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How to recognize malicious spam like the "Werth Messtechnik"

Also Known As: Werth Messtechnik malspam campaign
Damage level: Severe

What is "Werth Messtechnik" email virus?

After investigating this email, we found that it is written by cybercriminals who seek to trick recipients into infecting their computers. This email is disguised as a letter from the Werth company regarding payment confirmation. Threat actors use this email to lure recipients into opening a malicious attachment.

Werth Messtechnik email virus malware-spreading campaign

More about the "Werth Messtechnik" email virus

The email claims that the payment was released for a purchase order worth EUR 34,650.98. It says that the file attached to it is a payment confirmation. The file attached to this email is a malicious PDF document. However, the type of malware this document is designed to inject is currently unknown.

In most cases, threat actors use malicious attachments to distribute ransomware, information-stealing malware, cryptocurrency miners, or remote administration Trojans. Ransomware is malware that uses cryptography to encrypt files. Victims cannot access/use their files until they are decrypted with a tool purchased from the attackers.

Information stealers allow threat actors to obtain sensitive information (e.g., credit card details, login credentials, ID card information, social security numbers, etc.). Cybercriminals aim to gather data that could be used to steal identities and online accounts, make fraudulent purchases and transactions, and perform other malicious activities.

Cryptocurrency miners are used for the mining of cryptocurrency using victims' computers. Typically, infected computers consume more energy, meaning victims receive higher electricity bills. Also, crypto miners can cause system crashes, hardware overheating, and other issues.

Remote administration Trojans allow the attackers control computers. Usually, these Trojans are used to access and steal personal information, log keystrokes, inject malware, take screenshots, and more.

Threat Summary:
Name Werth Messtechnik malspam campaign
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware, ransomware, or other malware.
Hoax File attached to the email contains a payment confirmation
Attachment(s) Pago EUR 34,650.pdf (its name may vary)
Detection Names (PDF document) Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.63077286), ESET-NOD32 (PDF/TrojanDropper.Agent.CF), Kaspersky (UDS:Trojan-Downloader.MSOffice.Agent), Microsoft (Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-0199.AIND), 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 Unknown malware
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.

How did "Werth Messtechnik email virus" infect my computer?

Emails used to deliver malware are also known as malicious spam. Typically, these emails are disguised as official/important/urgent letters from legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities. They contain malicious attachments or website links. The purpose of these emails is to trick recipients into infecting their computers with malware.

Examples of similar emails are "I Paid For Products From Your Store Email Virus", "YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning Email Virus", and "Declined Debit Email Virus".

How did "Werth Messtechnik email virus" infect my computer?

The file attached to this email is a malicious PDF document. This document infects a computer after it is opened. Usually, cybercriminals behind malicious PDF documents design them to execute scripts that download malware. Also, threat actors can design PDF documents to exploit vulnerabilities in Adobe PDF Reader.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not use shady pages, third-party downloaders, P2P networks, etc., as sources for downloading software or files. Download them from official websites and stores. Investigate emails before opening links or attachments. Note that irrelevant emails received from suspicious or unknown addresses can contain malicious files or links.

Keep your computer (and installed programs) updated. Do not use third-party tools to update or activate any software. Use reputable antivirus software for computer protection. If you've already opened "Werth Messtechnik email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Werth Messtechnik" email letter:

Subject: TR: pago EUR 34,650.98

Dear Sir,

Today we released payment, We enclosed attached payment confirmation EUR 34,650.98

Best Regards,

Werth Messtechnik GmbH

i.A. Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Jens Bahlo

Area Sales Manager

Asia / South America

Werth Messtechnik GmbH

Siemensstraße 19

35394 Gießen

Germany

Tel.:  +49 641 7938-947

Fax.: +49 641 7938-743

Website: www.werth[.]de

Geschäftsführer: Dr.-Ing. habil. Ralf Christoph

Sitz der Gesellschaft Gießen (Hessen)

Reg.-Nr.: HRB 211 Gießen

Malicious attachment distributed via "Werth Messtechnik" malspam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed via Werth Messtechnik malspam campaign

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?

This email is not personal (probably hundreds of others also received this letter). There is a high chance that your email was leaked after a data breach or threat actors obtained it in another fraudulent way.

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

The PDF document attached to this email may be designed to execute a script that downloads malware. In this case, your computer is probably already infected.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

It is safe to open emails containing malicious links or attachments. Recipients infect computers via received files or links but not by opening emails.

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

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware. It is strongly recommended to scan potentially infected computers using a full scan. Usually, high-end malware is designed to hide deep in the operating 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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