Avoid infections spread via "Redundancies Across The Organization" spam email

Also Known As: "Redundancies Across The Organization" malspam
Damage level: Severe

What kind of email is "Redundancies Across The Organization"?

After investigating the "Redundancies Across The Organization" email, we determined that it is malspam. This malicious mail is presented as the recipient's termination notice from their place of employment.

The email attachment supposedly details the layoff and final payment. Instead, the attached file is intended to infect recipients' machines with the Agent Tesla RAT (Remote Access Trojan).

Redundancies Across The Organization malspam

"Redundancies Across The Organization" email virus overview

The spam email with the subject "YOUR EMPLOYMENT STATUS" (may vary) is presented as a termination notice. The letter states that the current workforce cannot be sustained due to the taxes imposed on the recipient's employment company. An organization-wide layoff has to be undertaken, and the recipient's employment has been terminated as a result.

The email claims that the recipient will receive three months' worth of salary upfront as a means to aid them with this difficult transition. Details concerning this final payment and the layoffs can be found in the attachment. For more information, the recipient is instructed to contact the HR department.

It must be stressed that all the information provided in this letter is false, and this mail is not associated with the recipient's place of employment or any other existing entities.

The attachment – "Salary receipt.7z" (filename may vary) – is intended to infect devices with the Agent Tesla malware. It is a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) designed to enable remote access/control over machines. Agent Tesla is a highly versatile malware with extensive data-stealing capabilities.

In summary, by trusting an email like "Redundancies Across The Organization" – users can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

If you suspect that your device is infected – perform a full system scan with an anti-virus and eliminate all detected threats without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name "Redundancies Across The Organization" malspam
Threat Type Malspam, malicious spam, trojan, remote access trojan, RAT, password-stealing virus, spyware.
Disguise The email is presented as an employment termination notice.
Attachment(s) Salary receipt.7z (filename may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Tedy.608703), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Makoob.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/GuLoader.KZLJ), 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

We have written about thousands of spam campaigns; "Por Este Medio Notifico La Presente Demanda", "Products We Want To Purchase", "Messages In Soundbox", and "Quotation Request" are merely a few of our latest articles on malspam.

These emails proliferate trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, and other types of malware. Spam letters are also used to promote various scams, including phishing, sextortion, lottery, inheritance, tech support, refund, etc.

Due to how widespread spam mail is and how well-made it can be – we highly recommend treating incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages with care.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns are often used in malware distribution. The emails/messages can have infectious files attached to or linked inside them. These files can be archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), JavaScript, and so on.

Merely opening a malicious file can be enough to trigger the infection chain. Some formats need additional interaction to begin downloading/installing malware. For example, Microsoft Office files require users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents need them to click on embedded links or files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly advise caution with incoming emails and other messages. Attachments or links in dubious mail must not be opened, as they can be harmful or virulent.

However, malware is not spread exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, we recommend vigilance while browsing since fake and malicious online content usually appears genuine and innocuous.

Furthermore, all downloads must be made from official and verified channels. Another recommendation is to activate and update programs using functions/tools provided by legitimate developers, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updates may contain malware.

It must be emphasized that having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date is paramount to device/user safety. Security 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 "Redundancies Across The Organization" email letter:


Dear ********,

We regret to inform you that due to a severe tax imposition on our company, we are no longer able to sustain our current workforce. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to implement redundancies across the organization.

Unfortunately, this means that we are no longer able to continue your employment with ********

. Your last working days will be [29-6-2024].

We understand the impact of this decision on you, and as a gesture of goodwill, we have attached your three months' upfront salary to assist you during this transition period. The details of your final payment are included with attached documents.

Please find attached the necessary documents regarding your redundancy and the breakdown of your final salary payment.

We appreciate your contributions to the company and regret that we have to part ways under these circumstances. Should you need any assistance or have any questions regarding your redundancy package, please do not hesitate to contact the HR department at ********,

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this challenging time.


HR Manager

CC ********

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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, regardless of any relevant details that they may include. This information is most likely acquired through publicly available sources or phishing scams. Cyber criminals distribute this mail in massive operations – hence, thousands of users receive identical or incredibly similar emails.

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

No, reading an email does not pose an infection threat. Malware download/installation is jumpstarted when a malicious attachment or link is opened/clicked.

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 format of the opened file. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – it is highly likely that the system was compromised, as these formats cause infections almost without fail. However, you might have avoided this if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.). These formats may require additional interaction, such as enabling macros, clicking embedded content, and so on.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating practically all known malware infections. It must be stressed that performing a complete system scan is paramount since sophisticated malicious programs usually hide 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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