AquAid Card Receipt pretending to come from Tracey Smith <email@example.com> 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.
Update 7 December 2016: a new malspam run spoofing Aquaid see HERE for details
Update 27 January 2015: another new run of these emails today with a slight difference. The emails pretend to come from Tracey Smith < firstname.lastname@example.org > with the same malware payload as today’s other word macro malware malicious email spam run Eileen Meade Kern Engineering inv.# 87049 – Word doc malware
Update 9 April 2015: Another big new run of this again today, all pretending to come from Tracey Smith <email@example.com> Virus total
Update 1 December 2015: After a long break there is another big new run of this again today, all pretending to come from Tracey Smith” <firstname.lastname@example.org> with a word doc attachment CAR014 151238.doc Virus total MALWR analysis shows us that it downloads http://data.axima.cz/~krejcir/6543f/9o8jhdw.exe ( VirusTotal) which is most likely to be Dridex banking malware
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 a macro script virus. Modern versions of Microsoft office, that is Office 2010 and 2013 and Office 365 have Macros disabled by default, 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 to see the content. 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.
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
All these emails have the same invoice numbers in the attachment name
The email looks like:
Please find attached receipt of payment made to us today
Tracey Smith| Branch Administrator
AquAid | Birmingham & Midlands Central
Unit 35 Kelvin Way Trading Estate | West Bromwich | B70 7TP
Telephone: 0121 525 4533
Fax: 0121 525 3502
AquAid really is the only drinks supplier you will ever need with our huge product range. With products ranging from bottled and mains fed coolers ranging up to coffee machines and bespoke individual one off units we truly have the right solution for all environments. We offer a refreshing ethical approach to drinks supply in that we support both Christian Aid and Pump Aid with a donation from all sales. All this is done while still offering a highly focused local service and competitive pricing. A personalised sponsorship certificate is available for all clients showing how you are helping and we offer £25 for any referral that leads to business.
********************************************************************* AquAid Franchising Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales with registered number 3505477 and registered office at 51 Newnham Road, Cambridge, CB3 9EY, UK. This message is intended only for use by the named addressee and may contain privileged and/or confidential information. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, copy or take any action in reliance on it. If you have received this message in error please notify the sender and delete the message and any attachments accompanying it immediately. Neither AquAid nor any of its Affiliates accepts liability for any corruption, interception, amendment, tampering or viruses occurring to this message in transit or for any message sent by its employees which is not in compliance with AquAid corporate policy.
The macros in this malicious word doc try to connect to http://sardiniarealestate.info/js/bin.exe ..which is saved as %TEMP%\YEWZMJFAHIB.exe – this has a marginally better detection rate of 3/53.
As we have seen in so many recent attacks like this one, there are 2 versions of the malware
Update: 22 December 2014 so far 2 different versions with same file name and file size : CAR014 151239.doc ( 45 kb) Current Virus total detections: 2/56 : 1/46 The macros in today’s versions download from progresser-en-photo.com/js/bin.exe or curie-hennebont.fr/js/bin.exe which is saved as %TEMP%\EXXQJIULSJO.exe and has a virus Total detection rate of 6/54
Update 6 January 2015: After a couple of weeks break for Christmas holidays this campaign has restarted . Today’s malware attachment is CAR015 151239.doc and once again has 2 versions both completely undetected on virus total so far 88 kb and 85 kb The malicious macros inside the word docs have changed yet again and an extra layer of encryption has been applied, which makes it even harder for a manual decode. I am sure that this is a direct result of this Microsoft Blog post Today’s malware downloads from phaluzan.net.amis.hr/js/bin.exe which is saved as %temp%\1V2MUY2XWYSFXQ.exe and has a current Virus total detection rate of 7/56.
Update 13 January 2015: yet another run of this malware today, The subject is Card Receipt 01.12.2015 with 2 different copies of the malware although both same file name CARD015 151239.doc ( 73kb) VirusTotal detections 1/56 : (75 kb) 1/56
Update 25 February 2015: another new run of this today. The malware is exactly the same as today’s Your LogMeIn Pro payment has been processed!- Word doc or Excel spreadsheet malware although renamed to CAR015 129011.xls
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.