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I Am A Spyware Software Developer Email Scam

Also Known As: I Am A Spyware Software Developer spam
Damage level: Severe

What is "I am a spyware software developer Email Scam"?

The "I am a spyware software developer Email Scam" is a spam email campaign used to threaten people and to trick them into transferring Bitcoins. Generally, scammers claim that they have obtained compromising photos or videos of a person and threaten to proliferate the material if their demands are not met.

There are many email scam campaigns similar to this on the internet. If you have received the "I am a spyware software developer Email Scam" email (or similar), there is nothing to worry about. These email scams should never be trusted or taken seriously.

I am a spyware software developer Email Scam spam campaign

The "I am a spyware software developer Email Scam" email is sent using the "email spoofing method". Therefore, it may seem as if the email was sent from the recipient's address. Scammers who use this method are able to falsify the sender's email address.

The message states that a hacker/spyware developer has hacked your computer and infected it with a virus, and is thus able to monitor what you are doing on your computer (and has been doing this for some time). The scammers claim that they have access to your browsing history, various passwords, photos, videos, and so on.

Furthermore, a person behind "I am a spyware software developer Email Scam" claims that he/she has recorded videos and taken photos of you while you were visiting an adult website(s).

If you do not wish this material to be sent to your contacts (friends, colleagues, and so on), you are encouraged to transfer $840 in Bitcoins to a cryptocurrency wallet provided within 48 hours of reading the email. This scammer also claims that, if you do not transfer the requested cryptocurrency sum, the content will be distributed and your disk formatted (you will lose all of your data).

Note that this is just one of many scam campaigns. Most of these scammers make identical threats. We recommend that you simply ignore this email scam (and all similar scams).

Threat Summary:
Name I Am A Spyware Software Developer 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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Some examples of other similar scam campaigns are So I'm the hacker who broke your email, I'm a programmer who cracked your email, My virus captured all your personal data etc. Most share the same purpose: to threaten people by claiming that hackers have obtained humiliating videos/photos and to make ransom demands.

There are also other types of scam campaigns used to infect computers with viruses by tricking people into opening malicious attachments. The attachments are usually Microsoft Office documents, PDF, archive or executable files. Once opened, they infect computers with viruses such as TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind, and so on.

Typically, these viruses are designed to steal logins, passwords, bank account details and other sensitive or/and personal data. These infections can thus cause various privacy, financial, and other issues.

Some of these viruses are designed to open "backdoors" for other viruses to infiltrate - therefore, having a computer infected with viruses of this type can lead to even more infections including, for example, 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 haveibeenpwned website.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Email scam campaigns used to infect computers through malicious email attachments (or links that lead to malicious downloads) are only successful if the attachment (or link) is opened. In some cases (if the attachment is a MS Office document), infections proliferate when permission to enable macros commands is given.

In other cases, it is enough to simply open the attachment - for example, to extract an archive (rar, zip or similar), run the executable (.exe) file, and so on. In summary, as long as the attachment stays unopened, it cannot do any harm to a computer or its user.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open attachments (or links) that are presented in emails received from unknown/suspicious senders without studying them first. If the email seems to be irrelevant, do not open the attachment or link (if there is one). Download software using official, trustworthy sources only.

Do not use third party downloaders (such as torrents, eMule, peer-to-peer networks, and so on). Third party downloaders/installers are used to proliferate rogue applications. Check "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings when downloading or installing software, especially if it is free.

Keep your software updated, however, use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developers only. Fake updaters usually install malware or unwanted applications rather than the promised updates. If you are using Microsoft Office, we recommend that you use MS Office 2010 or later.

Newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevent malicious attachments from downloading/installing malware (or other unwanted software). 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 "I am a spyware software developer Email Scam" email message:

Subject: Account Issue. Changed password. (your password: user's password)


Dear user of -!

I am a spyware software developer.
Your account has been hacked by me in the summer of 2018.

I understand that it is hard to believe, but here is my evidence:
- I sent you this email from your account.
- Password from account user's email address: user's real password (on moment of hack).

The hacking was carried out using a hardware vulnerability through which you went online (Cisco router, vulnerability CVE-2018-0296).

I went around the security system in the router, installed an exploit there.
When you went online, my exploit downloaded my malicious code (rootkit) to your device.
This is driver software, I constantly updated it, so your antivirus is silent all time.

Since then I have been following you (I can connect to your device via the VNC protocol).
That is, I can see absolutely everything that you do, view and download your files and any data to yourself.
I also have access to the camera on your device, and I periodically take photos and videos with you.

At the moment, I have harvested a solid dirt... on you...
I saved all your email and chats from your messangers. I also saved the entire history of the sites you visit.

I note that it is useless to change the passwords. My malware update passwords from your accounts every times.

