An email with the subject of Confidential account documents pretending to come from Barclays Bank 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. The attachment has random numbers protected**.doc
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.
Barclays 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 they only have 1 typo-squatted domain with 4 different DNS records to different sites to send the emails.
These criminals are getting more devious with their Social Engineering tricks. They ask you to insert a password in the word doc to view the content. With a message telling you to enable editing and content ( macros) if you cannot enter the password.
You cannot enter the password because that is an image of a password entry box and they hope you will enable the macros to try and get infected.
Today’s example of the spoofed domains are, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar.
- barclaysdocuments.com hosted on and emails sent via 188.8.131.52 |184.108.40.206 | 220.127.116.11 | 18.104.22.168 |
The email looks like:
From: Barclays <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu 16/11/2017 13:36
Subject: Confidential account documents
This documents has been prepared by Barclays Bank PLC. This document shall not constiture an underwriting commitment, an offer of financing, an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy anything. This email was sent from a notification-only email address which cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply directly to this message.
For security purposes this documents were locked with a password, to unlock/view your documents, follow the instructions below.
1. Look for an attachment (Protected.doc) ( typically at the top or bottom; location varies by email service).
2. Your unlock password is: 212f94NSDjs4121BcR.
3. Enter the password when prompted.
Please check attached documents for more information.
The submission number is id: hd829ds-451i28sa-f39esas
Please quote this number in any communications with Barclays.
Note: Attached documents are encrypted with a unique Private Key.
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 2002-2017 Barclays PLC. All rights reserved.
This malware file downloads from http://simplicitybystrasser.com/images/ser.png which of course is not an image file but a renamed .exe file that gets renamed to Aqv6.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.