This example is an email containing the subject of “A new message or other communication has arrived ” pretending to come from Santander Bank 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
This version is probably using Threadkit which is an office doc exploit builder using the Microsoft Equation Editor Exploits CVE-2017-11882 and CVE-2017-8570 and other office exploits instead of Macros.. This is one reason to add additional security and make sure you set RTF files to display only and not allow editing of RTF files at all. That will stop this and any other currently known exploit from running. Today the RTF file attached to the email with no hoops to jump through or complicated and devious download mechanisms.
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
From: Santander <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue 05/06/2018 11:54
Subject: A new message or other communication has arrived
A new message or other communication has arrived from Santander Protect Message Center and Email Encryption, email encryption service delivers you personal, financial or confidential information. To ensure the highest level of security this message has been encrypted, please check attached document for more information.
Santander Message Center lets you confidently receive and send emails including attachments sent by your Santander representatives, knowing your personal information is secure. Always Remember – members of Santander will NEVER request personal or financial information through unsolicited emails.
Download attached document by 2018-06-06 02:55 GMT to read your message. After that, either open the attachment or request the sender to re-send the message. If you have concerns about the validity of this message, please contact Santander directly.
This message was sent to you as a Santander customer, to tell you about important information concerning your account. Please do not reply to this email. It has been sent from an email address that does not accept incoming emails. Santander will never ask you to supply personal information such as passwords or other security information via email. As an additional security measure, every customer email will be addressed to you personally. If you receive an email from Santander which is not personally addressed to you, or an email requesting personal information, please report this to email@example.com.
You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fca.org.uk/register or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.
Santander 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 registered via Godaddy as registrar
- santandersm.co.uk hosted on & sending emails via 184.108.40.206 ( I haven’t personally received any from this IP ) | 220.127.116.11 NL AS60781 LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V. | 18.104.22.168 nld-net-ip.as51430.net NL AS51430 AltusHost B.V. | 22.214.171.124 Amsterdam Noord-Holland NL AS43350 NForce Entertainment B.V.
This malware doc file downloads from http://groupstalks.com/news.bin which is renamed .exe file ( VirusTotal) Gtag ser 0605
The alternate Download location is http://iaecconsultants.com/news.bin
The bad actors have changed the locations of the files, modules and config files today to C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\logowin\
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.