Today’s Trickbot hitting the UK has followed yesterday’s Canadian example and is using the good old tried and tested Macro in a word doc to deliver the payload, instead of all the fancy long winded methods they have been playing around with recently.
This example is an email containing the subject of “FW: Company Complaint #3290749822 ” pretending to come from Companies House but actually coming from a look-a-like or typo-squatted domain “firstname.lastname@example.org” 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: Companies House <email@example.com>
Date: Wed 30/05/2018 11:23
Subject: FW: Company Complaint #3290749822
A company complaint was submitted to Companies House website.
The submission number is 3290749822
Please quote this number in any communications with Companies House.
All Web Filed documents are attached and are available to view / download for 10 days after their original submission. However it is not possible to view copies of accounts that were downloaded as templates.
Companies House Executive Agency may use information it holds to prevent and detect fraud. We may also share such information, for the same purpose, with other organisations that handle public funds.
If you have any queries please contact the Companies House Contact Centre on +44 (0)303 1234 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgK
Note: This email was sent from a notification-only email address which cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply directly to this message.
If you’re unsure an email is from Companies House:
• Do not reply to it or click on any links
• Report the suspicious email to Companies House
All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated
Companies House 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 are between 2 and 4 newly registered domains 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. Some days however we do see dozens or even hundreds of fake domains.
Today’s examples of the spoofed domains are, as usual, registered via Godaddy as registrar. Due to GDPR we cannot see any registrants details so we don’t know if they are using privacy protection or fake /stolen details.
- companies-house-gov.uk hosted on & sending emails via 22.214.171.124 Naaldwijk Zuid-Holland NL AS49981 WorldStream B.V. | 126.96.36.199 text-good-usage.zanybest.net NL AS60781 LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V.| 188.8.131.52 Edmond Oklahoma US AS20454 SECURED SERVERS LLC | 184.108.40.206 58.rev.pubcarsmedia.com NL AS51430 AltusHost B.V.
This malware doc file downloads from http://tvboxaddons.com/logo.bin which is a renamed .exe file ( VirusTotal) Gtag Ser 0530 and still using C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\freenet\ for the file, module & config locations and continues to use MsSysToken for the scheduled task(s) to keep the malware persistent
The alternate Download location is http://carasaan.com/logo.bin
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.