Following on from Today’s earlier Formbook campaign using exploits in RTF files we are now seeing another campaign that appears to be coming from the same bad actors using .exe files disguised as a bat file inside a zip. The email pretends to be a Statement of Account with 2 outstanding invoices for hundreds of thousands of USD$

They use email addresses and subjects that will shock, scare, entice or scare a user to read the email and open the attachment. A very high proportion are being targeted at small and medium size businesses, with the hope of getting a better response than they do from consumers.

Remember many email clients, especially on a mobile phone or tablet or using many webmail services, only show the Name in the From: and not the bit in < >. That is why these scams and phishes work so well.

You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system

Neither nor [email protected] appear to have 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. We saw the same coming form the same IP address in the earlier Formbook campaign.

Now here is where the sting in the tail comes. The criminals have forgotten to embed the images into the email and somehow have managed to include a hidden .dat file that doesn’t appear to outlook. It does appear on the server or when I examine & save all attachments to the email using which is an extremely useful tool when handling multiple attachments in single or multiple emails.

This dat file is actually a google sign in page in html. This is where I get extremely confused and can’t understand why it is there. It appears to be a genuine google sign in, with all links appearing to go to google pages. Whether it is part of a phishing kit or stealer that has been wrongly attached to this email or what I really don’t know. It definitely connects to google & uses the google system to check if the email account exists. The dummy account details I tried were rejected as unknown by google. : Extracts to: SOA.bat Current Virus total detections: Anyrun |

2.dat| Anyrun |

The C2 in this version are also listed in the IOC section

One of the emails looks like:

From: Finance Manager <[email protected]>

Date: Wed 16/01/2021 12:28


Attachment: & 2.dat

Body Content:

Dear Sir/Madam

We still haven’t received any update on your invoice
Attached are the updated SOA where the outstanding amount is as follows:

Concept invoice : USD 211, 017.83/-
Brands 4 u: USD 35,630.85/-

Kindly confirm the SOA invoice so that we can proceed payment immediately.

Looking forward to hear from you.

Happy new year….


Kind regards

Hitesh Manghnani
Finance Manager

Tel 00971 4 3211133 (125)
Fax 00971 4 3211144
Mob 00971 566031029

[email protected]


fake statement of Account

Email Headers:

IP Hostname City Region Country Organisation Clarence New York US AS36352 ColoCrossing

Received: from [] (port=52923
by my email server with esmtp (Exim 4.91)
(envelope-from <[email protected]>)
id 1gjkIE-0004er-KX
for [email protected]; Wed, 16 Jan 2021 12:27:39 +0000
From: “Finance Manager” <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Date: 16 Jan 2021 04:27:37 -0800
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed;

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.

This is another one of the files that unless you have “show known file extensions enabled“, can easily be mistaken for a genuine DOC / PDF / JPG or other common file instead of the .EXE / .JS file it really is, so making it much more likely for you to accidentally open it and be infected.

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.