What is "Switch To New Version"?
Following an examination, we have determined that the purpose of this email is to deceive recipients into revealing their personal information. These emails are categorized as phishing attempts, and in this particular scenario, the perpetrators impersonate an email service provider to persuade recipients to divulge sensitive data on a fraudulent page.
More about the "Switch To New Version" scam email
The phishing email is designed to appear as though it originates from a legitimate email service provider. The email employs urgency and fear tactics to manipulate the recipient. It informs the recipient that they need to switch to a new version of their email server to avoid deactivation from the email provider's server.
The letter falsely claims that the recipient is currently using an outdated mail server. The email warns that if the recipient does not take action by checking or validating their account and switching to the new server, their email service will be deactivated.
In order to increase the pressure on the recipient, the email states that this deactivation will occur exactly 24 hours from a specified date and time. The email also presents two clickable options: "SWITCH TO NEW SERVER" and "USE OLD SERVER".
The links in this email lead to a phishing website masquerading as the Webmail sign-in page. The purpose of this fraudulent site is to lure visitors into entering their email account login credentials.
Typically, scammers use stolen login credentials to steal the victim's identity, search for financial information, such as bank statements or payment receipts, send phishing emails to the victim's contacts, send malware to the victim's contacts, etc.
Also, scammers often reuse obtained login credentials to attempt access to other online accounts that may share the same username and password combination. In some cases, scammers may threaten to expose sensitive or embarrassing information from the victim's email account unless a ransom is paid.
Thus, it is strongly recommended not to enter any sensitive details on pages opened via suspicious emails.
|Name||Switch To New Version Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipients need to switch to the new version of their email server|
|Disguise||Letter from an email service provider|
|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.
Similar scam emails in general
Phishing emails typically share common traits that make them recognizable. They often employ urgency and fear tactics, impersonate trusted entities, contain misleading links to fake websites, and use generic greetings. Additionally, these emails may have grammar and spelling errors and make unsolicited requests for sensitive information.
Recognizing these characteristics can help individuals identify and steer clear of phishing attempts, contributing to better online security. Examples of phishing emails are "Cloud Voicemail Email Scam", "SecureMailBox - Account Reconfirmation Email Scam", and "Email Account Storage Limit Is Almost Full Scam".
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Email attachments that appear harmless, such as innocent-looking documents or software, can contain malware payloads when downloaded. When recipients open email attachments, especially from unknown or untrusted sources, they risk initiating malware installation on their systems.
Also, clicking on links within phishing emails can redirect users to malicious websites, where drive-by downloads or social engineering tactics can exploit vulnerabilities and introduce malware. Some emails entice users to enable macros in attached documents, which can trigger the execution of malicious scripts, leading to an infection.
How to avoid installation of malware?
To avoid computer infections and maintain a secure digital environment, be cautious when opening email attachments or clicking links, especially if the email is from an unknown sender or seems suspicious. Avoid clicking on ads from untrusted sources, and stay away from suspicious or unsecured websites.
Regularly update the operating system, software applications, and browsers to patch vulnerabilities that malware may exploit. Only download files and programs from trusted sources, such as official websites or app stores. Install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on your computer. Keep it up to date to defend against known threats.
If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Switch To New Version" email letter:
Subject: Email Update
Switch to new version now , or your email server will be deactivated from our server .
- are using the old mail server .
Removal will take place if not checked or validated and switch to our New Server in exactly 24 hours from 9/24/2023 1:01:59 p.m.
SWITCH TO NEW SERVER
USE OLD SERVER
******** Webmail Support
Screenhot of the phishing webite promoted via this email:
Another example of an email from "Switch To New Version" spam campaign:
Text presented within:
Subject: VALIDATE Now : ******** Outdated Version
You are using the Old Version and soon you may be disconnected. You need to validate your account in order to switch to the new version.
Incoming messages will be placed on hold if your do not validate your webmail immediately.
NOTE: Admin will always keep you notified on recent webmail update for better optimized usage.
©2023 Administrator Service. All Rights Reserved
Control Panel **** Mail Inc
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- What is Switch To New Version 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?
Scammers send identical letters to a large number of recipients, banking on the possibility that they will deceive someone. These spam emails lack any personalization whatsoever.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?
Immediately change the passwords for any accounts you have shared information about, especially if they are related to financial or sensitive data. Report the phishing attempt to your email service provider, local authorities, or other relevant institutions or organizations targeted by the scam.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to an email, is my computer infected?
If the file was an executable, the risk of infection is quite high. However, in the case of files like .pdf or .doc, there is a chance that you might have avoided infection, as simply opening such documents in some instances may not be sufficient for malware to compromise your system.
I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, merely opening an email poses no risk on its own. System infections typically result from clicking links within the email or opening attached files.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?
Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate nearly all well-known malware infections. It is important to note that sophisticated malware can conceal itself deeply within the system. As a precaution, conducting a full system scan is imperative to ensure detection and removal.