What kind of email is "Webmail Account Maintenance"?
"Webmail Account Maintenance" is a spam email presented as a notification from Webmail. The fake letter states that the recipient's email account will be blocked due to unresolved maintenance issues. This spam mail promotes a phishing website targeting email account log-in credentials.
"Webmail Account Maintenance" email scam overview
The spam email with the subject "Email Administratior" (may vary) is disguised as an alert from Webmail. It states that several notifications concerning the recipient's email account have been received. The notifications may regard upgrades or general maintenance. Therefore, unless a response from the recipient is received – the account will be blocked.
The scam letter instructs to press the "Continue Account Maintenance" button to resolve the issues and prevent the account's suspension. When we investigated the link in this fake notification (i.e., clicked the button), it redirected to a phishing website disguised as the Webmail sign-in page.
Log-in credentials (i.e., email addresses and corresponding passwords) entered into this site will be recorded and sent to scammers. In addition to hijacking the exposed email accounts, cyber criminals may also be able to gain access/control over content registered through them.
For example, scammers can steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, promote scams, and even spread malware by sharing malicious files/links. Furthermore, finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.
To summarize, by trusting an email like "Webmail Account Maintenance" – users can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
If you have already provided your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support.
|Name||"Webmail Account Maintenance" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipient's email will be blocked due to maintenance issues.|
|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
Various scams are facilitated using spam mail – however, it is also used to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.). These letters can wear a variety of disguises, including as messages from companies, corporations, organizations, institutions, authorities, service providers, and other entities.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When an infectious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the malware download/installation process is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands, while virulent OneNote files need users to click on embedded files/links.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We strongly recommend being careful with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages. The attachments and links present in suspect/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be infectious. Another recommendation is to use post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro command execution.
It must be mentioned that malware is not distributed only via spam mail. Therefore, we advise downloading only from official and trustworthy sources. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters may contain malware.
It is just as important to be vigilant when browsing since fake and dangerous online content typically appears ordinary and harmless.
We must emphasize that having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date is essential to device and user safety. 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 "Webmail Account Maintenance" spam email letter:
Subject: Email Administratior
Recently we received some notifications regarding your account which might be due for general maintenance and upgrading we will ensure that we block your account if we do not hear from you. Please kindly click the link below to carry out the maintenance on your account
Continue Account Maintenance
Copyright 2023 GCI Communications Corp. All rights reserved.
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Webmail Account Maintenance" 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 "Webmail Account Maintenance" 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 send spam emails in mass-scale campaigns – therefore, thousands of users receive identical letters.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have disclosed your account credentials – change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you've provided information of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, 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/reading a spam email will not result in a system infection. 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 your device was infected might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes. However, you might have avoided an infection if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.). These formats may need additional interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking on embedded content, etc.) to start downloading/installing malware.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and eliminate threats. It can remove practically all known malware infections. It must be stressed that performing a complete system scan is essential – since high-end malicious software usually hides deep within systems.