We have been in a bit of lull with a quiet couple of weeks on the malware front in the UK, but that seems to have come to an end overnight and early this morning. Most of the malware are very common, well known versions of Lokibot, Hawkeye and a marginally interesting phishing scam in Korean language . Then we had an Orcus RAT which we don’t see a great deal of in UK.
Then we come to this one, an ISR stealer. They pop up from time to time, but I don’t see a fantastic amount of them. This one seems to be more carefully targeted than the usual scatter gun approach that many malware criminal gangs use in their distribution. The alleged sender is a company that supplies security, safety, protection and traffic management equipment for workers. The receiving email address email@example.com could easily belong to a company dealing with or that buys, sells or uses such equipment. Unfortunately for these criminals it belongs to one of my domains, but other recipients might well open the word doc to see what the “problem” is. Saying their payment to you was rejected due to incorrect bank details is a common malware lure, but it is also a remarkably common occurrence in the real world of small business where harassed overworked, under pressure staff trying to do 3 jobs at the same time can easily transpose numbers typing 132 instead of 123 for example, when sending invoices or payment requests.
An email with the subject of Bank Detail For Funds Transfer pretending to come from MG Grace <firstname.lastname@example.org> with a malicious word doc delivers this info stealer.
They are using email addresses and subjects that will scare or entice a user to read the email and open the attachment. A very high proportion are being targeted at small and medium size businesses, with the hope of getting a better response than they do from consumers.
Remember many email clients, especially on a mobile phone or tablet, only show the Name in the From: and not the bit in <domain.com >. That is why these scams and phishes work so well.
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
Tulipsafety.com has not been hacked or had their email or other servers compromised. They are not sending the emails to you. They are just innocent victims in exactly the same way as every recipient of these emails. The emails are coming via a fraudulent or compromised server on OVH
The email looks like:
From: MG Grace <email@example.com>
Date: Tue 09/04/2019 03:05
Subject: Bank Detail For Funds Transfer
Attachment: Bank detail on record.Doc
My account department is trying to process payment for your proforma invoice, please kindly confirm if the bank details are correct because the payment was returned by our bank, please advice asap
Please see attached Microsoft File,
Appreciate your quick action
Thanks and Best Regards!
1E/19 B, Jhandewalan Extension,-110055/BHD
“One Company – All Solutions”
Now lets get to the actual malware
This malware rtf exploit doc downloads from http://groupofcompany.website/don/bank.msi | VirusTotal File | URL | This site was registered in January 2019 via NameCheap as registrar and host for the site., using privacy protection service. There is no content on the site except this malware. I don’t know whether the site has been compromised very quickly or was deliberately set up with the aim of being used in malware campaigns.
Anyrun also shows us a connection to or an attempted connection to http://pubertilodersx.com/eizy/PHPfirstname.lastname@example.org&password=honeypass356&app=Opera&pcname=USER-PC&sitename=https://www.facebook.com This site was registered on 4 April 2019 using crazydomains as registrar using what are obviously fake details and probably stolen payment methods. It is hosted on Amazon AWS. This site has an open directory so I could look around and find another malware version http://pubertilodersx.com/dj/dj.exe ( VirusTotal URL | File) Anyrun which is nanocore RAT that when you look at VirusTotal comments, show has been active since yesterday on this site & others which leads me to conclude that this domain has been set up solely to spread malware.
All the alleged senders, companies, names of employees, phone numbers, amounts, reference numbers etc. mentioned in the emails are all innocent and are just picked at random. Some of these companies will exist and some won’t. Don’t try to respond by phone or email, all you will do is end up with an innocent person or company who have had their details spoofed and picked at random from a long list that the bad guys have previously found . The bad guys choose companies, Government departments and other organisations with subjects that are designed to entice you or alarm you into blindly opening the attachment or clicking the link in the email to see what is happening.
This email attachment contains what appears to be a genuine word doc or Excel XLS spreadsheet with either a macro script or an embedded OLE object that when run will infect you.
Modern versions of Microsoft office, that is Office 2010, 2013, 2016 and Office 365 should be automatically set to higher security to protect you.
By default protected view is enabled and macros are disabled, UNLESS you or your company have enabled them. If protected view mode is turned off and macros are enabled then opening this malicious word document will infect you, and simply previewing it in windows explorer or your email client might well be enough to infect you. Definitely DO NOT follow the advice they give to enable macros or enable editing to see the content.
