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How to avoid installation of Remcos via FedEx Freight malspam emails

Also Known As: Remcos RAT

What is FedEx Freight email virus?

Malspam emails are messages that cyber criminals send to deliver malware. Typically, the emails are disguised as official messages from legitimate companies and organizations and contain a malicious attachment or download link for a malicious file. Recipients who open files downloaded via such emails often infect their computers with malware.

This particular email is disguised as a message from FedEx and used to deliver a Remote Administration Tool (RAT) called Remcos.

FedEx Freight email virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

This email is disguised as a message regarding an arrival notice/freight invoice. The main purpose of this email is to trick recipients into believing that it contains shipping documents and into opening the attached file.

The file attached to this email is an IMG file named "FedEX Detail.img" (its name might vary), which contains a malicious executable (EXE) file called "fedex detail.exe" (its name might also vary). This executable file installs the Remcos RAT, a legitimate Remote Administration Tool, however, cyber criminals often use such tools for malicious purposes. A RAT allows users to remotely control computers that have the program installed.

Typically, cyber criminals use RATs to infect computers with malware. For example, ransomware, Trojan-type malware, and cryptocurrency miners.

They use RATs to steal personal information such as credit card details, login credentials, and other data that could be misused to steal identities and accounts, to make fraudulent purchases and transactions, and for other malicious purposes.

Note that RATs are often capable of recording the screen, taking screenshots, and recording microphone input.

If Remcos or other RATs were installed on the operating system without your knowledge, remove them immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Remcos RAT
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Shipment arrival notice from FedEx.
Attachment(s) FedEX Detail.img (its name might vary).
Detection Names Avast (Win32:RATX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Midie.77314), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Kryptik.HHZP), Kaspersky (HEUR:Backdoor.Win32.Remcos.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Woreflint.A!cl), 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
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.
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"iPhone 12 Email Virus", "VodaFone Email Virus" and "Inditron Enterprises Email Virus" are some of examples of other malspam campaigns that are used to deliver malware. As mentioned, in most cases, these emails are disguised as messages from existing, legitimate companies, however, none have anything to do with these emails.

Examples of malware that is also distributed via malspam include Agent Tesla, Dridex, Ursnif and TrickBot.

How did FedEx Freight email virus infect my computer?

Installation of the Remcos RAT occurs when recipients download the malicious IMG file ("FedEX Detail.img") and open the malicious EXE file ("fedex detail.exe"). As mentioned, the names of these malicious files can differ in other emails from the same malspam campaign.

Typically, cyber criminals behind malspam campaigns send emails with a file attached to them or a download link to the malicious file. Their main goal is to trick recipients into opening/executing the rogue file, which then installs malicious software.

Some examples of files that cyber criminals send via email are Microsoft Office and PDF documents, executables (.exe), JavaScript, and archives (ZIP, RAR).

Note that malicious documents that are opened with Microsoft Office 2010 or newer versions install malicious software only if users enable macros commands (enable editing/content). These versions include "Protected View" mode, which does not allow opened malicious documents to install malware automatically. Older versions do not include this feature and install malicious software without asking permission.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid malware spread via spam mail, you are strongly advised against opening suspicious or irrelevant emails, especially those with any attachments or links present within them.

Additionally, use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Malicious programs also proliferate through untrusted download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updaters.

Therefore, only download from official/verified sources and activate and update software with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers.

To ensure device integrity and user privacy, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. Furthermore, use these programs to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats.

If you have already opened "FedEx Freight email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the FedEx Freight malspam email:

Subject: Shipping Arrival Notice

Hello customer,
Please find the shipping documents for your current port in the attachment.
Shipping customers suggest that we contact you ******** for information about the upcoming shipment.
The estimated arrival time of the goods is also included in the attachment.
Thank you for choosing FedEx Freight.
Do not reply to this message as any reply sent cannot be received.
Best Regards
FedEx Redstar Express

Malicious executable detected as a threat by multiple detection engines on Virustotal:

fedex freight email virus virustotal detections list

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:
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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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

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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.

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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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