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Avoid getting scammed by fake "Norton cloud Subscription activated" emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is "Norton cloud Subscription activated Email Scam"?

"Norton cloud Subscription activated Email Scam" refers to a spam campaign. These emails claim that users have been automatically billed for a premium Norton subscription. It must be emphasized that the information provided by these letters is false. Furthermore, the emails are in no way associated with the Norton AntiVirus or NortonLifeLock.

Norton cloud Subscription activated email spam campaign

"Norton cloud Subscription activated Email Scam" overview

The fake "Norton cloud Subscription activated" emails state that recipients have been automatically subscribed to Norton and its premium services. The cost is 199.99 USD, and the automatic subscription will be renewed for such a sum every three months. To contact customer support with questions or a cancellation request, the scam letters urge recipients to call the provided telephone number.

As mentioned in the introduction, these emails are fake and by trusting them - users risk experiencing various severe issues.

Emails like "Norton cloud Subscription activated" often operate in tandem with technical support and refund scams. These schemes aim to trick victims into calling fake helplines and allow scammers (claiming to be tech/customer support) to remotely access their devices. From that point on, the cyber criminals can deceive users into disclosing sensitive information (e.g., names, addresses, banking and other online account usernames/passwords, credit card details, etc.) by claiming that they cannot see it as it is typed, through phishing websites, or similar.

Scammers can also damage the remotely accessed devices by infecting them with malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.). These heinous actions are performed under the guise of providing aid with uninstalling products, turning off automatic subscriptions, and so forth.

In the case of a refund scam, users are often asked to manually enter the sum that they are receiving whilst the screen is blacked out. Then the scammers claim that the sum was incorrect and far more was transferred to the users' bank account (the deceit is carried out by editing the banking website's HTML so that it would seem like there is more money in the account). Victims of this scam are then asked to return the excess (commonly with sob stories of the scammer's potential job termination, etc.).

Furthermore, the money has to be transferred in difficult/impossible to trace methods. This is done to ensure that users could not return their money and the criminals could avoid persecution. Popular methods include - asking for digital currency (e.g., cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, gift cards, etc.) or requesting to ship the money in cash hidden in packages.

To summarize, by trusting the "Norton cloud Subscription activated" emails and similar scams, users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Norton cloud Subscription activated Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim that recipients have been billed for a Norton subscription.
Disguise Scam emails are disguised as notifications from Norton.
Scammer Phone Number +1-(808)-215-3443
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

"CTT Email Scam", "YOUR CORPORATE NETWORK HAS BEEN HACKED", "Host Europe Email Scam", "Email Removal Notice" - are a few examples of spam emails.

These letters can have various disguises and use different models - to generate revenue at victims' expense. In addition to phishing and other scams, spam campaigns are also used to distribute malware. Due to how widespread spam mail is, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails and messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected via virulent files, distributed through spam campaigns in the form of download links or attachments. These files can be executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, and so on. Malware download/installation is triggered - when infectious files are opened.

For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process happens when a document is opened in pre-2010 Microsoft Office versions. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros; instead, users can manually enable them. It is noteworthy that virulent documents often contain messages intended to trick users into allowing macro commands (i.e., editing/content).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and irrelevant emails should not be opened. Furthermore, the links and attachments found in these letters - can trigger system infections when clicked/opened. It is also advised to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Malware is also spread via dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to always download from official/verified sources and activate/update programs with tools provided by genuine developers.

It is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove threats. 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 "Norton cloud Subscription activated" scam email letter:

Subject: 11-02-2021, Auto-app product ordered. Thank you for the Order ********.


Norton cloud Subscription activated for ********. Enjoy Premium Services.

 

Norton BackUp added, Order Id: NOIO9128456

 

Subscription Activated

 

Purchase value: $199.99

 

App Only Order placed

 

Thank you for the Order. Your subscription will get auto-renewed every 3 months by $199.99 USD, unless you cancel by November 02, 2021.
It is an App-only order, for any Queries, or Customer Support or to Cancel Subscription call our Customer Care: +1-(808)-215-3443 (Toll Free) between 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM CST.


Regards
Norton Store Team

 

Copyright © 2021 Norton Inc. All rights reserved.

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Quick menu:

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:

Malware process running in the Task Manager

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:

Autoruns application appearance

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.

Run Windows 7 or Windows XP in 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.

Run Windows 8 in 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.

Run Windows 10 in 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 archive and run Autoruns.exe application

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.

Refresh Autoruns application results

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".

Delete malware in Autoruns

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.

Search for malware and delete it

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Spam emails are sent in large-scale operations. Hence, thousands of users receive the same email, with the cyber criminals hoping that at least some of the recipients will fall for the scam.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?

If you've disclosed account credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support. If you have provided other personal data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - contact the relevant authorities without delay.

I have allowed cyber criminals to remotely access my computer, what should I do?

If you've allowed cyber criminals to remotely access your device - disconnect it from the Internet, uninstall any remote access programs you've been asked to install (e.g., TeamViewer, AnyDesk, etc.), and scan the system for malware. If an infection was detected - use an anti-virus to remove the malicious software without delay.

I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, opening a spam email will not trigger any infection processes. Malware download/installation is initiated when the links present in such emails are clicked, or the files attached to the letters are opened. Alternatively, allowing cyber criminals to access your device remotely - can also result in a system infection.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?

Whether an infection chain was jumpstarted depends on the file's format. If it was an executable - most likely, yes, the system has been infected. If it was a document (e.g., .doc, .pdf, etc.) - you might have avoided triggering such processes, as doing so can require additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware infections. Note that running a full system scan is crucial, as sophisticated malicious programs typically hide deep in the system.

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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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