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Avoid infecting your device via fake "DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL" emails

Also Known As: DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL malspam campaign
Damage level: Severe

What kind of email is "DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL"?

After inspecting the "DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL" email, we determined that it is malspam. These letters are disguised as notifications concerning a package shipped through DHL - a legitimate logistics and package delivery company. It must be emphasized that these emails are in no way associated with DHL.

This spam is designed to spread malware, specifically AsyncRAT. This malicious program is classified as a Remote Access Trojan (RAT).

DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL email malspam campaign

"DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL" email virus overview

The fake "DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL" email claims that a surprise package intended for the recipient has arrived at the "DHL" office. The letter requests them to confirm their contact details (provided in the attachment) - so that the courier would be able to deliver the package.

It must be stressed that all the claims made by this spam email are false. When users open the attached file - AsyncRAT malware's download/installation is jumpstarted.

RATs are designed to enable remote access and control over infected machines. In addition to being capable of performing various commands on compromised devices, AsyncRAT can also collect sensitive information and cause chain infections (e.g., download/install ransomware, trojans, cryptominers, etc.).

Therefore, by trusting the "DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL" scam email - users can experience multiple system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL malspam campaign
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Fake Claim A surprise package has been sent to the email recipient.
Disguise Delivery notification from DHL.
Attachment(s) NOTICE OF ARRIVAL.pdf.lzh (filename may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:RATX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.39686946), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.AFFE), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Spy.MSIL.Noon.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:MSIL/AgentTesla.ETH!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Payload AsyncRAT
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.
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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Malspam campaign examples

We have analyzed thousands of emails used to spread malware; "CAETANO FORMULA Email Virus", "The List Of The Problem", "Your Package Has Been Delivered To Your Preferred Safe Place", and "DUY THANH EXPORT Email Virus" are just some of our latest finds.

These letters are usually disguised as "official", "important", "urgent", and so on. Spam emails are also used to facilitate phishing and various other scams. Due to how widespread this mail is, we strongly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails and messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails can have infectious files attached to them or contain their download links. Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, and so on. Once such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly advise against opening the attachments and links found in dubious/irrelevant emails and messages, as that can result in a system infection. It is just as important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros.

Aside from spam mail, malware is commonly proliferated via untrustworthy download channels (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), illegal program activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates.

Therefore, we recommend downloading only from official/verified sources and activating/updating programs with tools provided by genuine developers.

It is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security software must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove detected threats. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL" scam email letter:

Subject: NOTICE OF ARRIVAL (NOA)


DHL


NOTICE OF ARRIVAL (NOA)

 

Dear Valued Customer,


We are pleased to inform you that your surpise package registered with your e-mail  has arrived at our office 23/05/2022.

 

Find attached full tracking/arrival details. Please confirm your contact details in the attachment to enable our agent deliver to you.

 

Thank you.

 

DHL  Express

 

2022 © DHL International. All rights reserved.

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL" spam campaign ("NOTICE OF ARRIVAL.pdf.lzh"):

DHL NOTICE OF ARRIVAL email virus attachment detections on VirusTotal (NOTICE OF ARRIVAL.pdf.lzh)

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?

Spam emails are not personal. Cyber criminals distribute these letters in mass-scale operations - hence, thousands of users receive identical messages.

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

No, merely reading a spam email will not initiate any malware download/installation processes. Infection chains are triggered when the attached files or included links are opened/clicked.

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

Whether a system has been infected might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes - the device was infected. However, document formats (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) may require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to start downloading/installing malware.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating practically all known malware infections. It has to be stressed that performing a complete system scan is paramount - as sophisticated malicious software typically hides deep within systems.

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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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