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Ignore the I am a professional programmer who specializes in hacking email scam

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

I am a professional programmer who specializes in hacking email scam removal guide

What is I am a professional programmer who specializes in hacking email scam?

As a rule, scammers behind sextortion email scams claim to have hacked a computer and recorded recipients while they were visiting adult websites. Scammers threaten to publish the video/send it to other people, unless recipients pay a certain amount of Bitcoin to the provided wallet address. Such emails have to be ignored - they are scams and videos (or other compromising material) that cybercriminals behind them claim to have do not exist.

I am a professional programmer who specializes in hacking email scam email spam campaign

The scammer behind this sextortion email scam introduces himself as a professional programmer who hacks into computers during his free time. He claims that he hacked the recipient's computer several months ago - he installed a virus that gave him full access to the infected computer. He also claims that he used a connected webcam to record a video of a recipient while he was visiting some adult page (watching an adult video). The scammer threatens to send that video to all people on the recipient's contact list and social media if a recipient is not going to pay $1350 in Bitcoins to the provided BTC wallet within 48 hours after receiving this email. There are many similar sextortion scams. Most of them are used to scare recipients into paying a certain amount of money to scammers so they would not spread a video or photo that does not exist. It is important to mention that scammers often use a spoofing technique to trick recipients into believing that their email account or a computer is hacked. Spoofing technique allows scammers to change the email address of a sender. Typically, scammers make the sender's email address the same as the recipient's. In one way or another, emails like this one can and should be ignored - scammers behind them do not have any compromising videos or photos.

Threat Summary:
Name I am a professional programmer who specializes in hacking email scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scammer has recorded compromising video
Ransom Size $1350 in Bitcoins
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address 1NToziZKcJfyxHpwkcxbafwghGasme4NUf, 1MZ6avTVhzxsyZvyNxFVWMutZwjQUhLpYo
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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As mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are many similar sextortion scams. A couple of examples are "I have got two not really pleasant news for you", "I have to share bad news with you", "Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige". It is important to mention that email can be used as a channel not only to extract money (or personal information) but also to deliver malware. A couple of examples of malspam campaigns are "KIO KOREA Email Virus" and "Socar Email Virus". Typically, they are used to distribute trojans, ransomware, and other malicious software.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

When cybercriminals use email as a channel to deliver malware, they send malicious files or links designed to download such files. In one way or another, their main goal is to trick recipients into opening a file that is designed to install malicious software. In order to trick users into opening malicious attachment/file, cybercriminals disguise their emails as important letters from legitimate companies or other entities. A couple of examples of files that cybercriminals usually use in their malspam campaigns are Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, RAR, ZIP or other archive files, JavaScript files, executable files (like .exe). Malicious documents opened with MS Office do not install malware unless users enable macros commands (editing/content). Although, malicious documents can install malware automatically if opened with the Microsoft Office version that was released before MS Office 2010 (older versions do not include the "Protected View" mode).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Emails sent from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be trusted. If such emails are not relevant and contain a link or an attachment, then it is likely that they came from cybercriminals who try to trick recipients into installing malware on their computers. Also, software (and files) should be downloaded from official, trustworthy pages. It is common that Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, various unofficial pages, third-party downloaders, and other sources of this kind are used to distribute unwanted, potentially malicious software. Any installed programs must be updated, activated properly. It has to be done using functions or tools that their official developers provide. Third-party, unofficial tools should never be used. It is common that they are used to distribute malware. Another reason not to use such tools is that it is not legal to activate licensed software with 'cracking' tools. The operating system should be scanned for malware or any other threats regularly. It is advisable that it would be scanned with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Appearance of the email (GIF):

i am a professional programmer who specialize in hacking email scam appearance

Text in this email:

Subject: Hackers have access to your device. Check details ASAP!


Hello there
Let me introduce myself first - I am a professional programmer, who specializes in hacking during my free time.
This time you were unlucky to become my next victim and I have just hacked the Operating System and your device.

I have been observing you for several months.
To put things in a simple way, I have infected your device with my virus while you were visiting your favorite adult website.

I will try to explain the situation in more details, if you are not really familiar with this kind of situations.
Trojan virus grants me with full access as well as control of your device.
Hence, I can see and access anything on your screen, switch on the camera and microphone and do other stuff, while you don't even know that.

In addition, I also accessed your whole contacts list at social networks and your device too.

You may be questioning yourself - why didn't your antivirus detect any malicious software until now?

- Well, my spyware uses a special driver, which has a signature that is updated on a frequent basis, hereby your antivirus simply cannot catch it.

I have created a videoclip exposing the way you are playing with yourself on the left screen section, while the right section shows the porn video that you were watching at that point of time.
Few clicks of my mouse would be sufficient to forward this video to all your contacts list and social media friends.
You will be surprised to discover that I can even upload it to online platforms for public access.

The good news is that you can still prevent this from happening:
All you need to do is transfer $1350 (USD) of bitcoin equivalent to my BTC wallet (if you don't know how to get it done,
do some search online - there are plenty of articles describing the step-by-step process).

My bitcoin wallet is (BTC Wallet): 1NToziZKcJfyxHpwkcxbafwghGasme4NUf

Once I receive your payment, I will delete your kinky video right away, and can promise that is the last time you hear from.
You have 48 hours (2 days exactly) to complete the payment.
The read notification will be automatically sent to me, once you open this email, so the timer will start automatically from that moment.

Don't bother trying to reply my email, because it won't change anything (the sender's email address has been generated automatically and taken from internet).
Don't try to complain or report me either, because all my personal information and my bitcoin address are encrypted as part of blockchain system.
I have done my homework.

If I discover that you have tried forwarding this email to anyone, I will right away share your kinky video to public.

Let's be reasonable and don't make any stupid mistakes anymore. I have provided a clear step-by-step guide for you.
All you need to do is simply follow the steps and get rid of this uncomfortable situation once and for all.

Best regards and good luck.

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:
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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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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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