Remove the Remcos RAT from your computer

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

"Hydrotech Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Hydrotech Email Virus"?

Discovered by My Online Security, "Hydrotech Email Virus" is a scam that is presented as an official message (invoice) from HYDROTECH. The main purpose of this scam is to trick people into opening the included attachments, which are designed to download and install the Remcos RAT (remote access tool). Cyber criminals use these tools to generate revenue by stealing personal details, downloading and installing malicious programs, and so on. We strongly recommend that you leave files attached to "Hydrotech Email Virus" message and other similar spam campaigns (scams) unopened.

Hydrotech Email Virus

Hydrotech is the name of a legitimate company, a provider of industrial components and engineered systems. It has nothing to do with this bogus email. In many cases, cyber criminals use names of legitimate or well-known companies to disguise scam emails as official messages. In this particular case, scammers present "Hydrotech Email Virus" as a message regarding an invoice. Recipients are asked to confirm some details, which are provided in the attached files, however, these infect computers with a remote access tool called Remcos. This software is a legitimate tool that allows people to control systems remotely, however, cyber criminals often misuse these tools to generate revenue. If installed, Remcos might be used to steal personal information, such as passwords, private data, and other sensitive details. Additionally, it could be used to monitor the computer screen in real-time and download files. Therefore, cyber criminals might use Remcos to infect computers with malicious programs such as ransomware. In summary, this RAT can lead to financial and data loss, privacy issues, computer infections, and so on. For these reasons, do not trust the "Hydrotech Email Virus" scam or any other spam campaigns of this kind.

Threat Summary:
Name Hydrotech email spam virus
Threat Type Trojan, Password-stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
Hoax This email is presented as a request to confirm details in attached invoice
Attachment(s) .zip, .rtf and .doc files are disguised as invoices
Detection Names (.rtf file)
Avast (Win32:ShellCode [Expl]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.32065877), ESET-NOD32 (Probably A Variant Of Win32/Exploit.CVE-2017-11882.A), 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 Remcos RAT (remote access tool)
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 different scam emails online. Some other examples include "Maritime Email Virus", "Managing Director Email Virus", and "Xerox Color Workstation Email Virus". Cyber criminals send them to trick people into installing unwanted, often malicious software. Examples of malicious programs that are distributed through similar spam campaigns include Adwind, Pony, FormBook, and AZORult.

How did "Hydrotech Email Virus" infect my computer?

This scam can cause damage only if the attached files are opened. There are three file attachments: 1) ZIP; 2) .rtf, and; 3) .doc. If opened, Microsoft Word documents generally demand permission to disable "Protected View" mode (in effect, to enable editing). If allowed, they start downloading and then installing malicious programs. In this case, they cause installation of Remcos. The ZIP file might contain another MS Word (or other) document, executable, or other file, that, if opened, will lead to installation of an identical remote access tool. Typically, scammers attach files such as Microsoft Office or PDF documents, JavaScript file or executable (.exe), archives (ZIP, RAR, and so on), etc. Note that it is impossible for the attached files to infect systems if they remain unopened.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To keep operating systems safe, ignore irrelevant emails sent from unknown addresses and contain attachments or web links. Typically, they are scams used to infect computers with malicious, unwanted programs. All files and programs should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites. Do not use sources such as Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), unofficial pages, and so on. Keep the operating system and installed software up-to-date, however, use implemented functions or tools provided by official developers, and not other, unofficial fake updaters. If programs require payment, do activate them with 'cracking' tools. First, these tools are illegal. Second, they are often designed by cyber criminals to infect computers with malware. Additionally, any computer is safer with anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed. If you have already opened "Hydrotech Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

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

Dear Sir

As per Mr.Hesham Bakir instructions, please confirm beneficiary name and account number so we make payment.

Is it same detail attached invoice?

Best Regards,

Basem Shaban

Mechanical Service Engineer


e-mail : Battia@hydrotech-eg.com

Mob : + 201205801580

TEL : +20222686200 / +20223316667

FAX : +20222687365

Malicious attachments distributed via "Hydrotech Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Hydrotech 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 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.

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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.

QR Code
Hydrotech email spam virus QR code
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