What is the "TNT EXPRESS" email virus?
"TNT EXPRESS" is a spam campaign designed to spread the Agent Tesla RAT (Remote Access Trojan). The term "spam campaign" is used to define a mass-scale operation, during which thousands of scam emails are sent.
The deceptive messages distributed through this spam campaign are disguised as mail from TNT Express, a legitimate international courier service company and a subsidiary of the FedEx multinational delivery service giant. These fake "TNT EXPRESS" emails are in no way associated with the genuine TNT Express or FedEx.
The purpose of this spam mail is to proliferate malware. Agent Tesla is malicious software that operates by enabling remote access and control over infected systems. RATs can have a wide variety of dangerous capabilities that can cause likewise varied issues.
The deceptive emails (with subject/title "Consignment Notification: You Have A Package With Us", which may vary) sent through the "TNT EXPRESS" spam campaign inform recipients that their goods have been booked and delivered by "TNT Express". Recipients are instructed to review and address the attached documents to finalize this process.
They are alerted that this must be done within 15 days from the date of the shipment's arrival, otherwise it will be deemed abandoned. The supposed consignment has already spent eight days in-bond, and thus only seven days remain until its status changes to "abandoned".
Therefore, recipients must check the attached Waybill, a document issued by the carrier giving details and instructions relating to the shipment of a consignment of goods. The fake emails are allegedly signed by a "Clearance Support Agent".
The scam messages are concluded with statements concerning the email/attachment confidentiality, however, rather than containing the Waybill, the attached file ("Shipping Document PP&BL Draft.r00", which may vary) initiates the infected process/chain of Agent Tesla when opened.
As mentioned, this RAT allows cyber criminals to stealthily access and control compromised devices. The main purpose of Agent Tesla is to steal information.
Primarily, this Trojan uses keylogging (i.e. recording keystrokes) to obtain sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords of email, social networking, social media, messenger, data storage and transferring, e-commerce, online money transfers, digital wallet, cryptowallet, and banking accounts.
To summarize, trusting the fake "TNT EXPRESS" emails can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft.
|TNT EXPRESS spam
|Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
|Scam emails claim recipients must address the attached Waybill to prevent their shipment from being considered as abandoned.
|Shipping Document PP&BL Draft.r00 (filename may vary).
|Detection Names (Shipping Document PP&BL Draft.r00)
|DrWeb (Trojan.PWS.Stealer.24943), BitDefenderTheta ( Gen:NN.ZelphiF.34254.RGW@aGIDeMki), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Injector.ENKC), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Kryptik.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal).
|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.
|Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
|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.
"FedEx Invoice Ready", "PO Copy", "Atlas Home Products", "Talkline Communications" and "Swedish Energy Agency" are some examples of other malware-spreading spam campaigns. This mail can have a wide variety of disguises.
Scam emails are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent", "priority" and similar, and the messages may even be disguised as mail from legitimate companies and organizations, institutions, service providers and other entities. Deceptive emails are not used just to proliferate malicious programs, they are also used for phishing and other scams.
Regardless of what this mail claims, offers, requests or demands, the end-goal is always the same: to generate profit for the scammers/cyber criminals behind it. You are strongly advised to exercise caution with all received emails.
How did "TNT EXPRESS Email Virus" infect my computer?
When malicious files are executed, run or otherwise opened, the infection process/chain (i.e. malware download/installation) is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands.
In MS Office versions released before 2010, this process is initiated when a document is opened, however, newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents macros from being executed when the documents are opened.
In these later versions, users are asked explicitly to enable macro commands (i.e. to enable editing/content) and, therefore, the infection processes can only be started if macros are enabled manually.
How to avoid installation of malware
To avoid infecting the system with malware distributed via spam mail, you are strongly advised against opening suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, especially those with any attachments or links present in them. Additionally, you are advised to only use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010, however, malicious programs are not exclusively distributed via spam campaigns.
Malware is also proliferated through untrusted download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updaters.
Therefore, it is important to only download from official/verified sources, and activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To protect device integrity and user privacy, it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed.
This software must be kept updated, used to perform regular system scans and to remove detected threats and issues. If you have already opened "TNT EXPRESS Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "TNT EXPRESS" scam email message:
Subject: Consignment Notification: You Have A Package With Us
Your consignment have been booked via TNT EXPRESS is scheduled for delivery
A gentle follow up on requirement needed for us to start processing or your final instruction on this.
Appreciate your immediate response as shipment already 8 days in bond and 7 days left to file entry to avoid shipment abandonment
Note: Shipment not filled encrypt within 15 days from arrival date will be deemed as an abandoned shipment. Kindly view attached for Waybill information
With best regards,
Airene Jovellanos, Clearance Support Agent, Operations
This message and any attachment are confidential and may be privileged or otherwise protected from disclosure.
If you are not the intended recipient, please telephone or email the sender and delete this message and any attachment from your system.
If you are not the intended recipient you must not copy this message or attachment or disclose the contents to any other person.
Please consider the environmental impact before printing this document and its attachment(s).
Print black and white and double-sided where possible.
Appearance of the "TNT EXPRESS" scam email (GIF):
Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "TNT EXPRESS" spam campaign ("Shipping Document PP&BL Draft.r00"):
Another example of TNT EXPRESS spam email spreading Agent Tesla malware:
Text presented within:
Subject: Re: [Top Urgent] TNT Shipment Notification : Customer Delivery Document
We attach the original invoice issued today, and the link from which you can access the eInvoicing web application where you will find detailed information
about your bill.
If you have any questions related to the concepts of the bill, please contact your usual billing manager or number on the top left of your bill. For any
questions about the Web application, contact eInvoicing.es. This service is legally valid electronic invoicing, replacing paper invoices and is the preferred
method of billing TNT, also for his involvement with environmental improvement.
A cordial greeting,
This message and any attachment are confidential and may be privileged or otherwise protected from disclosure.If you are not the intended recipient, please
telephone or email the sender and delete this message and any attachment from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you must not copy this
message or attachment or disclose the contents to any other person. Please consider the environmental impact before printing this document and its
attachment(s).Print black and white and double-sided where possible.
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 TNT EXPRESS 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.