Do not trust malspam email that is disguised as a letter from Coinbase

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

Coinbase email scam removal guide

What is Coinbase email scam?

In most cases phishing emails are sent by scammers who attempt to trick recipients into providing them some sensitive, personal information like credit card details, login credentials (e.g., username, email address, password), social security number, or some other details. Also, most of them are disguised as official, important letters from legitimate companies. In one way or another, such emails should never be trusted.

Coinbase email scam email spam campaign

This phishing email is disguised as a letter from Coinbase, a digital currency exchange. It says that recipients will not be able to log into their Coinbase accounts until their identities are verified. To verify their identities recipients are instructed to log into your Coinbase account on the provided website link that supposed to be opened via the "Verify Your Identity" button. In conclusion, the main purpose of this phishing email is to deceive recipients who are Coinbase users into providing their login credentials on a fake Coinbase website. Stolen accounts could be used to make fraudulent purchases, transactions, sold to third parties (other cyber criminals), or misused for other malicious purposes.

Threat Summary:
Name Coinbase Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient's Coinbase account is disabled until identity is verified
Disguise Email from Coinbase regarding identity verification
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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"Australian Online Award Promo Email Scam", "Banco Millennium BCP Email Scam" and "E-Mail Clustered Email Scam" are a couple of examples of other phishing emails. As mentioned in the first paragraph, scammers behind such emails attempt to trick recipients into proving some sensitive information that they could monetize. It is worthwhile to mention that emails can be used to distribute malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

To trick recipients into installing malware via malspam cyber criminals send emails that contain malicious attachments or download links for malicious files and disguise those emails as official, important letters from legitimate companies. Recipients install malware if they download and open a malicious file that they have received via email. Examples of files that that can be used to deliver malware via email are executable files (like .exe), JavaScript files, PDF, Microsoft Office documents, archive files (like ZIP, RAR).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Emails that contain attachments and are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be trusted. Installed programs should be updated and/or activated via implemented functions or tools that that are provided by their official developers. It is never safe to use other (third party, unofficial) tools. Also, it is not legal to use unofficial tools to activate licensed software. Files and programs should not be downloaded via unofficial websites, via third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks, etc. The safest way to download them is by using official websites and direct links. The operating system should have a reputable anti-spyware or antivirus software installed on it and scanned for threats regularly. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text in the Coinbase malspam email:

Subject: Important Notice_ Please Verify Your Identity
 
Coinbase
Please Verify Your Identity
The ability to login your account has been disabled until we can further verify your identity, please this is for your account security. In order to unlock your account's full funtionalities, please verify your identity by providing a valid ID document.

Please log into your Coinbase account below from a web browser to verify your identity. You will not be able to verify your identity from the Coinbase App.

Verify Your Identity
.
Want free Bitcoin? Invite your friends!
Terms of Service
© Coinbase 2020

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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