So I'm The Hacker Who Broke Your Email Scam

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Severe

What is "So I'm the hacker who broke your email"?

"So I'm the hacker who broke your email" is a spam email campaign that cyber criminals use to threaten and swindle people out of their money.

These criminals claim that they have a humiliating video or photo of the victim and threaten to send it to all people in the recipient's contacts. Victims are generally urged to pay a ransom to prevent this situation. If you received this email (or similar), do not worry - it is just a scam.

So I'm the hacker who broke your email malware

If you have received a "So I'm the hacker who broke your email" message, you are one of hundreds or even thousands of other people who receive this email. As stated in the ransom demand email, cyber criminals have allegedly hacked into your email account (and device) some time ago and have obtained the password.

They claim that they have installed malware using your email account and it has infected your system. As a result, this malicious software extracted all of your contacts and the entire browsing history. The people behind this scam claim that they have made multiple screenshots of "shocking" websites that you supposedly visited.

Now that they have these images, they urge you to pay a ransom of $900, otherwise they will be sent to all friends, colleagues, and so on.

Furthermore, your computer will be blocked. The email states that you have 48 hours to pay the ransom from the point at which you opened the email. Most scammers who send these emails make very similar threats and claims. Do not fall for this scam - simply ignore it.

Threat Summary:
Name So I'm The Hacker Who Broke Your 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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As mentioned above, there are many scams similar to this. Here are some examples: I'm a programmer who cracked your email, My virus captured all your personal data, and Embed a malware on the web page. These and other spam campaigns are used for the same purpose: to make threats and ransom demands. Some spam campaigns are used to spread viruses.

These emails usually contain malicious attachments, which are usually Word, PDF, Excel (or other Microsoft) documents, or .exe, .rar, and other files. The purpose of these email campaigns is to trick people into downloading and opening attachments. Once opened, however, they install high-risk viruses such as TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind, etc.

Frequently, viruses of this type steal bank account details, passwords, logins, and other sensitive/personal information. Computers infected with these viruses can lead to various privacy, browsing safety issues, financial issues, and other problems. Some open "backdoors", and thus systems might be infected with other viruses such as ransomware.

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

Q: Hi pcrisk.com team, I received an email stating that my computer was hacked and they have a video of me. Now they are asking for a ransom in Bitcoins. I think this must be true because they listed my real name and password in the email. What should I do?

A: Do not worry about this email. Neither hackers nor cyber criminals have infiltrated/hacked your computer and there is no video of you watching pornography. Simply ignore the message and do not send any Bitcoins. Your email, name, and password was probably stolen from a compromised website such as  Yahoo (these website breaches are common). If you are concerned, you can check if your accounts have been compromised by visiting the haveibeenpwned website.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam email campaigns that contain malicious attachments usually infect systems only when they are opened. For example, if there are malicious Microsoft Office document attached, the email will ask users to enable macros commands. If they are enabled, the malicious attachment downloads/installs high-risk virus.

Note that .rar files must be extracted and executable (.exe) files must be launched, and so on. In summary, the virus cannot proliferate if the malicious attachments remain unopened.

How to avoid installation of malware?

If you receive an email from an unknown sender or unrecognized email address containing an attachment, do not open it. Study the email carefully, and if it seems irrelevant, ignore it. Download software using official/trustworthy sources, and direct links only.

Do not use third party downloaders/installers, since they are often monetized by promoting rogue applications that might proliferate unwanted or even malicious programs. Install/download software with care, check all the available "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings/options.

Deselect/dismiss all additionally-included potentially unwanted applications and only then finish the installation process. Update your software using functions or tools provided by official developers. Other sources (such as fake software updaters) should not be used - they are often used to proliferate potentially unwanted/rogue applications.

If you are using Microsoft Office suite, ensure that is no older than 2010. Older versions are not capable of preventing users from installing malware. Newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents downloaded files from downloading and installing malicious software.

The key to safety is caution. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "So I'm the hacker who broke your email" email message:

Subject: email password is user's password

Hey there
So I'm the hacker who broke your email and device a several weeks ago.
You entered your passcode on one of the internet sites you visited, and I intercepted it.
This is your password from user's email on moment of compromise: user's password
However you can can change it, or even already changed it.
Nevertheless this would not make a difference, my personal malware modifie ;d it every time.
Do not really attempt to get in touch with me or even find me, it is impossible, since I sent you mail from your account only.
Through your own e-mail, I uploaded malware code to your Operation System.
I saved all of your current contacts along with friends, colleagues, relatives as well as a total record of visits to the World wide web resources.
Also I installed a Virus on your device.
You're not my only prey, I typically lock computers and ask for the ransom.
Nonetheless I ended up being struck through the web pages of intimate content material that you frequently pay a visit to.
I am in great shock of your own fantasies! I have certainly not noticed something like this!
Consequently, when you had fun on piquant web pages (you know what I am talking about!) I made screen shot with using my program by your camera of yours system.
After that, I combined them to the content of the currently viewed site.
There will be giggling when I send these images to your associates!
Yet I'm certain you wouldn't like that.
Hence, I expect to have payment from you for my quiet.
I consider $900 is an acceptable price regarding this!
Pay with Bitcoins.
My BTC wallet: 16Qb89akfcw4yVP6TR9pURFkAgdHc6sC5T, 17RS2aHFxfqfVU4K9hFaAUoQdBisbSAx7U
In case you do not really know how to do this - enter into Google 'how to transfer money to the bitcoin wallet'. It is simple.
Immediately after receiving the specified amount, all your data will be immediately destroyed automatically. My virus will ad ditionally remove itself through your os.
My Trojan viruses have auto alert, so I know when this specific e mail is opened.
I give you two days (48 hours) to make a payment.
If this does not occur - every your associates will get insane images from your darker secret life and your device will be blocked as well after two days.
Do not end up being foolish!
Law enforcement or buddies won't aid you for sure ...
P.S I can provide you with advice with regard to the future. Do not enter your security passwords on unsafe web pages.
I wish for your discretion.

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically.

To remove this malware we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu".

Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button.

In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":


manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck the "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs.

These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

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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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