This example is an email containing the subject of “Secure Email Message” pretending to come from RBS but actually coming from a look-a-like or typo-squatted domain “email@example.com” with a malicious word doc attachment is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan
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From: RBS Secure Email <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri 01/06/2018 13:37
Subject: Secure Email Message
This Secure Message was sent to: email@example.com
This is a secure email message from Royal Bank of Scotland
To read your secure message , follow the instructions below:
1. Look for aSecure Email Message ( typically at the top or bottom; location varies by email service).
2. Your Authorization code is: 94B50477f884.
3. Enter the authorization code when prompted.The secure message expires on June 02, 2018 @ 14:21 AM (GMT)
Disclaimer: This email and its content are confidential and intended solely for the use of the addressee. Please notify the Companies House if you have received this email in error or simply delete it. Secured by RBS Encryption. Copyright © 2018 RBS Corporation. All rights reserved.
RBS 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, file hosting service 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 domain is, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar using the same registrants details as in yesterday’s version .
- rbsmail.co.uk hosted on & sending emails via 18.104.22.168 Naaldwijk Zuid-Holland NL AS49981 WorldStream B.V. | 22.214.171.124 nld-net-ip.as51430.net NL AS51430 AltusHost B.V | 126.96.36.199 rivalhost.com Los Angeles California US AS20454 SECURED SERVERS LLC | 188.8.131.52 AS60781 LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V. |
You do not need the Authorisation code in the email, to open the word doc. Just simply opening it & enabling macros will infect you.
This malware doc file downloads from http://eightlegswebdesign.co.uk/login.bin which is a renamed .exe file ( VirusTotal) Gtag ser 0106
The alternate Download location is http://realestatecoast.com/login.bin
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 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.
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.