Malware delivery methods change on a regular basis. Over the last couple of weeks loads of the criminal gangs switched from using Macros or Embedded Ole Objects in Word docs or Excel spreadsheets to using the DDE exploit in Word Docs to perform their malware campaigns. The Trickbot gangs were amongst the criminal gangs using this method. Yesterday we saw 1 set of Trickbot malspam campaign emails switch back to word docs using Embedded OLE objects and now today they have reverted to the old tried and trusted Macros in Word Docs to deliver their malware.
This example of an email containing the subject of “We need to confirm your details ” pretending to come from HSBC but actually coming from a look-a-like or typo-squatted domain <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
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
From: HSBC <email@example.com>
Date: Wed 01/11/2017 10:33
Subject: We need to confirm your details
Please review and complete attached documents
We want to protect you and all our customers from the growing risks of fraud and financial crime, but we need your help.
What we need you to do
We sent you a secure document to ask you to review and complete attached documents.
To access it, download attached document, open the HSBC Safe document and follow the instructions. Please note that you cannot access secure content of this document using browser preview.
Please complete it within the next 5 days. It’s very important that we receive this information, otherwise we’ll need to contact you again.
Why are we doing this?
Protecting you and all of our customers is important to us. Our global systems rely on having the most up-to-date customer information to detect fraudulent transactions and safeguard against financial crime. So, even though youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve banked with us for some time, we still need to reconfirm some of the information we have about you is correct.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or want to talk to someone about HSBC Safeguard, please contact us or visit www.hsbc.co.uk/hsbcsafeguard.
Thank you for helping us to keep you and your money safe.
Head of HSBC Advance and Business Banking
Your security is our priority
In our emails, HSBC will never ask you for confidential information or to confirm your security details. Links within our emails will only take you to information pages. Please forward any suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information please visit our Security Centre.
Privacy statement | About us | Contact us | Find a branch | Security Centre
© HSBC Bank plc 2017. Registered Office: 8 Canada Square, London E14 5HQ. Registered in England – Number 14259.
HSBC Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. In the Channel Islands, HSBC Bank plc. is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission for Banking, General Insurance Mediation and Investment Business and licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission for Banking, Insurance, Collective Investment Schemes and Investment Business. Licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.
We maintain strict security standards and procedures to prevent unauthorised access to information about you. HSBC will never contact you by email or otherwise to ask you to validate personal information such as your user ID, password, or account numbers. If you receive such a request, please call our Online security on 0345 600 2290.
This email 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 email. Internet communications cannot be guaranteed to be timely, secure, error or virus free. The sender does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Please do not reply to this email. Should you wish to get in touch, please visit Contact and Support.
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 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. Unusually today, they are only using 1 domain and 1 download location for the Trickbot banking trojan download
Today’s example of the spoofed domain is, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar using privacy protection services.
- hsbcdocuments.com hosted on numerous servers and IP addresses and sending the emails via 18.104.22.168 | 22.214.171.124 | 126.96.36.199 | 188.8.131.52 | All of which are based in Netherlands.
This malware docx file downloads from http://rifweb.co.uk/ser1101.png which of course is not an image file but a renamed .exe file that gets renamed to ect.exe ( VirusTotal)
Alternative download location is: http://pizza24.fr/ser1101.png
Word doc looks like:
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”.
This stops any embedded malware or macros from 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.[amazon_link asins=’B01NCOV3GC,B072R63CH7,B00DRP537A,B01EZU2GZW,B00JLPEL2I,B01EZU2RLA’ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’myonlinesecurity-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’6b07b5e0-8bb8-11e7-b516-fbffc7761b18′]
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.