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We Have Installed One RAT Software Email Scam

Also Known As: We Have Installed One RAT Software spam
Damage level: Severe

What is "We Have Installed One RAT Software"?

"We Have Installed One RAT Software" is categorized as a spam email campaign that is used to blackmail users. Cyber criminals send an email message stating that the user's computer is hacked and/or infected with malware, remote access tool (RAT) is installed, and a ransom payment is required.

If payment is not made, the message states that a "disgraceful video will be sent to all the people you know". This is a scam - these emails are simply used to extort money from innocent users.

We Have Installed One RAT Software malware

As mentioned in our introduction regarding the "We Have Installed One RAT Software" scam, cyber criminals state that your computer is hacked and infected with malware. Furthermore, they also state that all contact information from social media networks and email addresses has been collected.

The scam developers claim that this has happened since you visited a pornography website and clicked the "Play" button, which then downloaded a trojan to your computer. It is also states that they have a video of you "masturbating" - recorded when you played a porn video. According to scammers, you must pay $800 (in Bitcoins) within 48 hours of reading their message.

If not, they will share the video with your colleagues and friends. Note that there is no such video and this scam is used to extort gullible users.

Furthermore, your computer is not harmed (it is not hacked or infected as they suggest). In summary, they send identical email messages to a large number of users and expect some to believe their scam. You should definitely ignore these (and other, similar) emails.

Threat Summary:
Name We Have Installed One RAT Software Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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"We Have Installed One RAT Software" is similar to many other spam campaigns (such as eFax, Important Documents IRS, You Have A Santander SecureHM Revenue & Customs Outstanding Amount, and many more).

None of these scams make ransom demands, but they attempt to trick users into downloading and opening untrustworthy email attachments (invoices, bills, and so on) that usually are in recognizable formats such as MS Office documents. Bear in mind that these attachments are malicious and should not be downloaded or opened.

If opened, they download and install various high-risk viruses such as TrickBot, Adwind, FormBook, etc. They can lead to system damage and problems relating to privacy and browsing safety. Furthermore, these viruses collect data (such as banking details, logins and passwords, and so on).

They might also open "backdoors" for other infections, such as ransomware-type viruses. Infection by these viruses can result in serious issues with privacy, significant financial/data loss, and further high-risk computer infections. If you have already opened these dubious attachments, scan the system with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to ensure that it is safe and virus-free.

We receive lot of feedback from concerned users about this email scam. Here is the most popular question that we receive:

Q. "Hi pcrisk.com team, I got an email stating that my computer was hacked and they have a video of me. Now they are asking for a ransom in bitcoins. This might be true because they listed my real name and password within the email. What should I do?"

A. Do not worry about it. Neither hackers nor cyber criminals have infiltrated/hacked your computer and there is no video of you watching pornography. The most important thing is to simply ignore them and do not send them any Bitcoins. If you are wondering how they obtained your email address, name and/or password, it is very likely that this information was stolen from a compromised website, such as Yahoo. These website breaches are common. If necessary, you can check if any of your accounts are compromised by visiting the haveibeenpwned website.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns proliferate various malicious attachments, however, in most cases, the attached file is a Microsoft Office document. These infected MS Office attachments ask users to enable macro commands. When enabled, the attachments execute commands that download and install malicious software.

Note, however, that these attachments are harmful only if they are opened with MS Office applications (Word, Excel, or other app). If the attached file is opened using any other software that is also capable of reading this particular format, the malware will not download. These viruses are often work only on Windows Operating Systems, and thus users of other OS are safe.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Be careful when browsing the web, especially when downloading, updating or installing software. Take your time to analyze each received email and any attachments. If attached files seem to be irrelevant or received from a suspicious/untrustworthy email address, do not open them.

Bear in mind that rogue programs are often distributed using fake updaters and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Bundling is stealth installation of deceptive applications within other regular, third party software. It is important to keep installed software updated, however, even more important to use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only.

Furthermore, avoid using third party download/installation tools - developers monetize this software by "bundling" (promoting) rogue software. Download software using official sources and direct download links only. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running at all times is also very important.

Later Microsoft Office versions (2010 and above) open newly-downloaded documents in "Protected View" mode. This prevents malicious attachments from downloading viruses. We recommend that you use newer versions, since using older versions of MS Office suite might pose risks.

If you suspect that your system is infected, you should immediately run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "We Have Installed One RAT Software" email message:

Subject: Account Issue

Hi, dear user of -
We have installed one RAT software into you device.
For this moment your email account is hacked (see on "from address", I messaged you from your account).
Your password for user's real email address: user's real password

I have downloaded all confidential information from your system and I got some more evidence.
The most interesting moment that I have discovered are videos records where you masturbating.

I posted my virus on porn site, and then you installed it on your operation system.
When you clicked the button Play on porn video, at that moment my trojan was downloaded to your device.
After installation, your front camera shoots video every time you masturbate, in addition, the software is synchronized with the video you choose.

For the moment, the software has collected all your contact information from social networks and email addresses.
If you need to erase all of your collected data, send me $800 in BTC (crypto currency).
This is my Bitcoin wallet: 13cyEdT7kyH2f4j9xchvDGhv1o64MYNLUS, 18oAbhvp7ib8e1zNSVGFR3v8YmqiCeBoFu, 15Z4Y1q5QufvFPvRBKhwVhQyFTLwEQ5f4J, 1GMUM5rDLTARGFQfwHicdwySAy21wsHKpR, 1A19CzQQ5ZFxK57LWoAn2rFScTda6DnK1q, 15GWKdT8e1o6GcDTZMQZRiZng2Q6dLX8Aw, 1DCJnck76Nnuh6ijgLpFcX58gCwVQ4vuXj, 158r99HsERpiBqWg3w2FCPHbUfkXG8Zxsd, 13yAsTuS6MyjNUYde4EBabTZJFfZBRTZu1, 16ZsEdEMNU7iavAEeqrUD3gkD1JmzBz1U4, 1CFfixNyiN8VFN12rgjq4pYarxmke2KTMc
You have 48 hours after reading this letter.

After your transaction I will erase all your data.
Otherwise, I will send video with your pranks to all your colleagues and friends!!!

And henceforth be more careful!
Please visit only secure sites!
Bye!

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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.

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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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