Do not trust "Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk" spam emails

Also Known As: "Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk" spam email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk"?

After inspecting the "Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk" email, we determined that it is spam. This letter urges recipients to protect their devices with Norton anti-virus. It must be emphasized that this spam mail is in no way associated with either Norton AntiVirus or its developers NortonLifeLock Inc.

Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk email spam campaign

"Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk" email scam overview

The scam email with the subject "Norton 360 Deluxe and Norton 360 Premium." (may vary) states that the recipient's computer could be at risk. It elaborates that an unprotected device is at risk of virus and malware infections. The spam email makes a limited-time offer - a 50% discount on the Norton anti-virus.

While the statements made by this mail are not false in and of themselves (i.e., unprotected computers are more at risk of various infections) - this manner of promotion is not used by reputable developers. It must be stressed that this letter is not associated with the actual NortonLifeLock Inc.

During our inspection, the "PROTECT NOW!" button redirected to a website that had an identical appearance - graphics design and text wise - to the email. However, this site redirected to a broken page. It is possible that the website would have redirected to Norton's official site - sometimes scammers abuse affiliate programs of genuine products to obtain illegitimate commissions.

However, this type of scam is more commonly used to push harmful software like fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, and various PUAs. We have even observed instances of these schemes being used to spread trojans, ransomware, and other malware.

Therefore, by trusting a spam email like "Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk" - users may experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

We strongly advise exercising caution with incoming mail and when browsing. Furthermore, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources directly.

Threat Summary:
Name "Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk" spam email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Device might be at risk but it can be protected with "Norton".
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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Spam campaigns in general

We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "Porn Websites I Attacked With My Virus Xploit", "ACHIVA email virus", "Renewing The Domain", "Annual Open Vacation Plan", "Norton LifeLock email scam", and "FedEx Corporation email virus" are merely some of our newest finds.

The letters are typically presented as "official", "important", "urgent", "priority", and so on. They may even mention or be disguised as messages from legitimate companies, service providers, authorities, institutions, etc. Aside from phishing and other scans, spam mail is also used to proliferate malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Infectious files can be attached to or linked inside spam emails. These files can be archives, executables, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc.

Once a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - malware download/installation is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We highly recommend being vigilant with incoming mail. The attachments and links found in dubious emails/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.

Aside from spam mail, malware is distributed using various deceptive methods. Therefore, we advise downloading only from official/verified sources and activating/updating software with legitimate tools (as illegal activation ["cracking"] tools and third-party updaters may contain malware).

Another recommendation is to exercise caution when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content typically appears harmless.

We must stress the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and updated. This software must be used to run regular system infections and 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 "Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk" email letter:

Subject: - Norton 360 Deluxe and Norton 360 Premium.

Your Computer Could Be at Risk. Stay Protected.

If your computer is unprotect, it is at risk for viruses and other malware.


Limited Time Offer: 50% Discount on Norton Antivirus

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you may unsubscribe by clicking here or by writing to 6130 W Flamingo Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89103

Screenshot of the website promoted by the "Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk" spam campaign:

Norton - Your Computer Could Be At Risk scam email promoted site

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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?

Cyber criminals send these emails in massive operations with the hopes that at least some recipients will fall for their scams. Therefore, thousands of users receive identical letters.

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

If you have disclosed account credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support. And if you have provided 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, that will not trigger an infection. Malware download/installation processes are initiated when the attachments or links found in spam mail are opened/clicked.

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

Whether an infection was jumpstarted might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most like, yes - your device was infected. However, documents (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) may require additional interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to start downloading/installing malicious software.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and remove threats. It can eliminate nearly all known malware infections. However, it must be mentioned that running a complete system scam is crucial - as high-end malicious programs typically hide 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.

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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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