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How to avoid infecting a computer via Outer Banks email?

Also Known As: Outer Banks spam
Damage level: Severe

What is Outer Banks email virus?

The purpose of this email is to trick recipients into infecting their computers with a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) called AgentTesla. It has an archive file attached to it. That archive file contains an executable file designed to inject AgentTesla.

Outer Banks email virus malware-spreading email

Outer Banks malicious email in detail

This email is disguised as a letter from AlexCom & Associates. It is a legitimate company that consults on creating a structural design. Cybercriminals behind this email claim that the file attached to it ("Invoice 3816 Outer Banks Report.rar") is an invoice/inspection report.

The aforementioned archive file (its name may vary) contains an executable file used to distribute AgentTesla. The main purpose of AgentTesla is to record keyboard input. It can steal any information that victims type with a keyboard (for example, login credentials, credit card details).

Threat Summary:
Name Outer Banks spam
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax File attached to this email is an invoice/inspection report
Attachment(s) Invoice 3816 Outer Banks Report.rar (its name may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.47654269), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.ADTA), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Spy.MSIL.Noon.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Sabsik.FL.B!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 AgentTesla
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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Malicious emails in general

Like most emails used to deliver malware, this one contains a malicious attachment. Also, emails of this type usually are disguised as letters from legitimate entities. More examples of malspam campaigns are "TurboTax Email Virus", "BBB Email Virus", "BBVA Bank Email Virus".

How did "Outer Banks email virus" infect my computer?

The file attached to this email is an archive file (RAR file) containing an executable file. A computer gets infected with AgentTesla after opening/executing that executable file. Cybercriminals can also use other files to distribute malware, like Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript files, etc.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Download files and software only from official pages and via direct links. Do not open files (attachments) and website links in emails received from suspicious or unknown addresses. Especially when such emails are irrelevant.

Update and activate programs with tools, functions provided by their official developers. Never use any third-party tools for that. Scan the operating system with a reliable antivirus regularly. If you've already opened "Outer Banks email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the Outer Banks email:

Subject: 3816 Outer Banks


Hello

Attached is your invoice/inspection report for 3816 Outer Banks Ln.

Should you have any questions please feel free to contact our office.

Thank you for your business.


Kindest regards,

Bettie Moore
Admin
AlexCom & Associates
11 Debruen Lane
Fredericksburg, VA. 22405
540-371-3157 (P)
540-371-7920 (F)

Detection names for the malicious attachment in VirusTotal:

outer banks email virus virustotal detections

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:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing 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.

Email-virus icon 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.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

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:

Example of an email spam

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Cybercriminals send the same (or similar) letter to all addresses in their database. These malicious emails usually are not personal.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to this email, is my computer infected?

A computer is not infected unless an executable file was extracted from the attached archive file and then opened/executed. In this case, opening a malicious attachment is not enough for malware to infiltrate the operating system.

I have read the email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, a computer is not infected. Opening an email by itself is completely harmless.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware infections. It is important to scan the operating system using a full scan since high-end malware can be hiding deep in the system.

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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.

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