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“Gmail Virus” removal guide
What is “Gmail Virus”?
There are many spam email campaigns that are used by scammers who attempt to trick people into providing sensitive details and personal information (logins, passwords of various accounts, credit card details, and so on). Typically, the emails are presented as legitimate and official – cyber criminals (scammers) pose as representatives of well-known companies/services. In this case, Google Gmail.
An example is “Gmail UK Lotto 6/49“. This scam attempts to trick recipients into believing that their email addresses were selected as winners of a significant sum of money (£700,000.00). In this case, they are encouraged to claim their prize by contacting “agents” via the email address or telephone numbers provided. Once contacted, the scammers behind this spam campaigns will attempt to obtain personal information such as banking account details. In other cases, people might be encouraged to open fake websites (which seem official) and provide personal details. For example, log into an account by providing their actual usernames/IDs and passwords. These emails might contain attachments or website links that, once opened, download and install various malicious programs. These programs are also used to generate revenue by stealing personal details. Scammers generally send identical emails to many people hoping that someone will fall for the scam. They design their spam campaigns to make it appear as if only individuals are the recipients of the email message. In this, they try to give the impression that the email is personal. Recipients are encouraged not to contact anyone about having received such an email. For example, scammers advise people to keep their winner information confidential until the claim is processed, and so on. They do this to minimize the risk of being exposed. Many fake winner notifications, lotteries, surveys, and other similar scams mention the Gmail service, however, Google has nothing to do with any of these scams and none can be trusted. An example of another scam distributed using the Google name is “Google Winner”.
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Symptoms||Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the individual”s 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)||
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These scams are used to generate revenue, and thus cause financial loss to regular users. This usually happens when people take these emails seriously and provide information to scammers. In some cases, the emails contain files (attachments) that, once opened, download and install high-risk computer infections, which then steal personal details. Some examples of malicious programs of this type are TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, and Adwind.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
How to avoid installation of malware?
Emails received from unknown or suspicious addresses should not be trusted. Generally, they are presented as “official” – scammers use well-known company names and claim to be their representatives or people who work there. In fact, these emails are irrelevant (they do not concern their recipients). If an email of this type contains a web link or attachment, it should not be opened. Download software using official websites and direct links. Do not trust third party downloaders, installers, unofficial pages, and Peer-to-Peer networks. Furthermore, downloads and installations should be performed properly. Check all available settings such as “Custom”, “Advanced” and other similar parts and decline offers to install any unwanted software. Use MS Office version 2010 or later, since newer versions include “Protected View” mode, which prevents infected documents from downloading and installing malicious programs. Have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and keep it enabled at all times. This software usually helps people to keep their computers protected from various 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 an example of a fake Gmail lottery notification: