It looks a bit like we are on for a Manic Monday today. The last couple of weeks have been pretty slow malware wise in UK, but that all looks like it is changing today with a slow, steady onslaught of the typical daily malware that we have not seen much of recently.
This example is an email with the subject of “Purchase Order – #PO0256985” coming from “Nina Joseph – Accounts Officer <firstname.lastname@example.org>” with a malicious word doc attachment delivering Remcos RAT. These malware spreading criminals are using a belt and braces approach today. There is also a link in the email body to download the same word doc, just in case an AV or perimeter defence is set up to strip all attachments.
However the criminals are trying to be a bit too clever and try to bypass protections by using various PowerShell scripts. Once again this time they have made somewhat of an error and drastically reduced the pool of available victims. They are using the Wget download command inside PowerShell. This is only available in PowerShell V4 & later, so completely eliminating Windows 7 users. PS V4 was introduced in W 8.1 which has such a minute user base, that it can virtually be discounted.
This means that they are realistically only targeting Windows 10 users. They are using email addresses and subjects that will persuade, scare, shock or entice a user to read the email and open the attachment. A very high proportion are being targeted at small and medium size businesses, with the hope of getting a better response than they do from consumers.
Remember many email clients, especially on a mobile phone or tablet, only show the Name in the From: and not the bit in <domain.com >. That is why these scams and phishes work so well.
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
The sending email server mywayleasingcorp.com has almost certainly been set up by criminals to be used in malware & phishing campaigns. It was registered on 29 August 2018 using privacy protection services. It is currently hosted by BlueHost at their Provo Data Centre, although there is no actual website, just an open directory in the root domain.
|126.96.36.199||142-4-2-21.unifiedlayer.com||Provo||Utah||US||AS46606 Unified Layer|
|188.8.131.52||162-241-190-159.unifiedlayer.com||Provo||Utah||US||AS20013 CyrusOne LLC|
Received: from 142-4-2-21.unifiedlayer.com ([184.108.40.206]:55222 helo=142-4-2-21.ipower.com) by my mail server with esmtps (TLSv1.2:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:256) (Exim 4.91) (envelope-from <email@example.com>) id 1g1gSS-00042A-1X for firstname.lastname@example.org; Mon, 17 Sep 2021 00:28:05 +0100 DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; q=dns/txt; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=mywayleasingcorp.com; s=default; h=Content-Type:MIME-Version:Message-ID: Date:Subject:To:From:Reply-To:Sender:Cc:Content-Transfer-Encoding:Content-ID: Content-Description:Resent-Date:Resent-From:Resent-Sender:Resent-To:Resent-Cc :Resent-Message-ID:In-Reply-To:References:List-Id:List-Help:List-Unsubscribe: List-Subscribe:List-Post:List-Owner:List-Archive; bh=m/zlDAJEOCswVv4jIf0CQMsAToq47e9pJL3GFDEg0Kc=; b=pYEHobieCy6NWtd5nemz5S0nUH 8TEH7XUl0XQ0S2WQjGpv755gWR7Dg6PQXd/oodsmi46Wd7T7dbJma0yzK3MJTczBzllfjS/Jy0IJy RvRMlWDDb/1Tt3TvEDMP9VtfDFE6cd98kveVZKAGLJw3w4Gyoinn5aaP8yCXU0GZIw5VbFKSQYYu6 TRwgUjU9LE7jWO2ZRRhCplYBQIqxOfOZLUDeYJhTLL0n+ew+WdZKScJZjBLu+wwGoFylmfrNOH9Ra iuwTKSqTUSkeqcbLb9U6jzpL3aQK15KlArEqiy2lwr7mgRw4KopHob+rlkFvxkgBOHlQHqJzWFtav Q/aLWpjQ==; Received: from [220.127.116.11] (port=56449 helo=mywayleasingcorp.com) by 142-4-2-21.ipower.com with esmtpsa (TLSv1.2:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:256) (Exim 4.91) (envelope-from <email@example.com>) id 1g1gSQ-0000KB-ID for firstname.lastname@example.org; Sun, 16 Sep 2021 23:28:02 +0000 Reply-To: Nina Joseph - Accounts Officer <email@example.com> From: Nina Joseph - Accounts Officer <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Purchase Order - #PO0256985 Date: 16 Sep 2021 16:28:01 -0700 Message-ID: <20180916162800.86CAE65DD62A8382@mywayleasingcorp.com> MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0012_B952978F.D7650E56" X-AntiAbuse: This header was added to track abuse, please include it with any abuse report X-AntiAbuse: Primary Hostname - 142-4-2-21.ipower.com X-AntiAbuse: Original Domain - myonlinesecurity.co.uk X-AntiAbuse: Originator/Caller UID/GID - [47 12] / [47 12] X-AntiAbuse: Sender Address Domain - mywayleasingcorp.com X-Get-Message-Sender-Via: 142-4-2-21.ipower.com: authenticated_id: firstname.lastname@example.org X-Authenticated-Sender: 142-4-2-21.ipower.com: email@example.com X-Source: X-Source-Args: X-Source-Dir:
The email looks like:
From:Nina Joseph – Accounts Officer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon 17/09/2021 00:28
Subject: Purchase Order – #PO0256985
Attachment: Purchase Order.doc
Please find attached our Purchase Order & Inquiry for the new orders as discussed with your representative earlier, please give us a good price.
