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Do not trust the "NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT" malicious email

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

"NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT email virus" removal guide

What is the "NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT" scam email?

"NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT" is the name of a malware-proliferating spam campaign. This term defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign - address the recipient as a supplier/ service provider and request them to review their account and payment statements. However, instead of containing this documentation, the email attachment is designed to infect systems with the NanoCore RAT (Remote Access Trojan) - upon opening. Malware within this classification operates by enabling remote access and control over compromised machines. These trojans can have a wide variety of heinous functionalities, which pose a broad range of serious threats.

NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT malware-spreading email spam campaign

The scam emails with the subject/title "NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT / PAYMENT PURPOSES" (may vary) request their suppliers/ service providers (the recipients) to review the attached statement of account and payments. According to the deceptive letters, this information must be reviewed before the senders' fake company's audit. During the audit, the company will be closed, and new invoices/billings will not be accepted, nor will past payment errors be addressed. However, once the fake statement is opened - this virulent file starts NanoCore RAT's download/installation.

Remote access trojans enable cyber criminals to access and control their victims' devices. These malicious programs can control hardware and software. Typically, RATs are used to steal sensitive and personal information. The data-stealing abilities of these trojans can include file exfiltration (download), information extraction from browsers and other installed applications, keylogging (key-stroke recording), and so on. Another common feature of RATs is spying, e.g., taking screenshots, recording/live-streaming audio/video via integrated or connected microphones and cameras, etc. Furthermore, the trojans are often able to cause chain infections (i.e., download/install additional malware). Hence, they can be used to infect the system with more trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, and so forth. To summarize, by trusting the "NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT" scam emails, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If it is suspected or known that NanoCore RAT (or other malware) has already infected the device, it is crucial to use anti-virus software to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name NanoCore RAT
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails request recipients to review their account/payment statements, due to an upcoming company audit.
Attachment(s) STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT & PAYMENTS.rar containing STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT & PAYMENTS.exe (filenames may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:RATX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.36919082), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.AAYN), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Spy.MSIL.Noon.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:MSIL/AgentTesla.AM!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 NanoCore
Rogue Process Name QuanLyDiemSV (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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"SGBM Email Virus", "Spring Marine Management S.A.", "Consignment Was Booked Via DHL Express", and "Alibaba Email Virus" are a few examples of malware-spreading spam campaigns. The emails sent through these large-scale operations are usually disguised as "official", "urgent", "important", "priority", and similar. However, proliferating malicious software is not the sole use of spam mail. These emails are also used to facilitate phishing and other scams. It is highly recommended to exercise caution with incoming emails - to avoid infecting the system or getting scammed.

How did "NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT email virus" infect my computer?

Systems are infected via virulent files distributed through spam campaigns. The files can be attached to the emails, or the letters contain download links of malicious content. Infectious files can be in various formats, e.g., archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, and so forth. When the files are opened - malware download/installation is jumpstarted. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins 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 they are warned of the potential threats

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and 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. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and verified sources - as untrustworthy channels often proliferate malicious and unwanted content. Software also has to be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers, since ones obtained from third-parties are likely to cause infections. To ensure device and user safety, it is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, these programs have to be used to perform regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened "NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT" scam email letter:

Subject: NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT / PAYMENT PURPOSES


Dear Our Valued Suppliers/Service-Providers,

 

Good day.

 

Please be informed that we will be closing our company account for audit effective MAY 31, 2021 With this, all invoices, unpaid/outstanding related to our account will be accepted only until MAY 25, 2021.

 

Late invoices and SOA will not be entertained as we are also given a timeline to bill all expenses to them.

 

Please check attached INVOICES and SOA if the amount due to be paid to you is correct, for your checking/reconciliation so we can release payment asap.

 

NOTE: Any invoices/billings sent after the said cut-off will be no longer be accepted.

 

Looking forward for your immediate attention on this matter.


Thank you and stay safe!


Best Regards,


Pamela Peñola
Assistant Manager / Accounting Department

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT" spam campaign ("STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT & PAYMENTS.exe" filename):

NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT email virus attachment detections (STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT & PAYMENTS.exe filename)

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

NOTICE OF ACCOUNT CLOSURE FOR AUDIT email attached executable process on Task Manger (QuanLyDiemSV - 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
NanoCore RAT QR code
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