An email with the subject of You have a new secure message pretending to come from Bankline but actually coming from a look-a-like or typo-squatting domain < firstname.lastname@example.org > with a link in the email body to download a malicious word doc attachment is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan
Today The Trickbot delivery method has changed somewhat. Firstly they have a link in the email body to download a word doc. Next they have gone with a generic Bankline sender and domain. There are several banks using the Bankline name, including RBS ( Royal Bank of Scotland), NatWest, Ulster Bank and a Bitcoin Bank Account called Bankline. I have no idea which one they trying to imitate today but it cleverly covers all of them & spreads the net wider than usual. There is also only 1 download location for the Trickbot payload today, they normally have 2. It looks like they have messed up the PowerShell script that gets created by the macro and the 2nd url isn’t being formed correctly
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
They are using email addresses and subjects that will scare, persuade or entice you to read the email and open the attachment.
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.
Bankline or any other bank 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 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 example of the spoofed domains are, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar.
- banklinemail.com hosted on 220.127.116.11 Godaddy AS26496 but also sending emails via 18.104.22.168 | 22.214.171.124 | 126.96.36.199 | 188.8.131.52 | all of which pass authentication and have correct records set.
Despite the instructions in the email to use the Authorisation code in the word doc, there is nowhere to enter it and it is not needed. The criminals are relying on you being fooled by this simple Social Engineering trick persuading you to enable Macros and content to infect you & steal your Money, Passwords and Bank details.
They tell you ” Note: Contents of this document are protected and secured. If you have problems viewing/loading secure content, please select “Enable Content” button. ”
Do NOT enable Macros or Content under any circumstances. That will infect you
The email looks like:
From: Bankline <email@example.com>
Date: Wed 15/11/2017 11:21
Subject: You have a new secure message
You have received a secure message.
Your Documents have been encyrypted with Bankline RSA 1024 Secure Key.
Bankline RSA 1024 Secure Key service is encryption service provided by Symantec.
Read your secure message by following instructions bellow:
1. Click here or follow this link https://banklinemail.com/8d6ba737-775e8bdc-f95f16f3-1b460259.doc to access / download your secure message form.
2. Your Authorization code is: m[%FEuOM4vB1I
3. Enter the authorization code when prompted.
The secure message expires on Nov 16, 2017 @ 10:32 AM (GMT)
If you have concerns about the validity of this message, please contact the sender directly. For questions please contact the Bankline Bank Secure Email Help Desk at 0131 521 2231.
First time users – will need to register after opening the attachment.
© Bankline RSA 1024 Secure Key 2017
This malware file downloads from http://aperhu.com/ser111517.png which of course is not an image file but a renamed .exe file that gets renamed to tdhq.exe ( VirusTotal)
This email attachment contains a genuine word doc with a macro script that when run will infect you.
The word doc looks like:
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” 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. 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.[amazon_link asins=’B01NCOV3GC,B072R63CH7,B00DRP537A,B01EZU2GZW,B00JLPEL2I,B01EZU2RLA’ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’myonlinesecurity-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’6b07b5e0-8bb8-11e7-b516-fbffc7761b18′]
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.