This example is today’s latest spoof or imitation of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan. The email with the subject of “Payment Advice Ref: 2 / Customer Ref: P” pretends to come from HSBC but actually comes from “[email protected]” which is a look-a-like,  typo-squatted or other domain that can easily be misidentified, mistaken or confused with the genuine site. These have  a malicious office file attachment. Today they are using  XLS Excel spreadsheet files.

It looks like there might be some changes to the Trickbot modules & binaries today. We haven’t seen any Trickbot targeting UK for almost 2 weeks and that generally means some sort of change, “improvement” or additional functionality. Anyrun shows a lot more connections than usual, including a lot of Tor connections.

Update: there are definitely quite a bit of differences today. Brad over at Malware-Traffic has run this on a test system for a lot longer than the online sandboxes can. He has found 2 new modules that appear several hours after the initial infection. bcClientDllTestTest64 and NewBCtestnDll64. As far as we are aware these new modules only appear on a Domain Controller, not on a stand alone computer. So they appear to be targeted at companies not individuals and at first glance looking at the traffic, might be some sort of proxy allow the infected Domain Controller to be used by the criminals for what ever purposes they decide. Basically, if a DC is infected, the criminals have total control of your entire network and every computer on it. Thery can do whatever they want, including reading everything on every computer. Divert all network traffic to where ever they want without anyone knowing it has been diverted.

HSBC 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 the genuine Company, Bank, Government Department or message sending service. Normally  there is only one newly registered domain  that imitates a well known Company, Government Department, Bank or other organisation that can easily be confused with the genuine body or website  in some way.  These are hosted on & send the emails from 3 or 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.

  •    hosted on & sending emails via   |   |  |   |

You can now submit suspicious sites, emails and files via our Submissions system

Email Details

From: HSBC UK <[email protected]>

Date: Tue 24/07/2018 13:26

Subject: Payment Advice Ref: 2 / Customer Ref: P

Attachment: PaymentAdvice.xls

Body content:




The attached payment advice is issued at the request of our customer. The advice is for your reference only.

Yours faithfully,

Global Payments and Cash Management



This e-mail is confidential. It may also be legally privileged. If you are not the addressee you may not copy,

forward, disclose or use any part of it. If you have received this message in error, please delete it and all

copies from your system and notify the sender immediately by return e-mail. Internet communications cannot be

guaranteed to be timely. The sender does not accept liability for any errors or omissions.



Fake HSBC email

Malware Details

PaymentAdvice.xls  Current Virus total detections  | Anyrun |

This malware xls file downloads  from which is a renamed .exe file  VirusTotal |Cape Sandbox | Gtag Ser 1207 ver 1000315

A second Anyrun using Tor & MITM settings on the binary only  shows some differences to the initial run

The alternate Download location is

The folder for the files & configs is: C:\Users\[User]\AppData\Roaming\WinDefrag

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.

What can be infected by this

At this time, these malicious macros only infect windows computers. They do not affect a Mac, IPhone, IPad, Blackberry, Windows phone or Android phone. The malicious word or excel file can open on any device with an office program installed, and potentially the macro will run on Windows or Mac or any other device with Microsoft Office installed. BUT the downloaded malware that the macro tries to download is windows specific, so will not harm, install or infect any other computer except a windows computer. You will not be infected if you do not have macros enabled in Excel or Word. These Macros, embedded Oles or DDE  do not run in “Office Online”  Open Office, Libre Office, Word Perfect or any other office program that can read Word or Excel files.

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.



MD5: 42c6d46424b7cf478d218b2694ad4861

SHA-1: 964bd95bf32d94d0f1a15b9046808c89ed179e93

Download URLs

MD5: 9773921879498d50f6d7422fb27258c

SHA1: 4b431d8a032b8173a9e831514119b57fc34e3f89

Email from:

[email protected]