RBS Important Docs pretending to come from Lenore Hinkle <Lenore@rbs.co.uk> 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 credential stealers, which may include cridex, dridex, dyreza and various Zbots, cryptolocker, ransomware and loads of other malware on your computer. They are using email addresses and subjects that will 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.
Almost all of these also 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.
All the alleged senders, companies, names of employees and phone numbers 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 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 has what appears to be a genuine word doc attached which is malformed and contains an embedded OLE virus/Trojan . If protected view mode is turned off and RTF is allowed 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. Almost all of these malicious word documents appear to be blank when opened in protected view mode, which should be the default in Office 2010, 2013 and 365.
You need to set word to disallow RTF files being opened or previewed in Word and prevent the preview of RTF files in Outlook to protect yourself from this one
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.
Previous emails with this subject had random firstname.lastname@example.org. I see no reason that this will be any different
So far I cannot find any malicious macro inside the doc but have got warnings of malicious rtf content. I am waiting for results from analysis but until I get them, I have absolutely no idea how evil this one is yet.
Update: a quick analysis has come back showing embedded OLE inside the rtf file and several antivirus companies are calling this an RTF exploit. Eset is now detecting this as CVE-2012-0158 which was fixed in MS12-027 However that one shouldn’t affect Office that has been patched now and I am seeing reports of Word 2010 crashing when this file is run.
The only way to protect yourself against it at this time is to disallow RTF files being opened or previewed in Word and prevent the preview of RTF files in Outlook
The malware that was downloaded is also poorly detected at VirusTotal at this time afMplNRXxkKlOVV.exe ( 508kb) 0/56 ntxobj.exe 1/56 . This malware creates a proxy in Internet explorer to divert web traffic as well as downloading other malware
The email looks like:
Please review attached documents regarding your account.
Tel: 01322 182123
Fax: 01322 011929
This information is classified as Confidential unless otherwise stated.
11 December 2021: RBS_Account_Documents.doc (1mb) Current Virus total detections: 1/56
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. Most ( if not all) 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, you can easily see if it is a picture or document & not a malicious program. If you see .EXE or .COM or .PIF or .SCR 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 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.
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.
All modern versions of word and other office programs, that is 2010, 2013 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 the document will look blank, but will be safe.