The TSB phishing scam is a recent example of a large-scale campaign against the financial institution. It is being performed by an unknown criminal collective and has already impacted many users. Read on to learn more about the scam.
|Type||Scam / Malware|
|Short Description||Aims to trick victims to be redirected to a third-party site that hijacks sensitive personal data.|
|Symptoms||Email messages that claim that the target’s account have been compromised.|
|Distribution Method||Via e-mail messages that imitate legitimate security-related Apple message .|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss TSB Phishing.|
TSB Phishing Scam – Overview
One of the first indications of the TSB phishing scam was the large-scale email campaign that took place in April. According to several news sources and Action Fraud (UK’s cybercrime reporting center) the peak infections happened in the period between April and May. The coordinated attack deployed email messages that used hijacked text and graphics from the real financial institution. The message looks like a notification message about the recipient’s account. It is non-personalized and bear a similarity to the way legitimate notifications are sent.
An alternative distribution tactic is the use of direct text messages to the target users. It reads that the victim’s account has been suspended and in order to reactive it they need to visit an address. The included one is clearly not part of any of the TSB’s domains which is an easy way to spot the scam.
An analysis of the malicious domain shows that it contains a valid SSL certificate along with a design that bears a very strong resemblance to the real TSB login page. Practically the only difference between the real and the fake site is the URL. This example proves that looking for a valid SSL certificate is not enough to guard against potential scams.
According to the security investigation the fraud operators are using special software tools that allow them to change the sender ID for each message which makes it look like the financial institution is sending out the messages. An important characteristic is that the spoofed messages will be added to existing TSB threads on the victim’s devices. The primary motivation for the creation of these messages is to hijack the mobile/online banking credentials.
One of the primary reasons for the success and proliferation of the TBS phishing scam is the fact that it coincided with technical issues that the company was experiencing. For several weeks before the email messages spiked many customers reported having problems with logging in and performing certain transactions. This was used by the hackers in order to help devise the campaign.
TSB and Action Fraud posted a warning to Internet users when encountering such schemes which includes a notice of some of the good security practices:
- Don’t assume an email or text is authentic — Internet users should be cautious at all times, even when the messages seem to be sent by a trusted sender. Phone numbers, email messages and content can be easily spoofed. Never give out sensitive data via web or telephone unless this has been confirmed via a call from a legitimate representative.
- Interacting with links and files — Users should not interact with links or interactive content, especially in unexpected messages. Banks will never contact customers directly and ask for their credentials.
- Report Scams — Potential scams are to be reported to the companies so that they can publish warnings in due time.
A notification page has been set up for TSB customers where they can learn more about the ongoing phishing campaigns.
TSB Phishing Scam — Possible Development
As the TSB phishing attack is ongoing there are several other delivery techniques that the hackers can utilize in order to increase the infection ratio. The first one is the creation of additional phishing sites. They will typically use similar domain names to TSB and include strings like “account”, “login”, “service” and “recovery” in order to fool users into interacting with them.
Another technique would be to use browser hijackers — malicious web browser plugins that are usually distributed on the associated repositories. They use elaborate descriptions along with fake developer credentials and user reviews in an attempt to coerce the victims into installing them. When they include online banking elements the hackers can integrate the TSB phishing scam notifications directly in them.
To make matters worse criminals can use malicious web scripts that can redirect the victims to the phishing scam. This is done using pop-ups, banners, scripts and in-line hyperlinks. What’s more dangerous is the fact that using advertising or affiliate networks the threat can reach legitimate and well-known sites as well. In recent years a popular scheme remains the creation of countefeit social media accounts that can be customized in order to look like the legitimate institution. All popular social networks are targeted: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and etc.
Remove TSB Phishing Scam from Your Computer
In order to make sure that the “TSB Phishing Scam” scam is fully gone from your computer, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They have been divided in manual and automatic removal manuals so that they can help you delete this threat based on your malware removal experience. If manual removal is not exactly something that you feel confident in doing, recommendations are to remove this malware or check if it has your infected your computer automatically by downloading and scanning your computer via an advanced anti-malware program. Such software will effectively make sure that your PC is fully secured and you passwords and data remain safe in the future.
What Is TSB Phishing?
The TSB Phishing threat is adware or browser redirect virus.
It may slow your computer down significantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What Are the Symptoms of TSB Phishing?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and have poor performance in general.
Symptom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts recommend that you check your computer for viruses.
What Types of Unwanted Programs Are There?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to Do If I Have a "virus" like TSB Phishing?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your email passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activities with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these recommendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
How Does TSB Phishing Work?
Once installed, TSB Phishing can collect data about your web browsing habits, such as the websites you visit and the search terms you use. This data is then used to target you with ads or to sell your information to third parties.
TSB Phishing can also download other malicious software onto your computer, such as viruses and spyware, which can be used to steal your personal information and show risky ads, that may redirect to virus sites or scams.
Is TSB Phishing Malware?
The truth is that PUPs (adware, browser hijackers) are not viruses, but may be just as dangerous since they may show you and redirect you to malware websites and scam pages.
Many security experts classify potentially unwanted programs as malware. This is because of the unwanted effects that PUPs can cause, such as displaying intrusive ads and collecting user data without the user’s knowledge or consent.
About the TSB Phishing Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this TSB Phishing how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on TSB Phishing?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the TSB Phishing threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.