I know what you like hard funs (adult sites).
Oh, yes .. I'm know your secret life, which you are hiding from everyone.
Oh my God, what are your like... I saw THIS ... Oh, you dirty naughty person ... :)

I took photos and videos of your most passionate funs with adult content, and synchronized them in real time with the image of your camera.
Believe it turned out very high quality!

So, to the business!
I'm sure you don't want to show these files and visiting history to all your contacts.

Transfer $840 to my Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet: 1Bt4psBJmjfVTcW6eYiJZ6HEbpFgKkBSX4, 19qL8vdRtk5xJcGNVk3WruuSyitVfSAy7f, 1GXazHVQUdJEtpe62UFozFibPa8ToDoUn3, 1A4ffsLWPYC8n7Dq4s4aiY5mzG4szuHx3M, 1122NYbAT2KkZDZ5TFvGy4D2Ut7eYfx4en, 13phdoBirrAtFXKWJQ9HgTYX9b7C2MqXPE, 1Q35Tr3ccKWVJjt3yXDuFFD7FRnqCx2UxU, 17EuB8AmyBm81FgCovdr6huCCoSzv2S7nP, 14VbGhtysr6wrNs7EhdKiS2NoMmMDBM8cn, 1EFBBqVxZ4H71TJXJDD7KNPpWMs35kTdVw, 1971pHPgLaTmuYtoH4BsGSfFMZaAjotium, 1DyDnmFR8KPMdWocDobtYMxSKTNBKsZZdV, 1H2fPTBpvm5tyHqoxTpRy5pYo2qXMbs9to, 1KmsJLvvrXwfgBwwuN1Q31stKrLY9UX9JY, 1K8TqsB2C1iY8qdGqhnHfgen3uE8GBU7c8, 17B1uYtf1D6vuMgyXxEMFjzXkcv6YCWTbt, 14XMwrqXdhz6YnShUuW37dTrKmpMFbJDHL, 1AU8PEZ4E1DwRdixPDZuNLEGCu8skyQSwi, 1CrPdG13v95Zcq8RTcbzFBhJtHkkxHTTXJ, 18GX9NdrT5y5WJzUKJAY9A3eHS2GQreWiM, 17YMRbGKJQd4SG1avMFT5t69Khu2n9ZViH

Just copy and paste the wallet number when transferring.
If you do not know how to do this - ask Google.

My system automatically recognizes the translation.
As soon as the specified amount is received, all your data will be destroyed from my server, and the rootkit will be automatically removed from your system.
Do not worry, I really will delete everything, since I am working with many people who have fallen into your position.
You will only have to inform your provider about the vulnerabilities in the router so that other hackers will not use it.

Since opening this letter you have 48 hours.
If funds not will be received, after the specified time has elapsed, the disk of your device will be formatted,
and from my server will automatically send email and sms to all your contacts with compromising material.

I advise you to remain prudent and not engage in nonsense (all files on my server).

Good luck!

Another variant of "" spam email:

I Am A Spyware Software Developer Email Scam variant 2

Text presented within this email:

Subject: Security Notice. ****** was hacked! Change your password now!

 

Dear user of *!

I am a spyware software developer.
Your account has been hacked by me in the summer of 2019.

The hacking was carried out using a hardware vulnerability through which you went online (Cisco router, vulnerability CVE-2019-12643).

I went around the security system in the router, installed an exploit there.
When you went online, my exploit downloaded my malicious code (rootkit) to your device.
This is driver software, I constantly updated it, so your antivirus is silent all time.

Since then I have been following you (I can connect to your device via the VNC protocol).
That is, I can see absolutely everything that you do, view and download your files and any data to yourself.
I also have access to the camera on your device, and I periodically take photos and videos with you.

At the moment, I have harvested a solid dirt... on you...
I saved all your email and chats from your messangers. I also saved the entire history of the sites you visit.

I note that it is useless to change the passwords. My malware update passwords from your accounts every times.

I know what you like hard funs (adult sites).
Oh, yes .. I'm know your secret life, which you are hiding from everyone.
Oh my God, what are your like... I saw THIS ... Oh, you dirty naughty person ... :)

I took photos and videos of your most passionate funs with adult content, and synchronized them in real time with the image of your camera.
Believe it turned out very high quality!

So, to the business!
I'm sure you don't want to show these files and visiting history to all your contacts.

Transfer $981 to my Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet: 1CDKLgab6xUnAwP5q5x3jdDy8978Bt2iCZ, 1AirieZr8Ax9gUjZhyVeZqJzGaAkvUEBqq, 1AirieZr8Ax9gUjZhyVeZqJzGaAkvUEBqq, 16877R7pYKMmLJBSZYAPqC5gSTY9R43zim, 1FN1z3mbeAmop57ofHHErVTFCko5Uw1hqn
Just copy and paste the wallet number when transferring.
If you do not know how to do this - ask Google.

