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Avoid having your email account stolen via "Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error" email

Also Known As: Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error"?

Our analysis of the "Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error" email uncovered that it is spam use for phishing purposes. This letter baits recipients into disclosing their email account log-in credentials by claiming that the password will expire soon. When users press either of the links in the email, they are redirected to a phishing website that mimics the supposedly endangered account's site.

Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error email spam campaign

"Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error" email scam overview

The "Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error" spam email (subject "Case_No: -135998347511" may vary) claims that the recipient's email account's password will expire today. The expiration was allegedly brought upon by either a server update or error. The two links presented in the letter "Keep Same" and "Password" redirect to the phishing webpage.

Interestingly, certain letters in this scam email are replaced with similar-looking symbols and letters of other alphabets - this is done intentionally to avoid detection by spam filters.

Furthermore, the promoted phishing page copies script from the original website - therefore, it is often capable of creating quite convincing graphical renderings of the legitimate site.

Phishing webpages operate by recording the information provided to them. With the information sought by this scam email in their possession - the cyber criminals may gain control over victims' email accounts. In addition to stealing the account, the criminals might gain access to content registered with the email.

To elaborate on the potential impact, hijacked social platforms (e.g., emails, social networking, messengers, etc.) can lead to victims having their identities stolen. Scammers can ask the contacts/friends for loans or spread malware by sharing malicious files/links - under the guise of the account's actual owner.

Banking, money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, and other finance-related accounts may be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.

In summary, by trusting the "Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error" spam email, users can experience severe privacy issues, significant financial losses, and identity theft.

If you have entered your log-in information into a phishing website, we strongly advise changing the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and contacting their official support.

Threat Summary:
Name Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Email password will expire.
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.
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Phishing email examples

We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "Binance email scam", "Your Account Will Be Suspended In 48hrs", and "Raiffeisen Bank email scam" are just a couple examples of ones used for phishing. In addition to phishing and various other scams, these emails are also used to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.).

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails infect systems through virulent files attached to and/or linked inside them. These files can be in various formats, e.g., executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, and so on. When an infectious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain is initiated.

For example, when an infected MS document is opened in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010 - it immediately executes malicious macro commands. Later versions have "Protected View" mode - meaning that macros (i.e., editing/content) can only be enabled manually. However, virulent documents frequently contain deceptive instructions to trick users into allowing macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly advise exercising caution with incoming emails and messages. The attachments and links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail - must not be opened, as that may result in a system infection. Additionally, we recommend using Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Malware is not spread exclusively through spam mail. Therefore, it is just as important to download only from official and verified sources. Furthermore, software must be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by legitimate developers, as those obtained from third-parties may contain malware.

We must emphasize the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and updated. Security programs 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 "Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error" spam email letter:

Subject: Case_No: -135998347511


******** Ѕuррort™®


Duе to rеcеnt uрɡrаdе or error on ******** ѕеrvеrѕ.
Pаѕswood for уour еmаіⅼ:-(********) Expires today аt 05/04/2022. for security reasons.

 

Keep Same
Password


NOtе : wе rеԛuіrе уou to uрdаtе уour аccount InfOrmаtіon to аvoіd ѕеrvіcе bеіnɡ іntеrruрtеd.


Ꭲһаnkѕ
Poweredby:-******** ©2022

Screenshot of "Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error" spam email's alternative appearance:

Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error scam email alternative appearance

Screenshot of the phishing website (mimicking PCrisk) promoted by the "Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error" spam campaign:

Due To Recent Upgrade Or Error scam email promoted phishing site

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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?

Spam emails are not personal. Cyber criminals send the same email letter to thousands of users, hoping that at least some of them will fall for their scam.

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

If you have disclosed log-in credentials - change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you have revealed other private data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact relevant authorities.

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

No, merely reading a spam email will not initiate any malware download/installation processes. Infections are jumpstarted when the attachments or links found in these emails are opened/clicked.

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

If you opened an attachment, whether your system was infected might depend on the file's format. Executables (.exe, .run, etc.) cause infections almost without fail. However, document formats (.xls, .doc, .pdf, etc.) may require additional interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to trigger malware download/installation processes.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating nearly all known malware infections. However, it must be emphasized that running a complete system scan is crucial - as sophisticated malware typically hides deep within systems.

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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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