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 .|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by TSB Phishing |
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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.