Fw:Nibh Donec Est LLC. Statement – Word Doc Malware Extracted From A Jpg

Finding Malware

An email with the subject of Fw:Nibh Donec Est LLC. statement pretending to come from random senders at random email addresses with a malicious word doc attachment is another one from the current bot runs which try to download various Trojans and password stealers especially banking Trojans like Dridex or Dyreza and ransomware like cryptolocker or Teslacrypt.

They are using email addresses and subjects that will scare or entice 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.

The alleged sender matches the name in the body of the email. The company in the subject matches the company in the body. The subjects vary but are all related to statements. Some subjects include

As per usual with these random company ones, many of the actual senders who have all been hacked or compromised from previous malware or phishing attacks have valid SPF and DKIM authentication, so get past a very high proportion of spam filters

  • Fw:Nibh Donec Est LLC. statement
  • Fwd:Quis Massa Mauris PC. statement
  • Re:Tellus Aenean LLP – statement
  • Aliquet Lobortis LLC – statement


I have also been informed of a similar run with invoice as the subject instead of statement that appears to be downloading a genuine Dridex malware payload. It is now looking like the original malspam run had a broken inbuilt decoder routine and the jpg on the malware site has changed to a larger one

The email looks like:

From: Brittany Hood <gerados@gerados.info>

Date: Tue 09/02/2021 06:06

Subject: Fw:Nibh Donec Est LLC. statement

Attachment: 62YDP.doc

Body Content:

Please find attached a statement

Best regards

Nibh Donec Est LLC

Brittany Hood

Update: there has been a later malspam run with similar subjects including Remittance Advice 078E02 ( random characters and numbers), Invoice #67021470 ( random numbers) with body content looking like

Dear Customer,

The payment is overdue. Your invoice appears below. Please remit payment at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your business – we appreciate it very much.


Arlen Pierce



Hello, Please find attached invoice #67021470 for your attention. Regards, Alice England Product Administrator EXOVA GRP PLC

The attachments for this later series have names like: INVOICE-UK-UK800097-606-600 GROUP.doc or INV00849 – 377202.doc Several of these that I have seen had what look like broken word docs that are supposed to contain macros but show up as plain text in Libre Office ( which I normally use to safely examine this sort of suspicious file, because office macros won’t run in it, but I can see the macro contents). ( Virus Total) However MALWR has managed to find a download site & possible payload http://apex.godreal.net/motoko/kusanagi.php Which delivered sanders.exe ( VirusTotal)

You can now send any suspicious files for examination by the antivirus companies via our submission system

9 February 2021: 62YDP.doc Current Virus total detections: MALWR shows a download from http://inroadsdevelopment.us/ht.jpg?RZ9lqw4jFWvx=35 which delivers ht.jpg ( VirusTotal) which is decoded by a combination of the macro in the word doc and a dropped/extracted VBS file 12047.vbs ( VirusTotal) to give you 1204745.exe ( VirusTotal) which is currently being detected by many AV as corrupt which could be something to do with the way MALWR does the extraction.

Other docs from other versions of this are giving different size extracted .exe on MALWR reports [1] [2] I am assuming if it works correctly that this payload would be Dridex banking malware. It was in previous versions using images as malware containers over the last couple of weeks. An alternative attempt to get the proper payload using one of the Payload security analysers ended up giving me the genuine calc.exe.

Now whether the IP range of these analysers will be set to give innocent files or whether the malware gang are accidentally giving out innocent files is up for debate. My gut feeling is that known researchers, automatic analysers, Antivirus companies etc will be given an innocent file

Update: the second malspam run with subjects of invoice does seem to extract to a working Dridex banking malware Payload Security ( VirusTotal) MALWR http://inroadsdevelopment.us/ht.jpg?RZ9lqw4jFWvx=56 ( VirusTotal)

The picture today looks like ( this is a screenshot so does not contain the embedded malware)

So far I have only examined 1 version of this malware, but previous campaigns over the last few weeks have delivered 5 or 6 and quite often up to 10 or 12 different versions, some with word doc attachments and some with Excel xls attachments.

There are frequently 5 or 6 download locations all delivering exactly the same malware.
All the alleged senders, companies, names of employees, phone numbers, amounts, reference numbers etc. mentioned in the emails are all innocent and are just picked at 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 other 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.

None of the companies listed in the email body 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.

This email attachment contains what appears to be a genuine word doc or Excel XLS spreadsheet with either a macro script or an embedded OLE object that when run will infect you.

Modern versions of Microsoft office, that is Office 2010, 2013, 2016 and Office 365 should be automatically set to higher security to protect you.

By default protected view is enabled and macros are disabled, UNLESS you or your company have enabled them. If protected view mode is turned off and macros are enabled then opening this malicious word document will infect you, and simply previewing it in windows explorer or your email client might well be enough to infect you. Definitely DO NOT follow the advice they give to enable macros or enable editing to see the content.

Most of these malicious word documents either appear to be totally blank or look something like these images when opened in protected view mode, which should be the default in Office 2010, 2013, 2016 and 365. Some versions pretend to have a digital RSA key and say you need to enable editing and Macros to see the content. Do NOT enable Macros or editing under any circumstances.

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

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. It might be a simple message saying “look at this picture of me I took last night” that appears to come from a friend. It might be a scare ware message that will make you open the attachment to see what you are accused of doing.

Frequently it is more targeted at somebody ( small companies etc.) who regularly receive PDF attachments or Word .doc attachments or any other common file that you use every day, for example an invoice addressed to sales@victimcompany.com.

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. Many of us routinely get Word, Excel or PowerPoint attachments in the course of work or from companies that we already have a relationship with.

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. A lot of 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”, an invoice or receipt from some company for a product or service or receive a Word doc or Excel file report that work has supposedly sent you to finish working on at the weekend, you can easily see if it is a picture or document & not a malicious program. If you see .EXE .COM .PIF .SCR .JS at the end of the file name DO NOT click on it or try to open it, it will infect you.

With these malformed infected word, excel and other office documents that normally contain a vba macro virus, the vital thing is do not open any office document direct from your email client or the web. Always save the document to a safe location on your computer, normally your downloads folder or your documents folder and scan it with your antivirus.

Many Antiviruses do not natively detect vba macro-viruses in real time protection and you need to enable document or office protection in the settings. Do not rely on your Anti-Virus to immediately detect the malware or malicious content. DO NOT enable editing mode or enable macros

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 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 until you are 100% sure that it is a safe document. If the protected mode bar appears when opening the document DO NOT enable editing mode or enable macros the document will look blank or have a warning message, but will be safe.

Be aware that there are a lot of 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 starting to outweigh the convenience, benefits and cost of keeping an old version going.

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.

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