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.
- Guide 1: How to Remove TSB Phishing from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of TSB Phishing on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove TSB Phishing in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase TSB Phishing from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall TSB Phishing from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove TSB Phishing from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate TSB Phishing from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable TSB Phishing Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove TSB Phishing from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove TSB Phishing
Step 2: Uninstall TSB Phishing and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by TSB Phishing on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by TSB Phishing there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of TSB Phishing from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall TSB Phishing and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove TSB Phishing via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove TSB Phishing files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as TSB Phishing, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove TSB Phishing from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase TSB Phishing from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall TSB Phishing from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove TSB Phishing from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the TSB Phishing will be removed.
Eliminate TSB Phishing from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by TSB Phishing from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".