Avoid having your account credentials stolen by this email

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

"Email credentials phishing" removal guide

What is "Email credentials phishing"?

Email credentials phishing describes a deceptive message claiming to be an official notification from the recipient's email service provider. It alerts users of a 'new security measure' in an attempt to steal their email credentials. This scam tactic is called "phishing" and is a form of social engineering. Note that most deceptive/scam emails are disguised as "official", "important", "priority". and similar. You are expressly advised against opening suspicious mail or opening attachments/links present within them.

Email credentials phishing spam campaign

This message is supposedly from the "Email Administrator", an automatically generated message from the "E-mail security server". It states that, to keep their email accounts safe, users must add a recovery mobile number. This is allegedly a newly-added security measure. It attempts to alarm users by specifying that, unless a recovery number is added, their accounts will be deactivated, and all associated data, permanently lost. If users are tricked into 'updating' their email account security in this way, the link in the message redirects them to a hijacked website built using the WordPress template system. In the site, users are encouraged to enter their email credentials (log-ins and passwords), however, rather than this being an account confirmation allowing users to add recovery numbers, the inputted information is stolen. While this is not a malware infection attempt, it is nonetheless a potentially harmful scam. If you have already trusted such an email and attempted to log-in with your account details via a third party site, you are strongly advised to immediately change the password within your email service.

Threat Summary:
Name Email Credentials Phishing.
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Scam claims that the user's email security requires updating with a recovery mobile number.
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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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Deceptive/scam emails are a frequent occurrence and they serve various purposes. The mail can be employed to obtain private data ("phishing"), infect devices (via dangerous file attachments and/or links leading to them), or to generate profit for cyber criminals in some other way. You should routinely scan your systems to ensure email account safety. "HARASSMENT COMPLAINT", "On This Day I Hacked Your OS", "Ministry of Justice", and "TOYOTA LOTTERY ORGANIZATION" are some examples of other email scams.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns send thousands of deceptive emails. These messages cause infections through malicious files or links leading to them. The emails are typically marked as "official", "important", "urgent" or otherwise highlighted as priority mail. The attachments come in various formats, such as archive (RAR, ZIP) and executable (.exe, .run) files, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript and many others. When these infectious files are opened (executed, run, etc.), they are triggered to initiate the infection and begin downloading/installing malware. For example, Microsoft Office documents ask to enable macro commands (i.e., to enable editing). If macro commands are enabled, the infection process starts. Note that, in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010, this process begins immediately after the document is opened.

How to avoid installation of malware

You are strongly advised not to open suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, especially those received from unknown senders (addresses). Any attachments or links found in suspicious mail must never be opened, as they are the source of a potential system infection. Users who receive a large influx of emails are advised to regularly run system scans to ensure that none of them have infiltrated an infection into the device. To prevent Microsoft Office documents from downloading/installing malware, use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. The newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which stops dangerous documents from automatically enabling macro commands, thereby preventing them from infecting the system with malicious content. 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 "Email credentials phishing" email message:

Server Notification

To keep your Email account safe, we recommend you add a recovery mobile number.
This is our new security measure.
Email:
Password: ******* (Hidden for safety)
Recovery No: none yet
 
ADD RECOVERY NUMBER NOW
 
However, if you do not add your NUMBER, Your account will be
de-activated shortly and all your email data will be lost permanently.
Regards.
Email Administrator
 
This message is auto-generated from E-mail security server, and replies sent to this email can not be delivered. This email is meant for: **********

 Screenshots of the website to which "Email credential phishing" redirects:

Email credential sphishing website 1 Email credential sphishing website 2

Appearance of the website "Email credential phishing" redirects to (GIF):

Email credentials phishing site appearance gif

Another variant of email credentials phishing spam campaign, which contains an attachment: an HTML file ("email_verification_processor.html"). This file imitates an email login page and contains two input fields (login and password). Once entered, this data is saved to a remote server controlled by cyber criminals.

Screenshot of this email spam campaign:

Email credentials phishing spam campaign delivering HTML attachment

Text presented within this email:

Subject: Notification: Scheduled mail server upgrade


Scheduled Mail Server Upgrade For Our Hosting Ser=ice And Email Users!

Dear ******** User,

In an effort to continuously bett=r serve our clients, We will be undergoing a major mail server upgrade.
Why are We Performing this Upgrade?
Moving to newer infrastructure allows us greater flexibility to work with e=ch clients' unique mail requirements and will increase our ability to supp=rt and customize your needs.  Features include improved spam filtrati=n, anti-virus, anti-phishing, enhanced webmail services, upgraded calendar=features, and superior reliability.

