Avoid installation of the Kryptik trojan via "WeTransfer" emails

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

"WeTransfer" removal guide

What is "WeTransfer"?

"WeTransfer" is the title of a deceptive email designed to spread the Kryptik trojan. The email might also be used to spread other malicious programs. You are strongly advised against opening this message, and especially the links it contains, since this will trigger installation of the aforementioned malware infection.

WeTransfer email

The text presented in the "WeTransfer" email is brief and simply informs recipients that they have been sent a document concerning the unspecified company's profile and purchase/order details ("Our company profile as requested and Purchase Order.pdf"). The message has few details and does not play on people's emotions (e.g. using scare tactics), however, they risk being tricked into downloading the archived file within the message through confusion or curiosity. Cyber criminals often mention or use legitimate services for their malicious purposes. Both WeTransfer and ownCloud are genuine services (file transfer and hosting respectively), which are abused by the individuals behind this spam campaign. At the time of research, the link in the "WeTransfer" email opened an ownCloud web page, from which the file containing Kryptik trojan could be downloaded. This is high-risk malware with a wide range of capabilities, including (but not limited to) system and browser modification, control over connected hardware and data exfiltration. To summarize, Kryptik is likely to cause serious privacy issues, significant financial loss and even identity theft. To protect device and user safety, it is crucial to eliminate all malicious programs without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name WeTransfer email spam virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Email claims recipients have been sent company and purchase details as per their request.
Attachment(s) Download link of "Our company profile as requested and Purchase Order_PDF.cab" (malicious executable inside)
Detection Names
Avast (Win32:TrojanX-gen [Trj]), Fortinet (MSIL/Kryptik.UGA!tr), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.UGA), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Dropper.Win32.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 Kryptik
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
Damage Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, the 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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

Social engineering and scare tactics are usually employed to further deceptive/scam emails. These messages are typically disguised as "official", "important", "priority", "urgent" and so on. The subject matter varies drastically: the written content can be well-researched and detailed, or sloppy and hastily put together. Therefore, emails riddled with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, and other inconsistencies, should call the legitimacy of the message immediately into question. The only purpose of this deceptive email is to generate revenue at users' expense. This is achieved via malware infections, which trick recipients into revealing their personal details (e.g. information relating to identity, banking account or credit card details, etc.) or making monetary transactions (e.g. blackmailing people for existing or nonexistent compromising material, various fake fees or payments, etc.), and via the use of many other scamming techniques. Systems are infected through attachments or links leading to download of the file. "Your computer hacked!", "Christmas Party Email", and "HARASSMENT COMPLAINT" are some examples of emails used to proliferate malware. The Kryptik malicious software is spread through the "WeTransfer" email spam campaign and shares similarities with EmotetTrickBotAdwind and countless other trojans.

How did "WeTransfer" infect my computer?

Deceptive/Scam mail infects systems via dangerous files, which can be attached to, or linked within, the message. Links are employed for the "WeTransfer" email. Infectious files come in a variety of formats including archive (CAB, ZIP, RAR, etc.) and executable (.exe, .run, .etc.) files, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript and others. When these files are executed, run or otherwise opened, the infection processes is initiated and they begin downloading/installing malware. For example, upon opening, Microsoft Office documents request users to enable macro commands (i.e., to enable editing). Enabling them can trigger an infection, however, in MS Office versions released prior to 2010, macros are enabled automatically once the document is opened.

How to avoid installation of malware

Suspect and/or irrelevant emails should not be opened, especially if received from unknown senders (addresses). Also do not open any attached files or links found in suspicious messages, as they are the potential origin of an infection. You are strongly advised to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. The newer releases have "Protected View" mode, which prevents malicious macros from immediately initiating the infection process when the document is opened. Malicious content is often downloaded from untrusted download channels such as unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders. Therefore, use only official and verified download sources. Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters can also cause infections. Therefore, programs should be activated and updated only with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To ensure device integrity and user safety, have reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware software installed and kept up to date. Furthermore, use this software for regular system scans and removal of detected threats/issues. If you have already opened the file downloaded from the website accessed via "WeTransfer" email, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "WeTransfer" email message:

Click 'Download images' to view images
********
sent you some documents PDF
2 item, 768 KB in total ・ Will be deleted on 30 October, 2019
Our company profile as requested and Purchase Order.pdf

Get your files
Download link
hxxps://kingsdoggy.blaucloud.de/index.php/s/*****
2 items
Company profile.pdf
Purchase Order.pdf
700 KB
To make sure our emails arrive, please add noreply@wetransfer.com to your contacts.
About WeTransfer ・ Help ・ Legal ・ Report this transfer as spam

Screenshot of the website opened via a link in the "WeTransfer" email:

Site linked in WeTransfer email

Screenshot of detections on the malware database VirusTotal of "Our company profile as requested and Purchase Order_PDF.cab" (archived file containing the Kryptik's executable):

Detections of file downloaded from the website of WeTransfer email (VirusTotal)

Another variant of "WeTransfer" spam email:

WeTransfer email spam campaign (February 13, 2020)

Text presented within this email:

Subject: You have successfully received files Via Wetransfer

 
files sent to
*****
6 files, 120 MB in total · Will be deleted on&n=sp;0th Feb, 2020
Download files here

Thanks for using WeTransfer. We'll email you a confirmation as soon=as your files have been downloaded.
 
