Fake PayPal Account Warning Delivers Trickbot


A bit of a change to the Trickbot delivery system today with this email containing the subject of “PayPal account warning” pretending to come from service@paypal.com but actually coming from “noreply@administrationservpaypal-a.tk” which is a look-a-like, typo-squatted or other domain that can easily be misidentified, mistaken or confused with the genuine site, with a malicious word doc attachment that pretends to be a PayPal Data Verification Form is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan
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Email Details

From: service@paypal.com <noreply@administrationservpaypal-a.tk>
Date: Mon 30/07/2021 18:21
Subject: PayPal account warning
Attachment: Data Verification Form.doc

Body Content:

Greetings, dear Client!
We noticed a lot of frauds performed by machinations with online services of the accounts of our clients. Attackers
obtain access to accounts by stealing login data and passwords. This may be very dangerous for your funds and our reputation, so we are asking you to perform some actions, in order to prevent fraud. To protect your funds, verify please your account data. It will let us approve your post address and personal data. Also we strongly recommend to keep passwords and login data, in the safe place. To make your account information verified, please fill and send the next form via e-mail or via post.

Our post address is:

2211 North First Street
San Jose, CA 95131
ATTACHED FILE: Data Verification Form

If you will not react on this notification, we will be forced to temporarily block your online services until you won’t verify your account information.

Important: Do not send or show your login data to anybody! We NEVER ask our clients to send it to us! Also we recommend to check your devices with antiviral software to detect and eliminate the vulnerabilities.

We are sorry for such inconvenience.
Yours faithfully,
PayPal Security Center.


Fake PayPal Data Verification Form email

PayPal 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 4 different servers..

Some days however we do see dozens or even hundreds of fake domains. Today’s example of the spoofed domain has changed from the usual method of registering a look a like domain on either Godaddy or Tucows as registrar then buying ( normally with stolen credit cards ) from several well known hosting services and sending the emails via those hosting services. Instead they have gone back to using free domains from Freenom. today using the .tk domain. They then redirect the domain name to a hacked or compromised computer, router or other internet connected device to send the malspam. The last time I saw them use this method they sent form literally hundreds of different compromised devices.

  • administrationservpaypal-a.tk hosted on & sending emails via rrcs-67-52-124-34.west.biz.rr.com Garden Grove California US AS20001 Time Warner Cable Internet LLC


Malware Details

Fake PayPal Data Verification Form word doc

Continuing with the behaviour we have been seeing recently with the macros on these word docs. They are using an Active X control to start & run the macro, so it needs an extra couple of clicks from the victim to get infected. You actually have to enable activeX content then close the word doc & re-open it for the macro to fire off while using anyrun. I am not sure if this is the same behaviour in a real computer or only in the VM.

Data Verification Form.doc Current Virus total detections | Hybrid Analysis | Anyrun |
This malware doc file downloads from http://nrrgarment.com/hlopsaer.ri which is a renamed .exe file VirusTotal | Gtag Sat26
The alternate Download location is http://oasis-projects.com/hlopsaer.ri

Both of the sites involved in today’s Trickbot distribution have appeared a lot recently. Both appear to be compromised sites rather than deliberately set up to spread malware.

The folder for the files & configs is: C:\Users\[User]\AppData\Roaming\smmvs
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” (https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/What-is-Protected-View-d6f09ac7-e6b9-4495-8e43-2bbcdbcb6653) 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.

Data Verification Form.doc
MD5: 0d31b267e5e3e4c2cbaa0d6e61787211
SHA-1: 8648a5b1b30dfe348591b2a34bbc18ad874784f1
Download URLs
MD5: 46def45403ea5ceb416c7dab7a709f65
SHA1: 388f547ba060ae7cac0353aa1e8c70eb6d35de94
Email from: noreply@administrationservpaypal-a.tk

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