Avoid having your email account stolen via fake "confidential DHL" emails
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What kind of email is "DHL Express - CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE"?
Our inspection of the "DHL Express - CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE" email uncovered that it is spam. This mail operates as a phishing scam. The letter is presented as a confidential message that recipients can access by providing their email account credentials.
It must be emphasized that these emails are fake, and they are not associated with the DHL logistics company.
"DHL Express - CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE" email scam overview
The email with the subject "NEW REQUEST INVIOCE #ROR-001500-22 (PN: 8G2460V00251 //SN: 51090100" (may vary) informs the recipient that they have been sent a message by DHL. The spam letter states that the message may contain confidential business information.
When we clicked the "View Document" button, it redirected us to a phishing website. The background of this page appeared as a blurred document with DHL's logo. Atop it was a pop-up window requesting identity verification to view the sensitive data. The verification process entails logging in with the use of an email account.
As mentioned in the introduction, the "DHL Express - CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE" email is fake - hence, by entering the requested data, users will expose it to the cyber criminals.
In addition to losing their email account, the victim can have the content registered with it stolen as well. To elaborate, scammers can hijack the communication platforms registered with the email (e.g., social networking, social media, messengers, etc.). These can be used to ask the contacts/friends for loans or to spread malware by sharing malicious files/links - under the guise of the platform's genuine owner.
Finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) are also at risk. Cyber criminals can use these accounts to make unauthorized transactions and/or online purchases.
Therefore, by trusting emails like "DHL Express - CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE" - 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 exposed accounts, platforms, services, etc., and contact their official support.
|Name||DHL Express - CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipient has been sent a confidential message.|
|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 countless spam emails; "DHL e-Shipping Invoice", "Error From Your Mail Server", "You Have 3 Encrypted Documents", "2022 FIFA Lottery Award", and "Renewing The Domain" are some examples of our latest finds within the "phishing" category.
In addition to information-stealing, this mail can be used to facilitate various other scams and even proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Furthermore, these emails can have sophisticated disguises and use enticement or scare tactics to ensnare recipients.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When 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 being vigilant with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages. The attachments and links present in this mail 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.
However, malware is not distributed solely via spam mail. Hence, we advise downloading only from official/trustworthy sources and activating/updating programs with legitimate tools (illegal activation tools ["cracks"] and third-party updates can contain malware).
Additionally, it is crucial to be cautious when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content typically appears ordinary and harmless.
We must emphasize the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security 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 "DHL Express - CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE" email letter:
Subject: NEW REQUEST INVIOCE #ROR-001500-22 (PN: 8G2460V00251 //SN: 51090100
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This message is from DHL and may contain confidential business information.
This email was sent to: -
-©Mailbox. • 2022
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "DHL Express - CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE" spam campaign:
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:
- What is DHL Express - CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE 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?
Cyber criminals distribute these emails by the thousand with the hopes that at least some of the recipients will be tricked by them. Therefore, countless users receive identical spam messages.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have disclosed account credentials - change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if the provided data was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, passport scans, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact the appropriate authorities.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, just opening a spam email is not enough to trigger an infection. Devices are compromised when the attachments or links found in this mail are opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
If the opened file was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes - these formats infect systems almost without fail. Documents (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) might 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 has to be mentioned that running a complete system scan is paramount - since high-end malicious software usually hides deep within systems.
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