How to recognize scams like Your system has been hacked with a Trojan virus

Also Known As: Your system has been hacked with a Trojan virus sextortion scam
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Your system has been hacked with a Trojan virus"?

After examining the email, we have concluded that it is one of those scams used to scare recipients into transferring money to scammers. Scammers behind it attempt to trick recipients into believing that their computers are infected. They urge recipients to transfer a specified amount of Bitcoin to avoid further damage.

Your system has been hacked with a Trojan virus sextortion scam

More about "Your system has been hacked with a Trojan virus" email scam

Scammers claim that the operating system has been hacked with a Trojan virus that has infected the system through visited adult websites. All data stored on the infected device has been copied to servers controlled by scammers. They also claim that they can access the microphone, camera, monitor screen, and more.

Their goal is to trick recipients into believing that they have a compromising video of them and publish it if they do not pay $1200 in Bitcoins to the provided cryptocurrency wallet. Scammers claim that this has to be done within two days. None of the claims in this email are true. Thus, it can be ignored without any further consideration.

Threat Summary:
Name Your System Has Been Hacked Wth A Trojan Virus Email Scam
Threat Type Sextortion Scam
Fake Claim A computer is infected with a Trojan
Ransom Size $1200
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address bc1qxhwtzs9j9d5kdqdhljgzaj0fh9waay74xnu4hv, 1B33LTohL4pWrZsjSpzLYjZ6WorWkwnoGE, bc1q9nnhyldnqgqktcrzhjm40jrx0lapu97l2duskp, 1nBEqjHxucigWaWbCeCtXyTeoFUTTcPQB, bc1qmuuyuku5y8azeytetqat8m37fc7zhm0h7g3g5t
Distribution methods Deceptive emails
Damage Monetary loss
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Similar scams in general

Email scams of this type are known as sextortion scams. Scammers behind such scams threaten recipients with sharing a video (or photos) of them visiting adult websites and asking to pay a ransom in return for not spreading that video (or photos).

More examples of similar scams are "I Have Been Watching You Email Scam", "Start The Conversation With Bad News Email Scam", "I Would Like To Avoid Any Accusations Against You Email Scam". Another way to use email for malicious purposes is to send malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

An email used to trick recipients into infecting computers with malware contains a malicious attachment or website link. Computers get infected after a malicious file is downloaded and executed. Typically, malicious emails are disguised as important/urgent letters from legitimate companies, organizations, etc.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not click on suspicious links or download (and open) attachments presented in irrelevant emails received from unknown addresses. Use trustworthy sources (official websites, direct links) when willing to download files and apps. Keep the operating system and installed software up to date. Use tools provided by the official developers to update and activate (if necessary) them.

If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Appearance of the email (GIF):

your system has been hacked with a trojan virus email scam appearance

Text presented in the "Your system has been hacked with a Trojan virus" email letter:

Subject: Here is the last warning! Your information has been compromised! The entry in system is completed.

Good day.
Your system has been hacked with a Trojan virus.
It has penetrated your device through adult portals which you sometimes visit.
Some spicy videos contain malicious code that activates after being turned on. Your entire information has already been copied to my servers.

I possess complete control over your device which you use to access the Internet.
I can see your screen, I can use a microphone and a camera in a way that you never notice anything.  

I've already made a screen recording.
A video was edited with a pornographic movie that you were watching at that time and masturbating.
Your face is perfectly visible and I don’t think that this kind of content will have a positive impact on your reputation.

I have an overall access to your list of contacts and the social media profiles. I can send this video from your E-mail or the messengers.

If you don't want to let this happen, then you only need to take one simple step.
Just transfer 1200 USD (US dollars) to Bitcoin wallet: bc1qxhwtzs9j9d5kdqdhljgzaj0fh9waay74xnu4hv

(In a Bitcoin equivalent at the exchange rate for the time of transfer)
You can find the detailed instructions in Google.

After the payment I will remove the video and the virus from your device and no one will bother you anymore.
If I won’t receive the payment in due time, all of your data and the videos will become publicly available.

I give you 2 business days.

I shall receive a notification that you have read the letter.
The timer starts immediately.
Any complain somewhere, including the police, is useless. My wallet and an E-mail cannot be tracked.

If I find out that you have shared this message with someone else, the video will become publicly available at once.
I will destroy your reputation forever and all your data will go public.

Everyone will learn about your passion for the porn sites and more. Changing the passwords will be useless either as all the data is already on my servers.

Don't forget that reputation is very important and be prudent!

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:
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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?

This email is not personal, even if you are the only one who has received it. Scammers send the same email to all email addresses in their database. Typically, scammers use email addresses that were exposed after data breaches.

Was my computer actually hacked and does the sender have any information?

No, your computer is not hacked (or infected), and scammers do not have any videos or photos of you as they claim.

I have sent cryptocurrency to the address presented in such email, can I get my money back?

Unfortunately, cryptocurrency transactions are virtually untraceable. Thus, it is unlikely that you will be able to retrieve transferred funds.

Can opening links or files in emails be dangerous?

Yes, cybercriminals can use email as a tool to deliver malware. Typically, malicious emails are disguised as official letters from existing and legitimate companies. The most commonly used files to deliver malware are MS Office, PDF or other documents, JavaScript files, executables, archives.

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

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware. If a computer is infected with high-end malware, it is necessary to scan it using a full scan. High-end malware can hide deep in the system. Thus, running a quick scan will likely not be enough to detect it.

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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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