Continuing with the latest series of emails with pdf attachments that drops a malicious macro enabled word doc that delivers Trickbot banking Trojan
So far today we have seen 3 different campaigns and subjects all eventually leading to the same Trickbot payload
The 1st spoofing true-telecom.com
2nd spoofing Apple
3rd Spoofing eel.co.uk / edmundson-electrical.co.uk
They are using a range of email addresses and subjects that will scare or entice a user 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.
If you set your PDF reader to safe settings as shown in THIS post, then these cannot harm you or deliver the initial macro enabled word doc that downloads the malware
None of the companies appearing to send or being mentioned in these emails 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.
The 1st email looks like:
Date: Tue 16/05/2017 10:23
Subject: 71028763 – True Telecom Invoice for June 2017 (random numbers)
We have attached your latest True Telecom bill for June 2017.
To be able to read your invoice file you will require the Adobe Acrobat PDF viewer. You may already have this installed,
if not please visit the Adobe website and download their free viewer.
Payments made by direct debit will be collected 14 days from the date of the Bill.
If you wish to contact us, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly customer services agents.
Telephone: 0800 840 40 60
Fax: 0844 779 2253
Please be advised that this is an unmonitored email address.
With Kind Regards,
The True Telecom Team
True Telecom Ltd is registered in England and Wales No. 08225783.
Head Office address: Ground Floor,Lakeview West, Galleon Boulevard, Crossways Business Park, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6QE
This communication together with any attachments transmitted with it (“this E-Mail”) is intended only for the use of the addressee and may contain information which is privileged and confidential. If the reader of this E-Mail is not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this E-Mail is strictly prohibited. Addressees should check this E-mail for viruses. The Company makes no representations as regards the absence of viruses in this E-Mail. If you have received this E-Mail in error please immediately delete, erase or otherwise destroy this E-Mail and any copies of it. Any opinions expressed in this E-Mail are those of the author and do not necessarily constitute the views of the Company. Nothing in this E-Mail shall bind the Company in any contract or obligation. The Company only guarantees service in accordance with the service charter. The company accepts no liability for failure of hardware after the termination point. For the purposes of this E-Mail “the Company” is the trading name of True Telecom Ltd. True Telecom Ltd (Registered in England & Wales No. 08225783)
The 2nd email looks like:
Date: Wed 19/07/2017 10:57
Subject: Your receipt from Apple Store, United Kingdom
Thank you for shopping at the Apple Store.
The 3rd email looks like:
From: email@example.com ( random numbers)
Date: Wed 19/07/2017 11:34
Subject: Please find attached our purchase order number 331 – 731620 X
Attachment: PO331 – 731620 X.pdf
Please find attached our purchase order number 331 – 731620 X
If you have any queries relating to this order please contact:
Name: DARREN HEWITT
Our terms and conditions apply to this purchase order and are available at www.edmundson-electrical.co.uk/pterms
Registered Office: PO Box 1 Knutsford Cheshire WA16 6AY
Registered in London
Registered No. 2667012
This message is intended only for the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is private and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication and its attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication and its attachments in error, please advise us.
All of these contact one the sites listed below to download an encrypted txt file which get converted by the macros to one of these 2 executable files VirusTotal   Details in this Pastebin link courtesy of Racco42
The online sandboxes have had problems dealing with these today
Download sites in these campaigns include
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.