If an email seems irrelevant, ignore it. Download software from official pages only. Do not use third party downloaders and tools such as Peer-to-Peer networks or unofficial, dubious websites. Update installed software with implemented functions or tools provided by the official software developers. Do not use third party updaters. Activate licensed software properly, and do not try to bypass activation with various 'cracking' tools. This is illegal and often leads to computer infection with viruses, malware, and other rogue software. Finally, have a reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus program installed and keep it enabled at all times. If you have already opened the "Maritime Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Maritime Email Virus" email message:

Dear OSM Maritime Group & CoÑ MBH sent you this email message with the following file attachments: - Swift copy2ip (715.8 KB) Comment Hello,
Please see the attached wire confirmation of payment made to your account today. Please inform as soon as payment is received then send us the full documents. We greatly appreciate your business!

Regards, Joern Krey OSM Maritime Group Co, MBH Germany Caffamacherreihe 7 20355 Hamburg 49(0)4038676850

File within a malicious attachment distributed via "Maritime Email Virus" running a process in Task Manager called "Swift copy.exe"

Malicious process running in the Task Manager by the name Swift copy.exe

Swift copy.zip file detection names in VirusTotal:

Swift copy.zip detections by various anti-virus suites in VirusTotal

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 autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck the "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 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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Maritime email spam virus QR code
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