Fake HMRC “Submission 5DW8 F36N MG2A 9HJ Not Processed ” Delivers Trickbot


Today’s Trickbot campaign is a pretty lame example from this prolific malware gang. The email containing the subject of “Submission 5DW8 F36N MG2A 9HJ not processed ” pretending to come from noreply.taxreg@notifications.hmrc.gov.uk but actually coming from “noreply.taxreg@notification-hmrc-gov.uk” which is a look-a-like, typo-squatted or other domain that can easily be misidentified, mistaken or confused with the genuine site, contains a malicious word doc attachment is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan.

The email is very badly done and doesn’t look anything like a genuine HMRC email and definitely is not up to the usual standards of being reasonably believable. However, to make up for that they seem to have found a few new sending IPs that aren’t currently on the spam block lists, so stand a slightly better chance of getting delivered to the victims.

I am not seeing any of the behaviours that I have seen in the last few days. No obvious copying of Powershell files etc. No obvious signs of Chrome info being accessed or stolen, but I am not seeing a full range of modules being downloaded in the sandbox reports.

You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system

Email Details

From: noreply.taxreg@notifications.hmrc.gov.uk <noreply.taxreg@notification-hmrc-gov.uk>

Date: Wed 15/08/2018 13:38

Subject: Submission 5DW8 F36N MG2A 9HJ not processed

Attachment: 5DW8F36NMG2A9HJ.doc

Body Content:

Your submission with reference number 5DW8 F36N MG2A 9HJ was not processed successfully. HMRC has attached a document that require more details. Please complete the following forms as requested, including signature and date.


HMRC 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 3 different servers. Some days however we do see dozens or even hundreds of fake domains.

Today’s example of the spoofed domain is registered via Tucows as registrar. Because of new GDPR rules we cannot easily find the registrants name or any further details.

notification-hmrc-gov.uk hosted on & sending emails via|||

Malware Details

5DW8F36NMG2A9HJ.doc Current Virus total detections | Hybrid Analysis | Anyrun |

The download site was under heavy load & not responding for quite along time when the campaign started, so online sandboxes could not get the download. It took me about 200 tries and almost 1 hour to get it

This malware doc file downloads from http://ttgholidays.com/s.png which is a renamed .exe file VirusTotal | Anyrun | Gtag Ser 0815

The folder for the files & configs is: C:\Users\[User]\AppData\Roaming\ncssd

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.

What Can Be Infected By This

At this time, these malicious macros only infect windows computers. They do not affect a Mac, IPhone, IPad, Blackberry, Windows phone or Android phone.

The malicious word or excel file can open on any device with an office program installed, and potentially the macro will run on Windows or Mac or any other device with Microsoft Office installed. BUT the downloaded malware that the macro tries to download is windows specific, so will not harm, install or infect any other computer except a windows computer. You will not be infected if you do not have macros enabled in Excel or Word. These Macros, embedded Oles or DDE do not run in “Office Online” Open Office, Libre Office, Word Perfect or any other office program that can read Word or Excel files.

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.


MD5: a259082f33573151375ea00df28468fd
SHA-1: 11497475634ba83c27eae45c635698d452ea643e
Download URLs
MD5: 058e703feab61866cb2b107fd6397abf
SHA1: c79117bafa5ed9bdcbc2b2ad62235e23458e9f5c

Email from: noreply.taxreg@notification-hmrc-gov.uk

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