What kind of email is "Security Information"?
Our examination of the "Security Information" email revealed that it is spam promoting a phishing scam. This mail falsely claims that the recipient's email account password is about to expire, thus tricking them into disclosing this sensitive information.
"Security Information" email scam overview
The spam email with the subject "Security Alert!™ [Verify Password]" (may vary) states that the mail account password will expire today. The recipient is given two options – keeping the password or changing it. As indicated in the introduction, this information is false, and this email is not associated with any legitimate service providers.
Hence, the buttons presented in the letter redirect to a phishing site that imitates the recipient's email sign-in webpage. Despite how genuine this page may appear – it is fake and will record entered log-in credentials.
The risk exceeds the loss of an email account, as cyber criminals may also hijack the content registered through it. Scammers can steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends for loans or donations, promote scams, and spread malware by sharing malicious files or links.
Furthermore, finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, etc.) can be used to make unauthorized transactions and/or online purchases. What is more, any confidential/compromising content found on compromised data storage or similar platforms could be used for blackmail or other nefarious purposes.
In summary, victims of scam mail like "Security Information" can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you have already provided scammers with your account credentials – immediately change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and contact their official support.
|Name||"Security Information" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipient's email account password will expire soon.|
|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
The most commonly targeted information includes log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, and finance-related data. However, other scams are promoted through spam mail as well. Furthermore, these emails are utilized in malware distribution.
Due to how prevalent spam mail is and how well-made it can be – we highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
The malware download/installation process is initiated once a virulent file is opened. However, some formats might need additional interaction to jumpstart system infection chains. For example, Microsoft Office files require users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents need them to click embedded files/links.
How to avoid installation of malware?
It is important to always treat incoming emails and other messages with caution. We advise against opening attachments or links found in dubious/relevant mail, as they can be malicious. We recommend using Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since their "Protected View" mode prevents automatic macro execution.
It must be mentioned that malware is not proliferated exclusively through spam mail. Therefore, we also advise downloading only from official and trustworthy channels. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by legitimate developers, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updates can contain malware.
Another recommendation is to be vigilant while browsing since fraudulent and dangerous online content typically appears genuine and harmless.
We must stress the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software must be used to perform 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 "Security Information" spam email letter:
Subject: Security Alert!™ [Verify Password]
the message is sent from a trusted sender
The following security information was recently added to the ********* server:
Your mail password will expire today. Please check to change or keep it.
Keep the current password
Check your recent activity and we'll help keep your account safe.
To turn off or change where you receive security notifications.
Thanks, ********* Administration.
Il team dell'account
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Security Information" 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 "Security Information" 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?
While spam mail can contain details relevant to the recipients, it is not personal. Cyber criminals distribute these emails by the thousand.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have disclosed your log-in credentials – change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support. In the case that the provided information was of a different personal nature (i.e., 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?
Infections originate from malicious attachments or links; merely reading an email is harmless.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
That might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – your device was infected. You might have avoided this if it was a document (.doc, .pdf, .xls, .one, etc.). These formats may require additional user interaction to trigger system infection processes (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 can detect and eliminate nearly all known malware infections. Keep in mind that performing a complete system scan is crucial since sophisticated malicious programs tend to hide deep within systems.