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 “FW: Recent Activity ” pretends to come from Lorna Davis at NatWest Bankline 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 again they are using XLS ( Excel Spreadsheet) files.

NatWest Bankline 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. The email in this case is pretty bland and does not contain any branding that would easily identify it as a NatWest Bankline email. Sometimes this lack of branding and sending in plain text actually works better than an HTML email with lots of branding and identifying marks.

The criminals behind these Trickbot campaigns are masters at Social Engineering. They create very believable look-a-like, typo-squatted domains to make the email look realistic. For some strange reason when we see a plain text email with little or no branding, we tend to be less aware of the possibility of it being fraudulent and do tend to actually open attachments to this sort of email.

I suppose it might be because we see so many similar emails that we just don’t bother to read it properly, only see the name & subject & just mechanically deal with it. Whereas when there is an image or branding in the email, we are more likely to look at it a bit more closely, but a very high proportion of recipients of HTML emails imitating a company or brand do also believe them & fall for the Social Engineering tricks and open them.

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.

The criminals behind this and other similar Trickbot campaigns have changed the way they are registering & hosting the domains a bit recently. They used to set up the DNS to match the SPF / DMARC email authentication records. They still do that in some cases but we are seeing the actual domain hosted on a legitimate hosting company and the DNS pointed to that hosting company’s server, in this example it is Godaddy which just displays a hosted by Godaddy domain parking page.

A couple of days ago it was Microsoft, but setting Email Authentication to send from a range of servers that are hosted in a less scrupulous hosting environment. These hosting companies and servers are well known for being involved in spreading malware. All the IP numbers and ranges appear regularly in Trickbot & other mass spam & malware campaigns. hosted on ( but sending emails via | | | |

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

Email Details

From: Bankline Support <[email protected]>

Date: Tue 24/07/2021 13:26

Subject: FW: Recent Activity

Attachment: 1120201829083.xls

Body content:

This message has been scanned by the Bankline CSC SSM AV

Your account security is our top priority. To help protect your account,
Please find attached your recent transaction activity for Bankline.

We are concerned that someone might be using your Bankline Account without your knowledge.
Recent activity on your account seems to have occured from a suspicious location or under circumstances
that may be different than usual.

If you require any further information or have any questions,
please do not hesitate to contact us at 0345 308 8994.


Lorna Davis
Bankline Support

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the
individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify
the system manager. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual
named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail.

Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete
this e-mail from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying,
distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.


1120201829083.xls Current Virus total detections | Hybrid Analysis | Anyrun |

This malware doc file downloads from which is a renamed .exe file VirusTotal |Cape Sandbox | Gtag Ser 1120 Version 1000304

There is only 1 download location with today’s campaign

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

The persistence is via a scheduled task called SystemNetSafe at C:\Windows\System32\Tasks\Sysnetsf

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: c4f3e3ee0a225e3a818942838c071db1
SHA-1: af82980c1c2d018c6786211c4863b0edc3cabd1f
Download URLs
MD5: da9b848864f0aba2ccbc52b3d6d1bd0d
SHA1: 634a0ac1dd735673e1230cc69a3e31a5c9e9806c

Email from:

[email protected]