Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Malware spam: "Complaint of your Internet activity"

This spam comes with a malicious attachment:

From:    Margret Kuhic
Date:    1 September 2015 at 16:10
Subject:    Complaint of your Internet activity

This is a complaint notification. Full details attached. Please notify us within 24 hours with taken actions.

Margret Kuhic
Dynamic Communications Agent
T: 1-679-732-5379
F: 100.173.9045
All the sames I have seen have a corrupt attachment which is Base 64 encoded, it is possible that other people might receive a valid attachment though. The attachment was meant to be 723296788_Marquardt-Bailey_Margret containing the malicious executable which has a VirusTotal detection rate of 2/56.

This Hybrid Analysis report shows it to be just another variant of Update / Dyre with the same characteristics as the malspam seen earlier today, sending traffic to an IP that I suggest you block or monitor: (Cobranet, Nigeria)

Some other subjects spotted include:
Complaint notification 50646
Infringement of your Internet activity
Infringement notification 51494

Malware spam: "Private message notification 41447" / "Adrien Abbott"

This spam comes with a malicious attachment:
From:    Adrien Abbott
Date:    1 September 2015 at 12:34
Subject:    Private message notification 41447

You've received a private message. Please open the attached to view it.

Adrien Abbott
Chief Tactics Executive
home: 1-583-761-3793
work: 380.022.2492
twitter: @nicole
skype: nicole
messenger: nicole
I have only seen a single sample of this spam, and the attachment was not formatted properly making it harmless, however other variants could be more dangerous. If properly decoded, the attachment should have been named 89867740_Torphy and Sons_Adrien containing a malicious executable jodie_okonofficia-quo.exe. This executable has a VirusTotal detection rate of just 2/56, the Hybrid Analysis report shows network activity consistent with this being Upatre dropping the Dyre banking trojan, with communications made to: (Cobranet, Nigeria)

..which is an IP that has been used several time for this sort of attack recently and is worth blocking. The report details other IP addresses too, but this seems to be the key one to block or monitor.


Sunday, 30 August 2015

WARNING: / "Project Management International" aka Patty Jones and Anthony Christopher Jones

"Project Management International" ( appears to be another website run by Patty Jones (aka Patchree Patchrint) and Anthony Christopher Jones of California.

These so-called training courses run by the Joneses are promoted through spam and have a terrible reputation. One BBB report for a previous incarnation of this scheme sums up many of the complaints that I have seen:

Grant Funding USA advertised a 3-day grant writing workshop for non-profit professionals to be held November 12-14 at the Georgetown Law School campus in Washington DC. The course was described as an overview of the grant writing process and concluding with a certificate in professional grant writing. The cost was $495. My organization paid the fee, I received a confirmation email. I received a credit card authorization letter requesting authorization; we completed and submitted it. I spoke with an individual over the phone confirming my registration. I received a registration packet (about 15 pages) with suggestions for preparation and materials to bring to the course. On the first day, November 12, I arrived at Georgetown Law at 8 AM. The guard was unaware of our course and was working on figuring out where we needed to be (there were 7 other students). After about 45 minutes, we all received an email from the organization Grant Funding USA that said our instructor had fallen ill and they were working on securing a substitute instructor to start the class by the afternoon.At 1pm, we received an email from the same email address saying that they were unable to secure a substitute for Wednesday, but class would begin promptly at 8am on Thursday. I called the number for the organization multiple times and continually got their voicemail. On Thursday, November 13 at 8AM, I arrived at Georgetown again, and found the other students in the lobby upset and confused. The guard was unaware of the course and said he had no information for us. He directed me to the Georgetown Student Life office (who would have been responsible for securing the space). They informed me that Georgetown has never heard of Grant Funding USA nor has a relationship with them. There was no workshop scheduled to be held on their campus. Grant Funding USA has not answered my numerous calls or emails. Other participants fooled by this scam were from Smithsonian Institute and State Gov't of New Jersey.
This story seems to be echoed over and over again. A venue is booked at a prestigious location, but changed at the last minute. The person taking the course very often seems to be ill and doesn't turn up. Sometimes an ill-prepared substitute teacher is found, but has difficulty being paid. Calls to the so-called institute are either not answered or met with hostility. Read the comments for more stories such as this.

