How to spot phishing emails like a fake letter from Habib Bank AG Zurich

Also Known As: Habib Bank AG Zurich phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Habib Bank AG Zurich"?

We have analyzed this email and found that scammers use it to trick recipients into providing email account login credentials. This email is disguised as a letter from Habib Bank AG Zurich - a Swiss multinational commercial bank. It contains an HTM file asking to verify email to view a payment receipt.

Habib Bank AG Zurich email spam campaign

More about Habib Bank AG Zurich phishing email

The email itself does not encourage recipients to open the attached file. It is disguised as an automatically generated email from the Habib Bank AG Zurich company. It suggests that only the customers of this bank receive it. The most important detail about the email is that it contains an attachment used to extract sensitive information.

The file attached to the email is named "(MT-103-USD)---717.htm" (its name may vary in different phishing campaign variants). Once opened, it asks to verify the email address to view a payment receipt by providing an email address and a password. Thus, it is clear that scammers use it to steal login credentials.

Threat Summary:
Name Habib Bank AG Zurich Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients have to verify their email address
Attachment (MT-103-USD)---717.htm (its name may vary)
Detection Names (Attachment) Avast (Other:SNH-gen [Phish]), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.48419522), ESET-NOD32 (HTML/Phishing.Agent.BXZ), McAfee (HTML/Phishing.kp), Microsoft (Trojan:HTML/Phish.PK!MTB), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Disguise Letter from the Habib Bank AG Zurich commercial 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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Phishing emails in general

Scammers use phishing emails to trick recipients into providing credit card details, login credentials, social security numbers, and other personal information/sensitive details. Usually, they pretend to be representatives of legitimate companies (for example, banks, email service providers) or other entities.

More examples of phishing emails are "Download All Your Blocked Email Messages", "OpenSea", "Removal From Server Has Been Approved And Initiated". It is important to know that email can be used as a channel to deliver malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Cybercriminals behind malicious emails attempt to trick recipients into executing a malicious file. They send emails containing a malicious link or attachment. They use malicious MS Office, PDF documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, and other files. Typically, malicious emails are disguised as important/official letters from legitimate entities.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open attachments and links in emails when they are not relevant and sent from unknown or suspicious addresses. Typically, emails of this kind have malicious links or files in them. Always use official pages and direct links as sources fr downloading programs or files. Avoid using any other sources.

Use tools or functions provided by the official developers when willing to update or activate the installed software. Never use third-party/unofficial tools for that. 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 Habib Bank AG Zurich phishing email:

Subject: -Swift Remittance (MT-103)-USD-***717

Do not reply to this automatically generated email. If you wish to contact us,
please send us an email at csd@habibbank.com or call us on +971 4 4195555 or
by sending a secure mail available on the summary page.

For your safety and security always keep your email address updated as we email
your statements to you.

Thank You
Habib Bank AG Zurich

This communication being sent by Habib Bank AG Zurich is privileged and
confidential, and is directed to and for the use of the addressee only.
If this message reaches anyone other than the intended recipient, we request
the reader not to reproduce, copy, disseminate or in any manner distribute it.

For more information on Habib Bank AG Zurich, please visit www.habibbank[.]com

Screenshot of the opened phishing HTM file asking to provide login credentials:

habib bank ag zurich email scam phishing html file

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Most likely because scammers have obtained your email address after a data breach. Phishing emails are not personal. Scammers send the same email to all addresses in their database.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?

If you have opened the attachment and provided any login credentials, change all passwords immediately. In other cases, contact corresponding authorities (when the provided information is credit card details, ID card information, etc.).

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to this email, is my computer infected?

No, the file attached to this email is not malicious - it cannot infect a computer. However, files in emails can be malicious. They can infect computers after opening them or pefrorming more than one step (it depends on the file type).

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware. When computers are infected with high-end malware, they should be scanned using the full system scan feature. Otherwise, antivirus may not detect malware that hides deep in the system.

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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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