Do not trust the SharePoint phishing email

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

"SharePoint Email Scam" removal guide

What is "SharePoint Email Scam"?

As a rule, scammers behind phishing emails fraudulently attempt to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords or other credentials, and credit card details, by disguising their emails as letters from legitimate companies, organizations, etc. This particular email is disguised as a letter from SharePoint, scammers behind it attempt to steal Microsoft 365 accounts.

SharePoint Email Scam email spam campaign

Research shows that scammers behind this phishing email target companies and often use recipient's company name to make this email to look like it is received from a certain company by which a recipient is employed. The main goal of scammers is to trick recipients into clicking the hyperlink and following further instructions on the opened website. On the opened website recipients are asked to click a button which supposed to download some documents. Although, that button either downloads some PDF file which contains a link to another website or simply opens some submission form where recipients are asked to enter their Microsoft (Office) 365 login credentials. Simply said, the main goal of scammers behind this email is steal the aforementioned credentials that would give them a full control of the Microsoft 365 accounts. It means that scammers may misuse hijacked accounts to steal identities, spread this and other phishing emails, steal more information from the compromised organization, etc. To avoid any of the possible serious issues it is strongly recommended not to click links in emails of this kind, download any files that are attached to them and/or enter any login credentials in unofficial websites.

Threat Summary:
Name SharePoint Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim This email is disguised as a letter regarding some important documents
Disguise This phishing email is often disguised as an email from recipient's company
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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To sum up, phishing emails are usually disguised as official, urgent, important, etc. It is common that they are disguised as letters from legitimate entities as well. It is worthwhile to mention that emails can be used not only for phishing purposed, but also to distribute malicious software, for example, Trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, and other malware. A couple examples of other phishing emails are "Server Notification Email Scam", "GitHub Email Scam" and "ShareFile Attachment Email Scam".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Computers can be infected with malware through emails (malspam campaigns) only when recipients open malicious attachments or files that were downloaded through malicious links in them. A couple examples of files that cyber criminals often attach to their emails are malicious Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, executable files (like .exe), archive files (like ZIP, RAR), and JavaScript files. It is worthwhile to mention that malicious MS Office documents can infect computers only if users give them a permission to enable editing/content (macros commands). Although, malicious documents opened with older than Microsoft Office 2010 cause installation of malicious software without asking any permissions because the aforementioned versions to not include the Protected View mode.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Programs, files should be downloaded only from official websites and through direct links. Other channels like third party downloaders (and installers), unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule) should not be used. Cyber criminals often use them to distribute malicious files/programs. Operating system and installed programs must be updated and/or activated with implemented functions and/or tools that are provided (designed) by the official developers. It is not legal to use any unofficial activation ('cracking') tools. Attachments and/or links in irrelevant emails that were received from suspicious, unknown addresses should not be opened. It is common that such emails are sent by cyber criminals who attempt to trick recipients into infecting their computers with malware. It is worthwhile to mention that they often disguise their emails as important, official, and so on. Any operating system is safer if it is regularly scanned with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. Therefore, we recommend to have one installed and always keep it up to date. 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 "SharePoint Email Scam" email letter:

Subject: Sharepoint file for -
Sharefile Attachments
Title    Size
Scan0507/July 2020.pdf    108 KB
Download Attachments    Kari Pemberton uses Sharefile  to share documents securely. Learn More.

 

Hi - ,

 

Attached is the info on the transfers Through our clients in this month of July. Let me know if you need anymore Details.

 

Thanks.

Kari Pemberton
Operation Officer
3550 Lakeline Blvd.
Ste 170, #1715
Leander, TX 78641
(512) 337-5521 OFFICE
(888) 302-3545 FAX
www.PacificaCapital.Net
 

Focused, value investing for long term results.
 
This email does not constitute any investment advice or any solicitation or offer to buy or sell any securities.  The sender makes no representation about the accuracy or completeness of the information in this email, and does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in its contents that arise as a result of its transmission.  Pacifica Capital Investments may monitor and review all emails sent to or from this address and such emails may be stored in accordance with regulatory requirements.  Pacifica Capital Investments only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, or excluded or exempted from registration requirements

Screenshot of the second variant of this phishing email:

sharepoint email scam another variant

Text in this email:

Subject: New - Management Message
Message from - server.
- SharePoint Team
- has sent an Important documents to you.
View - Documents
All signers completed Sharing documents: - Termination.pdf

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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