Electronic Materials Involving Underage Children Email Scam

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

"Electronic materials involving underage children" removal guide

What is "Electronic materials involving underage children"?

"Electronic materials involving underage children" is presented as an email from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) regarding an international paedophile case. The main purpose of this email is to trick recipients into believing that they are one of the suspects and that some of their personal information is also at risk. To avoid problems, recipients of this email are urged to pay a specific amount in a cryptocurrency. This is a common scam used to make threats and extort money from innocent people. Do not trust this or other similar emails.

Electronic materials involving underage children spam campaign

The scammer responsible for this email presents himself as a 'technical collection officer' from the CIA. The email states that the recipient's details (personal, home and work address, list of relatives and their contact details) are listed in a paedophilia case (#82956431). It goes on to state that this case is an international operation with over 2000 people from 27 countries targeted for arrest. The first arrests are apparently scheduled for 8 April 2019. The scammer states that he is concerned about the recipient's reputation and knows about the person's supposed wealth. The scammer claims that he is a CIA officer, one of the few people who has access to certain documents, and is capable of removing the recipient's details from them. To avoid any problems, he urges people who receive this email to pay $10,000 in Bitcoins by 27 March 27 2019. Once this payment is made, he will supposedly ensure that any information linking the recipient to this paedophilia case will be removed/erased. People are also encouraged not to contact this officer directly but wait until he has made contact individually. As mentioned, this is simply a scam and should not be trusted. These statements are false and the CIA has nothing to do with them.

Threat Summary:
Name Electronic Materials Involving Underage Children 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.

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There are many scams of this kind. Scammers use them to extort money from unsuspecting people. Examples of other scams are "This Account Was Recently Infected", "Hey. It's me! Your Future Friend Or Enemy", and "I Have A Forum In The Darkweb". These emails are harmless, and simply ignoring them is enough, however, other spam campaigns send emails that contain malicious attachments (Microsoft Office documents, archives such as ZIP, RAR, JavaScript files, executables, PDFs, and so on). In these cases, they attempt to trick people into opening the attachments by presenting their email messages as legitimate and official. When opened, the attachments download and install malicious programs such as LokiBot, TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind, or other high-risk computer infections. Malicious programs proliferated through spam campaigns steal personal details (for example, banking information) that could be used to generate revenue. Having a computer infected with this malware can thus financial loss, privacy/browsing safety issues, data loss, and so on.

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 campaigns that include web links or attachments can cause computer infections only if opened. If the attached file is a Microsoft Office document, when opened, it will ask to disable "Protected View" mode (to enable macros commands). Granting this permission will allow malicious the document to download and install a computer infection. Similar rules apply to each file format (an attached file or website link leading to it) - to cause any damage, the file must first be opened.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open links or attachments presented in dubious, irrelevant emails (even if they are presented as official and legitimate) and those received from unknown/suspicious addresses, and so on. All software should be downloaded from official and trustworthy sources and not third party downloaders, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and other such tools). These sources are often used to proliferate infections by presenting untrustworthy, infected files as legitimate. Update installed software using tools/implemented functions that are provided by official developers. Do not use other third party tools. Use Microsoft Office versions that are no older than 2010, since newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents malicious attachments from downloading and installing computer infections. Additionally, avoid using tools that are used to bypass paid software activation free of charge - using these tools is illegal and might cause computer infections. Have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and enabled. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Screenshots of the entire "Electronic materials involving underage children" email message:

Second Electronic materials involving underage children email (part 1) Second Electronic materials involving underage children email (part 2)

Text presented in the "Electronic materials involving underage children" email message:

Case #82956431
Distribution and storage of pornographic electronic materials involving underage children.
My name is Carlyn Blaine and I am a technical collection officer working for Central Intelligence Agency.
It has come to my attention that your personal details including your email address (**********************) are listed in case #82956431.
The following details are listed in the documentís attachment:
ï Your personal details,
ï Home address,
ï Work address,
ï List of relatives and their contact information.
Case #82956431 is part of a large international operation set to arrest more than 2000 individuals suspected of paedophilia in 27 countries.
The data which could be used to acquire your personal information:
ï Your ISP web browsing history,
ï DNS queries history and connection logs,
ï Deep web .onion browsing and/or connection sharing,
ï Online chat-room logs,
ï Social media activity log.
The first arrests are scheduled for April 8, 2019.
Why am I contacting you ?
I read the documentation and I know you are a wealthy person who may be concerned about reputation.
I am one of several people who have access to those documents and I have enough security clearance to amend and remove your details from this case. Here is my proposition.
Transfer exactly $10,000 USD (ten thousand dollars ñ about 2.5 BTC) through Bitcoin network to this special bitcoin address:
You can transfer funds with online bitcoin exchanges such as Coinbase, Bitstamp or Coinmama. The deadline is March 27, 2019 (I need few days to access and edit the files).
Upon confirming your transfer I will take care of all the files linked to you and you can rest assured no one will bother you.
Please do not contact me. I will contact you and confirm only when I see the valid transfer.
Carlyn Blaine
Technical Collection Officer
Directorate of Science and Technology
Central Intelligence Agency

Instant automatic removal of possible malware infections: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of possible malware infections. 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 Spyhunter 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 Spyhunter 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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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