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.
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.
|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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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
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.
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- What is So I'm The Hacker Who Broke Your spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious 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.
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.
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:
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.