Sage 2 Ransomware Now Spreading In UK Via Malspam Emails


Following on from yesterday’s Locky malspam run pretending to be an order cancellation. We are seeing a new entry to the market. Sage 2.0 ransomware. They are using the same basic email template telling you the order was cancelled but cannot give a refund.  There are also  ACH Blocked transaction emails also spreading the same sage 2.0 ransomware. The security community has been warning about Sage2.0 ransomware for a few days now, but today is the first day we have seen malspam emails targeting UK users. All the emails so far received have contained the same zip file containing a very heavily encoded /obfuscated javascript file there also appear to be 2 other files with no names  inside the zip that don’t automatically  extract and are probably there as padding or left over artefacts. They just appear to contain a list of txt characters, possibly a tracking identity or even the decryption key I am attaching a couple of different versions to a zip file for researchers to look at P/W ” infected”   25 jan_sage2 zip

Some subjects seen include:

  • Refund Unsuccessful  26485806 ( random numbers)
  • Blocked Transaction. Case No 15120544 ( random numbers)
  • Re:
  • Fw:


They use 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.

This is another one of the files that unless you have “show known file extensions enabled“, can easily be mistaken for a genuine DOC / PDF / JPG or other common file instead of the .EXE / .JS file it really is, so making it much more likely for you to accidentally open it and be infected.

25 January 2017: : Extracts to: doc_details_jOiqRJ.js  Current Virus total detections:  Payload Security   doesn’t show any download or file action, but the VT comments by @techhelplist shows a download of sage 2.0  from  ( VirusTotal)  Payload Security

One of the emails looks like:

Body content with Refund Unsuccessful or FW and RE  :

Your order has been cancelled, however we are not able to proceed with the

refund of $ 1460.01

All the information on your case 652661070 is listed in the document below.


Body content with Blocked Transaction. Case No nnnn

The Automated Clearing House transaction (ID: 085112046), recently initiated

from your online banking account, was rejected by the other financial


Canceled ACH transaction

ACH file Case ID     07677730

Transaction Amount     1436.17 USD

Sender e-mail

Reason of Termination     See attached statement


All these malicious emails are either designed to steal your Passwords, Bank, PayPal or other financial details along with your email or FTP ( web space) log in credentials.  Or they are Ransomware versions that encrypt your files and demand large sums of money  to recover the files.

  All the alleged senders, amounts, reference numbers, Bank codes, companies, names of employees, employee positions, email addresses and phone numbers mentioned in the emails are all 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.

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.

There are frequently dozens or even hundreds of different download locations, sometimes delivering the exactly same malware from all locations and sometimes slightly different malware versions from each one. Dridex, Locky and many other malwares do update at frequent intervals during the day, sometimes as quickly as every hour, so you might get a different version of these nasty Ransomware or Banking password stealer Trojans to the version we list here.

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. Many 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, or an invoice or order confirmation from some company, 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.

While the malicious program is inside the zip file, it cannot harm you or automatically run. When it is just sitting unzipped in your downloads folder it won’t infect you, provided you don’t click it to run it. Just delete the zip and any extracted file and everything will be OK. You can always run a scan with your antivirus to be sure. There are some zip files that can be configured by the bad guys to automatically run the malware file when you double click the zip to extract the file. If you right click any suspicious zip file received, and select extract here or extract to folder ( after saving the zip to a folder on the computer) that risk is virtually eliminated. Never attempt to open a zip directly from your email, that is a guaranteed way to get infected. The best way is to just delete the unexpected zip and not risk any infection.