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Avoid having your email account stolen via fake "DBS Bank" emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Severe

What is "DBS Bank email scam"?

"DBS Bank email scam" refers to a phishing spam campaign. The term "spam campaign" defines a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent.

The letters distributed through this campaign are disguised as messages from DBS Bank - a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services corporation. It must be emphasized that these scam emails are in no way associated with the genuine DBS Bank.

This spam campaign aims to promote a phishing website targeting email accounts. It is presented as a sign-in page; email account log-in credentials (i.e., email addresses and passwords) entered into it are recorded and sent to the scammers.

DBS Bank email spam campaign

"DBS Bank" scam email in detail

The fake "DBS Bank" emails (subject/title "Fwd: Bank Fund Transfer//MT103"; may vary) informs recipients that the DBS Bank has made a payment to their account. When users attempt to review the "attached receipt", they are redirected to the phishing site.

The webpage has two fields into which users are to enter their email account log-in credentials (i.e., email addresses and corresponding passwords). By attempting to log in through this page, users will inadvertently expose their email accounts to the scammers behind these "DBS Bank" letters.

Scammers are particularly interested in emails as they are typically connected to (e.g., used to register) other accounts, platforms, and services. Therefore, through stolen email accounts - access/control might be gained over content associated with them.

To elaborate how hijacked accounts can be abused, communication platforms (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) can be used to proliferate malware by sharing malicious files or links. Alternatively, scammers can pretend to be the account's genuine owner and ask their contacts/friends for loans or donations.

Finance-related accounts (e.g., banking, online money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or unauthorized online purchases.

In summary, by trusting the "DBS Bank" scam emails, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If attempts to sign in through the phishing website have already been made - the log-in credentials of the potentially compromised accounts must be changed immediately. Furthermore, it is recommended to contact the official support of the exposed platforms.

Threat Summary:
Name DBS Bank Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Emails claim that recipients have received a payment.
Disguise Scam emails are presented as messages from DBS Bank.
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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Spam campaigns in general

"RingCentral email scam", "Apple cloud Subscription email scam", and "BANCO BPM email scam" are a couple examples of phishing spam campaigns. The emails sent through these large operations are usually presented as "official", "urgent", "priority", "important", and similar. Spam mail is not used just for phishing and other scams, it is also employed to spread malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.).

Due to the prevalence of scam letters, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with coming messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns proliferate malicious software via infectious files distributed through them. These files can be attached to the emails, and/or the letters can 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 forth. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process (i.e., malware download/installation) is triggered.

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

Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users can manually enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), and they are warned of the potential risks.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspicious and 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 through untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal 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 genuine developers.

It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated. Furthermore, this software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats and issues. 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 "DBS Bank" scam email letter:

Subject: Fwd: Bank Fund Transfer//MT103

 

FYI

 

We have made payment to you account on Friday, Please see attached receipt from our bank.


1 Attachment | 09372-9374.pdf

 

-----Original Message-----
From: ******
To: Accounts Dept2
Date: Friday, 18 July 2021 3:47 PM
Subject: Bank Fund Transfer//706.20

 

Dear Customer,

 

Attach is your receipt

 

Yours Sincerely,
DBS Bank Ltd
hotline at 1800-222-2200
www.dbs.com

 

This attached Advice is sent to you for information only.This is an automatically generated notification.Please do not reply to this email. Contact us at our corporate hotline at 1800-222-2200 between 8:30am to 6:15pm, for any service

 

1 Attachment | 09372-9374.pdf

Appearance of the "DBS Bank" scam email (GIF):

DBS Bank scam email appearance (GIF)

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted via the "DBS Bank" spam campaign:

DBS Bank scam email promoted phishing website

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Quick menu:

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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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.

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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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