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How to spot fake emails like "YouTube Copyright Infringement"

Also Known As: YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning malspam campaign
Damage level: Medium

What is "YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning" email virus?

After examining the email, we found that this is a fake email from YouTube regarding copyright infringement. It contains a website link designed to download an archive file that contains a malicious file. Cybercriminals behind this email aim to trick recipients into downloading and executing malware (a malicious file).

YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning email virus malware-spreading email

More about the fake "YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning" email

This fake email letter claims that videos uploaded to YouTube by the recipient will be removed if the copyright infringement is confirmed. The channel will also get a strike. After three strikes, the channel will be blocked without the possibility of appeal.

The email requests the recipient to read the full report (open the provided website link). The link in this email downloads an archive file containing a malicious file. If executed, that file infects a computer with malware. The type of malware distributed via the file mentioned above is unknown. It could be ransomware, Trojan, cryptocurrency miner, or other malware.

Ransomware encrypts files. Thus, victims cannot open/use their files until a ransom is paid. Typically, only the attackers have decryption tools. Cryptocurrency miners use computer hardware (e.g., CPU, GPU) to mine crypto. A computer infected with a crypto miner usually consumes more electricity, works slowly, crashes, etc.

Threat Summary:
Name YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning malspam campaign
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Email claims that videos uploaded to YouTube infringe copyright
Malware Distribution Method Website link that downloads a malicious file
Detection Names (Compressed Executable File) AhnLab-V3 (HackTool/Win32.Agent.R342140), Avira (TR/Crypt.XPACK.Gen2), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Packed.VMProtect.AEK), Ikarus (Trojan.Win32.Generic), NANO-Antivirus (Virus.Win32.Gen.ccmw), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Malware can stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent. Thus, no particular symptoms may be clearly visible on an infected machine.
Payload Unknown malware
Damage Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, the victim's computer added to a botnet, data loss, monetary loss, etc.
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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Similarities between malspam campaigns

Examples of similar emails are "Declined Debit Email Virus", "ACHIVA Email Virus", and "FedEx Corporation Email Virus". One of the most common similarities between such emails is that they are disguised as official/important/urgent letters from legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities.

How did "YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning email virus" infect my computer?

This email contains a website link that downloads an archive file (like ZIP, RAR, or another archive file). That archive file contains a malicious file. A computer gets infected after opening/executing the file extracted from the archive file.

Examples of other file types used by cybercriminals to distribute malware are MS Office, PDF documents, ISO files, JavaScript files, executable files, etc. Threat actors only succeed if users download and execute malware by themselves.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Download software and files from official websites and stores. Do not use third-party downloaders, shady pages, torrent sites, and similar sources. Examine emails before opening links or files (attachments). Note that irrelevant emails sent from unknown (or suspicious) addresses containing links/files tend to be used to deliver malware.

Update and activate the installed software using tools provided by the official software developers. Keep the operating system and installed programs up to date. If you've already opened "YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Appearance of the "YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning" email letter

YouTube Copyright Infringement Warning email appearance

Text in this email:

Subject: YouTube copyright infringement

Copyright infringement warning

Hello, -

Moderation will review these complaints in the near term, and if confirmed, your videos will be removed and your channel will get a strike.
Upon reaching 3 strikes, your channel will be blocked without the possibility of appeal.

Video Title: ********

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=********

Applicant: WMG

Possible causes:

Your video may contain copyrighted content.

Copyright holders can block YouTube videos that contain their content.

Read the full report in the document at the link below, if you do not read the report in this case you can not appeal the moderation decision.

@2022 LLC 901 San Bruno, CA 94066, USA

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?

This email was sent to all addresses that scammers have obtained after a data breach or in another way. In any case, this email is not personal.

I have opened a file extracted from an archive file downloaded via the website link in this email, is my computer infected?

If the file was executable, then most certainly, your computer is already infected. In other cases, computers cannot be infected without enabling macros commands in MS Office documents or performing other additional steps.

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

No, it is harmless to open emails. Computer infections cannot be caused without opening links or attachments received via email.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in the file downloaded via the provided link?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware. Since high-end malware usually hides deep in the operating system, running a full system scan is required. Running a quick scan is not enough to detect hidden malware.

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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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