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Barclays Secured Message Email Virus

Also Known As: Barclays Secured Message virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Barclays Secured Message Email Virus removal guide

What is Barclays Secured Message Email Virus?

Similar to Danske BankElectronic IntuitADP Invoice, and many others, "Barclays Secured Message Email Virus" is a spam email campaign used to distribute the TrickBot trojan. The email contains text stating that the user has received a secured message and encourages them to open an attached MS Office document. Be aware, however, that this attachment is malicious - it downloads and installs a TrickBot trojan.

Barclays Secured Message Email Virus malware

As mentioned above, "Barclays Secured Message Email Virus" campaign emails state that users have received a secured message from Barclays bank. The message is supposedly presented in an attached MS Office document. Be aware, however, that this is a scam and Barclays has nothing to do with it. Cyber criminals often hide behind names of popular companies and governmental agencies. These people continually register domains/email addresses by including various companies' and agencies' names. These domains/emails are then used to send spam. In doing so, cyber criminals significantly increase the chance of tricking users into opening attachments - users are much more likely to open files received from familiar organizations. TrickBot is high-risk virus designed to hijack browsers and modify website content so that entered logins/passwords are sent to a remote server controlled by TrickBot's developers. This information can be misused to generate revenue (developers hijack victims' accounts on social networks, banks, and so on). Therefore, the presence of data-tracking malware such as TrickBot might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you have already opened "Barclays Secured Message Email Virus" attachments, you should immediately scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and delete all threats.

Threat Summary:
NameBarclays Secured Message virus
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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TrickBot is virtually identical to FormBookAdwindPony, and dozens of other trojan-type viruses. As with TrickBot, these viruses are also distributed using spam email campaigns. Their behavior is also very similar - trojans collect personal information. In addition, trojan-type viruses infect the system with viruses (in most cases, ransomware). All pose an extreme threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety, and thus removing them is paramount.

How did Barclays Secured Message Email Virus infect my computer?

"Barclays Secured Message Email Virus" distributes a malicious MS Office document which, once opened, enables macro commands. In doing so, users grant attachments permission to execute commands that stealthily download and install TrickBot. Be aware, however, that this distribution method has a significant flaw. Malicious attachments are able to download/install malware only if they are opened using MS Office programs (Word, Excel, etc.) Therefore, if the file is opened using any other application capable of reading this format, malware will not be downloaded. In addition, this spam email campaign targets only Microsoft Windows users and users of other platforms are safe.

How to avoid installation of malware?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet. Think twice before opening email attachments. Irrelevant files and those received from suspicious email addresses should never be opened. Furthermore, it is very important to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running. In addition, more recent versions (2010 and above) of MS Office suite open newly-downloaded documents in "Protected View" mode. In this way, MS Office prevents malicious executables from downloading and installing malware. Therefore, we strongly advise you to avoid using old versions of MS Office. If you have already opened a "Barclays Secured Message Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Barclays Secured Message Email Virus" email letter:

Subject: Barclays Secured Message: New Message Received

You have received a PGP Universal Secured Message from:
barclayscaseownershipteam8@barclays.com
To read this message securely, please click this link:
hxxps://sm-barclays.com/

ITALIAN/ITALIANO
Ha ricevuto un messaggio protetto da PGP Universal da:
barclayscaseownershipteam8@barclays.com
Per leggere il messaggio in modo sicuro, si prega di fare clic su questo link:
hxxps://sm-barclays.com/

PORTUGUÊS / PORTUGUESE
Você recebeu uma mensagem PGP Universal a partir de:
barclayscaseownershipteam8@barclays.com
Para ler esta mensagem de forma segura, por favor, clique neste link:
hxxps://sm-barclays.com/

FRENCH / FRANÇAIS
Vous avez reçu un message sécurisé PGP Universal à partir de:
barclayscaseownershipteam8@barclays.com
Pour lire ce message en toute sécurité, s’il vous plaît cliquer sur ce lien:
hxxps://sm-barclays.com/

SPANISH / ESPAÑOL
Ha recibido un mensaje protegido PGP universal a partir de:
barclayscaseownershipteam8@barclays.com
Para leer este mensaje con seguridad, por favor haga clic en este enlace:
hxxps://sm-barclays.com/

TrickBot process in Windows Task Manager:

TrickBot trojan in Task Manager

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 - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this 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 autoruns.zip 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 want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides 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 you wish to remove, right click your mouse 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. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

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

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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 pcrisk.com 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
Barclays Secured Message virus QR code
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