Avoid infecting your system through "Tienes una multa pendiente" email

Also Known As: Mekotio virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Tienes una multa pendiente" email virus removal guide

What is the "Tienes una multa pendiente" email?

"Tienes una multa pendiente" refers an email spam campaign, designed to proliferate the Mekotio trojan. The term "spam campaign" is used to define a large-scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent. This Spanish-language spam campaign distributes letters claiming that recipients have a fine pending payment. It must be emphasized that none of the information provided by the "Tienes una multa pendiente" scam emails - is true. The link present in these letters - upon opening - initiates the infection process of Mekotio malware.

Tienes una multa pendiente malware-spreading email spam campaign

According to a rough translation, the "Tienes una multa pendiente" scam emails (title/subject "Multa no pagada - [ id 749145992 ]"; may vary) inform recipients that they have a fine that needs to be paid. It is specified as a traffic fine addressed to the recipient / their vehicle. To learn more about the fine, the letters instruct to follow the provided link. Once clicked on, it downloads several files. Amongst the downloaded content is a .LNK (shortcut, "link") file, which is designed to connect to a remote server and download/install the Mekotio malicious program.

Mekotio is classified as a banking trojan. As its classification implies, this malware primarily targets information relating to banking. Data of interest includes: log-in credentials (i.e. IDs, usernames and passwords) of banking, digital wallet, online money transferring, e-commerce, and other accounts that deal with financial information; bank account numbers; credit card details, etc. The stolen information can then be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases. To summarize, by trusting the "Tienes una multa pendiente" scam emails, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses and identity theft. If it is suspected/known that the Mekotio trojan (or other malware) has already infected the device - an anti-virus must be used to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Mekotio virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails claim recipients have an unpaid fine.
Detection Names Avast (Win64:Trojan-gen), McAfee (Artemis!B4B6F3A6250E), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win64/Spy.Mekotio.O), Kaspersky (Backdoor.Win32.Agent.mytyom), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.B!ml), 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 Mekotio
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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"Advance Payment Received", "BRT Email Virus", "DHL Failed Delivery Notification" and "Bill Of Lading" are a few examples of other malware-spreading spam campaigns. The deceptive/scam emails are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent" and similar. Aside from proliferation of malicious software, spam campaigns are also used for phishing and other scams. Due to the relative prevalence of spam mail, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How did "Tienes una multa pendiente Email Virus" infect my computer?

Systems are infected through malicious files distributed via spam campaigns. The files can be attached to the emails and/or the letters contain download links of such content. Infectious files can be in various formats, e.g. executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, and so forth. When these files are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection process (i.e. malware download/installation) is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released before 2010 - this process begins automatically when a document is opened. Newer versions have "Protected View" mode; hence, users are asked to enable macros (i.e. to enable editing/content).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails must not be opened - especially, any links or attachments found in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Other common malware distribution techniques include: untrustworthy download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation ("cracking") tools and fake updaters. Therefore, it is advised to always download from official and verified sources, as well as activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To protect device integrity and user privacy, it is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. This software is to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If you've already opened "Tienes una multa pendiente Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Tienes una multa pendiente" scam email letter:

Subject: Multa no pagada - [ id 749145992  ]

 

SALUDOS CORDIALES

    
Tienes una multa pendiente

Se ha identificado en nuestro sistema una multa de trafico no pagada
dirigida a usted o su vehiculo.

Para ver la notificacion
Visite:
________________________________________
 
Atencion:
Para ver la notificación, abra en un sistema (Windows).

Copyright DGT 2020. Todos los derechos reservados.
Version V5.1.0.7


22/01/2021 04:09:58

Screenshot of files downloaded by the link presented in "Tienes una multa pendiente" scam emails:

Tienes una multa pendiente email virus downloaded files

Screenshot of the downloaded .LNK file's target:

Tienes una multa pendiente email virus .LNK file target

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.

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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.

QR Code
Mekotio virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Mekotio virus on your mobile device.
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