CVE-2019-1663 Email Scam

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

"CVE-2019-1663" removal guide

What is "CVE-2019-1663"?

"CVE-2019-1663" is the name of a 'sextortion' scam that is used to blackmail people by threatening to leak humiliating/compromising photos. To prevent this, recipients are encouraged to pay a specific amount in a cryptocurrency. There are many emails of this type online, none of which should be trusted. If received, they should be ignored and deleted.

CVE-2019-1663 spam campaign

The scammer behind this email states that he has infected the computer months ago and gained full access to an account (supposedly email). Whoever receives this email is informed that the scammer has hijacked a router and installed a trojan on the operating system. This trojan allowed him to make a full backup of data stored on the computer, including browsing history, contacts, telephone numbers, and so on. He claims that he took screenshots of of pornography websites that were visited by the recipient, and also used the computer camera (webcam) to take photographs of the recipient watching/visiting those websites. He makes threats to send these photos to all of the recipient's contacts, including friends, colleagues, and family. To keep this compromising material secret, the scammer demands payment of $722 in Bitcoins using a Bitcoin wallet address provided. People have 48 hours to make the transaction, otherwise the person behind this email will apparently lock the computer and proliferate the screenshots. We strongly recommend that you do not make any payment. This email is simply a scam - cyber criminals who create these emails send them to many people and hope that at least some will take them seriously.

Threat Summary:
Name CVE-2019-1663 Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Criminals claim that they have injected a trojan into the computer and captured a video of the recipient masturbating. They also threaten to send the video to all of the recipient's contacts if the ransom is not paid.
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address 15J1XZBGRcgQgE4HmTBzzKw6LDzazJRAiU (Bitcoin) - the wallet address might vary depending on the scam variant.
Size Of Ransom
$722 - the price might vary depending on the scam variant.
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the 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 similar scams include "Placed a malware on the xxx streaming site", "This account was recently infected", and "Hey. It's me! Your future friend or enemy". They might differ slightly, however, their main purpose remains identical: to extort money from unsuspecting people. Unfortunately, there is another scam campaign type in which emails contain attachments. For example, Microsoft Office or PDF documents, JavaScript, executable files, archives such as ZIP, RAR, and so on. Cyber criminals behind these scams have another goal: to proliferate malicious programs. If opened, the attachments download and install high-risk infections such as LokiBot, TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind, etc. Programs of this type usually proliferate other malware and steal personal details such as logins, passwords, information relating to users' browsing habits, and so on. Having your computer infected with these programs might cause financial/data loss, issues with privacy, browsing safety, 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 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?

The emails can do damage only if the files attached to them (or web links presented in them) are opened, otherwise they are harmless. For example, archive files must be extracted and their contents executed, Microsoft Office documents must be opened and permissions to enable macros commands given, and so on. Other files cause damage in a very similar way.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Irrelevant emails received from unknown, dubious addresses should not be trusted, especially if they contain web links or attachments. Software should be downloaded using official and trustworthy sources/websites, and direct download links. Do not use tools such as Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial pages and third party downloaders. We strongly recommend that you update installed programs using functions or tools provided by official developers only. Other sources (unofficial software updaters) are often used to proliferate unwanted apps or even malware. The same applies to software 'cracking' tools - they are illegal and often cause download/installation of malicious programs. Furthermore, Microsoft Office versions that are older than 2010 should not be used. Those versions are not capable of preventing users from installing malware. Newer versions have "Protected View" mode included, which prevents downloaded and opened files from downloading and installing computer infections. Use reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software and keep it enabled. 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 "CVE-2019-1663" email message:

Hello, friend!
This is important info for you!
Some months ago I hacked your computer and got full access to your account
On day of hack your profile has pass: *
So, you can change the pass, yes.. Or already changed... But my soft
intercepts it every time.
How I made it:
In the software of the router, through which you went online, was a vulnerability. I
used it...
If you interested you can read about it: CVE-2019-1663 - a vulnerability in the
web-based management interface of the Cisco routers.
I just hacked this router and placed my virus on it.
When you went online, my trojan was installed on the OS of your computer.
After that, I made a full backup of your pc (I have all your address book, history
of viewing sites, all files, phone numbers and addresses of all your contacts).
A month ago, I wanted to lock your PC and ask for a not big amount of btc to
But I looked at the web-pages that you regularly visit, and I was shocked by what I saw!!!
I'm talk you about web-history for adults.
I want to say - you are a BIG pervert. Your fantasy is shifted far away from the
normal course!
And I got an idea....
I made a screenshot of the adult web-page where you have fun (do you understand what it
is about, huh?))).
After that, I made a screenshot of your joys (using the camera of your computer) and
glued them together.
Turned out amazing! You are so spectacular!
I'm know that you would not like to show these screenshots to your friends,
relatives or colleagues.
I think $722 is a very, very small amount for our secret.
Besides, I have been spying on you for so long, having spent a lot of time!
Pay ONLY in bitcoins!
My btc wallet: 15J1XZBGRcgQgE4HmTBzzKw6LDzazJRAiU
You do not know how to use bitcoins?
Enter a query in any search sites: "how to replenish btc wallet".
It's extremely easy
For this payment I give you two days (48 hours).
As soon as this email is opened, the timer will work.
After payment, my malware and dirty screenshots with your enjoys will be self-destruct
If I do not receive from you the specified amount, then your device will be locked,
and all your contacts will receive a screenshots with your "enjoys".
I hope you understand your situation.
- Do not try to find and destroy my malicious code! (All your data, files and screenshots is
already uploaded to a remote server)
- Do not try to contact me (you yourself will see that this is impossible, the
sender address is automatically generated)
- Various security services will not help you; formatting a disk or destroying a
device will not help, since your data is already on a remote server.
P.S. You are not my single victim. so, I guarantee you that I will not disturb you
again after payment!
This is the word of honor hacker
Do not hold evil! I just good do my job.
Good luck.

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 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 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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