Do not trust the "Emails Sync Failure" phishing emails

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

"Emails Sync Failure" email scam removal guide

What is the "Emails Sync Failure" scam letter?

"Emails Sync Failure" is the name of an email spam campaign. The term "spam campaign" refers to a mass-scale operation, during which deceptive emails are sent by the thousand. The letters sent through this campaign are disguised as notifications, concerning undelivered emails. The purpose of this scam is to trick the recipients into disclosing their email account passwords via phishing website, thereby allowing scammers access to the account.

Emails Sync Failure email spam campaign

The "Emails Sync Failure" scam emails (subject/title "Notifications | undelivered emails to your mailbox"; may vary) claim that recipients have letters pending arrival into their inbox. The fake emails were supposedly undelivered due to some sort of synchronization failure of the email account. The mail server allegedly blocked five letters. Recipients are given the option to either view, release (into the inbox) or delete the impending emails. The link for these options redirects to a phishing website, which is presented as the sign-in page to the email account. However, by entering the account's password into the site, users will not log into their account but rather expose it to the scammers. Therefore, it is strongly advised against trusting the "Emails Sync Failure" scam letters. Should attempts to log-in through the phishing website have already been made, users must change the password of the exposed email and all potentially affected accounts that are connected to it. Additionally, it is recommended to contact the official support of the compromised accounts.

Email accounts are of particular interest to scammers, as they are typically connected to various other accounts and services. Hence, through hijacked mail accounts - cyber criminals may gain access and control over others, which are associated/registered through the email. To elaborate on how certain accounts can be abused: communication accounts (e.g. emails, social networking/media, messengers, etc.) can be used by scammers to impersonate the genuine owner and ask contacts/friends for loans and/or to spread malware (by sharing infectious links/files). Accounts that directly or indirectly deal with financial information (e.g. store credit card details), such as: banking, online money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallet and similar - can be used to make fraudulent monetary transactions and/or to make online purchases. To summarize, by trusting "Emails Sync Failure" or other scam emails, users may experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Emails Sync Failure Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim recipients have undelivered letters awaiting their action (viewing, approval or deletion).
Related Domains deck2[.]fr
Serving IP Address (deck2[.]fr) 81.88.48.95
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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"Mail - Quarantined", "Deactivating All Inactive Accounts", "Account Access Disabled" - are a few examples of other spam campaigns, which target email account log-in credentials. However, deceptive emails are not used exclusively for phishing, they are also employed to facilitate other scams and to spread malware (e.g. trojans, ransomware, etc.). Therefore, it is highly recommended to exercise caution with incoming email letters.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns infect systems via malicious content distributed through them. Deceptive/Scam emails can contain download links of infectious files and/or the files are simply attached to them. Virulent files can be in various formats, such as: archives, executables, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc. When they are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection chain (i.e. malware download/installation) is jumpstarted. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released before 2010 - this process begins the moment a document is opened. The newer versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, in these versions users are asked to enable macro commands (i.e. to enable editing/content); hence, infection can only be triggered by manually enabling macros.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid malware spread through spam mail, it is advised against opening suspicious and irrelevant emails - especially, any links or attachments present in them. Additionally, it is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Malicious programs are also commonly proliferated via untrustworthy download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal software activation tools ("cracks") and fake updaters. Therefore, it is important to always download from official and trustworthy sources, as well as activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by genuine developers. To ensure device and user safety, it is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed. Furthermore, this software must be kept updated, used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. 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 "Emails Sync Failure" email letter:

Subject: Notifications | undelivered emails to your mailbox


Your mailbox Pending Emails Sync Failure.

 

- Mail-Server Blocked 5 incoming messages .    
As of January 14, 2021 you have 5 incoming pending messages.

 

Click here to View, Release or Delete.
Mail account
-

 

Thanks,
- System Administrator.

 

This notification was sent to - Don't want occasional updates about subscription preferences and friendly suggestions?

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by "Emails Sync Failure" scam emails:

Emails Sync Failure scam promoted 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.

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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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