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Avoid infecting your system with malware via fake "Chc Energy" emails

Also Known As: Chc Energy malspam
Damage level: Severe

What kind of email is "Chc Energy"?

After inspecting this "Chc Energy" email, we determined that it is spam designed to proliferate malware (malspam). This letter is presented as a notification regarding a blocked registration with CHC ENERGY.

It must be emphasized that these fake emails are in no way associated with this or any other legitimate company. The goal of this spam mail is to infect recipients' devices with the Grandoreiro banking trojan.

Chc Energy email spam campaign

"Chc Energy" email virus overview

According to a rough translation from Spanish, the fake "Chc Energy" email claims that the recipient's registration (with CHC ENERGY) has been suspended due to non-payment. The letter requests confirmation and states that the payment invoice is attached to the email. As mentioned in the introduction, these letters are scams, and they are not associated with any real companies/entities.

The "Chc Energy" spam email has an HTML file attached to it. Once opened, this attachment redirects to a website that downloads a malicious file.

After the virulent file is opened - Grandoreiro trojan's installation is triggered. This malicious program is classified as a banking trojan; hence, it primarily targets banking and finance related information. However, it can also extract the log-in credentials of various accounts, saved credit card numbers, and other sensitive data.

In summary, by trusting these fake "Chc Energy" emails - users can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. If you suspect that your device is already infected with Grandoreiro (or other malware), we strongly advise using an anti-virus to remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Chc Energy malspam
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Fake Claim Recipient's registration was blocked due to non-payment.
Disguise Notification from CHC ENERGY.
Attachment(s) HTML file that downloads the malicious file.
Detection Names (malicious file) Avast (Win32:Trojan-gen), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Tedy.107534), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Spy.Grandoreiro.BF), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Grand), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.B!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Payload Grandoreiro
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 malware-spreading emails; "City National Bank Email Virus", "SECRETO PROFESIONAL Y CONFIDENCIAL", and "Dynaseiki Industrial Supplies Email Virus" are merely a couple of examples.

In addition to malicious software distribution, spam letters are also used to facilitate phishing and other scams. These emails can make various claims and use different disguises. Therefore, we highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails and messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails can spread infectious files in the form of attachments or download links. These files can be archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, and so on.

When a malicious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process is jumpstarted. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We advise against opening/clicking the attachments and links present in suspicious emails and messages. Furthermore, we strongly recommend using Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 - since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro command execution.

In addition to spam mail, malware is also commonly spread via dubious download channels (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), illegal program activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates. Therefore, we advise always downloading from official/trustworthy sources and activating/updating software by using functions/tools from legitimate developers.

It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security programs must be used to run 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 "Chc Energy" spam email letter:

Subject: inscripcion ha sido bloqueada por falta de pago - id - id (575023)
 
Estimado
 
Le informamos que su inscripcion ha sido bloqueada por falta de pago.
Esperamos confirmacion por correo electronico.
 
descargue el documento adjunto de la factura a continuacion.
 
Descargar Factura en formato MSI

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious file downloaded by the "Chc Energy" email attachment:

Chc Energy attachment downloaded file detections on VirusTotal

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?

Cyber criminals distribute spam emails in massive campaigns - therefore, thousands of users receive identical letters.

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

No, if you've only opened a spam email - your system was not infected. Malware download/installation processes are initiated when the attachments or links present in this mail 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, you might have avoided it if the file was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf). These formats may require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to start downloading/installing malicious software.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate nearly all known malware infections. It is noteworthy that running a full system scan is key - as sophisticated malicious programs usually hide 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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