DHL Australia Return Consignment STARTRACK EXPRESS – Fake PDF Malware

Identifying Malware

An email that appears to come from DHL Australia with the subject of Return consignment AVD524417 pretending to come from DSC.AU.Returns@dhl.comwith a zip attachment is another one from the current bot runs which try to download various Trojans and password stealers especially banking credential stealers, which may include cridex, dridex, dyreza and various Zbots, cryptolocker, ransomware and loads of other malware on your computer. They use email addresses and subjects that will entice a user to read the email and open the attachment.

A very high proportion are being targeted at small and medium size businesses, with the hope of getting a better response than they do from consumers.

The content of the email says :


Print off labels (on a LASER printer as this will ensure driver can scan barcode) and affix to carton.
Please ensure all other labels are removed from carton.
You can book your own freight by calling our Carrier Partner Startrack Express on 12 18 58 quoting Reference No. 524417
Alternatively, DHL will call within 3 business days after labels are sent to assist in booking in your freight for collection.
Quote the consignment Number that is on your labels (attached to your email with prefix AVD)
Startrack Express will provide you with a booking number, please retain this number.
Below is a mandatory TRANSFER SUMMARY. This must be completed prior to the arrival of driver; if not complete, this may result in a futile pick up.
Goods are required back into warehouse no later than 7 working days. Please ensure good are ready for collection.

STARTRACK EXPRESS TRANSFER SUMMARY REPORT – Driver’s Copy SENDER NAME: ____________________________________________________________________

SENDER ADDRESS:___________________________________________________________________

CONNOTE #________________________________________________________________________

BOOKING #_________________________________________________________________________

QUANTITY___________LENGTH__________WIDTH__________HEIGHT_________TOTAL M3_______ DRIVER’S NAME & ID (driver to fill in)_________________________________________

DANGEROUS GOODS WARRANTY: I hereby declare that these shipments do not contain Dangerous Goods.

Startrack Express is not a common carrier.

SENDER’S SIGNATURE________________________________________________________________



SENDER COPY: This documents is for your records as a confirmation the goods were picked up by the driver.

DRIVER’S COPY: Transfer Summary Report (above) must be given to the Driver when the consignment is picked up.

These malicious attachments normally have a password stealing component, with the aim of stealing your bank, PayPal or other financial details along with your email or FTP ( web space) log in credentials. Many of them are also designed to specifically steal your Facebook and other social network log in details.

16 October 2021: Extracts to: FL-AVD084542.exe Current Virus total detections:

This is another one of the spoofed icon files that unless you have “show known file extensions enabled“, will look like a proper PDF file instead of the .exe file it really is, so making it much more likely for you to accidentally open it and be infected.

None of the companies that seem to be sending these emails have been hacked or had their email or other servers compromised. They are not sending the emails to you. They are just innocent victims in exactly the same way as every recipient of these emails.

All the alleged senders, amounts, reference numbers, Bank codes, companies, names of employees, employee positions, email addresses and phone numbers mentioned in the emails are all random. Some of these companies will exist and some won’t.

Don’t try to respond by phone or email, all you will do is end up with an innocent person or company who have had their details spoofed and picked at random from a long list that the bad guys have previously found. The bad guys choose companies, Government departments and organisations with subjects that are designed to entice you or alarm you into blindly opening the attachment or clicking the link in the email to see what is happening.

Please read our How to protect yourselves page for simple, sensible advice on how to avoid being infected by this sort of socially engineered malware.

Be very careful with email attachments. All of these emails use Social engineering tricks to persuade you to open the attachments that come with the email. Whether it is a message saying “look at this picture of me I took last night” and it appears to come from a friend or is more targeted at somebody who regularly is likely to receive PDF attachments or Word .doc attachments or any other common file that you use every day.

The basic rule is NEVER open any attachment to an email, unless you are expecting it. Now that is very easy to say but quite hard to put into practice, because we all get emails with files attached to them. Our friends and family love to send us pictures of them doing silly things, or even cute pictures of the children or pets.

Never just blindly click on the file in your email program. Always save the file to your downloads folder, so you can check it first. A lot of malicious files that are attached to emails will have a faked extension. That is the 3 letters at the end of the file name.

Unfortunately windows by default hides the file extensions so you need to Set your folder options to “show known file types. Then when you unzip the zip file that is supposed to contain the pictures of “Sally’s dog catching a ball”, an invoice or receipt from some company for a product or service or a report in word document format that work has supposedly sent you to finish working on at the weekend, you can easily see if it is a picture or document & not a malicious program.

If you see .EXE or .COM or .PIF or .SCR at the end of the file name DO NOT click on it or try to open it, it will infect you.

While the malicious program is inside the zip file, it cannot harm you or automatically run. When it is just sitting unzipped in your downloads folder it won’t infect you, provided you don’t click it to run it. Just delete the zip and any extracted file and everything will be OK.

You can always run a scan with your antivirus to be sure. There are some zip files that can be configured by the bad guys to automatically run the malware file when you double click the zip to extract the file. If you right click any suspicious zip file received, and select extract here or extract to folder ( after saving the zip to a folder on the computer) that risk is virtually eliminated.

Never attempt to open a zip directly from your email, that is a guaranteed way to get infected. The best way is to just delete the unexpected zip and not risk any infection.

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