Ignore the You have used Zoom recently - I have very unfortunate news email

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

You have used Zoom recently - I have very unfortunate news email scam removal guide

What is You have used Zoom recently - I have very unfortunate news email scam?

Cyber criminals behind sextortion email scams like this one attempt to extract money (typically, cryptocurrency) from recipients by threatening to publish intimate, explicit images or videos of them. Usually they claim that they have recorded those videos (or taken pictures) using computer webcam that is connected to/installed on computers of recipients. Although, such sextortion emails are fake and should never be trusted.

You have used Zoom recently - I have very unfortunate news email spam campaign

Scammers behind this particular sextortion scam claim that there was a zero-day security vulnerability in the Zoom application that allowed them to fully access the recipient's web camera and record a recipient performing a sex act. They threaten to send the recorded video to all recipient's contacts if they will not be paid $2000 in Bitcoins within two days after this email is received. A payment has to be made by using one of the provided BTC wallet addresses. However, anyone who have received such sextortion scam mail should know that scammers behind it do not have any video of them doing anything, compromising information, etc. Therefore, such emails should never be taken seriously, the best option is to simply ignore them. Also, it is advised to report such emails to authorities.

Threat Summary:
Name You have used Zoom recently - I have very unfortunate news Email Scam
Threat Type Sextortion Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Cyber criminals have recorded explicit video of a recipient
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address 1DbsZi3gMgnGVW4e9ytZwD1CodjRj5nC5h, 15AKuZPGMkdrpTGJwb87tnaqSyp91JSeeB
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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More examples of sextortion email scams where scammers attempt to trick recipients into sending them money are "I Infected Your Computer With My Private Trojan", "I Know A Lot More Things About You" and "You Have 46 Hours In Order To Make The Payment". It is worthwhile to mention that emails can be used not only to trick users into making money transactions, providing sensitive information, but for other malicious purposes. For example, to deliver malware - to trick recipients into installing malware on their computers (e.g., ransomware, Trojans).

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Users infect their computers with malware through emails (malspam) when they download and open the attached malicious files, or open files that were downloaded by them via website links that were included in those emails. A couple of examples of files that cyber criminals use to deliver malware via emails are malicious executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files, PDF, Microsoft Office documents, archive files (like ZIP, RAR). Usually, those files infect systems/install malware once they are opened. However, malicious Microsoft Office documents infect computers only if recipients enable editing/content (macros commands) in them. Although, it applies only to documents that recipients open with Microsoft Office versions that were released after year 2010. Documents that are opened with older versions install malware automatically. It is because the aforementioned versions do not include "Protected View" mode.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Software should be downloaded legitimate official pages and via direct download links. Other sources like Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial sites, third party downloaders, etc., should not be used. The same applies to third party installers. Operating system and installed programs have to be updated with implemented functions and/or tools that are provided by their official developers. Third party, unofficial tools tend to be designed to install malware. Also, it is not legal to use third party tools to activate licensed software or use installers for pirated software. Attachments and/or links in irrelevant emails that are sent from suspicious, unknown addresses should not be opened. Very often such emails are send by cyber criminals who attempt to trick recipients into installing malware on their computers. Additionally, computers can be protected by regularly scanning them for threats with an up-to-date antivirus or anti-spyware software. 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 You have used Zoom recently - I have very unfortunate news email letter:

Subject: Regarding Zoom Conference call

In case you didn't get the last email. Pay attention now.
You have used Zoom recently. And I have very unfortunate news for you.
I'll give you some background on what happened.

There was a zero day security vulnerability on Zoom app, that allowed me a full time access to your camera and some other metadata on your account.
Basically, you were hacked.
And as you can imagine in your worst dreams, I have made a footage with you as a main actor.
Where you work on yourself (perform sex act to be clear). Having fun is ok with me, but its not ok with your reputation.

Please dont blame me or yourself for this. You couldn't know that the camera was working.
I'm sure you don't want to be the next Jeffrey Toobin and get embarrassed in front of all your friends, family and colleagues.
You shouldget this very clear, I will send this video to all your contacts if I dont get paid.
Are you wondering how I got your contacts and emails? Through the same exploit, zoom app allowed me to extract all sensitive info from your device.

So here is what we will do. You pay me $2000 in bitcoin, and nothing of this will happen. You have 2 days to make the payment.
After I get the money, I will delete the footage and information about you. The amount is not negotiable.
Send 0.11 Bitcoin (less than 2k USD at the current exchange rate) to my wallet 1DbsZi3gMgnGVW4e9ytZwD1CodjRj5nC5h, 15AKuZPGMkdrpTGJwb87tnaqSyp91JSeeB
Having trouble with buying bitcoin? Just google on how to buy it, it's very easy to use and anonymous.
P.S. Don't try to report this to the police, I use TOR and bitcoin can't be traced. Do not email me back. If you do something stupid, I will distribute the video.
Good luck. Don't stress.

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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