Do not trust "Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented" scam email

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

"Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented" email scam removal guide

What is the "Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented" email?

"Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented" is the subject/title of scam emails, designed to promote various untrustworthy and potentially malicious websites. The letters claim that recent log-in attempts to the users' email accounts have been stopped, as the password provided was inaccurate. Users are asked to investigate this activity. However, instead of accessing information concerning the supposed sign-in attempts, users are redirected to a questionable webpage. At the time of research, one of the sites "Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented" emails promoted was oawhaursaith.com.

Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented email spam campaign

The scam letters state that someone has tried to log into the recipients' email account with an incorrect password. Access has been denied, due to concerns that it was an attempt to hijack the account. Recipients are told that if they do not recognize this sign-in attempt, then it is likely that someone had been trying to steal their email account. Users are asked to review the details of this activity. These letters have two links, if either "Please review the details of the sign-in attempt" or "check activity" is clicked - users are redirected to a dubious website (e.g. oawhaursaith.com). Users may be redirected to sale-oriented, rogue/untrustworthy, compromised, deceptive/scam and malicious sites. Visiting such pages can lead to a variety of serious issues. For example, sale-based/promotional pages can offer nonoperational, untrustworthy or malicious software - by presenting it as useful products. Unreliable websites also often host intrusive ads, which redirect to harmful sites and can even stealthily download/install PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). Some scam sites offer fake prizes or make unbelievable offers in order to trick users into revealing personal information (e.g. names, addresses, emails, banking account or credit card details, etc.) and/or push them into paying fake fees. Other deceptive webpages warn of fake viruses or outdated software - and endorse various PUAs (e.g. fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, etc.) or malware (e.g. trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.). In summary, trusting "Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented" emails and the websites they promote - can lead to system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recent log-in attempts were blocked, due to suspicions that it was an attempt to steal the user's email account.
Related Domains oawhaursaith.com; various
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/Scam emails are sent by the thousand, during large scale operations called "spam campaigns". "Your Google Ads account has been suspended", "Your local network has been compromised", "Tokyo Olympics 2020" are some examples of other scam emails. These letters are typically presented as "important", "official", "urgent" and similar. Deceptive mail is also used for phishing and malware proliferation. Regardless of what such letters claim, offer, request or demand, the end-goal is the same - to generate revenue for the scammers / cyber criminals behind them.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected via virulent files distributed through spam campaigns. The emails can have download links of infectious files or alternatively, the files can be attached to the letters. Malicious files can be in various formats, e.g. Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, etc. When they are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection process is triggered. In other words, once opened - these files begin downloading/installing malware. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In MS Office versions released prior to 2010 - this process is initiated the moment a document is opened. The newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents macros from being executed automatically. Hence, when users open a document in versions released after 2010, they are asked to enable macro commands (i.e. to enable editing/content).

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting systems with malware distributed through spam campaigns, it is advised not to open suspicious and/or irrelevant emails. Any attachments or links found in dubious mail - must not be opened, as that is a potential source of high-risk infections. Additionally, it is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Malware is also proliferated via untrustworthy download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation ("cracking") tools and illegitimate updaters. Therefore, it is important to only download from official/verified sources, as well as activate and update products with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software is to be used for regular system scans and to remove detected threats. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented" email letter:

Subject: Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented.


Someone recently used wrong passwords to try to sign in your - account.
We prevented the sign-in attempt in case this was a hijacker trying to access your account.

 

Please review the details of the sign-in attempt.

 

If you do not recognize this sign-in attempt, someone else might be trying to access your account.
You should check activity.

"Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented" scam email redirecting to oawhaursaith.com (GIF):

Email scam edirecting to oawhaursaith.com (GIF)

"Suspicious sign-in attempt prevented" scam email redirecting to another dubious website (GIF):

Email scam redirecting to a dubious site (GIF)

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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