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.
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
This example is an email containing the subject of “New Secure Message Lloyds Bank” pretending to come from Lloyds Bank but actually coming from a series of look-a-like domains <noreply@loydsbankservice***.ml> (*** = 1 to 99) with a malicious word doc attachment is the second of today’s spoofsof a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan
From: Lloyds Bank online secure email <email@example.com>
Date: Wed 01/11/2017 11:48
Subject: New Secure Message Lloyds Bank
You have received an encrypted email:
From Salter, John (Global Corporate and Financial Institutions) To read the email, open the attached encrypted DOC file and enter your password when requested. You will need
Microsoft Office to view your email. If you don’t have this you can download it directly from Microsoft.
You can send a secure reply by clicking the ‘Reply Securely’ button from the DOC, or by going directly to the Lloyds Banking Group Email Protection portal. You can send secure
email directly from the portal if you wish.
Lloyds Banking Group takes online security very seriously. If you have any questions or concerns about this email, please contact the sender, or normal Lloyds Banking Group directly, and they will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively you can refer to the Secure Emails User Guide for further guidance
Lloyds Bank 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.
Today’s example of the spoofed domains are all using the free .ml domains that are administered and run by freenom.com.
loydsbankservice***.ml is being hosted on different IP numbers & ranges all appearing to be compromised ISP IP numbers from major ISPs in UK, Europe & USA. In previous phishing and malware scams by this criminal gang they used a range of domain numbers between 1 and 600 over several days, so there could be a lot more to come.
This malware doc file downloads using PowerShell from http://pizza24.fr/sakraut.png which of course is not an image file but a renamed .exe file that gets renamed to Hcjh.exe ( VirusTotal)
Alternative download site: http://reiseprofi4u.de/sakraut.png
The 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” that stops any embedded malware, macros and Ole embedded objects including the DDE “exploit” / “feature” 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.[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.