Do not trust the "Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige" scam email
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is the "Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige" scam email?
"Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige" is an email spam campaign. This term defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent. The messages distributed via this campaign inform recipients that the sender has obtained an explicit video featuring the recipient and, to prevent publication, a ransom must be paid.
These emails use the 'sextortion' scam model. Note that all of the information provided by "Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige" is false. Therefore, no compromising recording exists, and as such, the scam message must simply be ignored.
The "Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige" email states that the sender has infected the recipient's device with malware. This has supposedly allowed access and control over the device's camera, which was then used to record an explicit, sexual video of the recipient.
Additionally, the message claims that the recipient's social media accounts have been infiltrated, and the contacts lists were acquired from them. The recipient is given 48 hours to pay a ransom to prevent the nonexistent recording from being sent to all contacts.
Should no payment be made after 96 hours, the supposed video recording will be distributed as threatened. The scam email also warns against attempting to contact the sender, as the stolen account used to send the messages will be deactivated soon.
The email has a text file attached with a filename consisting of the recipient's name and surname. The file contains a message instructing the user to pay US$1,450 (USD) equivalent in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency plus the scammers' cryptowallet address.
As mentioned, the claims of "Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige" are bogus and none of the threats made by the scam message can be carried out.
|Name||Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam emails claim an explicit video has been recorded featuring the recipient, and threaten to publicize it unless a ransom is paid.|
|Ransom Amount||US$1,450 (USD) equivalent in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency|
|Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address||1D4KLYfpwvKtqBr3Ew3GpSmdQ17f58cS5k (Bitcoin)|
|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.
"I monitored your device on the net for a long time", "Zero day security vulnerability on Zoom app", "I know that you visit 18+ content", and "I infected your computer with my private trojan" are some examples of other sextortion spam campaigns. Deceptive emails can make a wide variety of different, false claims.
These mesages are usually presented as "important", "urgent", "priority", and similar. They might even be disguised as messages from legitimate institutions, companies, organizations, service providers, and other entities. Various scams are facilitated via spam campaigns.
These large-scale operations are used for phishing and malware proliferation (e.g., Trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.). Due to the relative prevalence of scam mail, exercise caution with incoming emails.
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
To avoid malware spread via spam mail, you are strongly advised against opening suspicious or irrelevant emails, especially those with any attachments or links present within them.
Additionally, use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Malicious programs also proliferate through untrusted download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updaters.
Therefore, only download from official/verified sources and activate and update software with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers.
To ensure device integrity and user privacy, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. Furthermore, use these programs to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential threats.
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 "Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige" scam email message:
Within 96 hours I’ll ruin your prestige, read the message to the end!
It isn’t for me to judge your affection to jack off, although any faith tradition deplores this.
I’ll not bore u with philosophical issues what’s good and what is bad and I’ll cut right to the point.
I shot a clip where you f**k urself via ur device camera as well as I have accessed to ur social media and saved all contact information from your email.
Now I’ve got compromising information with your secret hobby, and I grant you with forty eight h (from the time of reading this notice, I receive a notification) to pay me.
When you satisfy my demands I'll delete your earth-shattering video tape and I'll disappear forever.
Otherwise, if you neglect my demand, within ninety-six h I will send ur clip to ur closest people and comrades, and I as well will distribute it on the Internet.
So u can understand the way this happened, I have infected ur device with my rogue program, that has the feature to provide total access and remote control over the whole work of ur device.
No need to visit doubtful web-sites, it's the only way u can prevent problems, or simply stop jerking off.
Your prestige in the sight of ur relatives is going to change until the end of your life on viewing ur video tape.
Pleas not to distribute ur clip will not be answered, for the mail is hacked and soon the access to it will be denied.
Screenshot of the text file attached to the "Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige" emails (attachment filename consists of the recipient's name and surname):
Text presented in this file:
1D4KLYfpwvKtqBr3Ew3GpSmdQ17f58cS5k Bitcoin wallet, send 1450 $
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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 Within 96 Hours I'll Ruin Your Prestige 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.
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