Most of these malicious word documents either appear to be totally blank or look something like these images when opened in protected view mode, which should be the default in Office 2010, 2013, 2016 and 365. Some versions pretend to have a digital RSA key and say you need to enable editing and Macros to see the content. Do NOT enable Macros or editing under any circumstances.
Please read our How to protect yourselves page for simple, sensible advice on how to avoid being infected by this sort of socially engineered malware. Also please read our post about word macro malware and how to avoid being infected by them
Be very careful with email attachments. All of these emails use Social engineering tricks to persuade you to open the attachments that come with the email. It might be a simple message saying “look at this picture of me I took last night” that appears to come from a friend. It might be a scare ware message that will make you open the attachment to see what you are accused of doing. Frequently it is more targeted at somebody ( small companies etc.) who regularly receive PDF attachments or Word .doc attachments or any other common file that you use every day, for example an invoice addressed to email@example.com.
The basic rule is NEVER open any attachment to an email, unless you are expecting it. Now that is very easy to say but quite hard to put into practice, because we all get emails with files attached to them. Our friends and family love to send us pictures of them doing silly things, or even cute pictures of the children or pets. Many of us routinely get Word, Excel or PowerPoint attachments in the course of work or from companies that we already have a relationship with.
Never just blindly click on the file in your email program. Always save the file to your downloads folder, so you can check it first. A lot of malicious files that are attached to emails will have a faked extension. That is the 3 letters at the end of the file name. Unfortunately windows by default hides the file extensions so you need to Set your folder options to “show known file types. Then when you unzip the zip file that is supposed to contain the pictures of “Sally’s dog catching a ball”, an invoice or receipt from some company for a product or service or receive a Word doc or Excel file report that work has supposedly sent you to finish working on at the weekend, you can easily see if it is a picture or document & not a malicious program. If you see JS or .EXE or .COM or .PIF or .SCR or .HTA .vbs, .wsf , .jse .jar at the end of the file name DO NOT click on it or try to open it, it will infect you.
With these malformed infected word, excel and other office documents that normally contain a vba macro virus, the vital thing is do not open any office document direct from your email client or the web. Always save the document to a safe location on your computer, normally your downloads folder or your documents folder and scan it with your antivirus. Many Antiviruses do not natively detect vba macro-viruses in real time protection and you need to enable document or office protection in the settings. Do not rely on your Anti-Virus to immediately detect the malware or malicious content. DO NOT enable editing mode or enable macros
All modern versions of word and other office programs, that is 2010, 2013, 2016 and 365, should open all Microsoft office documents that is word docs, excel files and PowerPoint etc that are downloaded from the web or received in an email automatically in “protected view” that stops any embedded malware or macros from being displayed and running. Make sure protected view is set in all office programs to protect you and your company from these sorts of attacks and do not over ride it to edit the document until you are 100% sure that it is a safe document. If the protected mode bar appears when opening the document DO NOT enable editing mode or enable macros the document will look blank or have a warning message, but will be safe.
Be aware that there are a lot of dodgy word docs spreading that WILL infect you with no action from you if you are still using an out dated or vulnerable version of word. This is a good reason to update your office programs to a recent version and stop using office 2003 and 2007. Many of us have continued to use older versions of word and other office programs, because they are convenient, have the functions and settings we are used to and have never seen a need to update to the latest super-duper version. The risks in using older version are now seriously starting to outweigh the convenience, benefits and cost of keeping an old version going.
I strongly urge you to update your office software to the latest version and stop putting yourself at risk, using old out of date software.
|188.8.131.52||Montreal||Quebec||CA||AS16276 OVH SAS|
Received: from [184.108.40.206] (port=60325) by my email server with esmtp (Exim 4.91) (envelope-from <firstname.lastname@example.org>) id 1hDg86-0007VB-Cp for email@example.com; Tue, 09 Apr 2019 03:04:57 +0100 From: MG Grace <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Bank Detail For Funds Transfer Date: 9 Apr 2019 04:04:49 +0200 Message-ID: <20190409040449.560135951EB97A18@tulipsafety.com> MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0012_8300761B.50B5AE45"
Main object- “Bank detail on record.Doc”
Dropped executable file
sha256 C:\Windows\Installer\MSI5204.tmp 6004ab49de6fdae21bb9e231762f3fa70884bd2ad22f51817bd0106f2d3925cb
sha256 C:\Windows\Installer\MSI5E5C.tmp cff997c587f6efcab3a7f4ebcf5d5e1bc79a7c958a1a33a8e2c4ee3d90109b54
Main object- “dj.exe”