This example is an email containing the subject of “FW: Unpaid Invoice 17.07.2018” pretending to come from HMRC but actually coming from a look-a-like or typo-squatted domain “Melanie.Moran@hmrcco.uk” with a malicious word doc attachment is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan
You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system
From: Melanie Moran – HMRC <Melanie.Moran@hmrcco.uk>
Date: Thu 26/10/2017 12:13
Subject: FW: Unpaid Invoice 17.07.2018
Unpaid Invoice – £51,589.64
Date 17 July 2018
Our ref 17072018:0003991:002
You do not appear to have paid the full amount due as shown on the attached Invoice ( INV-0003991.doc ).
Tel. +44 (0) 161 762 8271
It is possible that this E-mail has been received by you in error. If so, please note that it may contain confidential information, and we ask that you notify the author by replying to it, then delete it immediately, and take no further action as a result of receiving it. Although we take care by ensuring that any files attached to E-mails sent from our office have been checked with up-to-date virus detection software, you should carry out your own virus check before opening any attachment. We accept no liability for any loss or damage which may be caused by software viruses.
All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
HMRC has not 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.
What has happened is that the criminals sending these have registered various domains that look like genuine Company, Bank, Government or message sending services. Normally there is only newly registered domain that imitate Companies House, HMRC, another Government department, a Bank, file hosting service or a message sending service that can easily be confused with the genuine organisation in some way, that are hosted on & sending emails from 4 different servers.. Some days however we do see dozens or even hundreds of fake domains.
Today’s example of the spoofed domain is, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar. Because of new GDPR rules we cannot easily find the registrants name or any further details.
- hmrcco.uk hosted on & sending emails via 220.127.116.11| 18.104.22.168|22.214.171.124|126.96.36.199|
Continuing with the behaviour we saw yesterday with the macros on these word docs. They are using some sort of Active X control ( looks like ink picture resize active X control today. We have been seeing ink picture paint recently) to start & run the macro, so it needed an extra couple of clicks from the victim to get infected. After enabling content I needed to click a couple of times and move the mouse around at the top of the page where it looks like some sort of embedded ole object is also used.
This malware doc file downloads from http://fortwaynegunbroker.com/moo.ooowhich is a renamed .exe file ( VirusTotal)
The alternate Download location is http://contrerasabogados.mx/moo.ooo
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 spreadsheet files and PowerPoint etc that are downloaded from the web or received in an email automatically in “protected view” that stops any embedded malware, macros and DDE “exploit /Feature” and embedded ole objects 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. If the protected mode bar appears when opening the document DO NOT follow the advice they give to enable macros or enable editing to see the content. The document will have a warning message, but you will be safe.
Be aware that there are a lot of other 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 outweighing the convenience, benefits and cost of keeping an old version going.
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
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.
Email from: Melanie.Moran@hmrcco.uk