Avoid having your email account stolen via fake "OneDrive" emails

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

"OneDrive Email Scam" removal guide

What is "OneDrive Email Scam"?

"OneDrive Email Scam" refers to a spam campaign used to steal email account credentials (passwords) via Google Forms, a survey administration platform. The term "spam campaign" defines a large-scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The messages sent during this spam campaign claim a file has been shared with the recipients, however, when they try to access the file, they are asked to provide their email account credentials.

Fake OneDrive email spam campaign

The scam emails with the subject/title "One Drive" state that "sales@fiored" has shared a file with the recipients. The messages also contain the date, the document was supposedly shared. The file is allegedly named "August-2020 #New_order.pdf" (this might vary). When users click the "ViewOneDriveDocument" button, they are redirected to a Google Forms page, which claims that they must sign in with their email account to review the document. The page contains two fields into which the email address and password must be provided. These "One Drive" emails are fake and no file has been sent to the recipients. The web page through which users are to access the document is not a genuine sign-in/verification page. Furthermore, the page even states to "never submit passwords through Google Forms". Scammers/Cyber criminals are particularly interested in email accounts, as they are typically connected with various other accounts. Therefore, through a stolen email, all of the associated accounts can be hijacked. Through communication accounts (e.g. emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) criminals can ask contacts for loans and/or proliferate malware (by sharing infectious files) under the guise of the genuine owner. Stolen accounts that directly deal with or store financial information (e.g. banking account and credit card details) can be misused to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases. To summarize, trusting the "OneDrive" scam emails can lead to financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. If attempts to log-in through the fake page have already been made, you are strongly advised to immediately change the log-in credentials of the endangered email account. It is also recommended to change the credentials of all associated accounts. If there are further concerns, the official support of all potentially affected accounts should be contacted to resolve them.

Threat Summary:
Name OneDrive Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Emails claim recipients have been sent a file and they must provide their account credentials to view it.
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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"Important: You have 19 Pending incoming email(s)", "Dropbox Email Scam" and "Transaction received into blockchain wallet" are some examples of other similar phishing spam campaigns. Scam emails are usually disguised as "official", "urgent", "priority" and similar, however, phishing is not the only use of spam campaigns - they are also used for other scams and malware proliferation. Regardless of what these messages claim, request or demand, the purpose is identical: to generate revenue for the scammers/cyber criminals behind them.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected via dangerous files distributed through spam campaigns. These files are attached to the emails and/or linked inside them (i.e. the messages contain download links). Malicious files can be in various formats, such as archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, and JavaScript. When they are executed, run or otherwise opened, the infection chain (i.e. download/installation of malware) is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released before 2010, the infection process is initiated when a dangerous document is opened. Later versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents macros from being executed automatically: users are asked to enable them (i.e. to enable editing/content). Therefore, infection can only be triggered if macro commands are enabled manually.

How to avoid installation of malware

Suspect and/or irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially those with any attachments or links found in them, as this can result in a malware infection. You are advised to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. As well as spam campaigns, malicious programs are also proliferated through untrusted download sources (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation ("cracking") tools and bogus updaters. Therefore, use official/verified download channels, and activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by genuine developers. To protect device and user safety, it is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up to date. This software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats/issues. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "OneDrive" scam email message:

Subject: One Drive

sales@fiored.com has shared a document with you.                    
Date: 04/08/2020                                                       
                       This message was sent by [Sharepoint]


August-2020  #New_order.pdf       -  

Microsoft OneDrive


Microsoft respects your privacy. To learn more, please read our Privacy Statement.
Microsoft Corporation.

Screenshot of the fake sign-in/verification page, designed to gather entered email account credentials:

 OneDrive email scam fake page stealing account credentials

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.

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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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