Avoid being scammed by the Jeanson J. Ancheta sextortion spam campaign

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

"Jeanson J. Ancheta" removal guide

What is the "Jeanson J. Ancheta" email scam?

Criminals send this email to many people hoping that some will fall for the scam and make payments. There are many scams of this type online. Typically, scammers claim that they have recorded a humiliating/compromising video and threaten to proliferate it unless their ransom demands are met on time. There are more variants of this scam, however, the main differences are ransom amount and Bitcoin wallet address used to make payment. In any case, we strongly recommend that you do not trust this or other email scams.

Jeanson J. Ancheta spam campaign

According to the scammer behind this spam campaign, malicious code was injected into the recipient's computer and used to monitor computing activity. Note that the sender claims to be Jeason James Ancheta, a notorious cyber criminal known for being the first person to be charged for controlling large numbers of hijacked computers/botnets back in 2006. In fact, this claim is probably false and used only in an attempt to scare victims. The scammer claims that the webcam was accessed and used to record a compromising video of the recipient whilst apparently visiting a "dirty" website (presumably, an adult web page). The scammer also claims to have stolen all contacts together with other information and threatens to send the video to all of the recipient's contacts, unless $650 is paid within 36 hours. Payment in Bitcoins is stipulated using the wallet address provided. In different versions of this scam, criminals might demand different ransom amounts. You should ignore this email. The same applies to other emails of this type that might be received in future.

We receive a great deal of feedback from concerned users about this type of email scam. Here is the most popular question we receive (in this case, relating to a scam that claims to have obtained compromising videos or photos of the user):

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.

Threat Summary:
Name "Jeanson James Ancheta" Sextortion Email Scam.
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Scammer claims that the computer was infected with malware, which allowed the recording of a compromising/humiliating video.
Ransom Size $650, $750 (depends on scam variant).
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address 13z8jRK5z9PkVdim6nfmH4Qqqk6UAmycJr, 1NJAqyvy8zJYrnD2x9kox1BqYgfu7Zpdrz, 1GNcC3NHp2DPsEsjwvosk2tjEGmHNNX5ow, 18i5utJSShwVTGdtSrmi2M3XpyRBfnpdPw
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.
Removal

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Examples of other emails of this type include "I Do Know Your Passwords", "I know you are a pedophile", and "ChaosCC hacker group". Generally, scammers who send these emails seek to trick recipients into believing that they have recorded a compromising video or taken humiliating photos. They threaten to distribute them unless they are paid. These emails are also used to proliferate malware. Cyber criminals attach files to the emails, which, if opened, infect computers with high-risk malware including TrickBot, LokiBot, Emotet, FormBook, and so on.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

To infect the computer through an email, recipients must first open the attached file, or open a web link that leads to download of a malicious file. Typically, cyber criminals attach Microsoft Office or PDF documents, JavaScript or executable files (.exe), archive files such as ZIP, RAR, and so on. To trick recipients into opening the attachment, they usually present their emails as official, important, etc. An attached Microsoft Office document can install malware as follows: when opened, it will demand permission to enable macros commands (to enable editing). When a malicious document receives this permission, it starts installing malicious software. In any case, none of the attachments can damage computers/systems if recipients leave them unopened.

How to avoid installation of malware

Files that are attached to irrelevant emails and are sent from suspicious, unknown addresses should not be opened. All files and programs should be downloaded from official websites and via direct download links. Do not download from dubious, unofficial web pages, through Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), third party downloaders, or other channels/tools of this kind. Keep installed programs up-to-date, however, the only safe way to achieve this is to use tools and functions designed by official developers. Use newer versions of Microsoft Office (2010 or later), since they include "Protected View" mode, which prevents downloaded malicious documents from installing malware. Installed programs should not be activated using unofficial ('cracking') tools - this is illegal and often leads to computer infection with high-risk malware. Have a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware suite installed and periodically scan the operating system for threats. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Jeanson J. Ancheta" email message:

Subject: My name is Jeanson James Ancheta, AKA ancheta-2yo on darkweb!

 

I am the best hacker.

Around 10 months ago, I hacked this email address. You can check it.

I am sending this email from your email address now, I injected my code to this device and I started to monitor your activity. My first idea was to block and encyript your files. And than I would ask for a small fee to release them back. But than one day, You visited some dirty websites.

You kow what I mean naughty thing. And I silently activated your front camera and recorded you.

Now, I stole contact list of yourself. I have all the friends list.

A lot of information is downloaded to my system.

I am asking from you a small fee of 650 USD.
If you don’t pay, all the naughty screen videos will be sent to your friends and family. I will distribute them to everywhere.

Send the amount to my bitcoin address: 13z8jRK5z9PkVdim6nfmH4Qqqk6UAmycJr, 1QCr5f8acs99UMXQeKjXfN8tR6fFaZNhx7
I give you 36 hours to complete the transfer.

When you open that message, I will know it and the countdown starts.

Another variant of Jeanson J. Ancheta spam email:

Second variant of Jeanson J. Ancheta spam email

Text presented within this email:

Subject: [recipient's_email_address] address was stolen

 

Hello my dear,
My name is Jeansoon J. Ancheta. Also known as J2Ancheta on the dark web.
I am an experienced software developer and I am the best data hacker.
Eleven months ago, I hacked this email address. You can check it. I am sending this email from your own email address now. ([recipient's_email_address])
I injected my code to this device and I started to monitor your activity. My first idea was to block and encrypt your files. And than I would ask for a small fee to release them back. But than one day, You visited some dirty websites. You know what I mean naughty thing. And I silently activated your front camera and recorded You. Yes! You were playing with yourself. What a funny video.
Now, I have the contact list of yourself. I have all your friends lists. A lot of information was downloaded to my system.
I am asking from you a small fee of 740 USD. If you don't pay, all the naughty screen videos will be sent to your friends and family.
I will distribute them to everywhere. I spent a lot of time monitoring you. This is the cost of my time.
I promise that I will delete these files as soon as I receive the payment. I don't need it.
Send the amount to my bitcoin address:
1GNcC3NHp2DPsEsjwvosk2tjEGmHNNX5ow
I give you 36 hours to complete the transfer. When you open that message, I will know it and the countdown starts.
Be smart, do not ignore me! Do not click on every link you see. Always use stronger passwords on the internet. Never trust anybody!
Good Luck
Your time has already started...

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 - it is usually 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
Medium

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

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