Avoid having your email account stolen by the "Roundcube" email scam

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

"Roundcube" email removal guide

What is the "Roundcube" email scam?

"Roundcube" email (subject: "- NOTIFICATION - Storage Full") is deceptive message supposedly from Roundcube, a legitimate email service provider. The message claims that recipients have reached their mail storage limit and, unless immediate actions are taken, their accounts will be blocked. This scheme has no connection to the genuine Roundcube email client and uses the name with malicious intent. This is a phishing scam designed to steal users' email account credentials (log-ins and passwords) to gain full control over the accounts.

Roundcube email email spam campaign

As its subject implies, "- NOTIFICATION - Storage Full" states that recipients have reached the limit of permissible data storage on their email accounts. According to the system administrator, users' maximum of 99 GB storage space has been used up. Therefore, if they fail to upgrade their accounts, certain features (such as receiving and sending mail) will be disabled. To upgrade, the message instructs recipients to click a link (provided) to immediately upgrade and raise the storage limit. Once the link is clicked, it opens a seemingly legitimate log-in page. In fact, the goal of this scam is to steal users' email accounts. Therefore, all information presented in this message is false and any email account credentials entered into this web page are delivered to the scammers. Users who are tricked by this scheme risk more than just losing their email accounts. Though a compromised email account, other associated accounts might also be accessed/stolen (e.g. social networking and social media, e-commerce [online stores] and others). This allows the individuals behind this scam to make various online purchases, assume recipients' identities and ask their contacts for loans, and so on. Therefore, this scheme can cause serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. If attempts to log-in through this phishing site have already been made, you are strongly advised to immediately change the credentials of your email and all connected accounts. Additionally, you are advised to contact official support of all potentially compromised accounts.

Threat Summary:
Name Roundcube Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Email claims that recipients have reached the storage limit on their email accounts.
Related Domains
zoowood[.]info
Disguise Email is disguised as a message from the Roundcube email service provider.
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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Deceptive emails are sent by the thousand as parts of operations called "spam campaigns". "Last Warning: Upgrade your email to avoid Shutting Down", "You have 46 Hours in order to make the payment" and "Google winner" are some examples of scam emails proliferated in this fashion. These messages are typically presented as "official", "priority", "important", "urgent" and similar. These schemes commonly use the names/titles of genuine services, companies organizations, etc. to further give the impression of legitimacy. The only purpose of these messages is to generate revenue for the cyber criminals responsible. Many tactics are employed to achieve this goal. For example, tricking recipients into providing log-in details of various accounts, revealing personal and sensitive information, making monetary transactions (e.g. fake fees, payments, fines, etc.) and so on.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected via malicious files attached to, or linked within, deceptive/scam emails. Infectious files come in various formats: archive (RAR, ZIP) and executable (.exe, .run) files, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript and others. An infection is triggered by executing, running or otherwise opening a dangerous file. Once opened, download/installation of trojans, ransomware or other malware begins. To elaborate on how Microsoft Office documents cause infections, they execute malicious macro commands. In MS Office versions released prior to 2010, this process begins automatically when the document is opened, however, in newer Microsoft Office versions, users are asked to enable macro commands (i.e., editing). Therefore, infections are initiated only if the malicious macros are enabled.

How to avoid installation of malware

To avoid infections caused by malicious content sent in spam campaigns, you are strongly advised not to open suspicious or irrelevant emails. Any attachments or links present in dubious mail must not be opened, as doing so can lead to high-risk infection. Additionally, use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. These have "Protected View" mode, which prevents infectious documents from beginning malware download/installation when the file is opened. Other popular PUA proliferation methods include illegal activation ("cracking") tools, fake updaters and untrusted download sources (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders). To ensure system health and user safety, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. Furthermore, this software should be used for regular system scans and removal of detected threats/issues. 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 "Roundcube email" email message:

Subject: - NOTIFICATION - Storage Full

Your Email Storage Is Filled Up
 
Dear -
We write to inform you that you have used up your mail storage limit of 99.0 gigabytes as defined by your system Admin.

You will be blocked from receiving and sending mails if not upgraded today.
Kindly click on the link below for immediate upgrade to receive additional storage space
 
CLICK HERE TO ADD MORE STORAGE

Warm Regards!
Mail Service Administrator

 
Client area

    
Mail Service Blog

 
Any questions or requests? Create a ticket.

Screenshot of the phishing website to which the link within the "Roundcube" email redirects:

Website the link in Roundcube email scam redirects to

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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