"Coca Cola" email virus removal guide
What is the "Coca Cola" scam email?
"Coca Cola email virus" refers to a spam campaign proliferating the GuLoader malware. The term "spam campaign" define a mass-scale operation during which thousands of scam emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign are disguised as RFPs (Request for proposal) from Coca Cola. It must be emphasized that these emails are in no way associated with The Coca-Cola Company. The scam letters have infectious files attached to them, which contain GuLoader malware. This malicious program is designed to infect systems with additional malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.).
The "Coca Cola email virus" scam letters are presented as non-binding RFPs. Request for proposal (RFP) is a document requesting submission of a proposition concerning procurement of product, commodity, service, or other assets - issued to potential suppliers by an interested entity. The deceptive emails stress that the RFP is not to be taken as binding. The letters are supposedly geared towards gathering information about services/supplies available within estimated price ranges. Recipients are given deadlines to review and submit their offers. However, the attachments do not contain the information that is stated in the scam emails. Instead, opening the files triggers the download/installation of GuLoader.
As mentioned in the introduction, GuLoader can infect devices with a wide variety of malware. It has been observed infecting systems with various RATs (Remote Access Trojans) and stealer-type malware. RATs operate by stealthily enabling remote access and control over the infected machine. These trojans can have especially varied abilities; they may have control over the device's hardware, software, content stored and accessed through the infected computer. Common functionalities of RATs include (but are not limited to): extracting system/user information, downloading stored content (e.g., files), taking screenshots, recording/streaming video and audio via webcams and microphones, infiltrating/executing malicious files (i.e., causing chain infections), recording keystrokes (keylogging), and so on.
The primary purpose of stealer malicious programs is obtaining confidential/private data from browsers and other applications. Data of interest include: browsing/ search engine histories, Internet cookies, personally identifiable information (e.g., names, surnames, addresses, etc.), account log-in credentials (e.g., IDs, usernames, and passwords). However, it is possible that GuLoader can download/install other types of malware. Ransomware operates by encrypting data and/or locking the device's screen - in order to demand payment for decryption/ access recovery. Cryptominers use system resources (possibly to the point of causing permanent damage) to mine cryptocurrency. To summarize, by trusting the "Coca Cola email virus" scam letters, users can experience system infections, data/device damage, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is suspected that GuLoader (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus must be used to remove it immediately.
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Hoax||Scam emails are presented as RFPs (Request for proposal) from Coca Cola|
|Attachment(s)||EXTERNAL RFP - PAN India Epoxy PU - 2021.exe|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.36292976), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Injector.EOKN), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win64.Agent.qwhwav), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Casdet!rfn), 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.|
|Rogue Process Name||StatusClear (process name may vary)|
|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.
"Enel Email Virus", "METZA Email Virus", "Cobra Industrial Machines", and "Payment Schedule" are some examples of other malware-spreading spam campaigns. The scam emails are usually disguised as "official", "important", "urgent", "priority", and similar. These letters are not used exclusively to proliferate malicious software. They are also employed to facilitate phishing and various other scams. Due to spam mail's relative prevalence, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.
How did "Coca Cola email virus" infect my computer?
How to avoid installation of malware?
Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails must not be opened - especially any attachments or links found in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malware is spread via 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 important to only use official/verified download sources and active/update software with tools provided by legitimate developers. It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This software is to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats. If you've already opened "Coca Cola email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Coca Cola email virus" letter:
Subject: RE: EXTERNAL RFP - PAN India Epoxy / PU - 2021
It is our pleasure to invite you to participate in our RFP process for this Service .RFP documents are enclosed for your reference.
This RFP is being sought strictly for the purpose of gaining information of services and supplies available with an estimate of their corresponding costs and should not be construed as intent, commitment, or promise to acquire services, supplies, or solution offered.
Post this RFP we will have detailed presentation with shortlisted service providers through Video Conference.
Request you go through the attached details & embedded file for necessary inputs/Offer.
We welcome you to accept our invitation & respond submissively to this RFP by or before 5PM on 10th Febuary 2021.
RFP Release Date 03.02.2021
Question/Enquiry Submission Deadline 04.04.2021
Proposal Submission Deadline 10.02.2021 by 5 PM
One Year from the date of Contract
Procurement – Business Shared Service
Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited
Brigade Magnum | B-Wing | 7th , 8th & 9th Floor
Bellary Road | Kodigehalli Gate | Amruthahalli | Bangalore – 560092.
(080 39607200 | ) Extn: 7209 | (+91 7389939651
* firstname.lastname@example.org | Web- www.hccb.in
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE This message is intended for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is confidential, privileged and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any printing, copying, dissemination, distribution, disclosure or forwarding of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please contact the sender immediately and delete it from your system. Thank You.
Appearance of the "Coca Cola" scam email (GIF):
Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "Coca Cola email virus" spam campaign ("EXTERNAL RFP - PAN India Epoxy PU - 2021.exe"):
Screenshot of the malicious executable's process on Windows Task Manager ("StatusClear"):
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:
- What is "Coca Cola email virus"?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of GuLoader malware.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
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:
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:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart 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.
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.
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In 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.
Check 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".
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.
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.