Avoid infecting your device with malware via fake "Order List" emails

Also Known As: "Order List" malspam
Damage level: Severe

What kind of email is "Order List"?

After inspecting the "Order List" email, we determined that it is malspam. This malicious spam email claims to have an order list attached to it. If a recipient is lured into clicking the bogus attachment, they download the Agent Tesla RAT's executable. This RAT (Remote Access Trojan) is a piece of versatile high-risk software.

Order List malspam

"Order List" email virus overview

The spam email with the subject "Order List" (may vary) informs the recipient of an order list attached to the letter. This fake email includes an image depicting the supposed document's scan. However, when a user attempts to view this photo – a malware executable is downloaded.

Upon examination, we determined that this executable file is designed to infiltrate Agent Tesla into systems. This malicious program is classed as a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). These trojans are designed to allow cyber criminals to access and control devices remotely. Agent Tesla is a multi-functional program that can execute various commands on systems. This RAT also has several data-stealing capabilities.

In summary, victims of spam mail like "Order List" can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you believe that your device is already infected – immediately perform a full system scan with an anti-virus and remove all detected threats.

Threat Summary:
Name "Order List" malspam
Threat Type Malspam, malicious spam, trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Fake Claim Email has an order list attached to it.
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), DrWeb (Trojan.Inject2.8300), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Injector.Autoit.FTI), Kaspersky (Trojan.Win32.Strab.fcm), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Znyonm), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Payload Agent Tesla
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

"MINISTÉRIO PUBLICO PORTUGAL", "Missing Invoice", "Packing List", and "Social Security Statement" are but a few examples of malware-spreading emails that we have investigated recently.

This mail can distribute trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, and other malicious programs. Spam emails are also used to facilitate phishing and various other scams.

While these letters are infamous for being riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, they may be competently crafted and even disguised as messages from legitimate companies, organizations, authorities, and other entities.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns spread malware through infectious files attached to or linked inside the emails. The "Order List" letter that we investigated proliferated Agent Tesla by promoting a malicious executable. However, virulent files come in various formats, not just executables, e.g., archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), documents (PDF, Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, etc.), JavaScript, and so on.

Once such a file is opened – the infection chain is jumpstarted. However, some formats may require additional interaction to start downloading/installing malware. 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 crucial to treat incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages with caution. Attachments or links present in dubious mail must not be opened, as they can be malicious. We recommend using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since their "Protected View" mode prevents automatic macro command execution.

It must be mentioned that malware is not proliferated only via spam mail. Therefore, we also advise downloading only from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters may contain malware.

Fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears legitimate and harmless – therefore, it is essential to be vigilant while browsing.

We must stress the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. 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 "Order List" spam email letter:

Subject: Order List  

Dear Sir,  

Trust this email finds you well.

Kindly find attached our order list

Kindly click on the picture to enlarge it
Give me your best prices, so we can proceed further
Thank you in advance.

Best Regards,

Manos Tsakalis
P & C Manager

Lubrico - A. Tsakalis Ltd.
Tel: +30 21557393
Mob: +30 69474972
Web: www.lubrico.gr

Meet us at the World's Leading Trade Fair "IFAT 2020 Munich" in Germany.
Our stand's location is No. 522 in A3 Hall.

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious file promoted by the "Order List" spam email:

Order List promoted file detections on VirusTotal

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, even if they include details relevant to the recipients. Cyber criminals distribute these letters in massive operations – hence, thousands of users receive identical ones.

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

Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened; merely reading an email is harmless.

I have downloaded and opened the file promoted by a spam email, is my computer infected?

Whether the system was infected might depend on the format of the opened file. 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, .one, .pdf, etc.). Formats of this kind may require additional actions to begin malware download/installation processes (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded files/links, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and eliminate all manner of threats. It is capable of removing practically all known malware infections. Note that performing a complete system scan is essential since sophisticated malicious software typically 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.

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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