Avoid infecting your device via fake "C&K STEEL COMPANY" emails

Also Known As: "C&K STEEL COMPANY" malspam
Damage level: Severe

What kind of email is "C&K STEEL COMPANY"?

After inspecting this "C&K STEEL COMPANY" email, we determined that it is malspam. It is presented as an inquiry regarding a potential purchase, the details of which can be found in the attached file. However, once opened – the malicious attachment initiates a system infection chain.

It must be emphasized that this spam mail is in no way associated with any real individuals or entities.


"C&K STEEL COMPANY" email virus overview

The spam email with the subject "STEEL INQUIRY" (may vary) is supposedly a letter from the sales manager of "C&K STEEL COMPANY". The email claims that the sender's customer is in dire need of the products advertised on the recipient's website. The purchase inquiry is in the attachment; the recipient is asked to review it and provide their best prices and possible delivery date.

As mentioned in the introduction, all the information provided by this email is false, and this mail is not associated with any existing individuals or companies.

The attached Excel file – "STEEL INQUIRY. xlam" (filename may vary) – is designed to infect devices with malware. Spam campaigns are commonly used to proliferate trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, and other kinds of malicious programs.

The threats associated with an infection depend on the malware's capabilities and the cyber criminals' modus operandi. However, regardless of how malicious software operates – its presence on a system endangers device integrity and user safety.

High-risk malware infections can lead to diminished system performance or failure, data loss, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

If you believe that your device has been compromised – immediately perform a complete system scan with an anti-virus and remove all threats.

Threat Summary:
Name "C&K STEEL COMPANY" malspam
Threat Type Malspam, trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Fake Claim Recipient is requested to review the attached inquiry and provide a response.
Attachment(s) STEEL INQUIRY. xlam (filename may vary)
Detection Names (attachment) Avast (OLE:CVE-2017-11882-B [Expl]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.69080334), ESET-NOD32 (Probably A Variant Of Win32/Exploit.CVE), Kaspersky (UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic), Microsoft (Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882!KZH), 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.
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Malspam campaign examples

"Crimson International email virus", "Updated Terms of Use", "Requested Documents", and "Your E-mail Will Be Closed" are just a few examples of malware-spreading emails that we have investigated recently.

Spam mail is also used to facilitate various scams, e.g., phishing, callback, tech support, refund, inheritance, lottery, etc. These emails can be riddled with errors or competently disguised as messages from legitimate companies, service providers, institutions, authorities, and other entities.

Due to how widespread spam mail is and how well-crafted it can be – we strongly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails/messages can include malicious files as attachments or download links (i.e., leading to malignant sites capable of stealthily downloading/installing malware or tricking visitors into doing so themselves).

Virulent files come in various formats, e.g., documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth. Malware download/installation is initiated when such a file is opened.

However, some formats may require extra actions to jumpstart infection chains. For example, Microsoft Office files need users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents require them to click on embedded files/links.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is essential to treat incoming emails and other messages with caution. We advise against opening attachments or links found in dubious mail, as they can be infectious. We also recommend using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since their "Protected View" mode prevents automatic macro execution.

It must be mentioned that malware is not distributed exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, we advise being careful while browsing since fake and malicious online content typically appears genuine and innocuous.

Furthermore, all downloads must be performed from official and trustworthy sources. Another recommendation is to activate and update software by using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updates can contain malware.

We must stress the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security programs must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected 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 "C&K STEEL COMPANY" spam email letter:


Dear Sir

I am Phil Lambert, Sales Manager from C&K STEEL COMPANY

Our customer is in urgent need of your products as seen on your website

Please find attached our inquiry on METALS for your reference

Kindly quote your best prices with date of delivery

Thanks and Best Regards

Phil Lambert


9011 Arboretum Pkwy,
Richmond, VA 23236,
United States

Phone: +1 800-981-7358

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:
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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?

Spam emails are not personal. Cyber criminals distribute these messages by the thousand with the hopes that at least some recipients will fall for their scams.

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

Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened; merely reading an email will not trigger these processes.

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

Whether your device was infected might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes. However, you might have avoided an infection if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, .one, etc.). These formats may require additional user interaction to begin downloading/installing malware (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded content, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan computers and eliminate threats. It can detect and remove practically all known malware infections. Note that running a full system scan is crucial since sophisticated malicious software usually hides 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.

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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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