My system automatically recognizes the translation.
As soon as the specified amount is received, all your data will be destroyed from my server, and the rootkit will be automatically removed from your system.
Do not worry, I really will delete everything, since I am 'working' with many people who have fallen into your position.
You will only have to inform your provider about the vulnerabilities in the router so that other hackers will not use it.

Since opening this letter you have 48 hours.
If funds not will be received, after the specified time has elapsed, the disk of your device will be formatted,
and from my server will automatically send email and sms to all your contacts with compromising material.

P.S. Do not try to contact me (this is impossible, sender's address was randomly generated).

I advise you to remain prudent and not engage in nonsense (all files on my server).

Good luck!

Appearance of this email (GIF):

I Am A Spyware Software Developer Email Scam variant 2 (GIF)

Yet another variant of "I Am A Spyware Software Developer" spam campaign:

I Am A Spyware Software Developer email spam campaign

Text presented within this mail:

Hello

I am a spyware software developer.

28/10/2019 - On this day I hacked your OS and got full access to your account ***********

I sent this message from your account

The hacking was carried out using a hardware vulnerability through which you went online.
I went around the security system in the router, installed an exploit there.
When you went online, my exploit downloaded my malicious code (rootkit) to your device.
Why your antivirus did not detect malware? My malware uses the driver, I update its signatures every 3 hours so that your antivirus is silent.

Since then I have been following you (I can connect to your device via the VNC protocol).
That is, I can see absolutely everything that you do, view and download your files and any data to yourself.
I also have access to the camera on your device, and I periodically take photos and videos with you.

At the moment, I have harvested a solid dirt... on you...
I saved all your email and chats from your messangers. I also saved the entire history of the sites you visit.

I know what you like adult sites.
Oh, yes... I'm know your secret life, which you are hiding from everyone.
I took photos and videos of your most passionate funs with adult content, and synchronized them in real time with the image of your camera.
Believe it turned out very high quality!

I'm sure you don't want to show these files and visiting history to all your contacts.

Transfer $779 to my Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet: 1EusKBngvc4DQZ6xoRJihrQL8NR7y1TRhw
Just copy and paste the wallet number when transferring.
If you do not know how to do this - ask Google.

My system automatically recognizes the transfer.
As soon as the specified amount is received, all your data will be destroyed from my server, and the rootkit will be automatically removed from your system.

Good luck!

Yet another variant of "I Am A Spyware Software Developer" scam email:

I Am A Spyware Software Developer spam email (2020-08-17)

Text presented within:

Subject: Caution! Hacker attack on your account!


Hello!

I am a spyware software developer.
Your account has been hacked by me.

You can check it - I sent this message from
your account. -

The hacking was carried out using a hardware
vulnerability through which you went online.

I went around the security system in the router,
installed an exploit there.
When you went online, my exploit downloaded my
malicious code (rootkit) to your device.
This is driver software, I constantly updated it,
so your antivirus is silent all time.

Since then I have been following you
(I can connect to your device via the VNC protocol).
That is, I can see absolutely everything that you do,
view and download your files and any data to yourself.
I also have access to the camera on your device,
and I periodically take photos and videos with you.

At the moment, I have harvested a solid dirt... on you...
I saved all your email and chats from your messangers.
I also saved the entire history of the sites you visit.

I note that it is useless to change the passwords.
My malware update passwords from your accounts every times.

I know what you like hard funs (adult sites).
Oh, yes .. I'm know your secret life, which you
are hiding from everyone.
Oh my God, what are your like... I saw THIS ...
Oh, you dirty naughty person ... :)

I took photos and videos of your most passionate funs
with adult content, and synchronized them in real
time with the image of your camera.
Believe it turned out very high quality!

So, to the business!
I'm sure you don't want to show these files and
visiting history to all your contacts.

Transfer $500 to my.

Bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet: 12stxcygG9PiJ4U58rrXTpyZmzyDYmt27q

Just copy and paste the wallet number when transferring.
If you do not know how to do this - ask Google.

My system automatically recognizes the transfer.
As soon as the specified amount is received,
all your data will be destroyed from my server,
and the rootkit will be automatically removed from your system.
Do not worry, I really will delete everything,
since I am 'working' with many people who have
fallen into your position.
You will only have to inform your provider about
the vulnerabilities in the router so that other
hackers will not use it.

You have 72 hours (3 days) to send the payment.
When coins are submitted, the video with you doing...
you know what will be destroyed, and you will never
hear from me.
P.S. If you need more time to pay, open your notepad
on your device and write '48h more'.
Only this way you can contact me.
I have a notice reading this letter,
and the timer will work when you see this letter.
Filing a complaint somewhere does not make sense because
this email cannot be tracked like my bitcoin address.
I do not make any mistakes.

I advise you to remain prudent and not engage
in nonsense (all files on my server).

Good luck!

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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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