Just to make it difficult for everybody the criminal gangs spreading Sage 2 ransomware have started to use the same email template that we see daily that normally delivers Locky ransomware and Kovter Trojans. The emails are absolutely identical in both malspam campaigns. I continue to detail the new sites added daily that are involved in the Locky / Kovter campaign HERE Luckily both these email malspam campaigns are relatively low volume compared with the massive malspam campaigns we saw late last year distributing Locky. Current campaigns are in the low 1,000 of malspam emails in each run. Previous Locky Malspam were in the hundreds of thousands per run.
The only noticeable difference between the 2 campaigns ( until you actually analyse the files inside the zip attachments) is the file size and file names. In the Locky / Kovter versions they were using .js files but now use lnk files. No doubt they will switch back to .js files again at same stage.
Locky /Kovter use a file name something like Delivery-Receipt-3793490.zip that extracts to another zip file Delivery-Receipt-3793490.doc..zip that eventually extracts to Delivery-Receipt-3793490.doc.lnk where the numbers change with each email received. There are numerous different download sites for the malware each day.
Sage 2 ransomware uses a static named file for all emails, currently Delivery-Details.zip extracting to Delivery-Details.js There is one download site each day. but to confuse the issue and make it harder, the download site randomly switches between Locky & Sage at different times of the day. Some days we get Sage 2 for a full 24 hours. Some days Locky for the full day. Other days, it switches totally at random. Keeping the same file names
Update 27 January 2017: To make it even more complicated and slightly more difficult to track, the original .js file from the zip does not contact the download site directly. instead another js file is created / dropped / extracted from the 1st js file, that has the details of the download site hard coded in it & does the download. Today they are delivering Locky not sage 2. But the http://affections.top/ff/55.exe is still active and distributing updated versions of sage 2.0. Whether these are being distributed today via exploit kits or an unknown email that I haven’t seen any copies of yet , is open for debate ( payload Security ) ( VirusTotal)
They use email addresses and subjects that will entice a user to read the email and open the attachment.
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.
26 January 2017: Delivery-Details.zip: Extracts to: Delivery-Details.js Current Virus total detections: Payload Security shows a download from http://affections.top/ff/55.exe ( VirusTotal) ( Payload Security )
27 January 2017: Delivery-Details.zip: Extracts to: Delivery-Details.js Current Virus total detections: Payload Security shows another .js file being extracted/dropped [ VirusTotal] [ Payload Security ] which in turn triggers the download from http://affections.top/dd/15.exe ( VirusTotal) ( Payload Security ) which is currently delivering Locky ransomware instead of Sage 2.
30 January 2017: Delivery-Details.zip: Extracts to: Delivery-Details.js Current Virus total detections: Payload Security shows another .js file being extracted/dropped [ VirusTotal] [ Payload Security ] which in turn triggers the download from http://affections.top/dd/15.exe ( VirusTotal) ( Payload Security ) which is currently delivering an unknown malware rather than Locky or Sage
Update 6 February 2017: Delivery-Details.js Current Virus total detections: Payload Security download site http://accompanyinggs.top/11.exe VirusTotal | Payload Security looks different today and doesn’t look like previous sage or Locky versions. I am reliably informed it is Locky
Update 9 February 2017: new version of js files much larger than previous Delivery-Details.js Current Virus total detections: Payload Security drops another js file that was embedded in the original that contains the download site http://dependentsi.top/11.exe VirusTotal | Payload Security (waiting to find out if Locky or Sage, VT suggests Locky but very generic detections)
Update 11 February 2017: Delivery-Details.js Current Virus total detections: Payload Security drops another js file that was embedded in the original that contains the download site http://ambitiousma.top/11.exe VirusTotal | Payload Security (waiting to find out if Locky or Sage, or some other ransomware )
Update 14 February 2017: todays download site is http://excellentor.top/11.exe delivering Locky ransomware although unusually ambitiousma.top/11.exe is still continuing to spew out locky as well VirusTotal | Payload Security  
16 February 2017: todays download site is http://lookingpersonals.top/11.exe delivering Locky ransomware although unusually ambitiousma.top/11.exe is still continuing to spew out locky as well VirusTotal | Payload Security
Update 21 February 2017: we now have a big change to the delivery methods of this version. They have copied the Locky/Kovter crew and are sending small 1kb .js files ( although the zip contains numerous “empty” files with padding to make up a larger zip, The .js files have an embedded list of 5 sites in an array and then counter/ random characters to get another txt file that has the actual download locations also in another array of 3 sites ( 2 are repeated) currently delivering in the format of sitename /counter/11.exe JS file: VirusTotal | Payload Security Exe file ( VirusTotal) ( Payload Security ) This doesn’t look like Locky and looks more like Kovter. I wonder if the 2 gangs have combined.
