Avoid infecting your device with malware via fake "Kuwait Airways" emails
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What kind of email is "Kuwait Airways"?
After inspecting this "Kuwait Airways" email, we determined that it is spam. This letter requests the recipient to provide any inquiries they have, and it contains a malicious attachment designed to infect systems with Agent Tesla malware.
It must be emphasized that this email is fake, and it is not associated with the actual Kuwait Airways – Kuwait's national carrier.
"Kuwait Airways" email virus overview
The email with the subject "ATTENTION: [recipient's_email_address] Error while receiving e-mail!!" (may vary) requests the recipient to inform the sender of any inquiries they have regarding the destinations and "trucking points". As previously mentioned, this email is spam, and it is in no way associated with Kuwait Airways.
The archive file (disguised as a PDF document) attached to this letter contains a malicious executable. When the latter is opened – it triggers Agent Tesla's download/installation. This malware is designed to enable remote access/control over infected machines, and it has significant information-stealing capabilities. More information on this malicious program can be found in our article on Agent Tesla.
In summary, by trusting an email like this fraudulent "Kuwait Airways" letter – users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
If you suspect that your device is infected with Agent Tesla (or other malware) – we highly recommend performing a complete system scan with an anti-virus and removing all threats without delay.
|Name||"Kuwait Airways" malspam|
|Threat Type||Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.|
|Fake Claim||Recipient is asked to let the sender know if they have any queries regarding the destinations.|
|Attachment(s)||TTRES2102023-pdf-.gz (filename may vary)|
|Detection Names (attachment)||Avast (Win32:PWSX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.65443317), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.AIAZ), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-PSW.MSIL.Stealer.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
"DHL Express - AWB & Shipping Doc", "Please Find Attached My CV", "Interested In Buying From You", "Payment Remittance Advice", and "Statement Of Account (SOA)" are merely some examples of malicious spam emails.
It must be mentioned that neither is malware spread exclusively via spam mail nor is this the only use of such letters. Deceptive emails are employed to facilitate a wide variety of scams like phishing, sextortion, call-back, tech support, and so forth.
Due to how widespread and competently crafted this mail can be, we strongly advise being careful with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – it triggers the malware download/installation process. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We strongly recommend being cautious with incoming emails and other messages. The attachments or links present in suspect/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be malicious and cause system infections. Another recommendation is to use post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
Malware is proliferated using a wide range of techniques. Therefore, we also advise being vigilant when browsing since fake and dangerous content usually appears ordinary and harmless.
Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. It is just as important to activate and update programs using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updaters may contain malware.
We must stress that having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated – is essential to device integrity and user safety. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove threats/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 "Kuwait Airways" spam email letter:
Subject: ATTENTION: [recipient's_email_address] Error while receiving e-mail!!
Please let us know if you have any inquiry as above destinations including trucking points
Happy Selling !
Thanks & Regards
Md Shamim Ahmed
Total Air Services Ltd,
GSA, Kuwait Airways
Gulshan Pink City (7th Floor)
Plot- 15, Road- 103, Block CEN (C)
Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh
Tel: (+880) 2 8881742-49 Ext: 125
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:
- What is "Kuwait Airways" 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 by the thousand with the hopes that at least some recipients will fall for their scams. This mail is not personal.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have provided your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support. And if you've disclosed other private data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) – inform the appropriate authorities without delay.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, just reading an email will not trigger any malware download/installation processes. Systems are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether your device was infected may depend on the opened file's format. Executables (.exe, .run, etc.) – infect devices almost without fail the moment they are opened. While documents (.xls, .doc, .pdf, etc.) may require additional interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded files/links, etc.) to start downloading/installing malware.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate practically all known malware infections. Note that running a full system scan is essential since sophisticated malicious software usually hides deep within systems.
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