Do not trust the Your cloud storage was compromised scam

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is Your cloud storage was compromised email scam?

Typically, scammers behind sextortion scam emails claim to have compromising images or videos of the recipient and demand payment for not releasing those images or videos. In most cases, scammers claim to have used recipient's webcam to obtain compromising material.

The main purpose of such scams is to trick the recipient into believing that compromising material will be sent to other people (e.g., family, friends, coworkers) or published on the Internet if he or she does not pay the ransom.

Your cloud storage was compromised email scam

Scammers behind this particular sextortion scam claim that recipient's Cloud storage has been compromised and all the data stored on it has been copied. They also claim that copied data contains pictures, documents, contacts, and other data, including deleted files.

Their main goal is to trick the recipient into believing that all data will be shared with third parties if he/she does not transfer $2000 in Bitcoins to the provided BTC wallet address. Additionally, scammers claim that the payment has to be made as soon as possible because the recipient will have to pay three times more after some time.

It is important to mention that scammers can include recipients' real passwords in their sextortion emails to trick the recipient into believing that a computer has been hacked. It is common that included passwords are old. Scammers get them from hacker forums or other places on the Internet where cybercriminals publish information released after some data breach.

If the included password is not old, that it should be changed as soon as possible. Otherwise, some accounts may be stolen. Another important detail about sextortion scams is that scammers may use spoofing techniques to forge the sender's address.

Usually, they make the sender's and recipient's addresses the same to trick the recipient into thinking that the email account has been hacked.

Threat Summary:
Name Your cloud storage was compromised email scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient's Cloud storage has been compromised
Ransom Amount $2000 in Bitcoins
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address 13gdUqbxkC2TQPmaHLuMsTatATz6jHCwkp
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.
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More examples of sextortion scams are "This Is Not A Formal Email Scam", "I Have To Share Bad News With You", "I Monitored Your Device On The Net For A Long Time". As a rule, scammers these scams try to trick unsuspecting recipients into paying them money for non-existing photos or videos (to trick recipients into calling their bluff).

It is important to mention that email can be used as a channel to deliver malicious software. A couple of examples of malicious emails are "Contract Agreement Email Virus" and "Order Confirmation Email Virus".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

As a rule, emails used to deliver malware contain malicious files (attachments) or links. In most cases, cybercriminals behind these emails pretend to be legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities (they use their real logos, names, addresses, etc.).

Their main goal is to trick recipients into downloading and opening a malicious file. For example, a malicious Microsoft Office document, JavaScript file, ZIP, RAR or another archive file, PDF documents, EXE or another executable file.

Usually, users infect computers after opening a malicious file. Although, malicious documents opened with Microsoft Office 2010 (and newer versions) do not install malware unless users enable macros commands (editing/content). If opened with older MS Office versions, those documents install malware automatically because they do not have the "Protected View" mode.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is strongly recommended not to open files (attachments) or website links in irrelevant emails. Especially when such emails are sent from suspicious, unknown senders.

It is important to remember that malicious emails are 4disguised as official letters from legitimate companies. Furthermore, files and software should be downloaded from official pages and via direct download links.

It is not safe to use questionable channels like unofficial pages, third-party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks, etc., to  download files or programs. One more important thing is to update and activate software properly.

It has to be done using implemented functions or tools provided by the official developers. It is very common for third-party, unofficial tools to be malicious (designed to install malware).

Also, it is not legal to use 'cracking' tools to activate software or use hacked ('cracked') software. Additionally, it is advisable to scan a computer for threats regularly and do it using a reputable antivirus or and 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.

Text presented in the Your cloud storage was compromised email scam:

Subject: With reference to your cloud storage

I am sorry to inform you that your cloud storage was compromised.
Let’s get the biggest elephant out of the room first.
I am not a part of shady group that encrypts your data and extorts money leaving you no choice. But I HAVE copied your data.
The choice is yours.

Here is what happened, one of the websites where you have an account was breached.
After that I got access to your password from that breach and with some advanced manipulations and bruteforce extracted your backup data.
The data set that I have downloaded and parsed contains pictures, documents, contacts and more including some deleted files.
I don't have much time and dedication NOW to go through all of the files, but with some fast looking I did - I am sure that you dont want some of them to be seen by other people.

What I can do if you don't follow my instructions is simple.
I can send from your name to your contacts the most interesting content, it's the least I can do. You may care or not, it's up to you to decide.
If you decide that you don't care, I will go through all files, and who knows what more I may find more.
Maybe you have some confidential business information. Or GREAT nudes and videos.

If I spend more time on your case, the amount will be 3 times bigger. Depends on the content.
So let's make it simple. You pay me $2000 USD, I delete the data, you change your password.
Business as usual, use Bitcoin to make the transfer.
Account is unique and you have some reasonable time to make the payment.
Take care.

Another variant of "Your cloud storage was compromised" scam email ("Your mobile backup storage was compromised"):

Your mobile backup storage was compromised scam email

Text presented within:

Subject: With reference to your cloud storage


I am sorry to inform you that your mobile backup storage was compromised.

I'll explain what led to all of this. One website where you have an account was hacked.
I've got access to your password from that breach and with some advanced hacking techniques and bruteforce, I have extracted your backup data from the cloud storage used for backups.
Nothing could have prevented this, not even 2FA.

The data that I have downloaded contains your personal photos and videos, chats, documents, emails, contacts, your browsing history, notes, social media history and more including some deleted files.
Basically it's a full copy of your mobile device.

I am sure that you dont want any part of the data to be seen by other people. And you can prevent this.
If I dont get what I'm asking for, I will use this information against you. I find some of the media content quite entertaining(you know what I'm talking about), your friends and colleagues will not think the same.

If you are not sure of what I can do, just imagine what would happen if I use your email or phone number to send the most private and damaging content to your contacts. And can spice up things with you browsing history as well.
It will be very damaging to you personally.

However, I offer you a solution. You will avoid this mess by paying me a consulting fee to delete the files I have.
I guarantee, that after I receive the payment, the files will be deleted on my side and I will not bother you again about this. You will need to change your password as well.
So let's make it simple. You pay me $1500 USD. Use Bitcoin to make the transfer.

Wallet address is bc1qej30uk9medzyykvaghg38dtry7xuyc0f3fzg78 , it's unique and I will know that you made the payment immediately.
You have 2 days to make the transfer, I think that's reasonable.
Take care.

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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.

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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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