Do not open attachments from the COELECSA malspam campaign
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is "COELECSA Email Virus"?
Typically, malspam contains infected (malicious) attachments or website links. Cyber criminals behind these malicious spam campaigns attempt to deceive recipients into believing that an email is legitimate and executing a malicious file designed to install malware.
This particular malspam campaign is used to trick users into installing Remcos, a remote administration tool (RAT) onto their computers through a malicious Microsoft Excel document.
This malspam is disguised as a message from COELECSA regarding an order, which recipients are asked to review by opening the attached "Noua commandD_ECANDES - August.xlsm" Excel document (its name may vary).
By enabling content (macros commands) in this malicious document, recipients will allow it to install the Remcos RAT, a tool which controls and monitors computers that have it installed.
In most cases, criminals use software of this type to take screenshots, access the microphone and webcam, download and execute malicious files designed to install malware or other unwanted software, log keystrokes, steal login credentials (e.g., usernames, email addresses, passwords) and other sensitive information.
Therefore, users who are tricked into installing Remcos or other RATs might become victims of identity theft, have their computers infected with various malicious programs (e.g., ransomware, Trojans, cryptocurrency miners), suffer monetary loss, experience problems relating to online privacy, browsing safety, and other serious issues.
Therefore, never open attachments or website links in this type of email.
|Threat Type||Remote Administration Tool|
|Hoax||This malspam is disguised as a message regarding an order.|
|Attachment(s)||Noua commandD_ECANDES - August.xlsm (its name may vary).|
|Detection Names||Arcabit (Trojan.Generic.D20BF8DB), BitDefender (Trojan.Agent.EUUI), ESET-NOD32 (VBA/TrojanDownloader.Agent.UAV), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSOffice.SAgent.gen), 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.|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
"Ptt Email Virus", "ABB Email Virus", "Deutsche Bank Email Virus" are some of examples of other malspam campaigns that cyber criminals use to trick recipients into installing malicious software onto their computers. Generally, malware is installed through malicious attachments or files that recipients download via included website links.
Examples of malicious programs that cyber criminals attempt proliferate in this way are AgentTesla, Taurus, TrickBot and NetWire.
How did "COELECSA Email Virus" infect my computer?
For Remcos to be installed on computers through this malspam campaign, recipients must open the attached MS Excel file and enable editing (macros commands) within it.
It cannot be installed if the document remains unopened. Note that malicious documents do not need permission to enable macros commands if they are opened with Microsoft Office versions that were released before 2010 - these versions do not include "Protected View" mode and install malware automatically.
How to avoid installation of malware
Leave files and website links that are attached to/included in irrelevant emails unopened. Note that cyber criminals often disguise such emails as important, official, sent from legitimate companies, etc.
Furthermore, do not download software from unofficial websites, through Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, from freeware download pages, free file hosting sites, etc. These channels/sources can be used by cyber criminals who seek to proliferate malware.
All files and programs should be downloaded only from official pages and through direct links. Update and activate installed software with tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers. Avoid other, third party unofficial updaters or activators, since they can infect computers with malicious software.
Furthermore, unofficial activators ('cracking' tools) are illegal. Regularly scan your computer with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and keep it up to date. If you have already opened "COELECSA Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "COELECSA Email Virus" email message:
Subject: New Order ECANDES - August
Pot să vă rog un preț pentru cusca exterioară din atașat, este posibil să avem nevoie
Md. Noor Nobe Haque.
Commercial Dept (Export & import)
COELESCA CO Ltd.
House No. 14, Road No. 04, Sector No. 03, Uttara, Dhaka - 1230, Bangladesh.
Phone: +88 02 8568932
Malicious attachment distributed via "COELECSA Email Virus" spam campaign:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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 COELECSA 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.
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