Looked At You For Several Months Email Scam

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Looked at you for several months" removal guide

What is "Looked at you for several months"?

"Looked at you for several months" is a scam (a spam email campaign) used to trick recipients into believing that anonymous hackers have recorded a compromising/humiliating video and will proliferate it if their ransom demands are not met. In fact, there are hundreds (or even more) similar spam campaigns online -  all should be ignored. Scammers send these emails to thousands of people in the hope that some will be tricked. Note: this email is sent using the "email spoofing" method. In this way, scammers falsify the sender's address, thus making it seem as if the recipient was also the sender.

Looked at you for several months spam campaign

According to the "Looked at you for several months" email message, a hacker infected the computer with malware (a malicious program) several months ago. It states that this happened when the user was visiting an adult site. This scammer claims that he was able to gain access to the recipient's computer (to monitor computer activities, turn on the camera (webcam), microphone, and so on). It is also stated that all contacts were stolen. The main purpose of this email is to convince the recipient that a hacker has recorded a compromising video and, if demands to pay 600 Euros (in Bitcoins) are not met, the video will be sent to all email and social networking contacts. The scammer promises to delete the video when the money is transferred. The deadline is 24 hours from the time at which the email was opened. According to the scammer, a timer was installed to indicate when the email was opened. A warning is also given, stating that if the email is shared with someone else or reported, the video will be sent to all contacts immediately. This is a common scam and the message should not be trusted. All statements about the computer being infected, controlled, video recorded, or data stolen, are false. We advise people who receive this email to delete it and never take any other similar spam email campaigns seriously.

Threat Summary:
Name Looked At You For Several Months 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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Examples of other similar spam campaigns include I Am A Spyware Software Developer, So I'm the hacker who broke your email, and I'm a programmer who cracked your email. Typically, these emails share the same purpose: to trick people into believing that a third party has infected the computer and compromising material (humiliating photos, videos, etc.) has been obtained. The main purpose of these scams is to extort money from regular users. Note that some spam campaigns are used to trick people into installing computer infections (such as TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind, and many more) by downloading and opening malicious attachments (or opening web links). These attachments are usually Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, executable files, archive files, and so on. The viruses proliferated using spam campaigns often steal data such as bank account details, passwords, logins, and other sensitive information. Thus, having a computer infected with these viruses can lead to privacy, browsing safety issues, financial loss, and so on. Some of these malicious programs are capable of opening "backdoors" for other infections (such as ransomware-type viruses). Therefore, the presence of this malware might lead to further computer infections.

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 computers when the presented links or attachments are opened (.exe files executed, and so on). For example, if the attachment is an MS Office document (Word, Excel, or other), once downloaded and opened, it will demand permission to enable macro commands. Once enabled, the malicious document will have permission to download and install a virus. In other cases, if the attachment is an archive file, its contents must be extracted and an executable file executed, and so on. In all cases, however, spam emails cannot do any harm if the attachment remains unopened.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not download/open attachments (or links) without first carefully inspecting the email. If the attached file (or entire email) seems irrelevant or has been received from a suspicious, unknown email address, it is better to keep it unopened. Furthermore, do not use third party software downloaders, installers, and other similar sources to download or install software. These tools are often monetized by promoting rogue applications. Install and download software with caution and check all available "Custom", "Advanced" options and other similar settings of the download/installation set-ups. Opt-out of any offers to install unwanted software and only then finish the download or installation procedure. Update your software via implemented functions or tools provided by official software developers. Using unofficial updaters might result in installation of malicious programs rather than the updates (or fixes). Use Microsoft Office 2010 or later, since newer versions include "Protected View" mode that can prevent downloaded, untrustworthy attachments from downloading and installing computer infections. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Looked at you for several months" email message:

Subject: You have been hacked.

Hello,

I have looked at you for several months.
In fact, you have been infected with malicious software through an adult site that you visited.
If you are not familiar with this, I will explain it.
The Trojan virus gives me complete access and control over a computer or other device.
That means I can see everything on the screen and turn on the camera and microphone, but you're not aware of this.
Thus, I also got access to all your contacts.
Why the antivirus program did not detect malicious code?
Answer: I have a Trojan driver, I update their signatures every four hours so your antivirus is silent.
I made a video showing how to satisfy yourself on the left half of the screen, and in the right half you see the video you watched.
With a click of a button, I can send this video to all your email and social networking contacts.
To prevent this, transfer the amount of 600 Ä to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how, google "Buy Bitcoin").
Bitcoin Address: 17viZFKw1Xn8WQcpC6GwLqjzLTcE7qBJ93
As soon as the payment is received, I will remove the video and you will never hear me again.
I give you 24 hours to pay.
Do not worry, I have a notification that reads this letter, and the timer works when you read this letter.
Submitting complaints to somewhere is not meaningful because this email can not be traced as my bitcoin address.
I make no mistakes.
If I find that you have submitted a report or shared this message with someone else, the video will be distributed immediately.
Sincerely!

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes 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 Malwarebytes 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 Malwarebytes for Windows.

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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