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Do not trust the "Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow" phishing emails

Also Known As: "Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow"?

After checking out the "Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow" email, we determined that it is spam. Letters belonging to this campaign operate as phishing scams targeting email account log-in credentials. These fake message urge recipients to avoid their password expiration and redirect to a website disguised as their email account sign-in page.

Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow email spam campaign

"Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow" email scam overview

The scam letter informs the recipient that their email account password will expire tomorrow. By pressing the button presented in this email, the recipient can either keep the password or change it. As mentioned in the introduction, this spam letter is fake, and the information provided by it is false.

Therefore, when we pressed the "Keep Current Password" button, it resulted in a redirect to a phishing website. This site closely mimicked the design of the recipient email account's sign-in page. The information (password) typed into this webpage is recorded and sent the cyber criminals behind this spam campaign.

The scammers can then steal the exposed mail accounts and may gain access/control over content registered through them. Scammers can pretend to be the real owners of communication accounts (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or spread malware by sharing malicious files/links.

Stolen finance-related accounts (e.g., online banks, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases.

To summarize, by trusting the "Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow" email - users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have already entered your log-in credentials into a phishing site, we strongly recommend changing the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and contacting their official support.

Threat Summary:
Name "Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient's email account password is about to expire.
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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Phishing spam campaign examples

We have analyzed thousands of deceptive emails; "Verify Your Email Address", "NATURALISTS", and "Your Organization Needs More Information To Keep Your Account Secure" are a few examples of phishing letters.

This mail can be presented as "urgent", "priority", or similar; it can even be disguised as messages from genuine companies, institutions, authorities, and other entities. In addition to various scams, these letters can proliferate trojans, ransomware, and other malware.

Due to how widespread and competently composed spam mail can be, we highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

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

Once a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain (i.e., malware download/installation) is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly recommend being careful with incoming mail. The attachments and links found in suspect emails/messages must not be opened, as that can result in a system infection. It is essential to use post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.

It must be mentioned that malware is distributed using other methods as well. Therefore, we advise downloading only from official and verified channels. Additionally, programs must be activated and updated using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updaters can contain malware.

Another recommendation is to exercise caution while browsing since fraudulent and malicious online content typically looks ordinary/harmless.

We must emphasize the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove 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 "Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow" spam email letter:

Subject: ********: Password Expiration Notification
 

Dear ********


Your password for ******** is about to expire tomorrow. You can change your Password  or continue using curr‏‏‏‏ent Pas‏‏‏‏sw‏‏‏‏ord.


Keep Current Password

 
you may visit  ******** /activity? to see email activity


© 2022 ******** All rights reserved


Please note this is an  unattended mailbox. Please do not reply


Disclaimer Warning: The information contained in this e-mail message and/or attachments to it may contain confidential or privileged information.
If you are not the intended recipient of this message any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of the
information contained in this e-mail message and/or attachments to it are strictly prohibited and you are requested to notify the sender & delete this message from your system.

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow" spam campaign:

Your Password Is About To Expire Tomorrow scam email promoted phishing site

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?

Spam emails are not personal. Cyber criminals distribute these letters by the thousand with the hopes that at least some of the recipients will fall for their scams.

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

If you've provided your log-in credentials - change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if the disclosed data was of a different personal nature (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/reading an email will not result in a system infection. Malware download/installation processes are jumpstarted when the attachments/links present 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 occurred might depend on the opened file's format. When opened, executables (.exe, .run, etc.) infect devices almost without fail. However, documents (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) may need additional 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 designed to scan systems and remove detected threats. It is capable of eliminating most of the known malware infections. However, it must be stressed that running a full system scan is crucial - since sophisticated malicious software usually hides 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.

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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