Also,kindly advice on the scheduled date for shipment.
We would like to make 30% down payment and 70% against
document, I hope this payment terms is okay by you.
Kindly evaluate this order and we are carefully awaiting your prompt response.
To View Purchase Order Document Please Click Here
Thanks and Best regards,
INFINITY ENGINEERING AND GENERAL TRADING L.L.C.
Phone: +971 4 3929294
Fax: +971 4 3929295
Fake Purchase Order email delivering Remcos Rat
The link in the email to download the malicious word doc is http://takefullcredit.com/sin/file/se.php
Purchase Order.doc Current Virus total detections: Hybrid Analysis | Anyrun | Because both online sandboxes use W7 ( at least in the free public versions) this would not work in either of them
This malware downloads from https://a.doko.moe/hpofbv ( VirusTotal) Anyrun |
The C2 and receiving IP address for the stolen data is 18.104.22.168 which is the same IP address involved in delivering the malware laden emails to mywayleasingcorp.com
All the alleged senders, companies, names of employees, phone numbers, amounts, reference numbers etc. mentioned in the emails are all innocent and are just picked at random. Some of these companies will exist and some won’t. Don’t try to respond by phone or email, all you will do is end up with an innocent person or company who have had their details spoofed and picked at random from a long list that the bad guys have previously found .
The bad guys choose companies, Government departments and other organisations with subjects that are designed to entice you or alarm you into blindly opening the attachment or clicking the link in the email to see what is happening.
This email attachment contains what appears to be a genuine word doc or Excel XLS spreadsheet with either a macro script or an embedded OLE object that when run will infect you.
Modern versions of Microsoft office, that is Office 2010, 2013, 2016 and Office 365 should be automatically set to higher security to protect you.
By default protected view is enabled and macros are disabled, UNLESS you or your company have enabled them. If protected view mode is turned off and macros are enabled then opening this malicious word document will infect you, and simply previewing it in windows explorer or your email client might well be enough to infect you. Definitely DO NOT follow the advice they give to enable macros or enable editing to see the content.
Most of these malicious word documents either appear to be totally blank or look something like these images when opened in protected view mode, which should be the default in Office 2010, 2013, 2016 and 365. Some versions pretend to have a digital RSA key and say you need to enable editing and Macros to see the content. Do NOT enable Macros or editing under any circumstances.
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 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
Be very careful with email attachments. All of these emails use Social engineering tricks to persuade you to open the attachments that come with the email. It might be a simple message saying “look at this picture of me I took last night” that appears to come from a friend. It might be a scare ware message that will make you open the attachment to see what you are accused of doing. Frequently it is more targeted at somebody ( small companies etc.) who regularly receive PDF attachments or Word .doc attachments or any other common file that you use every day, for example an invoice addressed to email@example.com.
The basic rule is NEVER open any attachment to an email, unless you are expecting it. Now that is very easy to say but quite hard to put into practice, because we all get emails with files attached to them. Our friends and family love to send us pictures of them doing silly things, or even cute pictures of the children or pets. Many of us routinely get Word, Excel or PowerPoint attachments in the course of work or from companies that we already have a relationship with.
Never just blindly click on the file in your email program. Always save the file to your downloads folder, so you can check it first. A lot of malicious files that are attached to emails will have a faked extension. That is the 3 letters at the end of the file name.
Unfortunately windows by default hides the file extensions so you need to Set your folder options to “show known file types. Then when you unzip the zip file that is supposed to contain the pictures of “Sally’s dog catching a ball”, an invoice or receipt from some company for a product or service or receive a Word doc or Excel file report that work has supposedly sent you to finish working on at the weekend, you can easily see if it is a picture or document & not a malicious program. If you see JS or .EXE or .COM or .PIF or .SCR or .HTA .vbs, .wsf , .jse .jar at the end of the file name DO NOT click on it or try to open it, it will infect you.
With these malformed infected word, excel and other office documents that normally contain a vba macro virus, the vital thing is do not open any office document direct from your email client or the web. Always save the document to a safe location on your computer, normally your downloads folder or your documents folder and scan it with your antivirus. Many Antiviruses do not natively detect vba macro-viruses in real time protection and you need to enable document or office protection in the settings. Do not rely on your Anti-Virus to immediately detect the malware or malicious content. DO NOT enable editing mode or enable macros
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 files and PowerPoint etc that are downloaded from the web or received in an email automatically in “protected view” that stops any embedded malware or macros 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 until you are 100% sure that it is a safe document. If the protected mode bar appears when opening the document DO NOT enable editing mode or enable macros the document will look blank or have a warning message, but will be safe.
Be aware that there are a lot of 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 starting to outweigh the convenience, benefits and cost of keeping an old version going.
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.
Email from: firstname.lastname@example.org