What kind of email is "New Security Features"?
Our inspection of the "New Security Features" email revealed that it is a phishing scam. The spam letter claims that the recipient's account must be updated since it will be unusable otherwise. The aim of this fake mail is to trick recipients into providing their email account log-in credentials to the promoted phishing website.
"New Security Features" email scam overview
The spam email states that new "security features" were implemented on a specific platform and its admin centers. The recipient is requested to check and update their accounts – since, without the updates, they will be unusable and get deleted after the listed deadline.
When we clicked the "Update Information →" button, we were redirected to a phishing website. This site mimics the recipient's email account sign-in page. Despite the site's relatively legitimate appearance, it is fake and designed to record the information (i.e., email addresses and corresponding passwords) entered into it.
The cyber criminals behind this spam campaign can cause more damage than just steal the exposed mail accounts – they can also hijack the content registered through them.
For example, stolen communication accounts (e.g., emails, social networking/media, messengers, forums, etc.) can be used to ask the contacts/friends for loans, promote scams, or even distribute malware by sharing malicious files/links – under the guise of the account's actual owner. While finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, money transferring, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make unauthorized transactions and/or online purchases.
To summarize, by trusting an email like "New Security Features" – users can experience serious privacy threats, financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you've disclosed your account credentials – change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and contact their official support without delay.
|"New Security Features" phishing email
|Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
|Recipient's account must be updated, else it will be blocked and deleted.
|Detection Names (urban3d[.]co)
|Combo Cleaner (Malware), Certego (Phishing), ESET (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
|Serving IP Address (urban3d[.]co)
|Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
|Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
|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 inspected thousands of spam emails; "Investment Into Building Homes For Orphans", "Attached Payment Invoice", "Confirm Ownership", and "Voice Note" are merely some examples of phishing letters.
In addition to scam promotion, this mail is used to spread trojans, ransomware, and other malware. Deceptive emails can use various scam models and social engineering techniques to gain and subsequently abuse recipients' trust.
Due to how widespread spam mail is – we highly recommend approaching incoming emails, SMSes, PMs/DMs, and other messages with caution.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection chain is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We strongly recommend exercising caution with incoming mail. The attachments and links found in suspect emails and messages – must not be opened, as they can be malicious and cause infections. We also advise using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
However, malware is spread using various methods. Therefore, it is important to download only from official and verified channels. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated using legitimate tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters can contain malware.
Another recommendation is to be vigilant when browsing since fake and dangerous online content typically looks harmless.
It is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and remove detected threats. 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 "New Security Features" spam email letter:
Subject: Update on the system Maintenance Actvity
We recently installed new security features for all the ******** and admin centers.
We require our customers to check and update their account information.
You will not be able to use your account if this process is not completed.
Please update your account information below.
Update Information →
If no action is taken, Account will be automatically deleted after 1/25/2023 7:57:23 p.m.
This Email was sent to " ******** " as a User from " ******** "
******** Mail Admin.
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "New Security Features" spam campaign:
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 "New Security Features" 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. Cyber criminals send these letters by the thousand with the hopes that at least some recipients will fall for their scams.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have disclosed your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support. And if you've provided other private information (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact relevant authorities without delay.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, opening/reading an email will not initiate any system infection chains. Malware download/installation processes are triggered when malicious files or links found 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. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – your device was infected. However, documents (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) may need additional actions (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 most of the known malware infections. It must be stressed that performing a full system scan is essential – since high-end malicious software usually hides deep within systems.