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 “email@example.com” or “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.
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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From: HSBC UK <email@example.com> or HSBC UK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue 17/04/2018 12:32
Subject: FW: Your HSBC application documents
This message was sent to email@example.com
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.
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.
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 220.127.116.11your.giantpeace.net Burgas Burgas BG AS49981 WorldStream B.V. and also sending emails via 18.104.22.168 nld-net-ip.as51430.net NL AS51430 AltusHost B.V.
- hsbcpaymentadvice.co.uk sending emails via 22.214.171.124 hans.me Dronten Provincie Flevoland NL AS21100 ITL Company and also sending emails via 126.96.36.199 AS60781 LeaseWeb Netherlands B.V.
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.
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.