More Fake NatWest Bank Messages With A Password Protected Word Doc Delivers Trickbot

security

An email with the subject of Important : Incoming BACs Documents pretending to come from NatWest Bank but actually coming from a look-a-like domain Natwest <message@natwestbacs.co.uk> or Natwest <message@natwestbacs.com> with a password protected 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.

NatWest 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.

  • natwestbacs.co.uk hosted on 185.117.74.168 AS60117 Host Sailor Ltd. | 134.19.180.236 AS49453 Global Layer B.V.
  • natwestbacs.com hosted on 185.2.81.65 AS49981 WorldStream B.V. | 94.75.219.138 AS60781 LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V.

 

This does need the password in the body of the email to open the word doc. The password appears to be the same in all copies that I have received so far today x5G5yK9mkHax

The email looks like:

From: Natwest <message@natwestbacs.co.uk>

Date: Mon 04/09/2021 11:33

Subject: Important : Incoming BACs Documents

Attachment: BACs.doc

Body Content:

Important : Incoming BACs Documents

This email was sent from a notification-only email address which cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply directly to this message.
To unlock/view your documents, follow the instructions below.

1. Look for an attachment (BACs.doc) ( typically at the top or bottom; location varies by email service).
2. Your Document Password is: x5G5yK9mkHax

Note: Attached documents are encrypted with a unique Private Key.

About this email
This email is confidential and intended for the addressee only. Please delete if that is not you.

You have received this message as you have selected the output from the NatWest ‘How much can I borrow tool’. Please do not reply to this email as the address is not monitored. Visit our Support Centre if you have any queries and we’ll be happy to help

Important Security Information

If you receive a call or email from NatWest that you are suspicious about, cease the call immediately, or forward the email to phishing@natwest.com. Visit natwest.com/security for more information and advice.

National Westminster Bank Plc, Registered in England and Wales No. 929027. Registered Office: 135 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3UR.

Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Screenshot:

Whoever originally uploaded to Payload Security didn’t put in the password, so it was unable to examine it properly

SecureMessage.doc Current Virus total detections: Payload Security | JoeSandBox

This malware file downloads from http://6-express.ch/ser.png which of course is not an image file but a renamed .exe file that gets renamed to execute.exe ( VirusTotal)

An alternative download location is http://checkpointsystems.de/ser.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” (https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/What-is-Protected-View-d6f09ac7-e6b9-4495-8e43-2bbcdbcb6653)  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” (https://products.office.com/en-gb/office-online/documents-spreadsheets-presentations-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.

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