How to avod installation of Dridex via the C.H. Robinson malspam email
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is C.H. Robinson email virus?
One of the most popular ways to distribute malware is to send emails that contain malicious attachments or website links. Once opened, malicious attachments (or files downloaded via website links) install malicious software.
Typically, cyber criminals behind such emails claim to be from legitimate companies or organizations. Their emails are disguised as important, official, and encourage recipients to check the attachment (or website) immediately. This particular malspam campaign is used to distribute a banking Trojan called Dridex.
This email is disguised as a message from C. H. Robinson (a legitimate transport company) regarding adjustments and updates made in invoices that have been sent to a recipient prior to this email. It states that the adjusted invoices are attached to the email and should be reviewed to process the payment.
It also encourages adding the senders' email address as a trusted contact. The C.H. Robinson is a legitimate company that solves logistics problems for companies across the globe and has nothing to do with this malspam email. As mentioned, the file attached to this email ("INV9378971386.xlsm") is used to deliver the Dridex banking Trojan.
This malware logs keystrokes (records pressed keys) and is used mainly to steal online banking credentials (email addresses, usernames, passwords).
Additionally, Dridex is capable of performing 'injection attacks' to inject malware into the operating system and then execute remote commands, or to inject code into a specific program and modify its execution and behavior. Moreover, this malware is difficult to detect and is capable of evading anti-virus detections.
Note also that Dridex can steal email, social media, and other accounts.
In conclusion, users with Dridex installed on the operating system could become victims of identity theft, lose access to a number of personal accounts, suffer monetary loss, have problems with browsing safety, online privacy, and encounter other issues.
Therefore, avoid opening attachments (or website links) in these rogue emails.
|Name||C.H. Robinson spam|
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Hoax||Email from C.H. Robinson transport company|
|Attachment(s)||INV9378971386.xlsm (its name may vary)|
|Detection Names||Avast (SNH:Script [Dropper]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.45699623), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of VBA/TrojanDownloader.Agent.VMK), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.MSOffice.Agent.gen), Microsoft (TrojanDownloader:O97M/Dridex.ARJ!MTB), 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.|
|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.
More examples of malspam campaigns are "Zoho Email Virus", "Cobra Industrial Machines Email Virus" and "DHL Failed Delivery Notification Email Virus". Most emails of this type are crafted to look like important messages from legitimate organizations, companies or other entities, and contain a malicious attachment or website link. Typically, computers are safe until recipients download and open the malicious file.
More examples of malware that can be distributed in this way are Agent Tesla, Emotet, Ursnif, and LokiBot.
How did C.H. Robinson email virus infect my computer?
The file attached to this email is a malicious Microsoft Excel document named "INV9378971386.xlsm" (its name may vary). It installs Dridex malware after opening and enabling macros commands (after enabling editing/content).
In Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010, malware download/installation begins when an infectious document is opened, however, newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users are asked to enable macro commands (i.e., to enable editing/content) and hence infection processes can only be started by manually enabling macros.
How to avoid installation of malware
Do not trust irrelevant emails that have files attached (or contain website links) and are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Software should not be downloaded or installed through third party downloaders, installers, unofficial pages or other similar sources/tools.
Use only official websites and direct links. Installed software should never be updated or activated with third party, unofficial tools, since they can install malware. Furthermore, it is illegal to use third party tools to activate licensed software.
The only legitimate way to update and activate software is to use tools and functions that are provided by the official developers. Regularly scan your computer with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and keep this software up to date.
If you have already opened a "C.H. Robinson email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the C.H. Robinson malspam email:
Subject: Updated Invoice(s) with Adjustment
There was a rate adjustment for one or more invoices you previously received from C.H. Robinson. The adjusted invoices are attached for your review and payment processing.
If you have any questions about the adjustment, please contact your C.H. Robinson representative for assistance.
Customer Notice: Invoice related inquiries will soon come from CHRobinsonAR@chrobinson.com. Please add us to your trusted contacts.
14701 Charlson Road | Eden Prairie, MN 55347
This email was generated by C.H. Robinson Messaging.
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the sender of the e-mail. The sender of the e-mail accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email. (IP)
Malicious attachment distributed via C.H. Robinson malspam campaign:
Instant automatic malware removal:
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- What is C.H. Robinson 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.
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