Continuing with this malware campaign trying to deliver Hawkeye Keylogger/ Infostealer from yesterday. The same bad actor has updated the email, changed the payload slightly to try to bypass AV detections and instead of a .exe attachment has used a .rar attachment along with an updated malformed XLS spreadsheet using one of the Microsoft Equation Editor Exploits ( probably CVE-2017-11882) with a single URL in the exploit code that does work and downloads the payload to a vulnerable computer.
The email is nothing special and is a typical scam style message, that gets flagged as a potential / probable advance fee fraud, 419 scam by mail filters saying they couldn’t process the payment due to incorrect Bank Details.
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
The email looks like:
Date: Sat 02/03/2019 04:48
Subject: BANK DETAILS IN THE INVOICE
Attachment: BANK DETAILS.PDF.rar and PROFORMA INVOICE.xlsx
WE STILL HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO PROCESS YOUR BALANCE PAYMENT SENT TO US
BY YOUR CUSTOMER.
PLEASE CONFIRM THE BANK DETAILS IN THE INVOICE TO ENABLE US PROCESS
WE ARE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH THE IBAN NO. IT SEEMS INCORRECT
WAITING FOR YOUR URGENT REPLY AND SORRY FOR THE DELAY.
THANKS AND BEST REGARDS
Since this initial run, the skiddies have tried 2 more attempts today. One spectacularly fails and the second probably will catch a few victims. Both versions try to use the same versions of Hawkeye keylogger already described in this post, just using different names for the files.
The first failure is wonderful.The Idiots have somehow named the rar as a pdf so it tries to open in the default pdf reader not as a .rar. It was obviously intended to be Quotation.pdf.rar but the apprentice Skiddie can’t read English properly, misspelled the name & reversed the file extensions.
And 2 more download urls have appeared on the ruga.africa malware spreading site
Date: Sat 02/03/2019 04:05
Subject: REQUEST QUOTATION.
Dear Sirs, We would appreciate a quotation from your company for the product items as per attachment, delivered alongside in your good Port. Prices in USD, VAT excluded. Thank you so much for your kind attention and revert. Marin Pelletier Doisy Sales representative Al-Saqr Trading Co. P.O.Box 33745, Sultan Hussien, Azarita Alexandria – Egypt Tel.:- 002 03 4833655 ( 6 Lines ) – Ext 105 Fax.:- 002 03 4833557
The next version is
Date: Sat 02/03/2019 07:47
Subject: PAYMENT COPY.
Attachment: PAYMENT COPY.xlsx
Dear sir, pls Kindly confirm the transmitted (BALANCE PAYMENT COPY) as attached, which was directed transfer to your company account yesterday. Please confirm and reply back to us. Kind Regards, John Sally Accounting Dept Sales Manager Marcinowice 41 A, 66-600 Krosno Odrzanskie, tel./fax: +48 68 355 61 kom. + 487936909920
The excel spreadsheet looks like and displays exactly identical content to yesterday’s although the exploit code was fixed and updated to a new URL on the same website:
This malware spreadsheet downloads from
- http://ruga.africa/documents/bobcrypted2.exe This is the same file as the BANK DETAILS.exe attached to the email inside the .rar file
Other malware found via the open directory listing on this site as well as the bobdatapcrypted.exe from yesterday is still live:
- http://ruga.africa/documents/tk299.exe | VirusTotal | Anyrun |
- http://ruga.africa/documents/ifycrypted3.exe | VirusTotal | Anyrun |
- http://ruga.africa/documents/tkinstallnodelay.exe | VirusTotal | Anyrun |
- http://ruga.africa/documents/tknoinstallnodelay.exe | VirusTotal | Anyrun |
- http://ruga.africa/documents/installdelay.exe | VirusTotal | Anyrun |
- http://ruga.africa/documents/bobcrypted.exe |VirusTotal |
- http://ruga.africa/documents/ifycrypted.exe | VirusTotal|
- http://ruga.africa/documents/tkcrypted.exe |VirusTotal|
- http://ruga.africa/documents/boobcrypted.exe | VirusTotal |
- http://ruga.africa/documents/tk4.exe | VirusTotal |
- http://ruga.africa/documents/bobycr88.exe |VirusTotal|
- http://ruga.africa/documents/ifycrypt5.exe |VirusTotal |
- http://ruga.africa/documents/ify7.exe |VirusTotal|
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
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.
Main object- “PROFORMA INVOICE.xlsx”
Dropped executable file
sha256 C:\Users\admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\BDW1XBVN\bobcrypted2.exe 9f7dca729655b97e79eff175797424b135790cf6e550b193285d04cb793e397a
Main object- “ifycrypted3.exe”
Main object- “tk299.exe”
Main object- “BANK DETAILS.PDF.rar”
Dropped executable file
sha256 C:\Users\admin\AppData\Local\Temp\Rar$EXa3024.23618\BANK DETAILS.exe 9f7dca729655b97e79eff175797424b135790cf6e550b193285d04cb793e397a
Main object- “tknoinstallnodelay.exe”
Main object- “tkinstallnodelay.exe”
Main object- “installdelay.exe”