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Avoid having your accounts stolen by fake "Microsoft" emails

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

"New app(s) have access to your Microsoft Account email scam" removal guide

What is the "New app(s) have access to your Microsoft Account" scam email?

"New app(s) have access to your Microsoft Account email scam" refers to a spam campaign - a large-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign - claim that new applications have connected to recipients' Microsoft accounts. The scam emails also state these apps have access to users' data. It must be emphasized that these email letters are in no way associated with the Microsoft Corporation. This spam mail aims to promote a phishing website designed to steal account log-in credentials.

New app(s) have access to your Microsoft Account email spam campaign

The "New app(s) have access to your Microsoft Account" scam emails inform the recipient that previously unconnected applications have access to their data. The letters then specify that "Gmail Android" has connected to the Microsoft account in question. The recipient is instructed to remove these apps if they did not grant them access to the account. When the "Login Here to Manage your apps" button is clicked, it opens the promoted phishing website. As mentioned in the introduction, this fake sign-in page operates by recording the information entered into it. Therefore, by attempting to log in through this webpage, users will inadvertently allow scammers access to their accounts.

It is likely that these scam emails target recipients' Microsoft accounts. However, the phishing site is not disguised as the actual Microsoft account sign-in page, nor does it specify with what account's log-in credentials (usernames/passwords) users have to sign in. Regardless, by gaining control over one account - scammers may be able to access others as well. This can occur due to the inadvisable yet common practice of using the same passwords for multiple accounts. Emails are of particular interest to scammers - as they are typically connected to other platforms and services (e.g., they are registered through the emails). Therefore, emails can serve as a gateway to other accounts.

To elaborate on how scammers can abuse stolen accounts - by pretending to be the communication platform's (e.g., email, social media, social networking, messenger, etc.) genuine owners - they can ask the contacts/friends for loans. These accounts can also be used to spread malware by sharing infectious files or links to malicious websites. Should compromising or especially sensitive content be found on data-storage platforms/services - it may be held for ransom under the threat of publication. Finance-related accounts (e.g., banking, online money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases. To summarize, by trusting the "New app(s) have access to your Microsoft Account" scam emails, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. If attempts to sign in through the phishing site have already been made, it is strongly advised to immediately change the compromised account's log-in credentials. Furthermore, it is recommended to contact the official support of the endangered account.

Threat Summary:
Name New app(s) have access to your Microsoft Account email scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim new apps have connected to recipients' Microsoft accounts.
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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"Nextiva email scam", "Account Missing Or Incomplete", "DHL Package Tracking Confirmation", and "System Administrator Quota Update" are a few examples of phishing spam campaigns. The letters distributed through these mass-scale operations are usually disguised as "important", "urgent", "priority", and/or as mail from legitimate companies, institutions, authorities, organizations, or other entities. Spam mail is not used exclusively for phishing and different scams, it is also employed to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Regardless of what these emails promise, offer, claim, request, or demand, the end-goal is the same - to generate revenue at user expense.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns spread malware via infectious files distributed through them. These files can be attached to the scam emails, or the letters can contain download links of malicious content. Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth. When the files are opened - the infection chain (i.e., malware download/installation) is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins the moment a document is opened in Microsoft Office versions released before 2010. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users can manually enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), and they are alerted of the potential risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Dubious and irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments or links present in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also proliferated via untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is advised to download only from official and verified sources. Furthermore, all software products must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To ensure device integrity and user privacy, it is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and updated. These programs have to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. 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 "New app(s) have access to your Microsoft Account" scam email letter:

Subject: New app(s) connected to your Microsoft ******** account

 

Microsoft account


New app(s) have access to your data


Gmail Android connected to the Microsoft account ********.


If you didn't grant this access, please remove the app(s) from your account.


Login Here to Manage your apps


You can also  opt out or change where you receive security notifications.


Thanks,
The Microsoft account team 2021

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted via the "New app(s) have access to your Microsoft Account" spam campaign:

New app(s) have access to your Microsoft Account scam email promoted phishing website

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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