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How to recognize phishing emails like HostEurope email scam?

Also Known As: HostEurope spam
Damage level: Medium

What is HostEurope email scam?

It is a phishing scam. Typically, phishing emails are used to trick recipients into providing sensitive information (for example, login credentials, credit card details, social security numbers). They usually contain a link to a phishing page. Scammers behind such emails pretend to be legitimate companies or other entities.

HostEurope email scam

HostEurope phishing email in detail

This phishing email is written in German. It says that the access to the HostEurope account has been blocked due to unusual activity and can be unblocked via the provided "Mein Konto entsperren" hyperlink. It also says that ignoring this email will result in having the account permanently banned.

The link in this email opens a shady website used to promote various scams and other untrustworthy pages. It is most likely used to trick visitors into providing personal information or transferring money to scammers. It is also possible that this page is malicious.

Threat Summary:
Name HostEurope Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim HostEurope account has been blocked
Related Domain pharmafreezedrying[.]com
Detection Names (pharmafreezedrying[.]com) CRDF (Malicious), CyRadar (Malicious), Fortinet (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Webroot (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 51.38.249.165
Disguise Letter from HostEurope
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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Phishing emails in general

The most commonly used way to extract personal information through email is to trick users into opening a provided phishing website designed to look like a legitimate website and entering that information on it. A couple examples of phishing emails are "Purchase Contract Email Scam" and "Microsoft 365 Email Scam".

It is important to mention that cybercriminals can use emails to deliver malware. More details about malicious emails are provided below.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Malicious emails contain attachments or website links. Either way, recipients cause computers by executing malicious files. Most computer infections are caused via MS Office documents, PDF documents, archive files, JavaScript files, executable files.

Malicious documents opened with MS Office do not infect computers until users enable editing or content (macros commands) in them. They get opened in Protected View mode. This does not apply to documents opened with MS Office versions released before 2010. The versions mentioned earlier do not include the Protected View mode.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not trust irrelevant emails containing links or attachments (especially if those emails are sent from unknown addresses). Such emails are likely to be malicious. Download files and programs only from legitimate sources (official pages) and avoid using other sources.

Use tools/functions provided by official developers to update and activate the installed software. Have a trustworthy antivirus program installed on the operating system, keep it up to date, and run scans with it regularly.

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 HostEurope email scam:

Subject: Ticket #4784133152875435210


Guten Tag,

Ihre Sicherheit ist unsere Priorität!

Ihr Kontozugriff wurde wegen ungewöhnlicher Aktivitäten gesperrt.

Um Ihren Online-Kontozugang freizuschalten, folgen Sie bitte den Schritten.

Wenn Sie diese Warnung ignorieren, wird Ihr Konto dauerhaft gesperrt.
 

Mein Konto entsperren

Freundliche Grüße
Sicherheitsteam der hosteurope

Untrustworthy website promoted through this email (GIF):

hosteurope email scam phishing website

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Scammers send the same email to all people in their list (email database). As a rule, phishing emails and similar scams are not personal.

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

If you have provided login credentials on a shady website provided in this email (or a page opened through it), change all passwords immediately. Use different passwords.

I have read the email but did not open the link, is my computer safe?

An email cannot cause any harm directly. However, malicious links and attachments in emails can.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating almost all known malicious software. The operating system should be scanned using the full system scan because certain malware can 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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