What is the Email Disabling Service email scam?
Frequently, cyber criminals send phishing emails to trick unsuspecting recipients into providing sensitive information. They attempt to convince recipients to send the information via email or enter it on the provided website.
Scammers behind such emails impersonate legitimate companies, organizations, and other entities to make them seem like they can be trusted. In fact, these bogus emails can never be trusted.
This email is disguised as a notice from an email service provider, stating that it will start terminating non-active users from the first day of February 2021 (the date in this email may vary).
It also states that, to prevent the email account from being deactivated (deleted), recipients must "confirm" their accounts via the provided website link ("Confirm Account now" hyperlink). In fact, the link opens a deceptive website asking users to enter their email login credentials (email addresses and passwords).
It is clear that cyber criminals behind this phishing email attempt to deceive recipients into providing email account login credentials, so that they can then gain access to email messages for sensitive information, personal documents, etc. Cyber criminals can also use stolen email accounts to send this (or other phishing emails) to users on the contact lists (send malspam).
Note that they could try to use stolen credentials to log into other accounts as well - people often use the same usernames/email addresses and passwords for multiple accounts. If they succeed, cyber criminals can cause even more damage. For example, they could steal identities, and make money transactions and purchases.
Therefore, links in phishing emails should never be opened and, more importantly, never enter personal information on deceptive, unofficial pages.
|Name||Email Disabling Service Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Email service provided is terminating inactive accounts|
|Disguise||Notification from email service provider|
|Detection Names (web-mail.uhc-com[.]tk)||DrWeb (Malicious), Fortinet (Spam), Sophos (Spam), Spamhaus (Spam), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (web-mail.uhc-com[.]tk)||220.127.116.11|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
Most of these emails are disguised as important messages from legitimate companies (that have no association with the bogus emails) and contain links that open deceptive websites whereby visitors are asked to provide some information.
As mentioned above, scammers behind this particular phishing email attempt to obtain email login credentials, however, these emails are often used to trick recipients into providing other sensitive information such as social security numbers, credit card details, bank account numbers, and other data. Furthermore, cyber criminals can use these emails as channels to deliver malware.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Typically, cyber criminals behind malspam campaigns send emails with a file attached to them or a download link to the malicious file. Their main goal is to trick recipients into opening/executing the rogue file, which then installs malicious software.
Note that malicious documents that are opened with Microsoft Office 2010 or newer versions install malicious software only if users enable macros commands (enable editing/content). These versions include "Protected View" mode, which does not allow opened malicious documents to install malware automatically. Older versions do not include this feature and install malicious software without asking permission.
How to avoid installation of malware
You are advised to download files and programs from official websites and via direct download links. Other tools and sources such as third party downloaders and installers, unofficial pages, and Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., eMule, torrent clients) should not be used to download or install software.
Check all "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings (or available checkboxes) for offers to download and/or install unwanted apps. Do not click ads on dubious websites, since they can be designed to open bogus web pages or cause unwanted downloads and installations.
Remove any unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins and add-ons installed on the browser, and software of this kind from the operating system.
If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the email:
Subject: Email Disabling Service Notice: Case: 577158671
We are terminating all Pending older versions and non-active users of - f rom 2/1/2021 7:38:06 a.m.
Kindly confirm your ID (-) from being de-activated
Confirm Account now
Account will be deleted after 2/1/2021 7:38:06 a.m. You can change the frequency of these notifications within your mailbox portal.
Screenshot of the deceptive website asking to enter email login credentials (email address and password):
Another example of an email from this spam campaign:
Text presented within:
Subject: Server Administrator. | IT Support Email Shutdown ******** 28th May 2021.
Server Administrator | IT Support ********
We are closing all old versions and non-active users from 5/28/2021 6:14:09 a.m.. Please confirm your email address ******** to keep your account from being deactivated.
Confirm Your Email Here
Account will be automatically deleted after 5/28/2021 6:14:09 a.m. You can change the frequency of these notifications within your mailbox portal.
Screenshot of a phishing website promoted via this email:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Email Disabling Service spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.