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Avoid infecting your device through fake "City National Bank" emails

Also Known As: City National Bank malspam
Damage level: Severe

What kind of email is "City National Bank"?

Our inspection of this "City National Bank" email revealed that it is malspam - malicious spam mail intended to infect recipients' systems with malware.

It must be emphasized that these spam letters are in no way associated with City National Bank or any other similarly named financial institution. These scam emails aim to infiltrate the Remcos RAT (Remote Access Tool/Trojan) into recipients' devices.

City National Bank email spam campaign

"City National Bank" email virus overview

The fake "City National Bank" email is presented as an automated message regarding payment advice. The actual contents are supposedly attached in a Microsoft Office Excel file.

As mentioned in the introduction, these letters are illegitimate and malicious. Hence, when recipients open the attachment and follow the instructions provided therein - download/installation of the Remcos RAT is initiated. Remote Access Tools/Trojans (RATs) are designed to allow remote access and control over machines.

Remcos can be used to perform various commands, steal sensitive information, and even infiltrate other malware into systems (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.).

To summarize, by trusting these spam "City National Bank" emails - users can experience multiple system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. If you suspect that your system is infected with Remcos (or other malware), we strongly advise using an anti-virus to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name City National Bank malspam
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Fake Claim Email has payment advice attached to it.
Disguise City National Bank
Attachment(s) CNB Payment Advice.xls (filename may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.48988260), ESET-NOD32 (VBA/TrojanDownloader.Agent.XUI), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSOffice.Agent.gen), Microsoft (TrojanDownloader:O97M/EncDoc.RV!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Payload Remcos
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 countless spam emails; "Booking Offer", "Mechatronics Industrial Equipment Email Virus", and "The List Of The Problem" are just a few examples of letters designed to proliferate malware.

It is noteworthy that this mail is also used for phishing and other scams. Spam emails can use various scam models and disguises; they can be presented as messages from legitimate institutions, organizations, authorities, companies, and other entities.

Due to how widespread this mail is, we highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails and messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails spread malware in the form of attached files or links leading to dangerous websites (e.g., designed to stealthily download/install malicious files or trick visitors into doing so themselves).

Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., archives, executables, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc. Once such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands.

The "City National Bank" spam email that we inspected had an infectious MS document attachment; this file contained a deceptive message luring users into enabling macros.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We advise exercising caution with incoming mail. The attachments and links found in suspicious/irrelevant emails and messages - must not be opened since that may lead to a system infection. Additionally, it is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010, as they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros.

However, malware is not distributed just through spam mail. Therefore, we strongly recommend downloading only from official and verified sources. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated with tools provided by genuine developers - since illegal activation ("cracking") tools and fake updaters can contain malicious software.

We must stress the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security programs must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats and issues. 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 "City National Bank" spam email letter:

Subject: Payment Advice for -


Attn: -


This is an automated secure e-mail generated by City National Bank Accounts Payable to notify you as below.
Attached is the Payment Advice that we processed. The payment date reflects the date at which the payment is processed by City National Bank.
To view your payment advice, download attached xls and enter security code 34278.
Please refer to the Payment Reference Number in the attachment for future correspondence.
This is a system generated email, please do not reply. If any questions, please reach out to your CNB contact to whom the invoice was addressed to. This e-mail is generated by both City National Bank and City National Rochdale.
------------------------------------------------
This email is intended only for the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and may be a confidential communication privileged by law. Any unauthorized use, dissemination, distribution, disclosure, or copying is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately and kindly delete this message from your system. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Screenshot of the malicious attachment distributed via "City National Bank" spam campaign ("CNB Payment Advice.xls"):

Malicious attachment distributed through City National Bank spam campaign (CNB Payment Advice.xls)

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 them by the thousand with the hopes that at least some of the recipients will fall for their scams.

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

No, opening a spam email will not initiate any system infection chains. Devices are infected when the attachments or links included in these letters are opened/clicked.

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

If the opened file was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes - your system was infected. However, document formats (.xls, .doc, .pdf, etc.) may require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to begin downloading/installing malware.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and eliminate threats. It can remove nearly all known malware infections. It has to be stressed that running a complete system scan is paramount - since high-end malicious software usually 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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