An email with the subject of Important – New Account Documents pretending to come from Santander Bank but actually coming from a look-a-like domain Santander <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Santander <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
They are using email addresses and subjects that will scare, persuade or entice you to read the email and open the attachment.
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.
Santander Bank 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 we do see dozens or even hundreds of fake domains.
Today’s example of the spoofed domains are, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar. Emails are sent from these domains
- santanderdoc.co.uk 18.104.22.168 malta2381.startdedicated.com AS8972 Host Europe GmbH
- santanderdoc.co.uk 22.214.171.124 AS47869 Netrouting
- santandersec.co.uk 126.96.36.199 AS35017 Swiftway Sp. z o.o.
- santandersec.co.uk 188.8.131.52 AS60781 LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V.
The email looks like:
From: Santander <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu 31/08/2021 12:03
Subject: Important – New Account Documents
Please find attached your secure documents. Please review, complete and return completed documents via email to email@example.com.
If you have any queries relating to the above, feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Santander UK plc. Registered Office: 2 Triton Square, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3AN, United Kingdom. Registered Number 2294747. Registered in England. www.santander.co.uk. Telephone 0870 607 6000. Calls may be recorded or monitored. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Our Financial Services Register number is 106054. Santander UK plc is also licensed by the Financial Supervision Commission of the Isle of Man for its branch in the Isle of Man. Deposits held with the Isle of Man branch are covered by the Isle of Man Depositors’ Compensation Scheme as set out in the Isle of Man Depositors’ Compensation Scheme Regulations 2010. In the Isle of Man, Santander UK plc’s principal place of business is at 19/21 Prospect Hill, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 1ET. Santander and the flame logo are registered trademarks.
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.
Account_Documents_31082021.doc Current Virus total detections: Payload Security
This malware file downloads from http://evaluator-expert.ro/sergio.png which of course is not an image file but a renamed .exe file that gets renamed to bicprcv.exe ( VirusTotal)
An alternative download location is http://www.events4u.cz/sergio.png
This email attachment contains a genuine word doc with a macro script that when run will infect you.
The word doc 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 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. 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.
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
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.