Avoid losing your email account via fake "New Shared Documents" emails

Also Known As: "New Shared Documents" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "New Shared Documents"?

After checking out the "New Shared Documents" email, we determined that it is spam. This letter operates as a phishing scam targeting email account log-in credentials. It does so by claiming that a payment-related document has been shared with the email recipient.

As previously mentioned, this email is fake and must be disregarded, as well as reported as spam.

New Shared Documents email spam campaign

"New Shared Documents" email scam overview

The email with the subject "Due invoice and proof of payment" (may vary) informs the recipient that a document has been shared with them. The attachment is supposedly a PDF document containing an invoice and proof of payment.

When we opened the "click here to view document" link, it redirected us to a phishing website. This page was disguised as a shared Microsoft Excel file, atop which was a pop-up requesting the visitor to sign in with their email account to view the document. The log-in credentials (i.e., email address and corresponding password) entered into this site – will be disclosed to the scammers behind this spam campaign.

However, in addition to losing the compromised emails, victims of this scam can also have the content registered through the mail stolen as well. Cyber criminals can variously misuse and abuse hijacked content.

For example, scammers can steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social networking/media, messengers, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, promote scams, and even proliferate malware by sharing malicious files/links. Cyber criminals can use stolen finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) to make unauthorized transactions and online purchases.

In summary, victims of spam emails like "New Shared Documents" can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you believe that scammers have already obtained your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and contact their official support without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name "New Shared Documents" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Document containing an invoice/ proof of payment has been shared with the recipient.
Related Domains atlas-krasnodar[.]ru
Detection Names Combo Cleaner (Malware), Fortinet (Phishing), G-Data (Malware), Kaspersky (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address
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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Phishing spam campaign examples

We have inspected thousands of spam letters; "Anti-Fraud International Monitoring Group Compensation", "Mail Server Upgrade", "Mailbox Full", and "UPS Custom Permit" are a just a few examples of ones used for phishing.

Deceptive emails facilitate a wide variety of scams, and they are used to spread trojans, ransomware, and other malware. Various disguises and scam models are used to gain and subsequently abuse users' trust. Typically, this mail is used to generate revenue at victims' expense.

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

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns proliferate malware by distributing malicious files. These files can be attached to the emails, or the letters can contain their download links. Infectious files can be archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, and so forth.

When such a 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?

To avoid malware spread via spam mail – do not open the attachments or links found in suspicious/irrelevant emails and other messages. Additionally, use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010, as they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.

However, malware is not spread exclusively via spam messages. Therefore, we also advise being careful when browsing since fake and malicious online content usually appears legitimate and innocuous.

Furthermore, all downloads must be performed from official and trustworthy sources. It is just as important to activate and update software using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updaters may contain malware.

We must emphasize that having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date is essential to device and user safety. Security programs must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove threats/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 "New Shared Documents" spam email letter:

Subject: Due invoice and proof of payment

Dear ********,

New Shared documents for: ********.

The attached is a transmittal document(Due invoice and prove of payment) and use the link below to view the the pdf document.

click here to view document

If you have receive this communication in error, please delete this mail and ignore.
©2023 All Rights Reserved.

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "New Shared Documents" spam campaign:

New Shared Documents scam email promoted phishing site

Another example of an email from "New Shared Documents" spam campaign:

A new document has been shared with you email scam (2023-09-26)

Text presented within:

Subject: CARGO Documents REF#41771-200925


A new document has been shared with you.

File: [CamScanner_doc#:37109.xlsx]

Preview document


Please treat this file urgently so we can have everything by Friday, 29th September 2023.

Best regards.

Yet another example of an email from "New Shared Documents" spam campaign:

New Shared Documents email scam (2024-03-22)

Text presented within:

Subject: Shipment Advice :: HBL95132-22 // LCL Container

A new document has been shared with you.

View document details >

View Document


Shipment Advice :: HBL95132-22 - // LCL Container

Best regards.

Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:

Phishing site promoted via New Shared Documents email scam (2024-03-22)

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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?

These emails are not personal. Scammers distribute them by the thousand – hoping 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've provided account credentials – change the passwords of all possibly compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you have disclosed other private data (e.g., ID card details, passport scans/photos, 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, opening/reading an email will not trigger any system infection chains. Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?

Whether an infection is triggered might depend on the opened file's format. If it is executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes. However, documents (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) may need additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands) to start downloading/installing malicious software.

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 mentioned that running a full system scan is paramount – since high-end malicious programs tend to hide 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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