Do not open the contents of "Your friend’s account was compromised" email

Also Known As: Your friend’s account was compromised spam campaign
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Your friend’s account was compromised Email Virus" removal guide

What is "Your friend’s account was compromised Email Virus"?

There are many examples of spam campaigns used by cyber criminals to infect computers with malicious programs. Typically, they send emails that contain dangerous attachments or website links hoping that recipients will open them. Their main goal is to trick people into executing a malicious file, which infects operating systems with malware. This particular spam campaign is used to trick recipients into installing Raccoon Stealer. Therefore, we strongly advise against trusting this email - leave its contents unopened.

Your friend’s account was compromised Email Virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

Scammers claim that they have hacked the email account of a person and subsequently found photos of his naked girlfriend. They apparently asked him to pay $500 for not distributing the photos, but the person refused to pay and now scammers offer recipients of the email to see the photos through the attached .doc (Microsoft Office) file. To see the photos, recipients must supposedly open the document and grant permission for it to enable editing/content. This document actually installs RacoonStealer. By enabling content/editing, recipients would allow the document to cause installation of this rogue software. Racoon Stealer is a malicious program that steals various personal, sensitive information such as passwords, browser cookies, auto-fill data and cryptowallet details. Typically, cyber criminals use this information to make fraudulent purchases and transactions, steal identities, and so on. They also misuse hijacked accounts to proliferate other spam campaigns (including this one), trick other people into transferring money, and so on. These problems can be avoided by leaving the contents of this spam campaign (email) unopened.

Threat Summary:
Name Your friend’s account was compromised spam campaign
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Attachment(s) 1O1236.doc (its name might vary).
Detection Names (1O1236.doc) Cyren (W97M/Downldr.KQ.gen!Eldorado), DrWeb (Trojan.Siggen9.17251), ESET-NOD32 (GenScript.IGH), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.MSOffice.SAgent.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (AutoIt3.exe/Racoon Stealer's executable) Jiangmin (Trojan.Miner.ffr), SecureAge APEX (Malicious), Webroot (Pua.Riskware.Autoit), Zoner (Trojan.Win32.87659), Full List (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 Racoon Stealer, Ursnif
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 Malwarebytes.
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Other examples of spam campaigns used to trick recipients into installing malicious software on their computers include "Secret Love Email Virus", "PETRONAS Email Virus" and "WeTransfer Email Virus". Examples of malicious programs that are distributed in this way are Emotet, TrickBot, Adwind and LokiBot. In most cases, attached files, or files downloaded through included website links, lead to installation of software that can steal personal information, encrypt data, proliferate other malware and perform other actions leading to serious problems.

How did "Your friend’s account was compromised Email Virus" infect my computer?

Racoon Stealer is installed only if recipients enable editing/content of a malicious document, which is attached to the received email. Therefore, computers are safe as long as the malicious Microsoft Office document remains unopened. More examples of files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are PDF documents, archive files such as ZIP, RAR, executable files such as .exe and JavaScript files. Note that cyber criminals who attempt to proliferate malware through emails (spam campaigns) disguise their emails as important and official.

How to avoid installation of malware

Do not open files or website links in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. All software should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links. Other sources, tools such as third party downloaders, installers, unofficial pages, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), etc. are often used to distribute malicious software. Therefore, they should not be used to download or install software. Furthermore, software must be updated and activated only through implemented tools or functions that are designed by official developers. It is illegal to activate licensed programs with unofficial activation ('cracking') tools. Furthermore, these tools often cause installation of malware. Regularly scan the operating system for threats with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and keep it up to date. If you have already opened "Your friend’s account was compromised Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Your friend’s account was compromised" email message:

Subject: Your friend's account was compromised

Hey there, we're a Red Skull hacker crew. We have recently got a login to the e-mail account of the man, and you're in his contact list. In this mail, we have found pictures of his naked girlfriend and demanded five hundred dollars for them. If he will ignore us, we guaranteed him that we would send these pictures to everyone of his contact list. Unfortunately, he refused to pay , and because you on his contact list, you received this letter. You will see these pictures attached to this message.

Malicious attachment distributed via the "Your friend’s account was compromised" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through Your friend’s account was compromised Email Virus spam campaign

Text in this document:

To open this document, follow steps:
This document is only available for desktop version of Microsoft Office Word
Click Enable editing button from the yellow bar above
Once you have enabled editing, please click Enable content button from the yellow bar above

Another variant of "Your friend’s account was compromised" spam campaign distributing Ursnif trojan:

Your friend’s account was compromised spam campaign spreading Ursnif trojan

Text presented within this email:

Subject: Mail belonging to your colleague has been stolen
Hey, we are a Red Skull hacker crew. We have got access to the e-mail account of one man, and you're in his contact list. In this contact list, we have found images of his naked girlfriend and demanded five hundred dollars for them. In the event that he will ignore us, we guaranteed him that we will send these photos to everyone of his contacts. Regrettably, he has not paid, and because you were on his contact list, you obtained this mail. You will find these pix attached to this message.

Another "Your Friend’s Account Was Compromised" spam email used to spread Raccoon Stealer malware:

Your Friend’s Account Was Compromised spam email distributing Racoon Stealer

Text presented within this email:

Hi there, we're a Red Skull hacker group. We have got access to the mail account of one man, and you are in his contacts. In his mail, we have found photos of his naked wife and requested $500 for them. In case he'll ignore us, we guaranteed him that we would direct these photographs to everyone of his contacts. Unluckily, he hasn't paid, and since you have been on his mail, you received this msg. You will find these pix attached to this letter.

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.

QR Code
Your friend’s account was compromised spam campaign QR code
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