Today’s sites are
Update 3 March 2017: A slight change again today. All the email js files have 5 identical sites encoded as an array, but each email received has a different site as the array. As previously stated the same convention applies where the email js contacts the site using sitename/counter/?random characters. Where you get another txt file which contains the actual download site in the format of site name /counter/exe1.exe looks like Cerber today. VirusTotal   Payload Security and /counter/exe2.exe delivers Kovter (VirusTotal)
Today’s sites so far discovered are:
Update 10 March 2017: yet another change. Not using .top today but using compromised WordPress/ Joomla & other CMS sites. All other details the same as 3rd / 6th march, except exe1.exe is Locky today. Note each day only some new sites are added. They re-use previous day’s sites, sometimes for 4 or 5 days ( until enough AV block them or they get cleaned up )
List of sites discovered today:
11 March 2017:
12 March 2017:
13 March 2017:
Christinesdogparlour and thelovedays are re-used from previous days
14 March 2017:
21 march 2017:
deliverydetails.js VirusTotal | Payload Security /counter/exe1.exe delivers Cerber VirusTotal (all /counter.exe2.exe are giving 0 byte empty files) change in behaviour using firewall blocks to disable windows defender. This will be primarily aimed at Windows 10 users. Windows Defender is the inbuilt “free” antivirus in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The Windows 10 version uses cloud technology, which very basically, when an unknown file is discovered on the computer, Defender sends out a message to the cloud, asking ” what is this” once more than a certain number of computers send out the message, then automatic analysis takes place and signatures are sent out to defender to block the malware.
Note: this does not completely stop Windows Defender getting signatures or updating . Windows Defender uses 2 methods of updating itself. 1. Via Windows update. 2. via its internal updating mechanism. This firewall block only blocks the internal updating & cloud technology. You will still get updated virus signatures and program updates, just a lot slower and delayed. I seem to remember something about WU updating only kicking in after about 4 days of no internal program updates or signature updates.
Update 29 March 2017: ( sorry I haven’t kept up with the multitude of sites over the last week or so, due to real life commitments and lack of time)
There hasn’t been a great deal of changes in the malware this last week. Today’s sites all seem to be using one of 2 folders, either /atomic/ or /beez3/ . Cerber continues to block Windows Defender antivirus by using firewall rules
Update 30 March 2017:
Update 31 March 2017:
1st April 2017:
3 April 2017:
11 April 2017: ( sorry haven’t been able to keep up to date recently because of real world commitments and health issues)
Over the last week there has been a change to the payloads of this version of the UPS failed to deliver scam. Now there are 3 different malwares being downloaded. Malwarebytes has a good write up about the changes. However I wouldn’t guarantee that the file names will continue to deliver the malware stated. Over the time we see that they rotate the files regularly. One day we get exe1exe delivering kovter, next day we get exe2.exe delivering kovter. Currently exe2exe ( Kovter) today pretends to be Picasa photo viewer not winamp. It also looks like other malware changes and exe1.exe is being identified as carbanak banking Trojan. ( we haven’t seen carbanak for ages in UK. )
20 April 2017: loads of new sites today
<site name >/counter/exe1.exe https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/3e4afb2b2071ce1c4eccd4830b7fb75b13b563ba8d075644c32651a7f0140bd8/analysis/1492641812/
<site name >/counter/exe2.exe https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/62768b24c371025adbc8455929e357d293a46013aa60df626591bbfd648f4fbd/analysis/1492668724/
<site name >/counter/exe3.exe https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/f64e4ae7626f2b21c3a3f971ab381d00fcc9b70b3646b570af9be2253f81b2eb/analysis/1492652779/
Note: these spoof UPS, USPS, FedEx at random.
One of the emails looks like:
From: USPS Ground <email@example.com>
Date: Thu 26/01/2017 02:04
Subject: Delivery problem, parcel USPS #40088683
Your item has arrived at Thu, 26 Jan 2017 03:04:09 +0100, but our courier
was not able to deliver the parcel.
You can download the shipment label attached!
All the best.
Leisha Marshman – USPS Support Agent.
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.
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.