What is "Stromag" email virus?
After inspecting this "Stromag" email, we determined that it is fake. This spam letter is presented as a message from the Stromag power transmission component manufacturing company. It must be emphasized that this spam mail is not associated with said company.
The scam email attempts to trick recipients into opening a malicious attachment, which is designed to infect computers with the Agent Tesla RAT (Remote Access Trojan).
"Stromag" email virus overview
The spam email with the subject "Request for quotation-no. 256425" (may vary) requests the recipient to acknowledge the order. The letter asks for the invoice to be sent - so it would be possible to continue with the advance payment request.
As mentioned in the introduction, all this vague information provided by the email is false, and not associated with the legitimate Stromag company.
The aim is to lure recipients into opening the file attached to the spam letter. Once opened, the attachment triggers Agent Tesla RAT's download/installation. Remote access trojans (RATs) operate by enabling remote access/control over infected devices. Furthermore, Agent Tesla has extensive data-stealing functionalities.
In summary, by trusting emails like this fake "Stromag" letter - victims can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
If you suspect that your computer is infected with the Agent Tesla RAT (or other malware) - we strongly recommend using an anti-virus to eliminate it without delay.
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Fake Claim||Email asks the invoice to be sent - so that the request for advance payment could be continued with.|
|Attachment(s)||invoice.pdf.z (filename may vary)|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.Generic.31999487), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Injector.ESFI), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-PSW.Win32.Agensla.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Leonem), 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.|
|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.
Malspam campaign examples
"Werth Messtechnik email virus", "I Paid For Products From Your Store", "YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning", "Declined Debit", "FedEx Corporation email virus" - are some examples of emails that proliferate malware, which we have analyzed recently.
These letters can spread trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, and various other malicious programs. Aside from spreading dangerous software, spam mail is also used to facilitate phishing and various other scams.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain (i.e., malware download/installation) is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We highly recommend being cautious with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, and other messages. The attachments and links present in suspect/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be malicious and cause infections.
We advise using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
However, malware is not proliferated exclusively through spam mail. Hence, it is important to download only from official and trustworthy sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updaters may contain malware.
Furthermore, it is crucial to be vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and malicious online content typically appears legitimate and harmless.
We must emphasize the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. This software 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 "Stromag" spam email letter:
Subject: Request for quotation-no. 256425
I hope this email finds you well.
Please find attached Order for your acknowledgement.
kindly send invoice in order to proceed with the request for the advance payment.
Awaiting your reply.
Technical Sales, Customer Care, Unna
Direct +49 2303 102202
Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment distributed via "Stromag" spam campaign ("invoice.pdf.z"):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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:
- What is Stromag malspam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious 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.
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.
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:
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 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, opening/reading an email will not initiate any system infection chains. Malware infections occur when the attachments or links found in spam mail are opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes - since these files tend to infect devices without fail. However, if the opened attachment was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) - you might have avoided infection. Document formats 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 designed to detect and remove threats. It can eliminate most of the known malware infections. However, it must be emphasized that performing a full system scan is essential - since sophisticated malicious programs usually hide deep within systems.