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How to spot scams like the "We Are Using Your Company's Server To Send This Message" scam email

Also Known As: We Are Using Your Company's Server To Send This Message extortion scam
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "We Are Using Your Company's Server To Send This Message"?

We inspected this email and found that this is an extortion scam email demanding ransom for not leaking the company's data. Scammers aim to trick recipients into believing that hackers will leak stolen data and damage their reputation if they do not make a payment. This is just a scam. Thus, this email should be ignored.

We Are Using Your Company's Server To Send This Message extortion scam

More about the "We Are Using Your Company's Server To Send This Message" scam email

The email claims that hackers have hacked into a specified website, extracted all databases, and backed up all mailboxes. It says that hackers achieved it using vulnerabilities within a website. The email warns recipients that extracted databases will be leaked or sold.

It also mentions that emails stating that the data mentioned above has been leaked will be sent to others to damage the recipient's (e.g., the company's) reputation. The purpose of this scam email is to trick the recipient into transferring $2,500 in Bitcoins to the provided wallet (and doing so within 72 hours).

Typically, scammers behind scam emails send the same letter to many people hoping that someone will fall for them. It is important to remember that such emails are just scams. They should be ignored (marked as spam and deleted).

Threat Summary:
Name We Are Using Your Company's Server To Send This Message Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim The recipient's website has been hacked
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Addresses 3Fyjqj5WutzSVJ8DnKrLgZFEAxVz6Pddn7, 3PmYSqtG5x5bGNrsYUy5DGtu93qNtsaPRH
Disguise Letter from the hacked company's server
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)

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Similar scam emails in general

Scammers behind such emails usually use scare tactics to trick recipients into paying a ransom. They claim that they have hacked email accounts, websites, recorded intimate videos, etc., and demand payment for not selling or sending supposedly obtained information, recorded material, or other data to third parties.

Examples of similar emails are "Porn Websites I Attacked With My Virus Xploit", "I Know That You Cheat On Your Partner Email Scam", and "I Am A Russian Hacker Who Has Access To Your Operating System". It is important to know that emails can also be used to distribute malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Threat actors behind emails used to deliver malware send malicious links or files. Recipients infect computers via malicious attachments or website links. Not all files infect computers right after they are opened - certain files cannot infect computers until users perform certain actions (e.g., malicious MS Office documents can only infect computers if users enable macros commands).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not trust irrelevant emails sent from unknown addresses. Examine emails before opening attachments or links. Download software from official websites. Be careful about opening files downloaded from questionable sources (e.g., shady pages, free file hosting sites, P2P networks, third-party downloaders, etc.).

Keep the operating system and installed programs updated. Never use third-party tools to update or activate any software. Use a reputed antivirus solution for computer protection.

If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Appearance of the "We Are Using Your Company's Server To Send This Message" scam email (GIF):

We Are Using Your Company's Server To Send This Message scam email appearance

Text presented in the "We Are Using Your Company's Server To Send This Message" email letter:

Subject: Your website, databases and emails has been hacked.


FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO THE PERSON WITHIN YOUR COMPANY WHO MAKES THE IMPORTANT DECISIONS

You may have noticed that we are using your company's server to send this message, we have hacked into your ********* site and extracted all of your databases and backed up all of your mailboxes.

How did this happen?

Our team found several vulnerabilities within your website and company computers that we were able to exploit. After finding them, we were able to obtain their database credentials and extract their complete data from their computers, from their site and copies of all emails in all their mailboxes with ********* domain and finally we moved the information to a foreign server.

What does this mean?

We will systematically go through a series of steps to totally damage your reputation. First, your database will be leaked or sold to the highest bidder to be used for any purpose. Next, emails will be sent to all your customers, suppliers and business partners, stating that all of their information has been sold or leaked and your ********* site was at fault for leaking the information and damaging the reputation of all your customers and providers. Lastly, any links you have indexed in search engines will be de-indexed based on the blackhat techniques we used in the past to de-index our targets, not to mention getting your business on every blacklist in the country.

How do I stop this?

We are willing to forget about destroying the reputation of your site and company for a small fee. The current fee is $2,500 USD in Bitcoins.

Send the amount in Bitcoin to the following address:

3Fyjqj5WutzSVJ8DnKrLgZFEAxVz6Pddn7

Once you have made your payment, we will automatically be informed of it. At the precise moment that you have read this message, you have a period of 72 hours to make the payment, or I guarantee that the reputation of your company will be completely destroyed. The proof that we have access and all your data is that this message has been sent using your company's servers.

How do I get Bitcoins?

You can easily buy bitcoins through various websites.

What happens if I don't pay?

If you decide not to pay, we will launch the attack after 72 hours and keep it until you do, there is no countermeasure to this, you will just end up wasting more money trying to find a solution. We will completely destroy your reputation with your customers, your suppliers, your partners, on google and the entire country.

This is not a hoax, do not try to reason or negotiate, we will not read any answers. Once you've paid, we'll stop what we were doing, we'll destroy all data taken from your site, your databases, your mailboxes, and you'll never hear from us again.

Keep in mind that the payment with Bitcoin is anonymous and no one will know that you have complied. The time is running.

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 scam email was probably sent to many people. Emails of this kind are not personal.

Was my website actually hacked and does the sender have any information?

No, neither your computer nor your website was not actually hacked or compromised in any other way. It is just a scam that should be marked as spam and deleted.

I have sent cryptocurrency to the address presented in such email, can I get my money back?

Unfortunately, cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible. Thus, it is not possible to retrieve the transferred crypto.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan the operating system for threats and remove them (it can detect almost all known malware). It is important to mention that high-end malware is often designed to hide deep in the system. In such cases, computers must be scanned using a full scan option to remove 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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