This example is an email containing the subject of “Urgent Action is required. – Companies House eReminder Service ” pretending to come from email@example.com but actually coming from “DoNotReply@gov-delivery.uk” or “DoNotReply@delivery-gov.uk” which are both look-a-like, typo-squatted or other domains that can easily be misidentified, mistaken or confused with the genuine site, with a malicious word doc attachment is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <DoNotReply@gov-delivery.uk>
Date: Tue 28/08/2018 10:55
Subject: Urgent Action is required. – Companies House eReminder Service
Confirmation statement 28/08/2018 Companies House eReminder Service
Your confirmation statement is due for filing – urgent action is required. This is the second reminder.
Your confirmation statement is due for filing. If you employ an agent to file this on your behalf please tell them straight away.
Please review attached documents for more information.
Failure to meet the above deadline may result in the Registrar starting the process to strike your company off the register. It is also a criminal offence not to file a confirmation statement within 14 days of the end of the review period. If prosecuted, officers may face an unlimited fine.
If you are one of several people to receive this email, please ensure that only one of you files the confirmation statement.
Please ignore this email if you have already delivered the confirmation statement or recently made an application for strike off.
Note: reference to company may also include Limited Liability Partnership(s).
Changes in company law affect your company. Further information is on our website.
This is an automated email. Do not reply to this email as we will not be able to receive your message.
To contact us, email email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Companies House 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 is only newly registered domain 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, that are hosted on & sending emails from different servers. Some days however we do see dozens or even hundreds of fake domains. Today there are 2 look a-like-domains each hosted on 2 different servers.
Today’s example of the spoofed domains are, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar. Because of new GDPR rules we cannot easily find the registrants name or any further details.
- gov-delivery.uk hosted on & sending emails via 22.214.171.124| 126.96.36.199 |
- delivery-gov.uk hosted on & sending emails via 188.8.131.52| 184.108.40.206|
This malware doc file downloads from http://inventeksys.com/odjbas.dlknxaaa which is a renamed .exe file VirusTotal | Gtag Ser 0828
The alternate Download location is http://bathroomsign.com/odjbas.dlknxaaa
The folder for the files & configs is: C:\Users\[User]\AppData\Roaming\vsmcd
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.
Email from: DoNotReply@gov-delivery.uk or DoNotReply@delivery-gov.uk