What kind of email is "Reconfirm Shipping Documents"?
Our examination of the "Reconfirm Shipping Documents" email revealed that it is spam. This scam letter requests the recipient to reconfirm the attached documentation. The two attachments are phishing files that record the information entered into them.
"Reconfirm Shipping Documents" email scam overview
The spam email with the subject "SWIFT PAYMENT" (may vary) states that a client had requested for contact to be made with the recipient. Hence, the sender is asking the recipient to reconfirm the attached shipping documents before the goods are dispatched.
As previously mentioned, this letter is fake and designed to operate as a phishing scam. After we investigated the email's attachments, we determined that they are phishing files. In other words, the HTML files record information entered into them and send it to the scammers behind this spam campaign.
Both attachments requested the user to sign in using their email account credentials (i.e., email address and corresponding password) to access the confidential information. In addition to stealing the exposed email accounts, cyber criminals may also gain control over the content registered through them.
To elaborate, scammers can steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social networking/media, messengers, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, promote scams, or distribute malware by sharing malicious files/links.
What is more, stolen finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to perform unauthorized transactions and/or online purchases.
In summary, by trusting an email like "Reconfirm Shipping Documents" – users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
If you have already disclosed your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all possibly compromised accounts and contact their official support.
|Name||"Reconfirm Shipping Documents" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipient needs to confirm the attached shipping documentation.|
|Attachment(s)||Both attachments are titled "PAYMENT SLIP.HTML" (sans quotation marks)|
|Detection Names (attachment 1)||Avast (HTML:PhishingMS-AGJ [Phish]), Fortinet (JS/Phish.AGB!tr), Ikarus (Phishing.HTML.Doc), Kaspersky (HEUR:Hoax.HTML.Phish.gen), Lionic (Hacktool.HTML.Phish.3!c), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (attachment 2)||Avast (HTML:PhishingAdb-HG [Phish]), Combo Cleaner (Generic.JS.FakeLogin.A.B07A2A2E), Emsisoft (Generic.JS.FakeLogin.A.B07A2A2E (B)), ESET-NOD32 (HTML/Phishing.Gen), Ikarus (Phishing.HTML.Doc), Lionic (Trojan.HTML.FakeLogin.4!c), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.|
|Damage||Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Phishing spam campaign examples
We have analyzed countless spam emails; "McAfee FINAL WARNING", "Your Account Expiry", "Blockchain.com - Verify Your Account", and "Email Verification Alert" are just a few examples of phishing letters.
This mail can be variously disguised, including as messages from legitimate companies, institutions, service providers, authorities, or other entities. Aside from facilitating various scams, these emails can also proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.).
We strongly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails/messages since spam is widespread and can be well-crafted.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection process (i.e., malware download/installation) is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands, while infectious OneNote files need users to click on embedded files/links.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We advise approaching incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages with caution. The attachments or links present in dubious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be virulent. It is important to use post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro command execution.
However, malware is not proliferated only via spam mail. Therefore, we also recommend being vigilant while browsing since fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears genuine and harmless.
Furthermore, 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 ("cracking") tools and third-a party updaters can contain malware.
We must emphasize that having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated is essential to device/user safety. This software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove 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 "Reconfirm Shipping Documents" spam email letter:
Subject: SWIFT PAYMENT
FYI we got instruction from our client to contact you based on the above subject. We kindly ask you to reconfirm shipping documents asap and revert back immediately before goods are dispatched.
Regards Barbara P. MarshallPan Ocean Co., Ltd.
LARGE BULK DIVISION 2 / OPERATION TEAM
100-958 / 98 HUAMRO, JUNG-GU SEOUL KOREA
PIC : YOUNGBIN KIM
TEL : 82-2-316-5472
MOBILE : 82-10-6619-9689
Screenshot of the phishing file attached to the "Reconfirm Shipping Documents" spam email ("PAYMENT SLIP.HTML"):
Screenshot of the other phishing file attached to the "Reconfirm Shipping Documents" spam email ("PAYMENT SLIP.HTML"):
Another example of an email from "Reconfirm Shipping Documents" spam campaign:
Text presented within:
Subject: shipping documents Invoice
FYI We got an instruction from our client to contact you on the above
Kindly check the shipping documents attached below, confirm that the details are
correct and revert back to us before we proceed with shipment.
Awaiting your urgent response.
Note this document is password protected, and the content is intended for the recipient specified in this message, The document is configured to work with the recipient email and password.
GLOBAL SHIPPING SERVICES, LLC
Official Web: www.glship.com
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- What is "Reconfirm Shipping Documents" phishing email?
- 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?
Spam emails are not personal. This mail is sent in large-scale campaigns – therefore, thousands of users receive identical messages.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have provided your log-in credentials – change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you've disclosed other private information (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact the corresponding authorities.
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 malware download/installation processes. System infection chains are triggered when malicious attachments or links are opened.
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 device was infected. However, you might have avoided this if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.). These formats may require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking on embedded content, etc.) to start 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. Keep in mind that since high-end malicious programs usually hide deep within systems – performing a complete system scan is crucial.