Today’s first malspam example is an email pretending to be a Google drive shared documents notification with the subject of Documents coming from UAE Exchange <firstname.lastname@example.org> with a link in the email body to download a zip which contains a very large encrypted / encoded/ obfuscated VBS file.
I have absolutely no idea what this file does. None of the online sandboxes could tell me anything really useful. I have absolutely no idea how to decode / decrypt or de-obfuscate it.
All I can find out is that it contacts shkis.publicvm.com on IP 18.104.22.168 but didn’t appear to respond for me or the sandboxes
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
fairviewres.co.uk is sending the emails. It is almost certain that their server or at least an email account on it has been compromised, however there does appear to be a misconfiguration on the server because the default Debian Apache is working page shows. As you can see from the email headers & domain information, the mail passes all authentication checks.
The link in the email is to https://www.cjoint.com/doc/18_08/HHxoxvqdLui_DOCUMENTS.zip
Cjoint.com is a French document and file sharing service, that I had never heard of before today. I have no idea how efficient they are at removing malware, but as their only point of contact is an email address with no web contact forms, it does not inspire confidence because it is very common for emails containing known or already reported urls to be blocked by spam & malware filters in transit. Lets see if they do respond to the report that I made in English, because my French is pretty atrocious, although I can read French quite well, I cannot speak or type it without using a translator service.
One of the emails looks like:
From: UAE Exchange <email@example.com>
Date: Fri 24/08/2018 01:07
UAE Exchange <https://www.cjoint.com/doc/18_08/HHxoxvqdLui_DOCUMENTS.zip> has shared the following PDF:
Google Drive: Have all your files within reach from any device.
Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
Logo for Google Drive <https://drive.google.com/>
Received: from mail.grid9.net ([22.214.171.124]:34746 helo=happy.fairviewhotels.com) by my email server with esmtps (TLSv1.2:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:256) (Exim 4.91) (envelope-from <firstname.lastname@example.org>) id 1fszcj-0002qQ-Pt for email@example.com; Fri, 24 Aug 2018 01:06:45 +0100 Received: from happy.fairviewhotels.com (localhost [127.0.0.1]) by happy.fairviewhotels.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 65E1D1801A5 for <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Fri, 24 Aug 2018 01:06:46 +0100 (BST) X-Virus-Scanned: Debian amavisd-new at happy.fairviewhotels.com Received: from happy.fairviewhotels.com ([127.0.0.1]) by happy.fairviewhotels.com (happy.fairviewhotels.com [127.0.0.1]) (amavisd-new, port 10026) with ESMTP id grktVy-75x9B for <email@example.com>; Fri, 24 Aug 2018 01:06:46 +0100 (BST) Received: from DESKTOP-QRPKH1D (unknown [126.96.36.199]) by happy.fairviewhotels.com (Postfix) with ESMTPSA id D4BF61800CB for <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Fri, 24 Aug 2018 01:06:44 +0100 (BST) X-Subscribe-Email: email@example.com X-Abuse-Reports-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Errors-To: email@example.com List-Owner: firstname.lastname@example.org List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:email@example.com?subject=unsubscribe> List-Help: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org(only enquiries only) X-Organization: slsysssrkvsxxlek27663 X-Author: slsysssrkvsxxlek27664 Precedence: bulk List-ID: slsysssrkvsxxlek of 27665 MIME-Version: 1.0 From: "UAE Exchange" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: "UAE Exchange" <email@example.com> Date: 24 Aug 2018 00:06:44 +0000 Subject: Documents Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=--boundary_17937_b99e71e4-a297-4334-9567-b6311d460222 Message-Id: <20180824000646.65E1D1801A5@happy.fairviewhotels.com>
These malicious attachments normally have a password stealing component, with the aim of stealing your bank, PayPal or other financial details along with your email or FTP ( web space) log in credentials. Many of them are also designed to specifically steal your Facebook and other social network log in details. A very high proportion are Ransomware versions that encrypt your files and demand money ( about £350/$400) to recover the files.All the alleged senders, amounts, reference numbers, Bank codes, companies, names of employees, employee positions, email addresses and phone numbers mentioned in the emails are all random. Some of these companies will exist and some won’t. Don’t try to respond by phone or email, all you will do is end up with an innocent person or company who have had their details spoofed and picked at random from a long list that the bad guys have previously found. The bad guys choose companies, Government departments and organisations with subjects that are designed to entice you or alarm you into blindly opening the attachment or clicking the link in the email to see what is happening.
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.
This is another one of the files that unless you have “show known file extensions enabled“, can easily be mistaken for a genuine DOC / PDF / JPG or other common file instead of the .EXE / .JS file it really is, so making it much more likely for you to accidentally open it and be infected.
Be very careful with email attachments. All of these emails use Social engineering tricks to persuade you to open the attachments that come with the email. Whether it is a message saying “look at this picture of me I took last night” and it appears to come from a friend or is more targeted at somebody who regularly is likely to receive PDF attachments or Word .doc attachments or any other common file that you use every day.
The basic rule is NEVER open any attachment to an email, unless you are expecting it. Now that is very easy to say but quite hard to put into practice, because we all get emails with files attached to them. Our friends and family love to send us pictures of them doing silly things, or even cute pictures of the children or pets.
Never just blindly click on the file in your email program. Always save the file to your downloads folder, so you can check it first. Many malicious files that are attached to emails will have a faked extension. That is the 3 letters at the end of the file name. Unfortunately windows by default hides the file extensions so you need to Set your folder options to “show known file types. Then when you unzip the zip file that is supposed to contain the pictures of “Sally’s dog catching a ball” or a report in word document format that work has supposedly sent you to finish working on at the weekend, or an invoice or order confirmation from some company, you can easily see if it is a picture or document & not a malicious program.
If you see JS or .EXE or .COM or .PIF or .SCR or .HTA .vbs, .wsf , .jse .jar at the end of the file name DO NOT click on it or try to open it, it will infect you.
While the malicious program is inside the zip file, it cannot harm you or automatically run. When it is just sitting unzipped in your downloads folder it won’t infect you, provided you don’t click it to run it. Just delete the zip and any extracted file and everything will be OK. You can always run a scan with your antivirus to be sure. There are some zip files that can be configured by the bad guys to automatically run the malware file when you double click the zip to extract the file. If you right click any suspicious zip file received, and select extract here or extract to folder ( after saving the zip to a folder on the computer) that risk is virtually eliminated. Never attempt to open a zip directly from your email, that is a guaranteed way to get infected. The best way is to just delete the unexpected zip and not risk any infection.
Email from: firstname.lastname@example.org