Avoid loggin in to Spotify via fake websites

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

Spotify email scam removal guide

What is Spotify email scam?

In most cases cyber criminals/scammers behind phishing emails contact potential victims via email, text message or telephone. They attempt to trick people into providing some sensitive information, like, credit card details, passwords. In this particular case scammers send emails disguised as letters from Spotify asking recipients to update their payment method via fake Spotify website. Their main goal is to steal Spotify accounts. This and other similar emails should never be trusted.

Spotify Email Scam email spam campaign

Scammers behind this phishing scam send emails claiming that Spotify could not bill a recipient due to some problem with the preferred payment method. To fix this problem a recipient supposed to log in to Spotify via provided website link (a fake Spotify website). On that website a recipient is asked to log in with Facebook or using Spotify account login credentials (email address or username and password). It means that anyone who would try to log in to Spotify via this deceptive website, they would provide scammers their Facebook and/or Spotify login credentials. Scammers could use stolen accounts to steal identities, trick other people (e.g., people in victim's contact list) into providing sensitive information, make fraudulent purchases, transactions, sell stolen accounts to third parties (other cyber criminals), etc. It is common that users use the same login credentials for multiple accounts, which means scammers may try to steal them as well. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to be sure that any visited login website is legitimate, official (e.g., by checking its URL address) and never provide any information on questionable, unofficial pages.

Threat Summary:
Name Spotify Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Problem with the preferred payment method
Disguise Letter from Spotify
Fake Spotify Website Address ashyanabuilders[.]com
Serving IP Address (ashyanabuilders[.]com) 173.231.196.154
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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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Some more examples of similar scams are "POLÍCIA SEGURANÇA PÚBLICA Email Scam", "Xerox Scanned Document Email Scam" and "SendGrid Email Scam". Typically, scammers behind emails of this type attempt to trick recipients into providing them sensitive information that could be misused to generate revenue in one or another way. It is worthwhile to mention that emails can be used as tools to trick recipients into installing malware through attached malicious file or website link. Examples of malware that cyber criminals distribute via malspam campaigns are TrickBot, Adwind, Agent Tesla, CoronaCrypt0r.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Typically, users infect computers via email when they open/execute a malicious file that is attached to an email sent by cyber criminals. Also, installation of malware can be caused via email by opening a file downloaded via malicious website link in it. Usually cyber criminals attach malicious PDF, Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, executable files like .exe, archive files like ZIP, RAR. It is worthwhile to mention that malicious MS Office documents cannot infect computers if they do not get a permission to enable macros commands (editing/content). Although, this does not apply to documents opened with MS Office versions that were released before MS Office 2010. It is because older versions to not include the "Protected View" mode which prevents malicious documents form installing malware automatically.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is strongly recommended not to open files attached to irrelevant emails and/or emails are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. The same applies to website links - opening them could cause download of some malicious file designed to install malicious software. All software (and files) should be downloaded from trustworthy, official websites and via direct download links. All other sources (Peer-to-Peer networks, third party downloaders, unofficial pages, free file hosting pages) should not be used. Third party installers should not be used to install any software too. Furthermore, it is important to update and/or activate installed software with tools or implemented functions that are designed by its official developers. Third party, unofficial activation and updating tools often are designed to proliferate (install) malware. Besides, it is not legal to use unofficial ('cracking') tools to activate licensed software. One more important thing is to regularly scan a computer for threats with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and always keep that software 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 Spotify email scam:

Subject: Please update your payment method


We're unable to bill you.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news , but there's a problem with your preferred payment method.
Follow these steps to help us fix the problem.
CONFIRM ACCOUNT    
    
Get Spotiify for:   iPhone iPad Android Other    
This message was sent to -. If you have questions or complaints, please contact us.    
Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyContact Us    
Notification AB, Regeringsgatan 19, 111 53, Stockholm, Sweden

Screenshot of the fake Spotify login website (ashyanabuilders[.]com):

spotify email scam fake spotify website

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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