What kind of email is "McAfee FINAL WARNING"?
After inspecting this "McAfee FINAL WARNING" email, we determined that it is spam which operates as a phishing scam. The letter is presented as a warning from McAfee regarding detected threats on the recipient's device. This spam mail aims to deceive recipients into disclosing their email account log-in credentials.
It must be stressed that this letter is in no way associated with the actual McAfee Corp.
"McAfee FINAL WARNING" email scam overview
The spam email with the subject "Sorry! We will have to suspend Your Account!" (may vary) is presented as a "final warning" from McAfee. This fake letter claims that 735 viruses have been detected on the system. Additionally, it states that these infections are damaging the recipient's device.
The email urges to confirm the subscription status, as the recipient is currently incapable of receiving automatic security updates. They are encouraged to renew their license to retain the security services.
It must be emphasized that all these claims are false, and this mail is not associated with the real McAfee or any other legitimate products/ service providers.
When we followed the link presented in this letter, it resulted in a redirect to a phishing site. The website mimicked the recipient's email account sign-in page. However, future releases of this spam campaign could promote a different website.
Information entered into phishing webpages (e.g., username/password, etc.) is disclosed to the cyber criminals behind them. With victims' email log-in credentials in their possession, scammers can hijack not only the exposed account but potentially the content registered through it.
To expand upon this, scammers can steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, etc.) and use them to ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, promote scams, and spread malware by sharing infectious files/links.
Furthermore, finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions or online purchases.
To summarize, by trusting an email like "McAfee FINAL WARNING" – users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you have disclosed your account credentials – immediately change the passwords of all possibly compromised accounts and inform their official support.
|Name||"McAfee FINAL WARNING" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Threats have been detected on the recipient's device.|
|Detection Names (geokrata[.]com)||Combo Cleaner (Phishing), CRDF (Malicious), Emsisoft (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (geokrata[.]com)||22.214.171.124|
|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
"Your Account Expiry", "Email Verification Alert", "Fill The Sars", "EMAIL ACCOUNT SHUTDOWN REQUEST", and "Your Bitcoin Wallet Has Been Credited" are just some examples of emails used for phishing that we have inspected recently.
Spam mail is not used exclusively for this purpose; it is employed to facilitate a wide variety of scams and even to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.). These letters typically wear disguises, including as messages from legitimate service providers, companies, institutions, authorities, and other entities.
Due to how prevalent and potentially well-crafted this mail can be, we strongly advise exercising caution with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection chain is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands, while infectious OneNote files require users to click on embedded files/links.
How to avoid installation of malware?
It is crucial to approach incoming emails and other messages with care. Hence, we advise against opening attachments or links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail, as they can be virulent. Additionally, we recommend using Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
It must be mentioned that spam mail is not the only method used to proliferate malware. Therefore, we also advise being cautious while browsing since fraudulent and malicious online content typically appears legitimate and innocuous.
Furthermore, all downloads must be performed from official and trustworthy sources. It is just as important to activate and update programs using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updates can contain malware.
We must stress that having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated is essential to device and user safety. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to 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 "McAfee FINAL WARNING" spam email letter:
Subject: Sorry! We will have to suspend Your Account!
FINAL WARNING !
Viruses Found (735)
We Email You:
Our records indicate that your Device is damaged By Suspicious Programs! Trojan/Viruses.
Please Recheck Your Subscription [SUBSCRIBE]
Therefore, you are no longer receiving automatic updates that protect you against the latest threats, including viruses, spyware, hackers and identity thieves.
We are sorry to bother you but you'll have to RENEW your license to keep your protection running as usual.
what should i do?
Step1 : Click the button below to download the latest version of McAfee 2023
Step2 : Run McAfee Antivirus to scan and remove all potential threats.
Available (-90%) Renewal Discount : 00 mins 19 secs.
Copyright © McAfee, LLC
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "McAfee FINAL WARNING" 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 "McAfee FINAL WARNING" 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 distribute spam emails in massive operations – hence, thousands of users receive identical messages.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have provided your log-in credentials – change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if the disclosed information was 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?
Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened, merely reading an email is not enough to trigger malware download/installation processes.
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, documents (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf. etc.) may need additional actions (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 is capable of removing practically all known malware infections. Note that high-end malicious software usually hides deep within systems – therefore, performing a full system scan is paramount.