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Avoid infecting your system via "ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING" scam email

Also Known As: Formbook virus
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is "ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING email virus"?

"ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING email virus" refers to a malware-spreading spam campaign. The term "spam campaign" defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent.

The letters distributed through this campaign are disguised as mail from Atlas Al Sharq Trading Establishment - an industrial equipment supplier based in the United Arab Emirates. The aim of these scam emails is to infect recipients' systems with FormBook malware.

ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING malware-spreading email spam campaign

"ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING" scam email in detail

The fake "ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING" emails (subject/title "INQUIRY - PRODUCTS SUPPLY 30th/06/2021"; may vary) request recipients to provide a price quotation. It has to include product availability and specifications/data in accordance to the attached list.

Instead of containing the stated information, the attachment triggers FormBook malware's download/installation - upon opening.

FormBook malware functionalities

The primary purpose of FormBook is stealing information. It can extract data from browsers and other installed apps.

Additionally, this malicious program has keylogging abilities. In other words, it can record keystrokes.

Information of interest includes: browsing and search engine histories, Internet cookies, IP addresses/ geolocations, various account log-in credentials (i.e., IDs, email addresses, usernames, and passwords), personally identifiable details, and finance-related data (i.e., banking account details, credit card numbers, etc.).

Furthermore, this malicious program can cause chain infections. Hence, FormBook can be used to install trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, and other additional malware. To summarize, by trusting the "ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING" scam emails - users can experience multiple system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If it is suspected or known that FormBook (or other malware) has already infected the device - an anti-virus must be used to remove it without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name Formbook virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Scam emails request recipients to provide a product price quotation
Attachment(s) ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING EST - PRODUCTS LIST.r15 (filename may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:RATX-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.37164179), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.ABSU), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSIL.Crypt.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/FormBook.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 FormBook
Rogue Process Name BaseChannel (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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Spam campaigns in general

"COSCO Shipping Email Virus", "URGENT INFORMATION ON COVID-19 VACCINATION", "Olmetex Email Virus" - are some examples of malware-proliferating spam campaigns. The letters sent through these large-scale operations - are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent", and similar.

Distributing malicious software is not the sole use of spam campaigns, they are also employed to facilitate phishing and other scams. Due to the prevalence of spam mail, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How did "ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING email virus" infect my computer?

Systems are infected via malicious files distributed through spam campaigns. These files can be attached to the emails, or the letters can include download links of such files.

Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, and so on. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise - the infection process is initiated.

For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process is automatic in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010.

Newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents immediate execution of macros. Instead, users can manually enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), and they are warned of the risks.

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.

Aside from spam campaigns, malware is proliferated via 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 advised to only download from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by genuine 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 to remove detected threats/issues. If you've already opened "ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING" scam email letter:

Subject: INQUIRY - PRODUCTS SUPPLY 30th/06/2021

 

Dear Sir

 

Kindly send us the price quotation along with availability and specs/data sheet for the attached listed items.


Awaiting your reply

 

Best Regards….?`

 

ABDAN HAKIM /AAFAQUE AHMED / MOHAMMED SALEH

 

ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING EST. LLC.

 

PO Box : 82153

 

SHARJAH UAE

 

TEL: +9716-5773635

 

MOB: 971555446327/ 97155 7688030 / 97155 5891388

 

E-MAIL: atlastechsvs@gmail.com / sales@atlasalsharqtrdg,com

 

Website: www.atlasalsharqtrdg.com

Screenshot of VirusToal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING" spam campaign ("ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING EST - PRODUCTS LIST.r15" filename):

ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING email virus attachment detections on VirusTotal

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

ATLAS AL SHARQ TRADING email virus process on Task Manager (BaseChannel - 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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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.

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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.

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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.

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