This example is an email containing the subject of “WebFiling Authentication Code” pretending to come from Companies House but actually coming from “email@example.com” which is a look-a-like, typo-squatted or other domain 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.
The criminals have actually done a much better job than usual when picking the look-a-like domain companiesshouse.co.uk with the extra S in the name likely to be missed by the majority of recipients. They have just fallen down on the email itself which is plain text with no logos or images, which anybody who ever has any dealings with Companies House knows is not usual for emails from them. They always have either the gov.uk logo or the Crown Copyright logo proudly displayed or both
All UK Government departments, Agencies or Government owned companies should by now be using only .gov.uk domains for websites and emails. There will still be a few legacy agencies with websites or domains still using .co.uk domains, in fact www.companieshouse.co.uk is still in use & owned by the UK Government but is redirected to the genuine https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house, so we can easily forgive any victims for being fooled by this one.
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
From: WebFiling <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed 05/09/2018 11:35
Subject: WebFiling Authentication Code
(This is a new company authentication code, we will also send you confirmation of this code by post.)
Please check attached document for Company Authentication Code, this code is also sent by post to the company’s registered office address, normally sent within *5 working days.
The Authentication Code is the electronic equivalent of a company officers signature.
To access WebFiling and submit data both a password and authentication code are required.
When you have both password and authentication code
1. Return to the WebFiling Welcome screen https://ewf.companieshouse.gov.uk/ and select ‘CONTINUE’.
2. Enter your registered email address and password to sign in.
3. Enter the company number and Authentication Code to proceed.
An up-to-date list of documents that can be filed via this service can be found on the WebFiling Sign in screen.
All WebFiled documents are available to view / download for 10 days after their original submission by selecting ‘My Recent Filings’. However it is not possible to view copies of accounts that were downloaded as templates.
You can change or cancel your Company Authentication Code by selecting ‘Company Registration Details’.
If you submit information for more than one company you may choose to use the same code for all your companies, see HELP text for further information.
Note: reference to company may also include Limited Liability Partnership(s).
WebFiling Service Desk tel: +44 (0)303 1234 500 or email: email@example.com
Thank you for visiting the Companies House Website – http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk
Note: This email was sent from a notification-only email address which cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply directly to this message.
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 4 different servers.. Some days however we do see dozens or even hundreds of fake domains.
Today’s example of the spoofed domain is, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar. Because of new GDPR rules we cannot easily find the registrants name or any further details.
- companiesshouse.co.uk hosted on & sending emails via 22.214.171.124| 126.96.36.199|188.8.131.52| 184.108.40.206|
This malware doc file downloads from http://starvdata.com/supetre.orau which is a renamed .exe file VirusTotal | Gtag Ser 0905
The alternate Download location is http://kalameafoods.gr/supetre.orau (404 not found)
The folder for the files & configs is: C:\Users\[User]\AppData\Roaming\vsmcrd
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.
http://kalameafoods.gr/supetre.orau 220.127.116.11 (404 not found)
Email from: firstname.lastname@example.org