This example is an email containing the subject of “New documents available for download ” pretending to come from Barclays Bank but actually coming from a look-a-like or typo-squatted domain “email@example.com ” with a link to download the malicious word doc is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan
This version is probably using Threadkit which is an office doc exploit builder using the Microsoft Equation Editor Exploits CVE-2017-11882 and CVE-2017-8570 and other office exploits instead of Macros. I understand that one of the exploits being used possibly uses an exploit in Adobe flash that when run crashes word and allows the shell code. I am informed that even if you are fully updated in Microsoft Office but flash player is outdated, this exploit still runs and will infect you. I am not 100% certain if protected view in Microsoft Office stops this but I believe it does. This is one reason to add additional security and make sure you set RTF files to display only and not allow editing of RTF files at all. That will stop this and any other currently known exploit from running.
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
From: Barclays <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu 10/05/2018 13:13
Subject: New documents available for download
Barclays Bank PLC Has Sent You Important Account Documents to Sign
You can view the document in your Barclays Cloud account. For additional security, the sender has set an open password for this document.
Documents assigned to: email@example.com
Your unique download password: “CJ98oZOwye”
To view or download the document please click here.
The submission number is id: bc7729-272sec912-91navc.
Please quote this number in any communications with Barclays.
Disclaimer: This email and any attachments are confidential and for the sole use of the recipients. If you have received this email in error please notify the sender.
Email Security Powered by Barclays IBE.
Copyright 2018 Barclays PLC. All rights reserved.
Barclays 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 registered via Godaddy as registrar using privacy protection services
- barclaysdownloads.com Hosted behind cloudflare so I can’t find the actual host but likely to be one or more of the same hosts as the co.uk sites sending the emails
- barclaysdownloads.co.uk sending emails via 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168.deltahost-ptr AS50673 Serverius Holding B.V. | 22.214.171.124 nld-net-ip.as51430.net NL AS51430 AltusHost B.V | 126.96.36.199 free.hyperhost.name Amsterdam North Holland NL AS21100 ITL Company | 188.8.131.52 Leaseweb AS60781 |
Update: shortly after posting this the barclaysdownloads.com site no longer responds and has no IP associated with it and the .co.uk version has had the name servers suspended ns1.suspended-for.spam-and-abuse.com Which is Godaddy’s way of null routing the domains quickly.
The link in email goes to https://barclaysdownloads.com/dl/25e0814fefabe3d8fc66e672d840a1f1/5aec404a5f381723/AccountDocuments where you see this page and you need to insert the password from the email to be able to download the malicious word doc
This malware doc file downloads from http://basedow-bilder.de/kporto.bin which is a renamed .exe file ( VirusTotal) Gtag ser 0510
The alternate Download location is http://crimefiles.net/logo.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” 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.
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.