Avoid infecting your device via fake "KROHNE" emails

Also Known As: Agent Tesla RAT
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"KROHNE email virus" removal guide

What is the fake "KROHNE" email?

"KROHNE email virus" refers to a malware-spreading spam campaign. This term defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of scam emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign are disguised as product purchase inquiries from the KROHNE company. This is the name of a legitimate industrial manufacturing/supplying company, mainly dealing in the fields of chemicals and petrochemicals, food and beverages, water and wastewater, oil and gas, power generation and distribution, shipping, papermaking, pharmaceuticals, and minerals and mining. The deceptive emails contain information copied straight from the official English-language version of KROHNE's website. The purpose of these scam letters is to infect recipients' devices with the Agent Tesla RAT (Remote Access Trojan).

KROHNE malware-spreading email spam campaign

The emails with the subject/title "KROHNE Group Inquiry" (may vary) state that the company in question is interested in purchasing unspecified products from the recipient. The letters claim to have a Microsoft Excel document attached to them, which allegedly contains item of interest list. Recipients are requested to review the attachment and provide pricing for the potential purchase. After these claims, the letters' structure follows thusly: the fake attachment, acceptable payment options available to the company, contact and other details about KROHNE (some of which is taken straight from the official site), and confidentiality/liability information.

The attachment in the scam emails is fake. The Excel icon is actually a download link of a virulent GZ archive file. This archive contains the malicious executable of Agent Tesla. Upon opening, it initiates the infection chain (i.e., download/installation) of the malware. Agent Tesla is a remote access trojan (RAT), and as such, it can enable remote access and control over an infected machine. These trojans can have a wide variety of heinous functionalities, which can be used to cause likewise varied problems. The primary functionality of Agent Tesla is data-theft. This RAT has keylogging abilities; hence, it can record key-strokes (i.e., typed information). Typically, keylogging is used to obtain sensitive/private information, like: account/service log-in credentials (i.e., IDs, usernames, and passwords), names, addresses, emails, banking account and credit card details, etc. The stolen information can then be used to hijack accounts, make fraudulent monetary transactions and online purchases, ask victims' contacts/friends for loans, spread malware (through compromised platforms), and so forth. To summarize, by trusting the "KROHNE" scam emails, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is suspected/known that Agent Tesla (or other malicious software) has already infected the device - an anti-virus must be used to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Agent Tesla RAT
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails are presented as product purchase inquiries.
Disguise Scam emails are disguised as mail from KROHNE Ltd.
Attachment(s) Quote_11_2021_ADC6.exe (filename may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKDZ.73073), ESET-NOD32 (MSIL/Spy.Agent.AES), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSIL.Taskun.gen), Microsoft (TrojanSpy:MSIL/AgentTesla.RKC!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.
Payload Agent Tesla
Rogue Process Name Farming Simulator 19. (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 Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available.

"Energias de Portugal (EDP) Email Virus", "Budapest Bank Email Virus", "Cobra Industrial Machines Email Virus", and "Ministero Dello Sviluppo Economico Email Virus" are some examples of other malware-proliferating spam campaigns. The letters distributed through these large-scale operations are usually presented as "official", "urgent", "important", and similar. Aside from spreading malicious programs (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.), spam campaigns are also used to facilitate phishing and various other scams. The sole purpose of deceptive/scam emails is to generate profit for the scammers/ cyber criminals behind them.

How did "KROHNE email virus" infect my computer?

Systems are infected via malicious files sent through spam campaigns. The emails contain download links of infectious files and/or the files are simply attached to the letters. Virulent files can be in a variety of formats, e.g., archives (RAR, ZIP, GZ, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, and so on. When these files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010, this process begins the moment a document is opened. Newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users are asked to enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands) and are alerted of the potential risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspect/Irrelevant emails must not be opened - especially any attachments or links present in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also proliferated through dubious 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 updates. Therefore, it is important to only download from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by genuine developers. To ensure device integrity and user privacy, it is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened "KROHNE email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the fake "KROHNE" email letter:

Subject: KROHNE Group Inquiry


KROHNE Group is interested in buying your products.
Attached via   is the list of the items we are sourcing for. If you can supply the listed item kindly send to us your best price.



Our payment term can only be a Bank Letter of credit, T/IT, Wire transfer and check.
Kind regards
Yew Foo


Phone: +49 - 40 - 603 290 00
Fax: +49 - 40 - 603 290 020
Internet: hxxps://www.krohne.com


KROHNE Messtechnik GmbH
Ludwig-Krohne-Str. 5
47058 Duisburg


KROHNE is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of solutions in industrial process instrumentation.


This e-mail and any attachments are confidential. If you are not the intended recipient fo this e-mail, please immediately delete its contents and notify us. This e-mails was checked for virus contamination before being sent - nevertheless, it is advisable to check for any contamination occuring during transmission. We cannot accept any liability for virus contamination.

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious file distributed via "KROHNE email virus" spam campaign ("Quote_11_2021_ADC6.exe"):

KROHNE email virus malicious attachment detections (Quote_11_2021_ADC6.exe - filename)

Screenshot of the malicious executable's process on Windows Task Manager ("Farming Simulator 19."):

KROHNE email virus malicious process (Farming Simulator 19. - process name)

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available.

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.

Click to post a comment

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.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Agent Tesla RAT 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 Agent Tesla RAT on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available.