office_macro_virus

UK Fuels E-bill pretending to come from invoices@ebillinvoice.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.

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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.

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 2014: another run of this again today see below for file information

Update 27 March 2015: see UK Fuels ebill for ISO Week 201512 – word doc or excel xls spreadsheet malware for latest version of this

The email looks like:

Customer No :                   35056

Email address :         ans@thespykiller.co.uk

Attached file name :       35056_49_2014.doc

Dear Customer

Please find attached your invoice for Week 49 2014.

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 invoices@ebillinvoice.com.

Yours sincerely

Customer Services

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 2015

Dear Customer

Please find attached your invoice for Week 02 2015.

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 invoices@ebillinvoice.com. Alternatively you can log on to your account at www.velocitycardmanagement.com to review your transactions and manage your account online.

Yours sincerely

Customer Services

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 2014 : 35056_49_2014.doc (89kb)    Current Virus total detections: 0/56   35056_49_2014.doc (69kb)    Current Virus total detections: 0/56

12 December 2014 : 35056_49_2014.doc (43kb)    Current Virus total detections: 0/56

16 January 2015 : 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 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.

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29 Comments on "UK Fuels E-bill – Word doc malware"

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pat stewart
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pat stewart
11 December 2014 11:04 am 11:04 am

thanks for this warning, my husband received such an email this morning & luckily I saw it first!! & checked online whether it was a scam, it did look very normal!!

Russell
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Russell
11 December 2014 11:12 am 11:12 am

My payload lives here hxxp://espoul.com/js/bin.exe

Helen
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Helen
11 December 2014 11:15 am 11:15 am

Thank you for posting the warning. We were suspicious as we do not deal with UK Fuels. Pleased we checked before opening.

Chris
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Chris
11 December 2014 11:30 am 11:30 am

Good article. I got this one this morning.

Might be worth adding a little bit to the advice section along the lines:

———————————————————————————————————

A respectable company wouldn’t send you a bill “out of the blue”, and it wouldn’t be in a format that:

1. Requires extra software (Microsoft Office)
2. Allows you to edit it (like Word, Excel or PowerPoint)

Also, check the consistency and grammar of the email text. For example, in this case:

“In order to open the attached DOC file you will need the software Microsoft Office Word.”

Just sounds a bit wrong, so probably wasn’t composed by a person who speaks English as their first language. And in mine, there was no line break before “Yours sincerely” suggesting poor attention to detail.

Also, generally the email will be non-specific. A dead give-away is “Dear Customer” instead of your name, because they don’t know it.
———————————————————————————————————

Glen
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Glen
11 December 2014 11:54 am 11:54 am

I received this email too 15 minutes ago. Here are the sender details from the message header:

Received: from pc-82-224-215-201.cm.vtr.net ([201.215.224.82] helo=pilar-PC)

Russell
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Russell
11 December 2014 12:15 pm 12:15 pm

The IP addresses these are sent from are from zombie computers all over the world, which are probably part of a botnet.
Best thing to do is put a block on the email address (seeing as it isn’t changing) and/or block the payload web site address so that people can’t get infected. That and turn off macros in Microsoft Office until/unless you need to use them.

ted
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ted
11 December 2014 12:33 pm 12:33 pm

wife opened it. anything specific on how to remove!?!?!

Mark
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Mark
11 December 2014 12:35 pm 12:35 pm

I got this today too. Does it affect i-phones as I accidentally hit the doc icon but it didn’t actually open into anything

Darren
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Darren
11 December 2014 2:29 pm 2:29 pm

If you opened the attached .doc it will place an application in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp called LNKCLHSARFL.exe

Deleting this application should be sufficient

Mark
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Mark
11 December 2014 3:18 pm 3:18 pm

Is that the case on an iPhone?

Darren
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Darren
11 December 2014 3:25 pm 3:25 pm

An iPhone uses iOS, exe files will not run on Apple devices so will be fine

Mark
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Mark
11 December 2014 3:27 pm 3:27 pm

Thank you for that – and… relax!!!

Marilyn
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Marilyn
11 December 2014 5:25 pm 5:25 pm

I received this e mail today. I am normally vigilant but in this case had recently registered with my oil supplier to have on line billing. I opened the attachment . I have done a full scan on Norton 365 and it identified a virus plus three other threats which it dealt with. I am now running Power Eraser. Will this have got rid of the threat?
If not what can I do?

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