What kind of email is "Renewing The Domain"?
After inspecting the "Renewing The Domain" email, we determined that it is spam. The letter claims that a domain owned by the recipient is being renewed, and unless the email is backed up - disruptions in the mail service and data loss may occur. This email urges recipients to back up their email by following the provided link, which redirects to a phishing website that targets email account log-in credentials.
"Renewing The Domain" email scam overview
"Renewing The Domain" spam email is presented as a notification regarding the renewal of a domain owned by the recipient. Allegedly, email services will be unavailable for a few hours on that date. Since the drive is running low on space, the letter states that shared files will be moved to a larger one.
According to this scam email, due to the renewal taking place - it is possible that the recipient's data (e.g., emails, documents, contact lists, etc.) may be lost in the process. The spam letter urges the recipient to click the "Backup Email Now" button - to avoid any losses.
As mentioned in the introduction, the "Renewing The Domain" email is fake; hence, all of its claims are false. After we pressed the button within this email, we were redirected to a phishing website.
The page states that visitors must provide their email account password to continue following the secured link. However, phishing sites are designed solely to record the information entered into them. Therefore, instead of reaching a page where they can back up their email, the user will inadvertently expose their account to scammers.
Cyber criminals target emails as they are used to register other content (e.g., platforms, services, etc.). Hence, through a hijacked email - access/control may be gained over connected content.
For example, stolen social accounts (e.g., emails, social media, social networking, messengers, etc.) can be used to proliferate malware by sharing malicious files or links. Cyber criminals can also assume the owner's identity and ask their contacts/friends for loans or donations.
Finance-related accounts (e.g., banking, online money transferring, digital wallets, e-commerce, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases.
In summary, by trusting emails like "Renewing The Domain" - users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you have already entered your account credentials into a phishing site, you must change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support without delay.
|Name||Renewing The Domain phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Domain owned by the recipient will be renewed, and unless the email is backed up - data loss may occur.|
|Detection Names (w3s[.]link)||Combo Cleaner (Phishing), Emsisoft (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Lionic (Phishing), Sophos (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (w3s[.]link)||22.214.171.124|
|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
Aside from various scams, spam letters are also used to distribute trojans, ransomware, and other malware. These emails can have a wide variety of disguises; they can even be presented as messages/notifications from legitimate companies, service providers, institutions, organizations, authorities, and other existing entities.
Spam mail is particularly prevalent - therefore, we strongly recommend being vigilant with incoming emails and messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Once a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - malware download/installation is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We highly recommend exercising caution with incoming mail. The attachments and links found in suspicious/irrelevant emails and messages - must not be opened as that can lead to a system infection. It is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 - since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
It is noteworthy that malware is not spread just through spam mail. Therefore, we also advise downloading only from official and trustworthy sources. Additionally, software must be activated and updated using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updates may contain malware.
We must emphasize that having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated is paramount to device/user safety. Security programs must 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 "Renewing The Domain" scam email letter:
Subject: ******** Service Outage and Upgrade Monday, August 29, 2022
Monday, August 29, 2022
This is an automatic message from ******** .
This is to notify you that we will be renewing the domain ******** on Wednesday 08/24, your email address will be unavailable at approximately 8am for a few hours. Also, the drive is running low on space and we will copy the shared files to another larger drive.
To avoid any interruption in your email services and data loss (emails, documents, contacts and others) during the transfer of shared files to a larger disk.
It is important that you backup your data now before the domain renewal period using the following
Backup Email Now
Here's what you need to take care of right now.
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Renewing The Domain" spam campaign:
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 Renewing The Domain 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; thousands of users receive identical scam mail.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have disclosed log-in credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support. And if you've provided other personal data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - contact relevant authorities without delay.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, opening/reading an email is not enough to trigger any malware download/installation processes. Systems are infected when the attachments or links contained within spam emails are opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether an infection occurred may depend on the opened file's format. Executable (.exe, .run, etc.) infect devices almost without fail when they are opened. While documents (.doc, .pdf, .xls, etc.) may require additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands) to begin downloading/installing malware.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate practically all known malware infections. It has to be mentioned that running a complete system scan is crucial - since sophisticated malicious software tends to hide deep within systems.