Avoid being scammed through Jeanson J. Ancheta sextortion spam campaign

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

"Jeanson J. Ancheta" removal guide

What is "Jeanson J. Ancheta" email scam?

Scammers send this email scam to a number of people hoping that someone will fall for it and pay them money. There are many scams of this type, typically, scammers claim that they recorded some humiliating/compromising video and threaten to spread it if their demands to pay a particular amount of money will not be met on time. There are more variants of this scam, however, the main differences are the amount of money that scammers demand to be paid and Bitcoin wallet address that supposed to be used to make a payment. Either way, we strongly recommend not to trust this or any other scam (email) of this type.

Jeanson J. Ancheta spam campaign

According to the scammer behind this spam campaign, he injected some malicious code into recipient's computer and used it to monitor computing activity. What's interesting is that sender claims to be Jeason James Ancheta, who is a notorious cyber criminal known for being the first person to be charged for controlling large numbers of hijacked computers/botnets back in 2006. Nevertheless, this claim is very likely to be false and sender probably only attempts to scare victims. This scammer claims that he accessed webcam and recorded a compromising video of a recipient while he was visiting some "dirty" website, supposedly some adult page. He also claims that he stole all contacts and other information and threatens to send that video to all people in recipient's contacts if he will not receive $650 in 36 hours. He demands to be paid in Bitcoins and to use the provided Bitcoin wallet address. However, in different versions of this scam scammer might be asking for a different amount of cryptocurrency. One way or another, this email must be ignored. The same applies to other emails of this type that may be received in the 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 he has infected a computer with malware which allowed him to record compromising/humiliating video
Ransom Size $650, $750 (depends on scam variant)
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address 13z8jRK5z9PkVdim6nfmH4Qqqk6UAmycJr, 1NJAqyvy8zJYrnD2x9kox1BqYgfu7Zpdrz
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.
Removal

To eliminate possible malware infections our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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Examples of other emails of this type are "I Do Know Your Passwords", "I know you are a pedophile", "ChaosCC hacker group". As a rule, scammers who send these emails seek to trick recipients into believing that they have recorded some compromising video or took humiliating photos and will spread them if they will not be paid. However, quite often emails are used to spread malware too. Cyber criminals attach files to them that, if opened, infect computers with high-risk malware like TrickBot, LokiBot, Emotet, FormBook, and so on.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

To infect a computer through an email, a recipients must to open a file that is attached to, or to open some website link that leads to a download of some malicious file. Typically, cyber criminals attach Microsoft Office or PDF documents, JavaScript or executable files (like .exe), archive files like ZIP, RAR, and so on. To trick recipients into opening it, they usually present their emails as official, important, etc. Here is one of the examples of how attached file can install malware: if attached file is Microsoft Office document, then, when opened, it will ask for a permission to enable macros commands. In other words, to enable editing. When a malicious document gets this permission, it starts installing malicious software. Either way, 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. We advise not to download them from shady, 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 it is to use tools and functions designed by official developers. Moreover, we recommend to use newer versions of Microsoft Office (2010 or later), they include "Protected View" mode that prevents downloaded malicious documents from installing malware. Installed programs should not be activated using unofficial ('cracking') tools, it is not legal and often leads to having a computer infected with high-risk malware. We also recommend to have a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware suite installed and periodically scan the operating system for threats. If you've 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 letter:

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
I give you 36 hours to complete the transfer.

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

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task, usually it's better to let antivirus or anti-malware programs do it 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's an example of a suspicious program running on 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 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 "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 Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down it full path and name. Note that some malware hides their process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage it's very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate he suspicious program you want to remove right click your mouse over it's name and choose "Delete"

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware won't 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 file 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 help remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills, it's recommended to leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it's better to avoid getting infected that try to remove malware afterwards. To keep your computer safe be sure to install 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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