Removal of the Ave Maria trojan

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

"Transfast Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Transfast Email Virus"?

"Transfast Email Virus" is yet another spam email campaign used to spread the Ave Maria trojan. Cyber criminals send hundreds of thousands of deceptive emails encouraging recipients to open an attached "payment slip". In fact, the file is malicious, and opening it leads to a malware infection.

Transfast Email Virus

The spam email is presented as a payment notification from the Transfast company. Be aware, however, that this is merely a scam. Transfast is a legitimate company and certainly has nothing to do with this spam campaign. Cyber criminals often claim to be employees of reputable companies and governmental agencies in attempts to give the impression of legitimacy - recipients are much more likely to open attachments received from familiar names. The attachment is presented as a payment slip document, however, it is an archive file containing a malicious executable. Once opened, this executable injects the Ave Maria trojan into the system. Ave Maria is high-risk trojan designed to steal various data and cause "chain infections" (proliferate additional malware). These trojans usually gather extremely sensitive information, such as logins/passwords, banking information, and so on. The data is later misused to generate revenue (e.g., via online purchases, money transfers, borrowing money from the victim's accounts in social networks, etc.). Therefore, victims might lose savings and accrue significant debt. Additionally, the presence of Ave Maria can lead to various other malware infections (e.g., ransomware, cryptominers, and similar). Most ransomware infections compromise stored data, while cryptominers misuse system resources to mine cryptocurrencies, thereby significantly diminishing system performance. In summary, the presence of Ave Maria can lead to serious privacy issues (including identity theft), significant financial/data loss, and other problems. If you have already opened attachments distributed through the "Transfast Email Virus" spam campaign, scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and eliminate all detected threats.

Threat Summary:
Name Transfast email spam virus
Threat Type Trojan, Password-stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
Hoax Criminals claim to be employees of the Transfast company and encourage users to open a 'payment slip' document.
Attachment(s) payment slip trsfs874-4 archive
Detection Names Avast (Win32:CrypterX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.32152391), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Injector.EGQJ), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.VBKryjetor.cady), 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 Ave Maria trojan
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 spam campaigns that spread infections and share similarities with "Transfast Email Virus". The list of examples includes "FedEx Express Email Virus", "Hydrotech Email Virus", and "Managing Director Email Virus". These spam campaigns are commonly used to proliferate high-risk trojans such as TrickBot, Hancitor, FormBook, and Emotet.

How did "Transfast Email Virus" infect my computer?

As mentioned, the "Transfast Email Virus" spam campaign proliferates malware through a malicious attachment. The attached file is an archive, which contains an executable (.exe). Once executed, this file immediately injects the Ave Maria trojan, however, note that other spam email campaigns might use other file formats such as Microsoft Office documents (the most popular), PDFs, and so on. Malicious MS Office documents inject computers using macros. Once opened, these documents ask users to enable macro commands, which are then used to download and install malware. In any case, user interaction is necessary for these spam campaigns to be successful. Unopened attachments will never be able to infect systems.

How to avoid installation of malware?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay attention when browsing the internet. Handle all email attachments with care. Files/links received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. The same applies to attachments that are irrelevant or do not concern you. Bear in mind that criminals often send emails with messages that are clearly too good to be true (e.g., you have won a million dollars, someone has transferred money to your bank account, etc.). Never fall for these scams. Malicious attachments typically come in the format of MS Office documents. Therefore, we strongly advise you to use 2010 or later versions of MS Office, since older versions are not implemented with "Protected View" mode, which prevents documents from automatically executing macros. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. These tools detect and eliminate malware before the system is harmed. If you have already opened the "Transfast Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

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

Dear Sir.
Please find attached here with payment slip made agaist shipping invoice from our client.
Best Regards,
Ms. Sweets Asam Accounts Department Ph no. : 122 21739707 Ext 1 214 / 8433962195
DISCLAIMER: "Information contained and transmitted by this E-MAIL including any attachment is proprietary to HSBC Bank Ltd and is intended solely for the addresseejs, and may contain information that is privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. Access to this e-mail and or to the attachment by anyone else is unauthorized_ If this is a forwarded message, the content and the views expressed in this E-MAIL may not reflect those of the Bank. If you are not the intended recipient, an agent of the intended recipient or a person responsible for delivering the information to the named recipient, you are notified that any use, distribution, transmission, printing, copying or dissemination of this information in any way or in any manner is strictly prohibited_ If you are not the intended recipient of this mail kindly delete from your system and inform the sender_ There is no guarantee that the integrity of this communication has been maintained and nor is this communication free of viruses, interceptions or interference".

Screenshot of malicious executable ("payment slip trsfs874-4 - copy-PDF.exe") distributed via "Transfast Email Virus" and the Ave Maria trojan process ("FRAYA4") in Windows Task Manager:

Transfast Email Virus malicious attachment and Ave Maria process in Windows Task Manager

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 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 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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Transfast email spam virus QR code
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