You Have A Santander Secure Email SPAM

Also Known As: TrickBot trojan
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

You Have A Santander Secure Email virus removal guide

What is You Have A Santander Secure Email?

Discovered by My Online Security, "You Have A Santander Secure Email" is one of the latest spam campaigns used to spread TrickBot trojan. The deceptive email contains text claiming that the user has received a message from a Santander Bank employee. It also contains an attachment (a malicious Microsoft Office document), which users are encouraged to open. Bear in mind, however, that this malicious file stealthily downloads and installs malware.

You Have A Santander Secure Email malware

The message essentially states that users have received a secure message from Santander Bank, which is stored in the MS Office document (the attachment). Users are encouraged to immediately open the email and follow the instructions within. This is a scam. The bank itself is a legitimate corporation and has nothing to do with this message. In fact, cyber criminals continually register various emails and URLs that contain the names of legitimate companies (in this case, Santander Bank). These people spam hundreds of thousands of users with convincing messages that encourage them to open malicious email attachments (Word, Excel, and so on). Once opened, these attachments immediately execute macros that stealthily download and install malware. As mentioned above, the "You Have A Santander Secure Email" spam campaign proliferates the TrickBot trojan. This is high-risk malware that hijacks Internet browsers and gathers various logins/passwords. Collected data is typically misused to generate revenue (e.g., by performing money transfers, identity theft, and so on). Therefore, the presence of this malware can lead to serious privacy issues and significant financial loss. It is virtually impossible to determine if TrickBot malware is present. Fortunately, many reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suites are capable of detecting and removing this malware. Therefore, if you have opened the "You Have A Santander Secure Email" message, immediately perform a full system scan to see if your computer is infected.

Threat Summary:
NameTrickBot trojan
Threat TypeTrojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
SymptomsTrojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methodsInfected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.
DamageStolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, victim's computer added to a botnet.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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There are a number of trojans that share similarities with TrickBot including, for example, Adwind, Pony, and FormBook. As with TrickBot, these viruses are also distributed using spam campaigns. In addition, their behavior is very similar. Trojan-type viruses such as TrickBot often gather sensitive information and track web browsing activity. Furthermore, they might be used to proliferate other viruses (such as ransomware). Therefore, trojans pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did You Have A Santander Secure Email infect my computer?

"You Have A Santander Secure Email" spam is delivered together with a malicious MS Office attachment. Once opened, this file immediately asks users to enable macro commands. After macros are enabled, attachments immediately execute commands that stealthily download and install TrickBot malware. Note that this only works in Microsoft Office. Therefore, if the malicious attachment is opened using other software (that is capable of reading MS Office formats), the malware will not be downloaded/installed. The malicious TrickBot executable only works on the Windows Operating System and, therefore, users on other platforms are safe.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Never open email attachments that seem irrelevant or have been received from a suspicious email address. These emails should be deleted immediately, without reading. It is also strongly recommended that you avoid using 2007 and older versions of MS Office. 2010 and later versions open downloaded documents in "Protected View", which prevents executing malicious commands. Therefore, using old MS Office versions is dangerous. Furthermore, some trojans are distributed using the "bundling" method (stealth installation of third party software together with regular programs) and fake software update tools. Therefore, carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes and opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Third party download/installation/update tools should also never be used, since developers monetize them by promoting rogue programs. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. To update apps, use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. If you have already opened the "You Have A Santander Secure Email" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "You Have A Santander Secure Email" email letter:

You have a Santander Secure Email from Jeremy Wilson.
Read your secure message by opening the attachment, Secure.doc. You will need Microsoft Office or any Word readers to open (view) the file. For best results, open the document with Microsoft Office and follow instructions.

If you have concerns about the validity of this message, please contact Santander directly.
For questions please contact the Santander Secure Email Help Desk at 0800 9 123 123.

First time users – will need to register after opening the attachment.About Email Encryption – hxxp://

Malicious attachment distributed via "You Have A Santander Secure Email" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment You Have A Santander Secure Email spam

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task. Therefore, it is usually best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do it automatically. To remove this malware, we recommend using Malwarebytes for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer (for example, using task manager) and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":


manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck the "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you wish to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides their process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program, right click over its name and choose "Delete"

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills, and it is recommended that you leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is better to avoid being infected than attempting to remove malware afterwards. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure that your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Malwarebytes for Windows.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
TrickBot trojan QR code
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