The Trickbot gang have stuck with the same delivery methods again today that we saw last week and have reverted to a macro downloading Smoke downloader which in turn downloads the Trickbot Banking trojan and info-stealer. Last week these arrived at steady intervals throughout the day starting at 9am UK time and continuing until late afternoon. I assume today will be the same.They are now using Namecheap as registrar using privacy protection and hosting and sending emails via AS28753 INFERNO-NL-DE. Which appears to be a Leaseweb reseller. I can see why they are using Namecheap & .bid domains which normally cost quite high £££ or $$$ so are out of the normal price range of scammers & malware scumbags. Namecheap have a special offer of £0.34 for first year including free privacy protection. This is an open invite to every criminal on the planet to grab hundreds of domains & use them maliciously.
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
This example is an email containing the subject of “Notification of direct debit of fees” pretending to come from Sage UK but actually coming from a series of look-a-like domains noreply@sage-invoice***.bid (*** = 1 to 999) with a malicious word doc attachment is today’s spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan
From: Sage UK <email@example.com>
Date: Tue 24/04/2018 09:15
Subject: Your Sage subscription invoice is Due
Attachment: IO12778492.doc ( random numbers)
Notification Date: 04/24/2018
Notification Number: 1064286553
Mandate Number: 4907864
###THIS IS AN AUTO NOTIFICATION EMAIL. DO NOT REPLY TO THE SENDER OF THIS EMAIL. IF YOU HAVE A QUERY PLEASE REFER TO THE INFORMATION BELOW ###
This is notification that Sage UK will debit 473.21 GBP from your nominated account on or as soon as possible after 04/30/2018.
Details of fees that we shall be collecting by direct debit for the applications charged are now available to view in attached document. This document replicates the appearance of the hard copy version.
Sage UK 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, like today we do see dozens or even hundreds of fake domains.
This is where the fun begins. This malware doc file downloads from http://126.96.36.199/23a.exe or http://188.8.131.52/23a.exe using PowerShell This is Smoke Loader, which in turn downloads the Trickbot binary, but I can’t easily tell from the Anyrun reports exactly where from. ( VirusTotal)
This also drops a docx file which looks almost identical to the original doc, but has details of an innocent company & is displayed to the user while the bad file is downloading all its malware
The original word doc attached to the email 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.
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.