Do not trust fake "Improvements To All Our e Mail Servers" emails
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What kind of email is "Improvements To All Our e Mail Servers"?
Our inspection of the "Improvements To All Our e Mail Servers" email revealed that it is spam. It falsely claims that the mail servers are undergoing upgrades, which if not implemented – will result in the recipient's email account getting deactivated. This scam letter aims to steal account log-in credentials through a phishing website.
"Improvements To All Our e Mail Servers" email scam overview
The email with the subject "Alert: Confirm Your [recipient's_email_address] Still Active" (may vary) states that improvements to the mail servers are being made. The fake letter alerts that old email versions will be disconnected. Therefore, to continue using their account, the recipient is urged to update it.
When we clicked "CONTINUE HERE", it resulted in a redirect to a phishing website. This page was presented as an email account sign-in page. Log-in credentials entered into this webpage will be recorded and sent to the scammers behind this spam campaign.
In addition to hijacking the exposed email account, cyber criminals can gain access to the content registered through it. To elaborate, scammers can steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social media/networking, messengers, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends for loans or donations, promote scams, and proliferate malware by sharing malicious files/links.
Furthermore, finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions or online purchases.
In summary, by trusting an email like "Improvements To All Our e Mail Servers" – users can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
If you have already disclosed your account credentials – change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay.
|Name||"Improvements To All Our e Mail Servers" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipient's email account will be deactivated unless it is updated.|
|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
"Reconfirm Shipping Documents", "McAfee FINAL WARNING", and "Your Account Expiry" are merely a couple examples of phishing emails we have analyzed recently.
These letters are used to facilitate a wide variety of scams and even to distribute malware. Spam mail can be variously disguised, including as messages from genuine service providers, companies, organizations, institutions, authorities, and other entities.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection process (i.e., malware download/installation) is jumpstarted. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands, while infectious OneNote files need users to click on embedded links/files.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We strongly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages. The attachments or links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be malicious and cause infections.
It is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
It must be mentioned that malware is not distributed only through spam mail. Therefore, we advise being vigilant when browsing since fake and dangerous online content usually appears ordinary and innocuous.
Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources. It is crucial to activate and update software using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters can contain malware.
We must emphasize that having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date is essential to device integrity and user safety. Security programs must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected 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 "Improvements To All Our e Mail Servers" spam email letter:
Subject: Alert: Confirm Your ******** Still Active
We're making improvements to all our ******** e Mail Servers!
We recently want to let you know that older versions of the ******** will be disconnected on Thursday 27 Apr 2023.
Your account requires an immediate update to remain active and continue enjoying our services.
******** Customer Care support
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Improvements To All Our e Mail Servers" spam campaign:
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:
- What is "Improvements To All Our e Mail Servers" 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. They are sent in mass-scale campaigns – therefore, 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 potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you've disclosed other private data (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, merely opening an email will not jumpstart any malware download/installation processes. Systems 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 the 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.) might 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 nearly all known malware infections. Note that since high-end malicious programs usually hide deep within systems – running a full system scan is essential.
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