Do not open attachment in the COELECSA malspam campaign

Also Known As: Remcos RAT
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"COELECSA Email Virus" removal guide

What is "COELECSA Email Virus"?

Typically, malspam contains infected (malicious) attachments or website links. Cyber criminals behind malicious spam campaigns attempt to deceive recipients into believing that an email is legitimate and execute a malicious file designed to install some malware. This particular malspam is used to trick users into installing Remcos, a remote administration tool (RAT) on their computers through a malicious Microsoft Excel document.

COELECSA Email Virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

This malspam is disguised as a letter from COELECSA regarding some order that 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 would allow for it to install Remcos RAT - a tool which is designed to control and monitor computers that have it installed on them. In most cases criminals use software of this type to take screenshots, access microphone, 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. It means that users who get tricked into installing Remcos or other RAT on a computer may become victims of identity theft, have their computers infected with a variety of malicious programs (e.g., ransomware, Trojans, cryptocurrency miners), suffer monetary loss, experience problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, and other serious issues. Therefore, attachments (and/or website links) in emails like this one must not be opened.

Threat Summary:
Name Remcos RAT
Threat Type Remote Administration Tool
Hoax This malspam is disguised as a letter regarding some 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.
Payload Remcos RAT
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.

"Ptt Email Virus", "ABB Email Virus", "Deutsche Bank Email Virus" are a couple of examples of other malspam campaigns that cyber criminals use with a purpose to trick recipients into installing malicious software on their computers. As a rule, malware gets installed through malicious attachments of malicious files that recipients download via included website links. Examples of malicious programs that cyber criminals attempt to proliferate to his way are AgentTesla, Taurus, TrickBot and NetWire.

How did "COELECSA Email Virus" infect my computer?

For Remcos to be installed on a computer through this malspam campaign recipients have to open the attached malicious MS Excel file and enable editing (macros commands) in it. It cannot be installed if the document is left unopened. It is worthwhile to mention that malicious documents do not need to get a permission to enable macros commands if they are opened with Microsoft Office versions that were released before year 2010 - the aforementioned versions do not include the "Protected View" mode and install malware automatically. Some more examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are malicious JavaScript files, executable files like .exe, other Microsoft Office documents (e.g., Word), PDF documents, archive files like ZIP, RAR.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Users can avoid installation of malware by leaving files (and website links) that are attached to/included in irrelevant emails unopened. It is worthwhile to mention that cyber criminals often disguise such emails as important, official, sent from legitimate companies, etc. Furthermore, it is important not to download software from unofficial websites, through Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, from freeware download pages, free file hosting sites, etc. Such 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. Another way to avoid unwanted installations is to update and/or activate installed software with tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers, and not some other, third party updaters or activators. It is common that unofficial activators, updaters are designed to infect computers with malicious software. Besides, unofficial activators ('cracking' tools) are not legal. One more important thing is to regularly scan a computer with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and always keep it up to date. If you've already opened "COELECSA Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "COELECSA Email Virus" email letter:

Subject: New Order ECANDES - August

 

Bună,

 

Pot să vă rog un preț pentru cusca exterioară din atașat, este posibil să avem nevoie

aproximativ 120.

 

Best Regards,

 

Md. Noor Nobe Haque.

 

Commercial Dept (Export & import)

 

RIVERSIDE PROJECTS


COELESCA CO Ltd.

 

House No. 14, Road No. 04, Sector No. 03, Uttara, Dhaka - 1230, Bangladesh.

 

Phone: +88 02 8568932

 

E-mail: sales@riversideprojects.com.au

 

Web: riversideprojects.com.au

 

Skype: noor.nobble3

Malicious attachment distributed via "COELECSA Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through COELECSA Email Virus spam campaign

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 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.

QR Code
Remcos RAT QR code
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