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Do not trust the fake "Banca Popolare di Bari" emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"Banca Popolare di Bari email scam" removal guide

What is the fake "Banca Popolare di Bari" email?

"Banca Popolare di Bari email scam" is the name of a spam campaign - a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The letters, distributed through this campaign, are disguised as messages from Banca Popolare di Bari - a genuine Italian bank based in Bari, Apulia region. These fake emails claim that recipients must update their Banca Popolare di Bari accounts - for security reasons. This spam campaign aims to promote a phishing website, which is presented as the Banca Popolare di Bari sign-in page. Log-in credentials (i.e., usernames and passwords) entered into this site are inadvertently exposed to the scammers, thereby allowing them access and control over the online bank accounts.

Banca Popolare di Bari email spam campaign

According to a rough translation, the "Banca Popolare di Bari" scam emails (subject/title "Aggiornamento obbligatorio per il tuo conto bancario"; may vary) inform recipients that they must update their accounts. The Banca Popolare di Bari accounts supposedly have to be updated - to improve their security and prevent unauthorized transactions. The letters claim that this update is mandatory and lists the date by which it must be completed. To make the bogus updates, recipients are instructed to press the "Clicca qui" button in the emails and follow the instructions provided in the opened website. As mentioned in the introduction, the information provided by these letters is false, and they are in no way associated with the actual Banca Popolare di Bari. Hence, by clicking the button, recipients are redirected to a phishing site. Log-in credentials (i.e., usernames and passwords) typed into this fake log-in page are delivered to the scammers. Therefore, they can gain access to the corresponding banking accounts and make fraudulent transactions. In summary, by trusting the "Banca Popolare di Bari" scam emails, recipients can have their bank accounts stolen, experience financial losses and severe privacy issues. If attempts to sign-in through the phishing website have already been made - it is strongly advised to change the log-in credentials immediately and contact the official Banca Popolare di Bari support.

Threat Summary:
Name Banca Popolare di Bari Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim recipients need to update their Banca Popolare di Bari accounts.
Disguise Messages from Banca Popolare di Bari
Related Domains pcontrol[.]it
Serving IP Address (pcontrol[.]it) 100.24.208.97
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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"BAPATOH OFFSHORE SDN BHD", "Proof Of Payment", "Password is about to expire today", "Facebook email scam", and "MOBI GRAND TELECOM Lottery" are a some examples of phishing spam campaigns. The emails are usually presented as "official", "urgent", "important", and similar. These letters are used not only for phishing and other scams, but also to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.). Regardless of what scam emails claim, offer, request, or demands, the end-goal is the same - to generate profit for the scammers/ cyber criminals behind them. Due to how widespread spam mail is, it is advised to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns spread malware via infectious files distributed through them. These files can be attached to the emails, and/or they contain download links of such files. Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so on. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain (i.e., download/installation of malicious programs) is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released before 2010 - this process begins the moment a document is opened. Newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users are asked to enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands) and warned of the potential threats.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and/or irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments or links found in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also spread via untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to only download from official and verified sources. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. It is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Banca Popolare di Bari" scam email letter:

Subject: Aggiornamento obbligatorio per il tuo conto bancario

 

Gentile cliente,

 

Per garantirti un livello di sicurezza ottimale su operazioni bancarie sensibili e inevitabili, e

 

per evitare tutti i rischi e le operazioni fraudolente. Il gruppo Banca Popolare di Bari

 

effettua un aggiornamento obbligatorio dal 18/03/2021

 

Per aggiornarlo è sufficiente collegarsi al nostro sito e seguire i passaggi richiesti dal link

 

sottostante:

 

Clicca qui

 

© Banca Popolare di Bari SPA - Sede sociale e Direzione Generale Corso Cavour .

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted through the "Banca Popolare di Bari" spam campaign:

Banca Popolare di Bari email scam promoted phishing website

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 1Download 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 "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, be sure to 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.

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