Do not trust "Your device was not properly secured" scam emails

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

"Your device was not properly secured" email scam removal guide

What is the "Your device was not properly secured" email?

"Your device was not properly secured" is a scam email, claiming that all recipients' device has been compromised and their data has been exfiltrated. If they do not pay a ransom, the letters threaten that there will be severe consequences. It must be emphasized that all of the information provided by "Your device was not properly secured" emails is false. Hence, recipients' computers have not been infiltrated and their data has not been stolen.

Your device was not properly secured scam email spam campaign

The "Your device was not properly secured" deceptive emails, with the subject "nina28 - I got your info!" (title may differ), claim that due to recipients' devices being poorly secured - the senders have supposedly gained access to them. The letters state that recipients' private photos, videos, browsing histories, account log-in credentials (i.e. usernames and passwords), email and social network contacts - have been extracted and exfiltrated. If recipients do not pay a ransom of 525 USD in BTC (Bitcoin cryptocurrency), this information will be misused in various ways. The emails threaten that the stolen content will be thoroughly analyzed and be used in a heinous way, according to the findings. The deceptive letters give such examples, like - the vulnerable data being published online, sold on the darknet or sent to the stolen contacts (e.g. relatives, friends, colleagues, management, etc.). The emails inform recipients that they have thirty hours to make the payment. As mentioned in the introduction, all the claims made by "Your device was not properly secured" emails - is false. Therefore, these letters must simply be ignored.

Threat Summary:
Name Your device was not properly secured Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Emails claim recipients' devices have been compromised and their data was stolen.
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 distributed by the thousand, during large scale operations called "spam campaigns". These letters are typically disguised as "urgent", "important", "priority" and similar; they may even be disguised as mail from genuine institutions, organizations, companies, service providers, and so on. "Server Notification Email Scam", "2020 EU/COMMONWEALTH LOTTO", "Your Local Network Has Been Compromised" - are a few examples of other spam campaigns. However, deceptive mail is also used for malware proliferation as well. Regardless of what scam emails claim, offer, request, demand or threaten, 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 malicious files, sent in spam campaigns. Infectious files can be attached to the scam emails and/or they can contain download links of such content. These files can be in various formats, e.g. archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc. When virulent files are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection process/chain (i.e. malware download/installation) is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In MS Office versions released before 2010 - infection processes begin the moment a malicious document is opened. The newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents immediate malware download/installation. Instead, upon opening a document - users are asked to enable macro commands (i.e. to enable editing/content). Therefore, the device can only be infected, if the macros are enabled manually.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is advised against opening suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, especially ones received from suspect/unknown senders. Any links or attachments found in dubious mail - must never be opened, as doing so can result in a serious system infection. Additionally, it is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. However, malicious programs are proliferated using a variety of techniques. The most common distribution methods are via untrustworthy download sources (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation tools ("cracks") and illegitimate updates. Hence, it is important to always use official/verified download channels, activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by genuine developers. To protect device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed. This software must be kept up-to-date, used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential 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 "Your device was not properly secured" email letter:

Subject: nina28 - I got your info!

 

Please take this seriously!

 

If you think corona was a big threat for you, think again...

 

Your device was not properly secured and we managed to access your accounts and get private, sensitive and confidential information about you.

 

We have downloaded full list of your contacts from social networks and e-mail as well as your passwords, browsing history, private photos and videos.

 

We are not joking! If you don't believe us, take a look at this report:

 

hxxp://coronac0de.com/zip/...

 

Keep in mind, that this archive does not include all the data, but shows only a small portion of what we have really collected about you.

 

The sad thing is, that we will use this data against you in various ways, unless you make a B-1_t.c0.1.n (BTC) payment to us.

 

You have 30 hours for that.

 

[PAYMENT DETAILS ]
Sum to pay:
525 USD (U.S. dollars)

 

Our B-1_t.c0.1.n wallet address (BTC): (cAse-sEnSiTIve):
-
Keep in mind that it is anonymous payment transaction so nobody (except us) will ever know that you have paid for us.

 

Don't know how to buy them?
It's easy!
Enter in google:
"coinmama" or "buy coingate"
or visit the report site to see more options:
hxxp://coronac0de.com/zip/...

 

WHAT TO DO AFTER I MAKE A PAYMENT?
Wait until we verify the payment. Once we verify it, we will contact you.

 

WHAT IF I DONT MAKE A PAYMENT?

 

By now we have not looked at this data very closely as we believe that you are smart enough and will make a right decision to pay us.

 

We are professionals and we really don't want to cause you any trouble!

 

But if you don't make a payment, you will leave us no other choice and we will be forced to dig deeper.

 

We will carefully analyse the data and will find a best way how to use it to cause you the most damage.

 

Just think about it - we will be able to publish your sensitive data (like photos, videos or passwords) online, send it to your contacts (wife, boss, colleagues, friends, etc.) and/or sell it on a d@rknet.

 

Believe me - this can be wors thing in your life that you have ever experienced. You could be living in a fear forever.

 

Also, keep in mind, that we (or other geeks) will be able to use this security flaw again and again.

 

And each time we will rise the sum. So it is better to pay now and fix it.

 

It is up to you to decide! We can work for you or we can work against you. In any way, we will do our best.

 

We think that 525 USD is a very reasonable price to avoid such problems.

 

We give you 30 hours to react!

 

If you care about your reputation and life in general, the best solution is more than obvious.

Appearance of "Your device was not properly secured" scam email (GIF):

Your device was not properly secured email scam appearance 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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