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Avoid having your bank account stolen via fake "Novo Banco" emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is "Novo Banco email scam"?

"Novo Banco email scam" is the name of a spam campaign - a large-scale operation during which deceptive emails are sent by the thousand. These letters are disguised notifications from Novo Banco - a legitimate Portuguese bank.

The fake emails request recipients to reactivate and reregister their banking app. This spam campaign aims to promote a phishing website disguised as Novo Banco's sign-in page. Data entered into this site is sent to the scammers, potentially allowing them to take possession of the accounts.

Novo Banco email spam campaign

"Novo Banco" scam emails in detail

According to a rough translation, the fake "Novo Banco" emails (subject/title "Seu aplicativo mudou. Será necessário activar novamente seu registo."; may vary) inform recipients that changes have been made to their bank application. The scam letters urge to activate and register the account again.

To access their accounts, recipients are instructed to press the "Aceda sua conta" button presented in the email. The fraudulent letters warn that unless this is done, the recipients' membership and PIN numbers will be disabled, and their debit/credit cards - deactivated.

It must be emphasized that these emails are in no way associated with the genuine Novo Banco. Hence, when recipients click the button to access their accounts - they are redirected to a phishing site. This webpage is presented as the sign-in page to Novo Banco.

However, the webpage is illegitimate and operates by recording information provided to it. Therefore, users will inadvertently expose their bank account log-in credentials by attempting to sign in through this phishing website.

To summarize, by trusting these scam letters, users can lose their banking accounts, experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. If attempts to sign in through the phishing page have already been made, users must change the log-in credentials immediately and contact the official support of Novo Banco.

Threat Summary:
Name Novo Banco Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Emails claim recipients must reactivate and reregister their banking apps.
Disguise Scam emails are disguised as letters from the Novo Banco Portuguese bank.
Related Domains sec-novobanco[.]site
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

Phishing spam campaigns target a wide variety of information, including (but not limited to): log-in credentials (e.g., online banks, e-commerce platforms, social networking/media, etc.), personally identifiable details (i.e., names, addresses, contact information. etc.), finance-related data (e.g., credit card numbers, etc.).

"DBS Bank email scam", "UN Covid-19 stimulus package", "Bonifico Effettuato", "Emails Rejected On Admin Server", and "BANCO BPM email scam" are some examples of this type of spam mail. However, these massive operations are not used just for phishing.

Spam campaigns are also employed to facilitate various scams and to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Due to how widespread scam mail is, it is highly recommended to exercise caution with incoming emails.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected via malicious files distributed through spam campaigns. These files can be attached to and/or linked inside the letters. Infectious files can be in various formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, and so forth.

When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process (i.e., malware download/installation) is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands.

This process starts the moment a document is opened in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010. Later versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users can manually enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Dubious and irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments/links found in them. Aside from spam campaigns, malware is spread via untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates.

Therefore, it is recommended to download only 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 suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software has to be used to perform regular system scans and to 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 "Novo Banco" scam email letter:

Subject: Seu aplicativo mudou. Será necessário activar novamente seu registo.

 

NOVO BANCO

 

VÁ AO BANCO SEM TER DE SAIR DE CASA

 

Olá ******** ,

 

Seu aplicativo mudou

.

Será necessário activar novamente seu registo, aceda sua conta através do botão abaixo.

 

Caso não conclua o processo online, seu Nº de adesão, PIN e cartões de débito/ crédito serão desactivados.

 

Aceda sua conta

 

Não complicar é o nosso jeito de ser!

 

Até já, lu

 

Andreia Teixeira
Diretora de Segurança

 

O NovoBanco, S.A. é um intermediário financeiro registado na Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários e encontra-se autorizado a prestar os serviços de investimento de receção e transmissão de ordens por conta de outrem.

 

© 2021 NOVO BANCO, SA

Appearance of the "Novo Banco" scam email (GIF):

Novo Banco scam email appearance (GIF)

Screenshot of the phishing site disguised as Novo Banco's sign-in page:

Novo Banco spam campaign promoted phishing website

Another example of Novo Banco-themed spam email used to promote a phishing website:

Novo Banco-themed phishing site (2021-07-15)

Text presented within:

Subject: NOVO BANCO - NB SMART APP Seu Numero de Adesao foi Bloqueado. - ( 165259836707 )


Servico Bloqueado.

******** para sua seguranca, este servico encontra-se bloqueado por tempo indeterminado porque execedeu o tempo limite permitido para realizar as atualizacoes de suas chaves de seguranca.

Sera necessario que acesse nosso web site para verificar suas informacoes em nossa base de dados, ou os servicos oferecidos por nos on-line serao bloqueados por tempo indeterminado em sua conta.

Caso nao realize o processo on-line no tempo estimado de 03 (tres) dias, a contar desta data de recebimento deste informativo, para realizar o desbloqueio sera necessario procurar uma de nossas filiais mais proximas e mediante pagamento de multa no valor de EUR 347,30 para realizar este procedimento.

Atenciosamente
NOVO BANCO.
Realizar Processo

Este e-mail foi enviado para voce por que e um de nossos clientes e segundo nossa politica de uso, voce esta qualificado para receber notificacoes on-line quando necessarias. Protocolo de atendimento: 97666433-97666433, referente a esta solicitacao on-line.

© NOVO BANCO - 2021. Todos os direitos reservados.
14/07/2021 08:49:15

Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:

Novo Banco-themed phishing site promoted via spam email (2021-07-15)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner 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 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.

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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