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Do not open the "Spring Marine Management S.A." scam email attachment

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

"Spring Marine Management S.A. email virus" removal guide

What is the "Spring Marine Management S.A." scam email?

"Spring Marine Management S.A. email virus" refers to a spam campaign designed to spread malware. The term defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign - are disguised as product quotation requests from the "Spring Marine Management". This name belongs to a legitimate company, which is no way associated with these scam emails. Upon opening, the file attached to the letters - initiates download/installation of the Agent Tesla Remote Access Trojan (RAT).

Spring Marine Management S.A. malware-spreading email spam campaign

The fake "Spring Marine Management S.A." emails (subject/title "QUOTATION: SAM-S210118A, VENDOR: SUPPLIER"; may vary) request recipients to review the requisition and quote the best prices and availability. The letters are concluded with confidentiality alerts. Instead of containing the stated information, the attached gzip archive contains a virulent executable file. When the latter is opened - Agent Tesla trojan's infection chain (i.e., download/installation) is jumpstarted.

Remote Access Trojans (RATs) enable remote access and control over an infected device. This malware can have a wide variety of heinous functions. The primary functionality of Agent Tesla is data theft. This RAT has keylogging abilities, i.e., it can record keystrokes. This malicious program has other features as well, though which - depends on its variant. To elaborate, Agent Tesla can extract information from various browsers and other installed applications. It targets VPN (Virtual Private Network) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) clients, emails, messengers, and download managers. Information of interest includes (but is not limited to): account log-in credentials (i.e., IDs, usernames, and passwords), browsing data (e.g., visited URLs, searched queries, Internet cookies, etc.), Wi-Fi credentials, personally identifiable details, financial information (e.g., credit card numbers), and so on. Some versions of this malicious program can also disable certain system features to prevent them from being used (e.g., Windows Task Manager, Command Prompt, Control Panel, Windows User Account Controls, etc.). To summarize, by trusting the "Spring Marine Management S.A." scam emails, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is known or suspected that Agent Tesla (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus must be used to remove it without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Agent Tesla RAT
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails are presented as product quotation requests from Spring Marine Management S.A.
Attachment(s) QUOTATION: SAM-S210118A_XLS.GZ containing QUOTATION: SAM-S210118A_XLS.exe (filenames may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), BitDefenderTheta (Gen:NN.ZemsilF.34684.8m0@aOqvjYk), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.AAQT), Fortinet (Malicious_Behavior.SB), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/AgentTesla!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 Agent Tesla
Rogue Process Name DadCam (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.
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"SALAMA Email Virus", "Romanian Post Email Virus", "Customer Complaint Report", "Socar Email Virus", and "International Air & Sea Freight Forwarder" are some examples of malware-proliferating spam campaigns. The deceptive emails are usually presented as "urgent", "important", "priority", and similar; they are often disguised as mail from legitimate companies, corporations, institutions, organizations, authorities, and other entities. These letters are also used for phishing and different scams. Due to the relative prevalence of spam mail, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How did "Spring Marine Management S.A. email virus" infect my computer?

Systems are infected via malicious files distributed through spam campaigns. The files can be attached to the emails, and/or the letters can contain download links of such content. Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., archives (GZ, RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, and so forth. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process/chain is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process starts the moment a document is opened - in Microsoft Office versions released before 2010. 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 warned of the potential risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the system via spam mail, it is advised against opening suspicious and irrelevant emails - 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 distributed through dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to always download from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened "Spring Marine Management S.A. email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Spring Marine Management S.A." scam email letter:

Subject: QUOTATION: SAM-S210118A, VENDOR: SUPPLIER

 

Dear Sirs,
 
Please quote with your best prices for the attached requisition and advise availability ex Netherlands.

 

Best regards,

 

George Chalaris

 

Purchasing Department

 

Spring Marine Management S.A.

 

(as managers only)

 

6, Agias Kiriakis Street Paleo Faliro , 17564 Greece

 

M +30 6977479346

 

T +30 210 411 7476  Ext : 162  | F  +30 210 412 8791  

 

E purchasing@springmarine.com |W   www.springmarine.com

 

Emergency Number +30 214 4000 159

 

IMPORTANT: The contents of this email and any attachments are confidential. They are intended for the named recipient(s) only. If you have received this email by mistake, please notify the sender immediately and do not disclose the contents to anyone or make copies thereof.

 

For GDPR purposes: Unless you advise otherwise, we take you give your consent for receiving our emails as a member of this emailing group.

 

Q Act for the environmental protection. Do not print this mail if it is not essential.

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "Spring Marine Management S.A." spam campaign ("QUOTATION: SAM-S210118A_XLS.exe" filename):

Spring Marine Management S.A. scam email attachment detections (QUOTATION: SAM-S210118A_XLS.exe)

Screenshot of the malicious executable's process on Windows Task Manager ("DadCam" process name):

Spring Marine Management S.A. email virus process on Task Manager (DadCam 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:
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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 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.

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.

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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
Agent Tesla RAT QR code
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