This example is an email containing the subject of “HSBC SecureMail Activity Confirmation – Do Not Reply. ” pretending to come from HSBC but actually coming from a look-a-like or typo-squatted domain firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with a malicious word doc attachment is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan
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From: HSBC SecureMail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Alternate From: HSBC SecureMail <email@example.com>
Date: Wed 04/04/2021 11:04
Subject: HSBC SecureMail Activity Confirmation – Do Not Reply.
This is an encrypted message.
Open the attachment (encrypted_message.doc) and follow the instructions.
Your personalized image for: firstname.lastname@example.org
This personal security image will appear on secure email to you. If it’s missing or unrecognized, please contact your HSBC representative or equivalent. Learn more
Disclaimer: This e-mail and any files transmitted are confidential and intended solely for the use of
the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. It may also be legally privileged. If you are not
the addressee you may not copy, forward, disclose or use any part of it. If you have received this
e-mail in error please delete it and all copies from your system and notify the sender immediately
by return e-mail.
Internet communications cannot be guaranteed to be timely, completely secure, error or virus-free.
The sender does not accept liability for any errors or omissions.
By using SecureMail to access your message, you agree to our Privacy Statement and Terms and Conditions
Email Security Powered by Voltage IBE(tm)
Copyright HSBC Holdings plc 2010 – 2018. All rights reserved.
This e-mail is confidential. It may also be legally privileged.
If you are not the addressee you may not copy, forward, disclose
or use any part of it. If you have received this message in error,
please delete it and all copies from your system and notify the
sender immediately by return e-mail.
Internet communications cannot be guaranteed to be timely,
secure, error or virus-free. The sender does not accept liability
for any errors or omissions.
“SAVE PAPER – THINK BEFORE YOU PRINT!”
HSBC 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 example of the spoofed domains are, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar using privacy protection services.
- hsbc-email.co.uk 22.214.171.124 | 126.96.36.199 |
- hsbcemail.co.uk 188.8.131.52 | 184.108.40.206 |
encrypted_message.doc Current Virus total detections | Hybrid Analysis | Anyrun
This malware docx file downloads from http://interbanx.co.id/dorogan.png which of course is not an image file but a renamed .exe file . VirusTotal | AnyRun |
The alternate download location is http://kishi73.com.br/dorogan.png
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.