How will this Impact Y=ur Services?
We do not anticipate any major interruptions to your services. Upgrade is a=tomatic.  There will be no loss of email messages.

Whe= Will this Maintenance Period Occur?
Please be advised that th= mail server will automatically upgrade after you have verified your email=account.

How do I verify my email account?
Download the attached ******** email account verification processor to&nbs=;verify your email account.

Note: Users who do not verify their em=il accounts will be tagged as inactive, and the company reserves the right=to close all “inactive” email accounts.

Please disregar= if you have already received this notice and you have verified your email=account.


Thanks,
******** Hosting Service Provider

sale=********

Screenshot of the attached HTML file ("email_verification_processor.html"):

Email credentials phishing deceptive HTML attachment

Text presented within this file:

Tue Dec 03 2019 09:50:59 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time)
******** verification server
 

IMPORTANT
*This is a general notification for all individuals and organizations email accounts hosted on our server*
**Please verify your email account to avoid shutdown**
(Email account not verified will be deleted from our server and the email contents cannot be retrieved)
Confirm your password and click "Verify My Account" for verification after which you will be redirected to
your domain/email which proves your email has been verified automatically and nothing else is needed
********
Password
|    Email Verification and Validation for        ********    |

Another email credentials phishing spam email disguised as cPanel WebMail notification:

Email credentials phishing spam email relating to Webmail

Text presented within:

Subject: cPanel WebMail

Webmail

Dear -,

Your Email verification is required to continue using this email!

Verify your email

 
cPanel WebMail!

Fake cPanel WebMail login website (gestiondecomunidad[.]com) promoted via this spam email:

Email credentials phishing website presented as Webmail login page

Another example of a Microsoft Outlook-related phishing email encouraging recipients to confirm their accounts:

Microsoft Outlook-related phishing email

Text presented within:

Subject: ***** - Storage Full (06) Message Pending incoming emails

Microsoft Outlook
Dear *****,

Please sign in to re-confirm your email address (*****).
Kindly click here to Confirm *****

Screenshot of a phishing website (fake Outlook login site) promoted via this email:

Phishing email designed to collect Microsoft Outlook accounts

Yet another email phishing spam campaign:

Email credentials phishing update another variant (2020-05-08)

Text presented within:

Subject: Mail Delivery System

Hello -


This message is from - server and is marked as SAFE

Your mail box - has 2% of storage remaning. After your mailbox reaches it capacity, you will not be able to send or receive message.

Expand mail capacity to 50GB extra for free here
Expand mail capacity to 300GB extra for $32 here (paypal only)
Continue using mail with low quoter till further notice follow here
Thanks

Mail Administrator -

 
You have received this email as you have previously opted in to receive email marketing when you register on Aventura Post GmbH database
Do you have any questions or complaints please contact us. You can reach us at mail
Contact form |  Privacy Policy

Screenshot of the promoted phishing website (cybxtechnolabs[.]com - fake Webmail login):

Fake webmail login site (cybxtechnolabs.com)

Other scam emails promoting cybxtechnolabs[.]com website:

Spam email promoting cybxtechnolabs[.]com phishing site

Text presented within:

Hello -

We noticed login attempt from IP Address: 49.109.719.11, how ever as part of measures to keep email -  safe we  have  stop such strange login and limited amount of incoming messages for your ID Protection. To restore full service login  HERE  from any device previously used by you
 
 
You have received this email from -  service provider as  it is authomaiclly registared to receive email marketing when you registered
Do you have any questions or complaints please contact us. You can reach us at  mail
Contact form |  Privacy Policy

Scam email promoting cybxtechnolabs.com website (2020-05-15)

Text presented within:

Subject: Microsoft   AVS20 - *****  Antivirus Wizard  MAY-15-2020

This message is marked as  safe by ***** Server

Attn:  *****

As part of our  effort to keep you safe Microsoft has activated AVS20 in-built antivirus on *****

  1. part of our TAC to keep domain  ***** clean and active for subscribed period

Download Update

Microsoft will not be responsible for lost of any form due to failure to update email antivirus

Microsoft AV Update

***** Auto Messaging System

Yet another variant of email credentials phishing spam email:

Spam email promoting mitoteam.com phishing site

Text presented within:

MAILBOX SUPPORT NOTICE!!!

Hi -
Most  of your incoming mails have been put on hold in - Database
Use the Captcha button below to put your mail up-to date instantly in 24 hours,by doing so it shows that that you are a human , not a robot and continue using your account.


Update and Verify -


Thank you,
Support team
- (c) 2020

Phishing website (mitoteam[.]com) promoted via this email:

mitoteam.com - email credentials phishing site

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 1Download 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 "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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possible malware infections QR code
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