This example is an email containing the subject of “You have a new Secure Message” pretending to come from Bank of Scotland specifically Winston, Jeremy (Business & Commercial Banking) but actually coming from a look-a-like or typo-squatted domain “email@example.com” with a malicious word doc attachment is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan. They are back to using Macros in word docs again today. These bad actors are switching between macros & RTF exploits on a daily basis.
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From: Bank of Scotland – Winston, Jeremy (Business & Commercial Banking) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed 06/06/2021 11:05
Subject: You have a new Secure Message
This Secure Message was sent to: email@example.com
You have a new Secure Message
From: Winston, Jeremy (Business & Commercial Banking)
To read the email, download the encrypted file and enter your password when requested. You will need Microsoft Office or any Word readers to view your secure message.
You can send a secure reply by clicking the ‘Reply Securely’ button from within the secure message, or by going directly to the Bank of Scotland Email Protection portal. You can send secure email directly from the portal if you wish.
Bank of Scotland takes online security very seriously. If you have any questions or concerns about this email, please contact the sender, or normal Bank of Scotland directly and they will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Alternatively you can refer to the Secure Email User Guide for further guidance.
This e-mail (including any attachments) is private and confidential and may contain privileged material. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender and delete it (including any attachments) immediately. You must not copy, distribute, disclose or use any of the information in it or any attachments. Telephone calls may be monitored or recorded.
Fake Bank of Scotland Email
Bank of Scotland 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.
What has happened is that the criminals sending these have registered various domains that look like genuine Company, Bank, Government or message sending services. Normally there are between 2 and 4 newly registered domains that imitate Companies House, HMRC, another Government department, a Bank, file hosting service or a message sending service that can easily be confused with the genuine organisation in some way. Some days however we do see dozens or even hundreds of fake domains.
Today’s examples of the spoofed domains are, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar.
secure-bankofscotland.co.uk hosted on & sending emails via 126.96.36.199 RivalHost, Digital Energy Technologies Chile SpA LLC AS61440 | 188.8.131.52 NL AS60781 LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V. | 184.108.40.206 host1.programfeewaved.com. NL AS51430 AltusHost B.V. | 220.127.116.11 Amsterdam Noord-Holland NL AS43350 NForce Entertainment B.V.
Fake Bank of Scotland word doc
message.doc Current Virus total detections | Hybrid Analysis | Anyrun |
This malware doc file downloads from http://algysautosblog.com/ti.bin which is a renamed .exe file ( VirusTotal) Gtag Ser 0606
The alternate Download location is http://visoftechmea.com/ti.bin
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 spreadsheet files and PowerPoint etc that are downloaded from the web or received in an email automatically in “protected view” (https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/What-is-Protected-View-d6f09ac7-e6b9-4495-8e43-2bbcdbcb6653) that stops any embedded malware, macros and DDE “exploit /Feature” and embedded ole objects 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. If the protected mode bar appears when opening the document DO NOT follow the advice they give to enable macros or enable editing to see the content. The document will have a warning message, but you will be safe.
Be aware that there are a lot of other 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 outweighing the convenience, benefits and cost of keeping an old version going.
What Can Be Infected By This
At this time, these malicious macros only infect windows computers. They do not affect a Mac, IPhone, IPad, Blackberry, Windows phone or Android phone.
The malicious word or excel file can open on any device with an office program installed, and potentially the macro will run on Windows or Mac or any other device with Microsoft Office installed. BUT the downloaded malware that the macro tries to download is windows specific, so will not harm, install or infect any other computer except a windows computer. You will not be infected if you do not have macros enabled in Excel or Word. These Macros, embedded Oles or DDE do not run in “Office Online” (https://products.office.com/en-gb/office-online/documents-spreadsheets-presentations-office-online) Open Office, Libre Office, Word Perfect or any other office program that can read Word or Excel files.
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
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.