UK Fuels E-bill pretending to come from 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.
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 (http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word-help/what-is-protected-view-HA010355931.aspx) 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 (http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word-help/what-is-protected-view-HA010355931.aspx) mode, which should be the default in Office 2010, 2013 and 365.
The primary target for this malware and email is designed to be small and medium businesses who use fuel cards to buy diesel and petrol for fleet vehicles. We are however seeing lots of domestic users being fooled by this one. Almost all the domestic fuel companies ( Gas and Electric) are trying to persuade all their users to have online accounts with email invoices. It is not surprising that a high proportion of customers do not even know who their supplier is or who the actual bill come from.
A high proportion of the online bills do seem to come from a 3rd party mailer or billing company, especially with the smaller energy providers or those that actually act as an affiliate or intermediary/reseller for a larger energy company.
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
What Can Be Infected By This
At this time, these only affect windows computers. They do not affect a Mac, IPhone, Blackberry, Windows phone or Android phone. The malicious word or excel file can open on any system, and potentially the macro will run on windows or mac BUT the downloaded malware that the macro tries to download is windows specific, so will not harm 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.
Once again they have a couple of different size attachments. So far I have received 2 different sizes of the word doc
Update 12 December 2021: another run of this again today see below for file information
The email looks like:
Customer No : 35056
Email address : firstname.lastname@example.org
Attached file name : 35056_49_2014.doc
Please find attached your invoice for Week 49 2021.
In order to open the attached DOC file you will need the software Microsoft Office Word.
If you have any queries regarding your e-bill you can contact us at email@example.com.
UK Fuels Ltd
This email, its content and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual(s) to whom it is addressed.
If you are not the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this email is strictly prohibited.
Update 16 January 2021
Please find attached your invoice for Week 02 2021.
In order to open the attached DOC file you will need
the software Microsoft Word.
If you have any queries regarding your e-bill you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can log on to your account at www.velocitycardmanagement.com to review your transactions and manage your account online.
UK Fuels Ltd
This email, its content and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual(s) to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this email is strictly prohibited.
11 December 2021 : 35056_49_2014.doc (89kb) Current Virus total detections: 0/56 35056_49_2014.doc (69kb) Current Virus total detections: 0/56
12 December 2021 : 35056_49_2014.doc (43kb) Current Virus total detections: 0/56
16 January 2021 : 35056_02_2015.DOC (67kb) Current Virus total detections: 0/57 | (28 kb) 0/57 | 66kb) 0/57
Be very careful with email attachments. All of these emails use Social engineering (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_engineering_(security)) 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” (https://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/word-help/what-is-protected-view-HA010355931.aspx) 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.