Avoid installation of Agent Tesla through the Afdsola Email Virus

Also Known As: Afdsola email spam virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

"Afdsola Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Afdsola Email Virus"?

Criminals present this scam as an email from a company that owns the afdsola.com website. The company is legitimate and has nothing to do with this scam. To make their email seem even more credible, scammers use a spoofing technique by forging the sender's email address (in our example, they use the vginer@afdsola.com address). Some of these emails, however, are sent from a potentially hijacked Iraq Government Site (mail.cosqc.gov[.]iq). Scammers proliferate this spam campaign to trick people into installing Agent Tesla, a remote access tool (RAT).

Afdsola Email Virus

Cyber criminals present this email as a purchase/order. Recipients are asked to confirm the order (review the attached Official_Purchase Order.iso file) and send an invoice. In fact, the attached Official_Purchase Order.iso file contains an executable (.exe) file that, if launched, starts installation of the Agent Tesla RAT. Typically, software of this type is used to control computers remotely. The main feature available in Agent Tesla is keystroke logging. I.e., the program can be used to record key presses on the computer keyboard. Cyber criminals use this feature to steal confidential information such as, for example, credentials (logins and passwords) of various accounts, including emails, bank accounts, etc. The stolen accounts can be misused to make purchases, transactions, proliferate malware, and so on. To prevent problems (financial loss, issues with privacy, etc.) caused through this remote access tool, do not open the attachment included in this email scam. If this RAT is already installed, remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Afdsola email spam virus
Threat Type Remote Access Tool.
Hoax Scammers disguise this scam as a message relating to an order (purchase).
Attachment(s) Official_Purchase Order.iso
Detection Names ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Injector.Autoit.EKA), McAfee (Trojan-AitInject.aq), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/CryptInject.BI!MTB), TrendMicro (Mal_GENISO-4), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Remote access tools/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 Agent Tesla 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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More examples of scam campaigns that are used to trick people into installing unwanted or/and malicious software are "Pipeline Supplies & Services CO.WLL Email Virus", "Indofuels Email Virus", and "Transcoal Pacific Email Virus". Recipients cause unwanted installations only if they open attached files, or open files that are downloaded through included website links. Some examples of malicious programs that can be distributed through emails are Adwind, LokiBot, FormBook, and AZORult.

How did "Afdsola Email Virus" infect my computer?

To trick people into installing Agent Tesla, scammers attach a malicious .iso file named Official_Purchase Order.iso (its name might vary). This file contains an .exe (executable) file. If opened, the file infects computer with the aforementioned RAT, however, other scammers might attach other files such as Microsoft Office or PDF documents, JavaScript files, archives such as ZIP, RAR, and so on. In any case, none of the attachments can cause damage if recipients leave them unopened. Therefore, ignore these scams and do not open web links or files attached to the emails.

How to avoid installation of malware

If an email is irrelevant and/or sent from an unknown or suspicious address, do not open the file or web link included. Remember, the attached files or web links cannot cause any damage unless they are opened. Installed programs should be updated using tools or implemented functions that are designed/provided by official developers - third party tools might be designed to proliferate malware. If software is not free/requires paid activation, handle this properly. Unofficial activation tools that supposedly bypass activation of software are illegal and often proliferate and install malicious software. Files and programs should not be downloaded using Peer-to-Peer networks, from unofficial websites, through third party downloaders, and so on. Download sources of this kind can be used to distribute malicious files or programs. The safest way to download software is using official websites. Your computer is safer if there is a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware suite installed. Scan the system with this software regularly and remove detected threats. If you have already opened the "Afdsola Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

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

Subject: FW: Purchase Order – PO. 4029530
Attachment: Official_Purchase Order.iso

Greetings,

We received your quotation/offer  in July through my colleague.

Find attached herewith our Official purchase order (PO.4029530).

Kindly confirm receipt and return with order confirmation and proforma invoice.

We hope for a good partnership with you.

We can accept 50% prepayment for the order compared to the 100% required in your quotation.

Waiting for your kind reply.

Best regards,

hxxp://www.afdsola.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/AFS_RGB.png

Vicente Giner

Operations

A: EDIFICIO FAXFORM

Avda. Elche 183, Esc. B – 2ºD, 03008 Alicante, Spain

P: +34 965 103 807

M: +34 629 355 297

E: vginer@afdsola.com

W: www.afdsola.com

—————————

The content of this e-mail is confidential and intended solely for the use of the addressee. The text of this email (including any attachments) may contain information which is proprietary and or confidential or privileged in nature belonging to LOGUSS THE FASHION MANTRA and or its associates group companies subsidiaries . If you are not the addressee or the person responsible for delivering it to the addressee any disclosure copying distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it is prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this e-mail in error please notify the sender and remove this communication entirely from your system. The recipient acknowledges that no guarantee or any warranty is given as to completeness and accuracy of the content of the email. The recipient further acknowledges that the views contained in the email message are those of the sender and may not necessarily reflect those of LOGUSS THE FASHION MANTRA. Before opening and accessing the attachment please check and scan for virus. WARNING: Computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses. The company accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email.

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 - it is usually 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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