How to spot malspam campaigns like "KASIKORNBANK"

Also Known As: KASIKORNBANK malspam
Damage level: Severe

What is "KASIKORNBANK Email Virus"?

This email has undergone scrutiny and has been found to be a deceptive message falsely claiming to be from KASIKORNBANK. It has been written by malicious individuals with the intention of enticing recipients to compromise their computers by opening the attached files. Consequently, it is advisable for anyone who receives such an email or one with similar characteristics to disregard it.

KASIKORNBANK email virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

KASIKORNBANK malspam campaign in detail

In this fraudulent email with the subject line "SWIFT MT103 Notification from KASIKORN BANK", the scammer addresses the recipient as "Our Valued Client" to create a sense of trust and importance. The email claims to be from KASIKORNBANK PCL, a well-known financial institution.

It contains two attachments (MS Office documents) allegedly representing MT103: PAYMENT AD MT103 AND PAYMENT AD 2 MT103, which the scammer deceptively describes as "self-explanatory". The email attempts to maintain a facade of legitimacy by expressing gratitude for the recipient's supposed choice of KASIKORNBANK PCL as their trusted bank.

It encourages the recipient to contact their "Trade Services Specialist" if they require additional information. However, this email is a fraudulent attempt by cybercriminals to deceive recipients into opening the attached files containing malware known as Agent Tesla.

Agent Tesla is a notorious and highly sophisticated remote access trojan (RAT) that poses a significant cybersecurity threat. This malicious software is designed to infiltrate and compromise the targeted computer systems, giving cybercriminals unauthorized access to steal sensitive data, record keystrokes, capture screenshots, and monitor the victim's activities.

Agent Tesla allows threat actors to perpetrate various malicious activities, such as stealing credentials for bank accounts, personal accounts, intellectual property theft, espionage, and other cybercrimes. Additionally, Agent Tesla's ability to avoid detection by many security programs enables it to operate surreptitiously, prolonging the compromise and potentially causing prolonged damage.

Thus, users should never open attachments or links in suspicious (e.g., irrelevant or unsolicited) emails.

Threat Summary:
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Recipients are supposed to check/review the attached files
Attachment(s) 25-10-2023 MT103.doc and 25-10-2023 MT103-2.doc (their names may vary)
Detection Names (25-10-2023 MT103.doc) Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.70042633), Emsisoft (Trojan.GenericKD.70042633 (B)), Kaspersky (HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2018-0802.gen), Microsoft (Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.SZS!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (25-10-2023 MT103-2.doc) Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.70042671), DrWeb (Exploit.Siggen3.43465), Kaspersky (HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2018-0802.gen), Microsoft (Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.SZS!MTB), 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 Agent Tesla
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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Similar emails in general

Emails containing malicious links or files use deceptive tactics, such as spoofing legitimate organizations or trusted contacts, to lure recipients into a false sense of security. These emails may employ urgent or enticing language to prompt recipients to take immediate action, like clicking on a link or downloading an attachment.

Furthermore, they frequently employ social engineering techniques, aiming to exploit emotions like fear, curiosity, or greed to manipulate recipients into engaging with malicious content. A couple of examples of similar emails are "Bulk Order Email Virus", "PMR Law Group Email Virus", and "Barclays Payment Advice Email Virus".

How did "KASIKORNBANK email virus" infect my computer?

In this deceptive email, the recipient encounters two visually identical attachments with the names "25-10-2023 MT103.doc" and "25-10-2023 MT103-2.doc", although their names may vary. The danger lies in the consequence that if one of these files is opened and macros (editing) are enabled, it leads to the recipient's computer becoming compromised and infected with Agent Tesla RAT.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Exercise heightened vigilance when interacting with email attachments and links, particularly if the sender's identity is unclear or the email raises suspicion. Use caution when navigating websites, and refrain from engaging with dubious links, advertisements, pop-ups, or downloading files and programs from sources lacking trustworthiness.

Ensure the regular updating of your operating system, web browsers, and software applications. Employ trusted antivirus and anti-malware software and maintain its current state. Stay informed about the most recent developments in cybersecurity threats and phishing techniques.

If you have already opened "KASIKORNBANK email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "KASIKORNBANK email virus" email letter:

Subject: FWD: SWIFT MT103 Notification from KASIKORN BANK

To Our Valued Client

KASIKORNBANK PCL is pleased to attach a copy of MT103 : PAYMENT
AD MT103 AND PAYMENT AD 2 MT103, which is self-explanatory.

Thank you for choosing KASIKORNBANK PCL to be your trusted bank
and giving
us the opportunity to be of service. If you need any more
information please do not
hesitate to call your Trade Services Specialist.

Malicious attachment distributed via "KASIKORNBANK email virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through KASIKORNBANK email virus spam campaign

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?

Criminals send identical letters to thousands of recipients with the hope that at least one person will be deceived. These spam emails lack personalization and are generic in nature.

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

If you have not activated editing (macros commands) following the opening of one of the attached documents, there is a high chance that your computer is not infected. Usually, malicious documents demand further user interaction once they are opened. However, it is crucial to note that this rule does not apply to malicious documents opened with MS Office versions released before 2010.

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

Opening an email itself is entirely safe. It is the action of clicking on links within the email or opening attached files that can potentially lead to system infections.

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

Combo Cleaner can identify and remove nearly all well-known malware infections. It is important to bear in mind that sophisticated malware often conceals itself deeply within the system. As a result, conducting a full system scan is a necessary step to ensure thorough detection and removal.

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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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