Download link
hxxps://loxley-th.com/*****

Message
Hi - please download files here. Thx.


To make sure our emails arrive, please add noreply@wetransfer.com to your contacts.

Screenshot of the website promoted via this email:

Website promoted using WeTransfer email spam campaign (February 13, 2020)

Text presented within this site:

Help About Sign up Log in


Ready when you are

Files deleted in 7 days

 

Hi, regarding my earlier mail. These are the documents,Invoices and materials...

 

Agreement.pdf
40 MB - pdf


Materials.zip
23 MB - zip


Mov Intro.mp4
76 MB - mp4

 

Download

Another example of WeTransfer phishing spam campaign (the text contains "Get your files" text, which is actually a link leading to malicious websites):

WeTranser phishing spam campaign

Text presented within this email:

Click 'Download images' to view images
****
You have received files via WeTransfer
5 item, 40.5 MB in total · Will be deleted on 19th March, 2020
Get your files

1 item
0866_001.pdf
15.5 KB
To make sure our emails arrive, please add noreply@wetransfer.com to your contacts.
About WeTransfer · Help · Legal · Report this transfer as spam

Screenshot of the phishing email:

Phishing website promoted via WeTransfer spam emails

Yet another variant of WeTransfer spam email:

WeTransfer spam email (2020-06-09)

Text presented within:

Subject: WeTransfer

Click 'Download images' to view images

 
*******
sent you some files
4 items, 702 KB in total ・ Will be deleted on 7 JUNE, 2020
Get your files
 
Recipients
*******
Download link
1 File
 
PAYMENT PLAN INV -2020 JUNE
BL + PL AND TELEX RELEASE
700 kB
To make sure our emails arrive, please add noreply@wetransfer.com to your contacts.
Get more out of WeTransfer, get Pro
About WeTransfer   ・   Help   ・   Legal   ・   Report this transfer as spam

Another WeTransfer-themed spam email promoting a phishing site:

WeTransfer-themed spam email (2020-06-29)

Text presented within:

Click 'Download images' to view images

-
sent you some files
2 file, 803 KB in total · Will be deleted on 24th June, 2020
Get your files
 
Download link
-
2 file
Documents 23-06-20.Docx
To make sure our emails arrive, please add  noreply@wetransfer.com  to  your contacts.
About WeTransfer · Help · Legal · Report this transfer as spam

Appearance of the promoted site - larkspurandtea[.]com (GIF):

WeTransfer-themed phishing site - larkspurandtea.com

Another example of a WeTransfer-themed spam email used for phishing purposes:

WeTransfer-themed phishing email (2020-07-08)

Text presented within:

Subject: sales-dept@mtekmarine.com: sent you files via WeTransfer
 
Click 'Download images' to view images

 
sales-dept@mtekmarine.com
sent you some files
2 items, 700 KB in total ・ Will be deleted on 10 JULY, 2020
Get your files
Dear -,

We request quotes for the attached requisition from M-TEK MARINE TRADING LTD. give us the best.

Best Regards,

Nyein Su Mon

Sales Department


M-TEK MARINE TRADING LTD.
Tel. +66 038 401309-310
Fax. +66 038 401977
8 Sunview Road
#06-45 Eco-Tech@Sunview
Singapore 628815
Email: sales-dept@mtekmarine.com

 
Recipients
s.barasheed@rcservice.lt
Download Document
2 Files

 
RFQ_SMK 001 -2020 JUN & RFQ_SMK 002 -2020 JUN
700 kB
To make sure our emails arrive, please add noreply@wetransfer.com to your contacts.
Get more out of WeTransfer, get Pro
About WeTransfer   ・   Help   ・   Legal   ・   Report this transfer as spam

Phishing website promoted via this email:

Phishing site promoted via WeTransfer-themed spam emails

Yet another WeTransfer-themed spam email promoting a link to download a .zip archive containing a malicious executable:

WeTransfer-themed spam email promoting malicious files (2020-11-18)

Text presented within:

Subject: Files where sent to you via WeTransfer (**********)

 

**********
You have received new files Via WeTransfer
2 file, 2.4 MB in total ・ Will be deleted deleted in 7 days

PASSWORD FOR DOCUMENTS: 12345600

Get your File

Download link

2 file
List of Items.pdf
Specifications.pdf

To make sure our emails arrive, please add noreply@wetransfer.com   to your contacts.

About WeTransfer ・ Help ・ Legal ・ Report this transfer as spam

Screenshot of the download website the aforementioned link leads to:

Malware download website promoted via WeTransfer-themed spam emails

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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Quick menu:

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 1Download 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 "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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