Remove OneDrive Phishing Scam — How to Protect Yourself
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Remove OneDrive Phishing Scam — How to Protect Yourself

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This article has been created in order to explain to you what is the OneDrive Phishing Scam and how you can remove them as well as all potentially unwanted programs delivered through them.

The OneDrive Phishing Scam are a set of email phishing campaigns that attempt to manipulate that targets into interacting with malicious scripts. At the moment we do not have information about the perpetrators behind it. Our article gives an in-depth explanation of how it propagates and how victims can attempt to remove active infections.

Threat Summary

NameOnedrive Phishing Scam
TypePhishing email scam
Short DescriptionThe OneDrive Phishing Scam is a recent example of the scam tactic that extorts the targets into interacting with a scam site.
SymptomsVictims will receive email messages that contain the phishing instructions.
Distribution MethodPhishing emails.
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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Onedrive Phishing Scam.

OneDrive Phishing Scam – Distribution Ways

OneDrive phishing scams can be distributed using various methods. Usually the malicious actors will use several different techniques at once in order to maximize the number of infected hosts. Phishing scams statistically are mostly being distributed via email messages that are sent in bulk. Usually the emails are modeled to appear as being sent by legitimate companies or services that the recipients may be using. Additionally if their email addresses are cross-linked in public or private databases the body contents may be personalized. This further coerces the victims into interacting with them. In certain cases links to the phishing pages may be placed. The hackers can use short URL links to mask the fact that the address does not point to the legitimate OneDrive address.

A browser window opening up the OneDrive phishing scam can be delivered via infected payloads. Two of the most popular types are the following:

  • Software Installers — Setup files of popular software can be modified to show the phishing scam either during installation or after the relevant applications are placed on the victim computers. Typical examples are system utilities, creativity suites and productivity apps.
  • Infected Documents — By using various scripts (macros) the phishing pages can be delivered to the victim users. In practice all popular formats can be the carriers of such infections: rich text documents, spreadsheets, databases and presentations. The scams can be linked in the contents or they can call external applications via scripts to display the pages.

To increase the number of infected machines the criminals behind the scam can additionally create numerous landing pages. To fool the users into thinking that they have accessed a legitimate web site the criminals can include security certificates and web design elements taken from the official OneDrive site.

High-volume infections can be caused by malicious web browser plugins which are also known as hijackers. They are made compatible with the most popular web browsers and are frequently uploaded to their respective extension repositories. Using fake developer credentials and user reviews they can confuse the users — the uploaded descriptions promise the additions of new feature or optimizing already existing ones. However once installed these plugins will start the built-in malicious scheme. The most common pattern changes the default settings in order to redirect the victim users to the phishing page.

OneDrive Phishing Scam — Update January 2019

In January 2019 a new email-based campaign was detected which takes advantage of the OneDrive phishing attempts orchestrated by various hacker collectives. The victims will receive email messages that appear as being sent by OneDrive. The captured samples which we have obtained are sent from a non-Microsoft domain called microsoftonedrive.com which is not affiliated with the company.

The messages will notify the recipients that they have two files “awaiting for review” on a OneDrive cloud repository. The number can change as well as the file names which are probably randomly generated from a ready mix of strings. The users will be redirected to a fake OneDrive login page requesting their credentials. If entered they will be instantly reported to the hacker operators behind the campaign.

OneDrive Phishing Scam – In-Depth Overview

Once the phishing page is displayed the victims can expect several different types of malicious behavior. Usually the end goal is to redirect the users to a fake login page which is used to harvest their credentials. The redirected page can be a new address displayed in the same or another tab or a pop-up window. The displayed address may bear a resemblance to the actual OneDrive site both in the name and web design layout.

However upon visiting the OneDrive phishing scam page the site can lead to other malicious behavior and infections. In most cases the site will automatically place tracking cookies that will record all user interactions across the visited sites. The data that is harvested by them can be very extensive. The first group of data represents personal data that can directly reveal the identity of the victim users by looking out for strings such as their name, address, phone number, location, interests and account credentials.

In addition as the web pages can deploy other threats to the computers such as cryptocurrency miners. They are run through scripts executed via the browsers and are designed to take advantage of the available system resources in performing complex mathematical tasks. When a given job is completed and reported to the associated control server the criminals will receive profit in the form of cryptocurrency assets. They will be transferred over to their wallets.

Various warning messages can be presented to the users which can lead to the deployment of malware. In this particular case the files can be masked as OneDrive installers or files that are connected to them such as user manuals, guides, updates and etc. The following examples showcase typical examples of malware associated with this payload delivery mechanism:

  • Executable Virus Files — Using OneDrive-related names the criminals can deliver virus files.
  • Infected Documents — The OneDrive Phishing Scam pages can spread malicious documents of all popular types: spreadsheets, rich text documents, presentations and databases. Whenever they are opened by the victims a notification box will appear asking them to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done the included virus will be deployed to the victim system.
  • Virus Installers — Much like the way some of the strains are distributed the phishing pages can insert malicious installers. They can be bundle installers containing the legitimate OneDrive service. However upon installation a dangerous virus will be placed on the victim computer.

Beware that an additional issue is the creation of intrusive ads. They can cause an additional redirect to sites operated by the same hacker collective or sponsors. In the case of malware search engines the entered queries will not lead to the best possible results. This is a dangerous consequence as it can manipulate the victim users into thinking that they are visiting a legitimate engine. Many of the fake copies use the same design templates as the real ones and in many cases the distinction is not easily made.

In some cases phishing scams, including OneDrive ones, can deliver a Trojan virus infection. These are among the most dangerous types of malware as they connect to a hacker-controlled server using an encrypted connection and allow the operators to have full control of the impacted system. This means that they can spy on the users, hijack their data and overtake control at any given time. In combination with a ransomware threat this can become a very difficult infection to remove.

Remove OneDrive Phishing Scam from Windows and Your Browser

If you want to remove the OneDrive Phishing Scam from your computer, we strongly suggest that you follow the removal instructions posted underneath this article. They have been created with the main idea In mind to help you delete this virus either manually or automatically. Be advised that according to experts the best way to try and remove the software that is causing the OneDrive Phishing Scamming pop-ups is to use an advanced anti-malware software. Such program is created with the idea in mind to fully scan your computer and try to eliminate any traces of unwanted programs while protecting your computer against future infections as well.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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