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Avoid having your bank account stolen via fake "Banca Sella" emails

Also Known As: Banca Sella spam
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Banca Sella" scam email?

"Banca Sella email scam" refers to a spam campaign. This term defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The scam letters sent through this campaign - are presented as emails from Banca Sella - a genuine Italian bank based in Biella, Piedmont.

The fake letters claim that recipients have an important message waiting for them. The scammers behind this spam campaign aim to gain access/control over recipients' Banca Sella bank accounts - by promoting a phishing website disguised as a sign-in page.

Banca Sella email spam campaign

According to a rough translation, the "Banca Sella" scam emails (subject/title "Un nuovo importante messaggio."; may vary) inform recipients that they have an unread important message in the reserved area of their Banca Sella accounts.

To view the nonexistent message, recipients are instructed to click the link presented in the letters. This link redirects to a phishing site, which is disguised as the Banca Sella sign-in page.

Log-in credentials (i.e., usernames and passwords) entered into this webpage will be unintentionally revealed to the scammers behind the spam campaign, thereby allowing them to steal the corresponding bank accounts.

Therefore, by trusting these scam emails, recipients can have their Banca Sella accounts hijacked and experience significant financial losses.

If attempts to sign-in via the phishing website have already been made, it is strongly advised to immediately change the potentially compromised accounts' passwords. Additionally, it is recommended to contact the official Banca Sella support.

Threat Summary:
Name Banca Sella Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim recipients have an important unread message in their Banca Sella accounts.
Disguise Scam emails are disguised as letters from Banca Sella
Related Domains agenziaaurora[.]com
Detection Names (agenziaaurora[.]com) Emsisoft (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Netcraft (Malicious), Sophos (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (agenziaaurora[.]com) 31.11.33.147
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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"Banca Popolare di Bari email scam", "BAPATOH OFFSHORE SDN BHD", "Proof Of Payment", "cPanel email scam", and "Password is about to expire today" are some examples of phishing spam campaigns.

The emails sent through these large-scale operations - are usually presented as "important", "urgent", "priority" and similar; they may be disguised as mail from legitimate institutions, authorities, organizations, companies, service providers, and other entities.

The only goal of scam letters is to generate profit for the scammers/ cyber criminals behind them. Spam campaigns are used for phishing and different types of scams, but they are also employed to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.).

Due to the prevalence of spam mail, 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. The virulent files can be attached to the emails, and/or the letters can contain download links of malicious content.

These 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., malware download/installation) is triggered.

For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins the moment a document is opened - in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010.

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 risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the system via spam mail, it is advised against opening suspicious and irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links present in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Aside from via spam campaigns, malware is also proliferated through untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders), illegal software activation ("cracking") tools, 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.

To ensure device integrity and user privacy, it is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software has to be used to run regular system scans and remove detected/potential threats.

If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Banca Sella" scam email letter:

Subject: Un nuovo importante messaggio.

 

Banca Sella

 

Caro cliente,

 

e presente un nuovo messaggio importante nella tua area riservata. Accedi tramite il seguenre
link per visualizzarlo:


Fai clic qui:  hxxps://www.sella.it/Authenticazione/step_one.jsp


Cordiali saluti
_____________________________________
Customer Care Banca Sella S.p.A

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted through the "Banca Sella" spam campaign:

Banca Sella email scam promoted phishing website

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

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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.

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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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