What kind of email is "Password Marked For Deletion"?
Our examination of the "Password Marked For Deletion" email revealed that it is spam promoting a phishing scam. The letter targets recipients' email account log-in credentials by claiming that the password has expired.
"Password Marked For Deletion" email scam overview
The scam email with the subject "Account Security Notice" (may vary) states that the recipient's mail server has expired and lists the expiration date for their account password. Supposedly, if the password/account is not confirmed within 24 hours, it will be considered inactive. Then, the only possible recovery will be manual.
After we clicked the "CONFIRM ACCOUNT HERE" button, it resulted in a redirect to a phishing site. It imitated the recipient's email sign-in page. By attempting to log in through this website, the user will inadvertently expose their log-in credentials to scammers.
However, the risk exceeds the loss of an email, as the cyber criminals may also steal the content registered through it. To elaborate on the potential misuse, scammers can steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social networking/media, messengers, chats, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, promote scams, and proliferate 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.
What is more, sensitive/compromising content discovered on data storage or similar platforms could be used for blackmail or other nefarious purposes.
To summarize, by trusting an email like "Password Marked For Deletion" – users can experience serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you have already disclosed your log-in credentials – change the passwords of all possibly compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay.
|Name||"Password Marked For Deletion" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipient's email server has expired and the account password will.|
|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
We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "Unsuccessful Search For Relatives", "Web Mail Scam", "ATM Card", "Overdue Invoice", and "NEW DOCUMENT(S) FOR REVIEW ON CLOUD" are merely a few examples of ones used for phishing.
This mail is used to facilitate various scams and even to proliferate malware. Spam emails can be plain and riddled with errors or competently disguised as messages from legitimate service providers, companies, organizations, authorities, and other entities.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When a malicious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection chain is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office files cause infections by executing malicious macro commands, while virulent OneNote documents require users to click embedded files or links.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We strongly advise exercising caution with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages. Attachments or links found in suspect mail must not be opened, as they may be malicious. We recommend using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since their "Protected View" mode prevents automatic macro command execution.
It must be mentioned that malware is not proliferated exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, we advise downloading only from official and trustworthy sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by legitimate developers, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updaters may contain malware.
Another recommendation is to be careful while browsing since fake and dangerous online content usually appears genuine and innocuous.
We must emphasize the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security software 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 "Password Marked For Deletion" spam email letter:
Subject: Account Security Notice
Server ******** - Expired 14 Sep 2023
Password for ******** expired today 14 Sep 2023 and was marked for deletion.
If not reconfirmed within the next 24 hours, your account will become inactive, requiring manual activation.
CONFIRM ACCOUNT HERE
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Password Marked For Deletion" 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 "Password Marked For Deletion" 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. This mail is sent in massive 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 disclosed your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support. However, if you've provided other private data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact the appropriate authorities without delay.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, reading an email is harmless since devices are infected only when malicious attachments or links are opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
If the opened file was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – your device was infected. Although an infection might have been avoided if the file was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, .one, etc.). These formats may require extra interaction to jumpstart malware download/installation (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded files/links, etc.).
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan computers and remove all manner of threats. It is capable of detecting and eliminating nearly all known malware infections. Note that performing a full system scan is paramount since sophisticated malicious software typically hides deep within systems.