We have been seeing a lot of formbook malware recently. This campaign is very similar to all the others we frequently see. The only reason for mentioning it is that it is very unusual for malware campaigns to take place over a weekend. Most of this type of malware is targeted at business users and not consumers. I suppose they are thinking that if it arrives over the weekend then it might slip past a recipient in the mass on Monday Morning emails to read. However in reality, that gives time for the Antiviruses and perimeter defences to be updated and block the emails & the content before it is opened or the malware files extracted from the zip attachments. Most malware campaigns nowadays have a very short shelf life. The majority of Antiviruses use cloud technology so when the first “victim” detects a problem or submits a sample, or the AV detects anomalous behaviour and automatically sends the files for checking, blocks immediate access and issues immediate detections to all users of the AV. This can cut the campaign time to less than 1 hour and sometimes even minutes.
Formbook is a very noisy malware with loads of connections to totally innocent randomly selected sites. They do this to attempt to hide the connection to the genuine C2 in all the noise.
If you look carefully enough at the subject, you notice the spelling mistake Quotaion Samples, But our brains automatically compensate for spelling mistakes on common words and don’t even consciously notice the mistake. Until I started typing this post, I didn’t notice the wrong spelling.
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
What makes this sort of campaign worse is the way Microsoft still insist on setting the windows default to hide known file extensions. Unless you have “show known file extensions enabled“, this can easily be mistaken for a genuine DOC / PDF / instead of the .EXE file it really is, so making it much more likely for you to accidentally open it and be infected.
If you do extract the file from the zip, it looks like a word document with an adobe pdf icon superimposed. When you have file extensions hidden you cannot see the .exe wording that tells you it is a program and not a word doc or adobe pdf .
The C2 is http://www.skylod.com/wa/ ( we have seen this site used a lot recently in Formbook campaigns) VirusTotal
One of the emails looks like:
From: INFO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun 17/02/2019 02:22
Subject: Quotaion Samples
Attachment: Quotation Sample.zip
We are a Saudi Arabia independent Hussein Al-Baraka & Company based in UNITED KINGDOM ,My Secretary inform me about your product we would like to get a quotation on your products, we require your fairest prices as we would be making huge bulk purchases from time to time.kindly find attached pictures of product needed.
Awaiting your reply,
Industrial Metal Coporation
(AN ISO 9001 : 2008 CERTIFIED COMPANY)
Off, 315 S.V.P Road, Kanji Mansion
3rd Floor, Opp
These malicious attachments normally have a password stealing component, with the aim of stealing your bank, PayPal or other financial details along with your email or FTP ( web space) log in credentials. Many of them are also designed to specifically steal your Facebook and other social network log in details. A very high proportion are Ransomware versions that encrypt your files and demand money ( about £350/$400) to recover the files.All the alleged senders, amounts, reference numbers, Bank codes, companies, names of employees, employee positions, email addresses and phone numbers mentioned in the emails are all 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 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.
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.
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. Whether it is a message saying “look at this picture of me I took last night” and it appears to come from a friend or is more targeted at somebody who regularly is likely to receive PDF attachments or Word .doc attachments or any other common file that you use every day.
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.
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. Many 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” or a report in word document format that work has supposedly sent you to finish working on at the weekend, or an invoice or order confirmation from some company, 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.
While the malicious program is inside the zip file, it cannot harm you or automatically run. When it is just sitting unzipped in your downloads folder it won’t infect you, provided you don’t click it to run it. Just delete the zip and any extracted file and everything will be OK. You can always run a scan with your antivirus to be sure. There are some zip files that can be configured by the bad guys to automatically run the malware file when you double click the zip to extract the file. If you right click any suspicious zip file received, and select extract here or extract to folder ( after saving the zip to a folder on the computer) that risk is virtually eliminated. Never attempt to open a zip directly from your email, that is a guaranteed way to get infected. The best way is to just delete the unexpected zip and not risk any infection.
Main object- “Quotation Sample.exe”
Dropped executable file
sha256 C:\Users\admin\AppData\Local\Temp\sqlite3.dll 16574f51785b0e2fc29c2c61477eb47bb39f714829999511dc8952b43ab17660