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Demystifying Obfuscation Used in the Thanksgiving Spam Campaign

During Thanksgiving week, we noticed this quite unusual XML-format MS Office Document file Figure 1: Email Sample Saving a Word document file as XML is a legitimate option but criminals had taken advantage of this file format to circumvent malware...

Decoding Hancitor Malware with Suricata and Lua

Many types of malware send and receive data via HTTP. They may either be sending updates back to their command and control (CnC) centers or they may receive updates. Typically these won't be sent in plain text but rather with...

Fake ASIC Renewal Spam Delivers Malware to Australian Companies

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is an independent government agency that is Australia's corporate, market and financial services regulator. ASIC provides several services including registration services for Australian companies. Opportunist Scammers taking advantage of the new year, leveraged...

Multi-Stage Email Word Attack Without Macros

Malware authors often distribute malware through code macros in Microsoft Office documents such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Regardless of the particular Office version, macros can be executed whenever the user opens the file. By default users get warnings from...

BrickerBot mod_plaintext Analysis

A week ago, the author of BrickerBot claimed that they retired and published their manifesto along with some source code of their bot. In the manifesto, they wrote: "Take a look at the number of payloads, 0-days and techniques and...

CHM Badness Delivers a Banking Trojan

Like good old Microsoft Office Macros, Compiled HTML (CHM) Help files have been utilized by malware authors for more than a decade to sneak malicious downloader code into files making them harder to detect. CHMs are a Microsoft proprietary online...

Sneaky .BAT File Leads to Spoofed Banking Page

If you thought using BAT files was old hat, think again. While monitoring our Secure Email Gateway Cloud service, we came across several suspect spam emails targeting Brazilian users. The figure below shows email details to trick and entice users...

The Complexity amidst Simplicity: Exploiting the MS Office DDE Feature

Albert Einstein once said, "Out of Complexity, Find Simplicity" but it also seems that simplicity is always related to a puzzle of complexity. This statement also applies to the Microsoft's Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) protocol vulnerability exploit which was recently...

Fake Power and Broadband Utility Bills serve Banking Trojans to Aussies

Authors: Dr. Fahim Abbasi, Nicholas Ramos, Rodel Mendrez and Gerald Carsula In our previous blog we highlighted how a group of scammers were targeting financial software customers by spamming out Microsoft Sharepoint URLs that lead the target to fake invoices...

VAT Return with a Vengeance

Authors: Dr. Fahim Abbasi, Gerald Carsula and Rodel Mendrez Scam Overview Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK department responsible for collecting taxes and other tax related services like VAT returns. On 6th September, 2017, scammers launched a...

Locky Part 2: As the Seasons Change so is Locky

It's that time of year where the seasons are changing. The Northern Hemisphere moves into Autumn, and the Southern Hemisphere moves to Spring. So it is with Locky. As we discussed in our last post, spam campaigns were downloading Locky...

Locky Part 1: Lukitus Spam Campaigns and Their Love for Game of Thrones

Back in August 2017, Trustwave Spiderlabs reported a spam campaign that distributed a new Locky variant called "diablo." As predicted that incident was just a primer for a much bigger campaign and indeed just a few weeks later a new...

Emotet lives another day using Fake O2 invoice notifications

Authors: Dr. Fahim Abbasi and Nicholas Ramos We witnessed a widespread phishing campaign targeting O2 customers, that surfaced on 18th August, 2017 and continued intermittently until 21st August, 2017. Telefonica UK Limited, trading as O2, is a major telco provider...

Malware Xeroing in on Cloud Accounting Customers

Authors: Dr. Fahim Abbasi and Rodel Mendrez We witnessed a sophisticated phishing campaign on 16th August 2017, targeting victims by sending spoofed phishing email messages appearing to come from Xero. Xero is a New Zealand-based software company that develops cloud-based...

The Spam, JavaScript and Ransomware Triangle

Authors: Dr. Fahim Abbasi and Nicholas Ramos Introduction Our global spam honeypot sensors detected a pervasive email campaign that was leveraging a zipped attachment containing a malicious JavaScript. When opened, the JavaScript was used to infect victims with ransomware. This...

Cuckoo Linux Subsystem: Some Love for Windows 10

I normally use Linux for my malware analysis lab machine. But, recently, I got interested in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and I thought I should give it a try. And so far, I am enjoying the ease of...

Necurs Unleashed “Locky diablo” from Hell

Over two days in early August (the 8th and 9th), amidst of the active distribution of Trickbot malware, a new Locky ransomware variant called "diablo" has emerged from hell. The Trustwave SpiderLabs Spam Research Database has picked up a large...

Tale of the Two Payloads – TrickBot and Nitol

A couple of weeks ago, we observed the Necurs botnet distributing a new malware spam campaign with a payload combo that includes Trickbot and Nitol. Trickbot is a banking trojan that first appeared late last year targeting banks in Europe,...

Spammed JScript Phones Home To Download NemucodAES And Kovter

Contributed by: Gerald Carsula, Rodel Mendez and Nicholas Ramos Last June, we reported that Kovter was being spammed together with Cerber ransomware that used a fake email delivery notification. For the last few weeks another set of fake UPS delivery...

Petya From The Wire: Detection using IDPS

Most malware that traverses a network do so with specific indicators, some of which look like legitimate network traffic and others that are completely unique to the malware. A single IDPS signature can have high confidence of detecting an infection...

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