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Prevent installation of NEMTY 2.5 REVENGE through Secret Love email

Also Known As: Secret Love spam
Damage level: Severe

What is "Secret Love Email Virus"?

"Secret Love" is a spam email campaign that cyber criminals employ to trick recipients into extracting an attached ZIP archive file and executing the resultant JavaScript (.js) file. If executed, this file installs NEMTY 2.5 REVENGE ransomware. We strongly advise that you ignore this email and, more importantly, do not open the attached file.

Secret Love Email Virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

Cyber criminals attempt to proliferate malware through spam campaigns by sending emails with malicious files attached to them. Their main goal is to deceive unsuspecting recipients into opening a malicious attachment - in this case, into opening and executing the "LOVE_YOU.js" file, which is archived using a ZIP format.

The archive file containing the malicious .js format file is "LOVE_YOU_428969_2020.zip", however, its name might vary. As mentioned, the "LOVE_YOU.js" malicious JavaScript file installs NEMTY 2.5 REVENGE ransomware. Ransomware is dangerous software that encrypts data.

Typically, victims cannot access or use their files unless they recover them with a decryption tool/key that can be purchased only from the cyber criminals who designed the ransomware. Furthermore, most cyber criminals do not send decryption tools or keys even if victims pay the ransom.

Victims of ransomware attack can only recover their files free of charge if they have a backup of their data. In other cases, they lose access to their files permanently. Therefore, never open the attachment associated with the "Secret Love" spam email campaign.

Threat Summary:
Name Secret Love spam
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Attachment(s) LOVE_YOU_428969_2020.zip (its name may vary)
Detection Names DrWeb (Trojan.Siggen9.15359), NANO-Antivirus (Trojan.Script.Heuristic-js.iacgm), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent, and thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Payload NEMTY 2.5 REVENGE
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
Damage Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, the victim's computer added to a botnet.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Examples of other spam campaigns used to spread malicious software are "PETRONAS Email Virus", "WeTransfer Email Virus", "Coronavirus Email Virus".

Cyber criminals who attempt to trick recipients into installing malware through malicious attachments usually disguise their emails as official, important, and use names of legitimate companies, familiar people, and so on. More examples of malware that is distributed via spam campaigns/emails include Emotet, TrickBot, Adwind and LokiBot.

How did "Secret Love Email Virus" infect my computer?

NEMTY 2.5 REVENGE is installed when recipients execute the "LOVE_YOU.js" malicious JavaScript file extracted from a ZIP archive file (in our example, a file named LOVE_YOU_428969_2020.zip"). More examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails include Microsoft Office, PDF documents, other archive files such as RAR and executable files (.exe).

Systems become infected with malware only when recipients execute/open a malicious file. Note that, rather than attaching a malicious file, cyber criminals might include a website link that downloads a malicious file.

How to avoid installation of malware

Do not open attachments or web links that are included in irrelevant emails, especially if the emails are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. If there is any reason to suspect that an email could be sent by cyber criminals, then the safest option is to ignore it (leave its contents unopened).

All files and program should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites. Unofficial pages, various third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule) and other channels, tools should not be used to download or install software.

Software must be updated through implemented functions and tools provided by official developers. If software needs to be activated, use the proper method. It is illegal to do activate software (bypass activation) with various 'cracking', unofficial activation tools.

These can infect systems with malware. Finally, your computer should be regularly scanned for threats with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If you have already opened "Secret Love Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Secret Love Email Virus" email message:

Subject: Don't tell anyone
;) 

Malicious JavaScript file ("LOVE_YOU.js") in the ZIP archive file, which is distributed via the "Secret Love Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Secret Love Email Virus spam campaign

Screenshot of NEMTY 2.5 REVENGE ransomware ransom message:

nemty 2.5 revenge ransomware ransom note

Files encrypted by NEMTY 2.5 REVENGE ransomware:

nemty 2.5 revenge ransomware encrypted files

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner 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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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

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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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