How to identify malicious campaigns like "Packing List"

Also Known As: Packing List malspam campaign
Damage level: Severe

What is "Packing List" email virus?

During our comprehensive evaluation, it has come to light that this email is deceptive and crafted by cybercriminals. The message asserts the presence of an attached file containing a packaging list. However, the attachment is malicious, designed to deceive recipients into executing malware on their computers.

Packing List malware-spreading email spam campaign

More about the "Packing List" malspam campaign

In the email, the recipient is informed of an attached packing list for a shipment. The letter suggests that item number 2 requires a different type of pallet, and an updated invoice for the shipment will be sent shortly. The email is purportedly from EgeSun GmbH in Germany, with contact details provided.

However, it has been identified that this communication is deceptive and contains a malicious attachment. The attachment is crafted with the intention of tricking recipients into executing malware on their computers. The specific malware delivered through this email is currently unidentified.

Emails can deliver a variety of malware, including Trojans and cryptocurrency miners. Trojans are malicious programs disguised as legitimate files or software, tricking users into running them. Once deployed, they can carry out various harmful activities, such as gathering sensitive information or providing access to the infected system.

Cryptocurrency miners are programs that use the victim's computer (hardware) to mine cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Monero, without their knowledge or consent. This can lead to significant performance degradation on the infected system and increased electricity consumption.

Another common threat is ransomware, which encrypts a user's files and demands payment for their release. This form of malware is notorious for its ability to cause significant disruption and financial harm to individuals and organizations alike.

Threat Summary:
Name Packing List malspam campaign
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax The attached file contains a packaging list
Attachment(s) PL366.doc (its name may vary)
Detection Names (Attachment) Avast (RTF:Obfuscated-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.70761080), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2018-0802.gen), Microsoft (Exploit:O97M/CVE-2017-11882.RVCF), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Commonly, malicious programs 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 Unidentified malware
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 campaigns in general

Emails delivering malware share several common traits, including unsolicited nature, the use of social engineering tactics, and often featuring spoofed sender information to appear legitimate. They commonly include suspicious attachments or links, may have misspelled or suspicious email addresses, generic greetings, and exhibit grammar or spelling errors.

The purpose of such emails is to lure recipients into opening malicious links or files. More examples of emails used to deliver malware are "Social Security Statement Email Virus", "KASIKORNBANK Email Virus", and "Bulk Order Email Virus".

How did "Packing List" infect my computer?

The email includes an attachment named "PL366.doc" (its name may vary), an infected MS Office document. Upon opening, users encounter a prompt to enable editing (enable macros commands). If users proceed to enable editing in the document, their computer becomes infected with malware.

Cybercriminals also use executable files (such as .exe), JavaScript files (.js), compressed archives (.zip, .rar), PDF files (.pdf), and script files (.vbs, .bat), to deliver malware via email. Additionally, emails can contain malicious links that are designed to open compromised or infected pages.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Avoid opening attachments presented in suspicious (e.g., unsolicited or irrelevant) emails, and refrain from clicking on links unless their legitimacy is verified. Keep software, operating systems, and security programs updated. Employ reputable antivirus and anti-malware software and run regular scans. Do not download pirated software, cracking tools, and key generators.

Obtain files and software from reliable sources such as official websites and app stores. Avoid interacting with pop-ups and ads on dubious websites or notifications from pages of this kind. If you have already opened "Packing List" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Packing List" email letter:

Subject: RE: updated PL

Dear -,

kindly find attached packing list for this shipment

item no2 required another type of pallet

updated invoice for shipment will be sent shortly

EgeSun GmbH, Lübkemannstr. 7, 28876 Oyten, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)4207 / 6884–552 – Fax: +49 (0)4207 / 6884–61

Geschäftsführer:   Maximilian Häusler, Stephan Paulke

Firmensitz: Oyten
Gerichtsstand: Amtsgericht Achim - HR: Walsrode HRB122635

Internet:  www.morgenland.bio

- www.one-nature[.]bio

Malicious attachment distributed via "Packing List" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Packing List 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, hoping someone falls for them. These spam emails lack personalization (they are generic).

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

The attachment in this email is a document that infects computers upon enabling editing. Simply opening the document does not immediately infect the computer unless it is done using a version of MS Office released before 2010.

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

Merely opening an email poses no threat. System infections can occur upon clicking links within the email or opening attached files.

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

Combo Cleaner has the capability to identify and remove a wide range of malware. It is crucial to highlight that sophisticated malware may conceal itself deeply within the system, underscoring the importance of conducting a full system scan to ensure 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.

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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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