What is the "Your Account Needs Attention!" email?
"Your Account Needs Attention!" is a spam email that we have received and subsequently analyzed. We determined that it is a phishing scam.
The letter claims that unless the recipient updates their email account - it will be deactivated in a matter of hours. This spam mail aims to trick the recipient into disclosing sensitive information, most likely the email account's log-in credentials.
"Your Account Needs Attention!" email scam overview
The spam letter states the recipient's email service provider has detected that the mailbox updates and maintenance have expired. The email account must be updated - else, it will be deactivated within five hours.
The scam letter also contains a distressing statement that without the "Privacy Protection" - users' personal information (e.g., email address, phone number, etc.) must be made available on public record. This implies that unless the recipient complies and updates the account, their private data will be publicized online.
When we pressed the "UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT" button presented in the spam letter, it redirected us to a website. However, we did not manage to get the page to load. Based on the VirusTotal detections of the site and our experience with similar spam mail - the website is most likely used for phishing.
Furthermore, email-issue-themed phishing scams primarily target email account passwords. These scam emails promote phishing sites (or files), disguised as sign-in pages or ones requesting users to log in for some reason (e.g., expired session, verification purposes, etc.).
The victims of such scams can experience severe issues. Cyber criminals may gain control over content registered through a stolen email account.
To elaborate, emails, social networking, social media, messengers, and other communication accounts can be used to ask the contacts for loans or to proliferate malware - under the guise of the genuine owner. Finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases.
To summarize, by trusting the "Your Account Needs Attention!" spam email, users can experience serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
|Name||Your Account Needs Attention! phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Email account lacks updates and necessary maintenance, and if this is not addressed - the account will be deactivated.|
|Disguise||Recipient's email service provider/ technical support.|
|Detection Names (siasky[.]net)||Avira (Phishing), Combo Cleaner (Malware), Emsisoft (Phishing), Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Phishing), Netcraft (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|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.
Phishing spam campaign examples
"Download all your blocked email messages", "Removal From Server Has Been Approved And Initiated", and "Important Update From Mail Server Registrar" are some examples of emails akin to "Your Account Needs Attention!".
In addition to phishing and other scams, spam mail is also used to spread malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Due to how widespread scam emails are and the sophisticated disguised they can use, we strongly advise exercising caution with incoming emails and messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Spam emails can have malicious files attached to them. Alternatively, the letters can contain links leading to websites capable of stealthily downloading/installing malware or ones designed to trick users into doing so themselves.
For example, MS documents execute malicious macro commands when they are opened in pre-2010 Microsoft Office versions. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents this, and users can manually enable macros (i.e., allow editing/content). It is noteworthy that virulent documents often contain deceptive messages to trick users into enabling macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We advise against opening/clicking the attachments and links found in suspicious and irrelevant emails, as that can cause a system infection. It is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010, as they have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macro commands,
However, malware is not spread exclusively through spam mail. Therefore, we also recommend downloading only from official/verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools provided by legitimate developers.
We must stress the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected 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 "Your Account Needs Attention!" email letter:
Subject: WARNING: SHUTTING DOWN **********, (Few hours to go)
Your Account Needs Attention!
System security and maintenance has expired
Due to our new policy change on account protection and maintenance, Our system has detected that your mailbox updates and maintenance for ********** has expired and your account will be marked for deactivation in 5hrs from now!
You can prevent deactivation now and perform the required updates and maintenance to continue using your mailbox.
UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT
New & Improved Features Available
Privacy Protection has secured your personal information on the Web. Without this service, your personal details like phone number and email address must be displayed in the public records, according to ********** registration rules.
If you have any questions about this service, please contact us using the details below - we're always happy to help!
SUPPORT TECHNICAL SUPPORT BILLING DESK
Whois.com Billing Team
Appearance of the "Your Account Needs Attention!" spam email (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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:
- What is Your Account Needs Attention! phishing email?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious 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.
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.
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:
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?
Spam emails are not personal; cyber criminals send them by the thousand.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have provided account credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support. And if you have disclosed other private data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - contact the corresponding authorities without delay.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, opening an email will not initiate any malware download/installation processes. Infection is triggered when the files or links present in these emails - are opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
If the file was an executable - most likely, yes. However, you might have avoided triggering an infection if it was a document (.pdf, .doc, .xls, etc.). These formats can require additional actions (e.g., macro command enablement, etc.) - to begin downloading/installing malicious software.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate nearly all known malware infections. It is noteworthy that sophisticated malicious programs typically hide deep within the system - hence, running a full system scan is crucial.