Fake HSBC Payment Advice delivers Trickbot

This example is an email containing the subject of “Payment Advice ” pretending to come from HSBC UK but actually coming from a look-a-like or typo-squatted domain “noreply@hsbc-paymentadvice.co.uk” or “noreply@hsbcpaymentadvice.co.uk” with a malicious word doc attachment is today’s latest spoof of a well-known company, bank or public authority delivering Trickbot banking Trojan.

This version is probably using Threadkit which is an office doc exploit builder using the Microsoft Equation Editor Exploits CVE-2017-11882 and/or CVE-2017-8570 and other office exploits instead of Macros. I understand that one of the exploits being used possibly uses an exploit in Adobe flash that when run crashes word and allows the shell code. I am informed that even if you are fully updated in Microsoft Office but flash player is outdated, this exploit still runs and will infect you. I am not 100% certain if protected view in Microsoft Office stops this but I believe it does. This is one reason to add additional security and make sure you set RTF files to display only and not allow editing of RTF files at all. That will stop this and any other currently known exploit from running.

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Email Details

From: HSBC UK <noreply@hsbc-paymentadvice.co.uk>  or HSBC UK <noreply@hsbcpaymentadvice.co.uk>

Date: Tue 17/04/2018 12:32

Subject: FW: Your HSBC application documents

Attachment: 04172018HSBCJSZZH_app.doc

Body content:

This message was sent to victim@victimsdomain.com

Payment Advice

Dear Sir/Madam

The attached payment advice has been issued at the request of our customer. Your documents have been encrypted with the strongest encryption and a unique key, please print and sign the attached document.

Yours faithfully,
Global Payment 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

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 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 organization in some way. Some days, however, we do see dozens or even hundreds of fake domains.

Today’s examples of the spoofed domains have switched from being registered via Godaddy or Tucows as registrar using privacy protection services to using name.com  as registrar and using obvious fake or stolen details.

  • hsbc-paymentadvice.co.uk  sending emails viayour.giantpeace.net Burgas Burgas BG AS49981 WorldStream B.V. and also sending emails via  nld-net-ip.as51430.net   NL AS51430 AltusHost B.V.
  • hsbcpaymentadvice.co.uk sending emails via hans.me Dronten Provincie Flevoland NL AS21100 ITL Company  and also sending emails via  AS60781 LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V.


Malware Details

Fake HSBC word doc

Fake HSBC word doc


This malware doc file downloads from http://interbanx.co.id/license/lopkus.bin which is renamed .exe file ( VirusTotal) Gtag ser0430

The alternate Download location is chimachinenow.com/lopkus.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.

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.

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.