What kind of email is "You Have 3 Encrypted Documents"?
After inspecting the "You Have 3 Encrypted Documents" email, we determined that it is spam. Letters of this spam campaign operate as phishing scams. By claiming that recipients have been sent secured files, the mail attempts to trick users into disclosing their email account log-in credentials.
"You Have 3 Encrypted Documents" email scam overview
The spam email with the subject "RFQ --#21971-Tue Aug 30 2022 - FILE NO: 21971" (may vary) states that the recipient has been sent three encrypted documents. The letter requests the attached document to be downloaded and reviewed.
When we checked this attachment, we discovered that it is an HTML file used for phishing purposes. The text within it states that the user must provide their email account's password as verification in order to access the sensitive information supposedly contained in the document.
As mentioned in the introduction, the "You Have 3 Encrypted Documents" email is fake; hence, when users type their log-in credentials into the attachment - they inadvertently disclose this data to scammers. In addition to stealing the exposed emails, the cyber criminals can hijack associated content (e.g., accounts, platforms, services, etc. registered with the email).
To expand upon what damage criminals can cause, they can use stolen finance-related (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, etc.) accounts to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases. While communication accounts (e.g., emails, social networking, messengers, etc.) can be used to ask the contacts/friends for loans or to spread malware (by sharing malicious links/files) - under the guise of the genuine owner.
To summarize, by trusting emails like "You Have 3 Encrypted Documents" - users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you have already provided your log-in credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support.
|Name||"You Have 3 Encrypted Documents" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipient has been sent encrypted documents|
|Detection Names (attachment)||Avast (HTML:PhishingMail-AIK [Phish]), Fortinet (JS/Phishing.6B9D!tr), 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
We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "2022 FIFA Lottery Award", "Due Payment-Invoice", "Renewing The Domain", and "Annual Open Vacation Plan" are merely a few examples of ones used for phishing.
Due to how widespread spam mail is - we strongly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails and messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When an infectious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - malware download/installation processes are 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/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 execution of macros.
However, malware is not proliferated exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, we also advise downloading only from official and trustworthy sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools provided by legitimate developers, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updates can contain malware.
We must stress the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats and issues. 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 "You Have 3 Encrypted Documents" spam email letter:
Subject: RFQ --#21971-Tue Aug 30 2022 - FILE NO: 21971
You have 3 encrypted documents, Details below. Kindly download the attached for access
- secured document
File name: -sales.htm
Encrypted with -
NEC SL8269 InMail
This email was sent to -.
Screenshot of "You Have 3 Encrypted Documents" email's phishing attachment:
Screenshot of another encrypted documents-themed spam email promoting a phishing site:
Text presented within:
Subject: New Secure Message Received
You have received an Encrypted Document
"Message Pending Review"
Open Message Documents
Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:
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 "You Have 3 Encrypted Documents" 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 letters.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have provided account credentials - change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and contact their official support without delay. And if you have disclosed 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 opening an email will not trigger any system infection processes. Malware download/installation is initiated when the attachments or links present in this mail are opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes - your system was infected. However, you might have avoided jumpstarting an infection if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.). These formats may require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to start downloading/installing malware.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating practically all known malware infections. It must be stressed that performing a complete system scan is paramount - since sophisticated malicious software typically hides deep within systems.