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Avoid losing your email account via fake "RingCentral" emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is "RingCentral email scam"?

"RingCentral email scam" refers to a spam campaign - a large-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent.

The letters sent through this campaign are disguised as notifications about a new voice message from RingCentral - a cloud-based communication service provider. It must be emphasized that these scam emails are in no way associated with the actual RingCentral company.

The goal of this spam campaign is to proliferate a phishing HTML file. It requests users to log in with their email credentials (i.e., email addresses and passwords) to view the fake document. With this information - the scammers behind these letters can steal the exposed email accounts.

RingCentral email spam campaign

"RingCentral" scam emails in detail

The fake "RingCentral" emails (subject/title "Incoming NonReadable Voicemail from 306-045-0672"; may vary) state that recipients have received a new voice message. Then the letters provide details of the nonexistent message.

To listen to this message, recipients are instructed to download the file attached to the emails. This HTML file requires users to sign in using their email accounts to view it.

The phishing file operates by recording information entered into it; afterwards, the data is sent to the scammers' server. By trying to access this fake document - users will inadvertently expose their email accounts.

Scammers target emails as they are typically connected with (e.g., used to register) other accounts, platforms, and services. Therefore, through hijacked email accounts, access/control may be gained over those associated with them.

To elaborate on how the stolen content can be misused, communication platforms (e.g., email, social media/networking, messengers, etc.) can be used to proliferate malware - by sharing malicious files or links. Alternatively, scammers can pretend to be the account's genuine owner and ask their contacts, friends, or followers for financial support.

Finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases.

To summarize, by trusting the "RingCentral" scam emails - users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Should attempts to log in via the phishing file have already been made - the exposed credentials (passwords) must be changed immediately. Additionally, it is recommended to contact the official support of the compromised accounts and platforms.

Threat Summary:
Name RingCentral Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Emails claim recipients have received a new voice message
Disguise Scam emails are disguised as notifications from RingCentral
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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Spam campaigns in general

"Apple cloud Subscription email scam", "Verify Microsoft Account email scam", and "Bonifico Effettuato email scam" are a couple examples of phishing spam campaigns.

The deceptive letters are usually presented as "important", "urgent", "priority", and/or disguised as messages from legitimate companies, institutions, authorities, organizations, service providers, and other entities. However, these mass-scale operations are also used for different scams and to spread malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.).

Due to how widespread spam mail is, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns proliferate malware via infectious files distributed through them. These files can be attached to the emails, or the letters can contain download links of such content.

Virulent files can be in a variety of formats, e.g., PDF and Microsoft Office documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process (i.e., malware download/installation) is jumpstarted.

For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. This process is automatic in Microsoft Office versions released before 2010.

Later versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users can manually enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands).

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the system via spam mail, it is advised against opening suspect and irrelevant emails - 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 distributed through untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation ("cracking") tools, and fraudulent updates.

Therefore, it is important to only download from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by genuine developers.

It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats/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 "RingCentral" scam email letter:

Subject: Incoming NonReadable Voicemail from 306-045-0672

 

Dear ********,

 

You have a new voice message:
From:     269-390-0971
Received:     2021-07-01 16:35:34
Length:     01:97
To:     269-390-0971 (********)
To listen to this message, download the attachment.

 

Thank you for using RingCentral!

 

Work from anywhere with the RingCentral app. It's got everything you need to stay connected: team messaging, video meetings and phone - all in one app.  Get started

 

By subscribing to and/or using RingCentral, you acknowledge agreement to our  Terms of Use.

 

Copyright 2020 RingCentral, Inc. All rights reserved. RingCentral is a registered trademark of RingCentral, Inc., 20 Davis Drive, Belmont, CA 94002, USA.

Screenshot of the "RingCentral" email attachment used for phishing:

RingCentral scam email phishing attachment

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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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