What is "Transcoal Pacific Email Virus"?
"Transcoal Pacific Email Virus" is a spam campaign, used to proliferate the LokiBot malware. One of spreading methods for such malicious software are large scale email spam campaigns. These emails contain executable files (or similar attachments), which download and install specific malware.
It should be known, that email letters of this kind are often marked as important, urgent, starred or otherwise highlighted as top priority mail. It is not recommended to open suspicious emails and it is expressly advised against opening any attachments and/or web links found therein. The "Transcoal Pacific Email Virus" spam campaign was discovered by My Online Security.
The email is disguised as official mail from Transcoal Pacific, requesting confirmation of personal details. Transcoal Pacific is a legitimate provider of sea transport and logistics services in Indonesia, however this email is not sent from said organization. Cyber criminals merely pretend to be employees of this company to create the impression of legitimacy.
This fraudulent email, contains an attachment used to install the LokiBot malware. It is a trojan type malicious software, designed to target Windows and Android operating systems. It is worthy of noting, that its abilities differ between the two, its capabilities have a larger outreach on Android OS.
Mainly, it records users' logins/passwords and constantly tracks their activity (via "keylogging" - monitoring of keyboard-typed data). However, LokiBot is far more advanced on Android operating systems.
Therein it can create facsimiles of various app interfaces, i.e. it can disguise itself as different programs (e.g. Skype, WhatsApp, Outlook, etc.) and from there on ask users to log-in, thusly getting their access data. It can also send various alerts, for example - concerning financial information and likewise request that users log-in to their banking accounts.
Additionally, it can use the infected systems to spread itself through emails, text messages and other similar communication services, in order to infect more devices. When users try to remove LokiBot from their systems, it asks for administrator permissions.
If such are not granted, it begins acting like ransomware. It locks the device and encrypts stored data. Afterwards, shows users a message demanding ransom to recover access to their system and for restoration of the encrypted files.
In summary, LokiBot infects devices and breaches user privacy; it can lead to financial losses and it endangers users themselves, as well as their contacts. If it is suspected that LokiBot or similar malignant programs are already within a device, it is strongly recommended to use dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware software to detect and remove present malware.
|Name||Transcoal Pacific spam|
|Threat Type||Trojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware|
|Hoax||Cyber criminals pretend to be employees of Transcoal Pacific company and send malicious email attachments presenting them as business-relating documents.|
|Attachment(s)||167_ct_2145SI.arj (name/type may vary)|
|Detection Names||ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.SVB), Fortinet (MSIL/Kryptik.SVB!tr), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic), McAfee (RDN/Generic.grp), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
Spam campaigns are innumerous and they can be used to further a wide variety of malignant content. Campaigns akin to "Transcoal Pacific Email Virus" are "Transfast Email Virus", "FedEx Express Email Virus" and "Maritime Email Virus".
How did "Transcoal Pacific Email Virus" infect my computer?
These files can only harm devices if they are opened, regardless it is ill-advised to open suspicious/unknown emails. For example, Microsoft Office documents request to enable macro commands (essentially, to enable editing). If they are enabled (permission is granted), then it initiates downloading and installing malware.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Suspicious emails and such received from unknown senders (addresses) - should never be trusted, hence they should not be opened. This is doubly stressed, concerning any attachments and web links they contain - those should never be opened (or downloaded and/or installed).
Infectious and scam emails typically pretend to be "official", "important", "urgent", "starred" or otherwise highlighted, depending on the design terminology of the recipient's email service provider. Regardless, of any labels they have - irrelevant and unknown emails must never be trusted.
To prevent system invasions/infections through Microsoft Office document files, users are advised to use Microsoft Office versions released after year 2010. Said releases have "Protected View" mode that stops virulent documents from downloading/installing malignant content.
If you've already opened "Transcoal Pacific Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Transcoal Pacific Email Virus" email letter:
Subject: FW: PDA ==MV AQUAGENIA
Good day !
Please find attached PDA's for subject call, kindly confirm your full details is accurate to our Finance dept for remittance prior to arrival at load port.
Transcoal Pacific. PT
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Transcoal Pacific spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.