This example is an email containing the subject of “FW: (CC01) Company Complaint” pretending to come from Companies House but actually coming from a look-a-like or typo-squatted domain “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” with a malicious word doc attachment is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan
Once again the emails are coming in as blank email bodies in Outlook. A view source gives the full HTML email in its glory or if you have Outlook set to view in plain text you see the content
They have also continued with changed behaviour we first saw last Tuesday by downloading .bin files instead of fake .png files.
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: Companies House <email@example.com> or Companies House <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue 17/04/2018 12:32
Subject: FW: (CC01) Company Complaint
This email was sent to: email@example.com
Companies House <https://companieshouse.gov.uk/>
This message has been generated in response to the company complaint submitted to Companies House.
(CC01) Company Complaint for the above company was accepted on 04/24/2018.
Please check attached documents for more information.
The submission number is id: 536ffa992-491508d-ca0354e-52f32a3-7a679a53a
Please quote this number in any communications with Companies House.
Note: Attached documents are encrypted with a unique Private Key.
Service Desk tel +44 (0)303 8097 432 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: This email was sent from a notification-only email address which cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply directly to this message
If youâ€™re unsure an email is from Companies House: Crown Logo
• Do not reply to it or click on any links
• Report the suspicious email to Companies House
All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated
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 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 have switched back to being registered by Godaddy as registrar and have stopped using Privacy protection and instead are using Fake details
- cp-gov.uk sending emails via 188.8.131.52 hosted-by.microglollc.net Linden Gauteng ZA AS49981 WorldStream B.V. and 184.108.40.206 LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V. AS60781
- cpgov.uk sending emails via 220.127.116.11 smtp1.wow-me.org NL AS60117 Host Sailor Ltd. and 18.104.22.168 LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V. AS60781
The alternate Download location is http://interbanx.co.id/kopores.bin
They are now using C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\DiskMonitor\README.md and FAQ as the file locations but I am not currently seeing any of the usual modules or dlls being listed in the anyrun reports on a 64 bit run. The typical ones show up, on a 32 bit run
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.