On to this particular scheme called "Project Management International" which should not be confused with many reputable organisations of a similar name, using the domain which just frames another site at The "ipma" part of the name is significant as I will mention later. The site is promoted through spam email such as the one found here:

Project Management Certification Course (July 28-31, 2015: University of Southern California)

The Project Management Certification Course will be offered July 28 - 31, 2015 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA . Project management professionals, business and technology professionals, students, and educators are invited to register at the Project Management International website here .

July 28 - 31, 2015
University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

The PMCC is designed for those seeking professional project management certification. It serves as both a thorough professional education and recognized certification. Those seeking additional credentials such as the PMP®/PgMP®, PMI-SP®, and PMI-RMP® will benefit from this dynamic and interactive work session, while those currently holding credentials will find the certification to be an enhancement as well as the most up to date advanced professional development. 

Project Management Masters Certification program provides 36 hours of project management education, meeting education requirements for both PMI's Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) ® and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications. Additionally, the Master Certification provides 36 Professional Development Units (PDUs) for current holders of PMP®/PgMP®, PMI-SP®, and PMI-RMP® credentials.

The program meets the education requirement for all professional designations through the Project Management Institute and other professional agencies. Additionally, the program awards 3.6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon request.

Program Description

Our certificate program teaches technical and business professionals how to master the critical skills of project management techniques as part of their technical career development.

The skills developed in the Project Management Masters Certification program apply to large and small projects, product design and development efforts, construction projects, IT projects, software development, and any project with critical performance, time, and budget targets. 

Our approach to project management education offers proven, results-focused learning.

Courses are developed and facilitated by professional subject experts with extensive industrial experience. Course emphasis is on providing practical skills and tools supported by relevant case examples.


Tuition for the four-day Project Management Certification Course is $995.00

Program Schedule and Content
1. Project Initiation, Costing, and Selection, Day 1
2. Project Organization and Leadership, Day 2
3. Detailed Project Planning, Day 2 and 3
4. Project Monitoring and Control, Day 3 and 4
5. Project Risk and Stakeholder Management, Day 4 

·   A Project Management International Certificate of Accomplishment is awarded upon completion of the four day program of five courses. Completion letters are given for each course.
·   Our instructors have extensive industrial experience. They focus on providing you with practical skills and tools using relevant case examples.
·   Each class is highly focused and promotes maximum interaction.
·   You can network with other project management professionals from a variety of industries.
·   Earn Professional Development Units (PDUs) for maintenance of certification under the PMI Continuing Certification Requirements Program.
·    Applicants for PMI's Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications will have met all education requirements for eligibility.


Participants may reserve a seat online at the Project Management International website, by calling the Program Office toll-free at (800) 288-8387, or by sending their name and contact information via email to the Program Registrar .

Upon receiving your registration, a confirmation email is sent to registrants that include session site information, travel information, program description, and details on how to confirm attendance and make payment arrangements.

To unsubscribe from this mailing list, simply reply to this message and write EXCLUDE to be removed from future notices.

The site is generic looking but fairly smart:

It lists some upcoming courses:
August 25 - 28, 2015: University of Houston
September 22- 25, 2015: University of Miami
October 6-9, 2015: University of Southern California  

The domain was registered on May 20th 2015 to an anonymous registrant. The site itself lists no contact details on the Contact page:

It appears to be using an email address of "" for correspondence, but a look at the underlying HTML tells a different story:
<h4> If you have any additional questions, simply email us directly at  <a href=""> </a> <a href="" target="_self" title=""> </a>  and our coordinators will respond to you directly.  </h4>
The underlying code references both and (the organisation mentioned in the BBB report I mentioned earlier) and which is the same site I warned about a year ago. The only other contact details on the site are a telephone number of 800-288-8387.

The "About Project Management page" features some generic text about Project Management:

The text is almost identical to the defunct website Institute of Program Management America (IPMA) that I mentioned last year. If you remember, this new website also uses "IPMA" in its underlying URL ( which also links the two schemes. A RipOffReport for IPMA also shows the same pattern as before.

There is little doubt that this is the same scheme as mentioned in all my previous posts on the activities of Jones and Patchrint. My personal recommendation is that you give this "Project Management International" a very wide berth, and if you feel that you have been defrauded then you would be doing a lot of people a favour if your pursued them aggressively. Also, if you have any positive (or negative) experiences then sharing them in the Comments would be appreciated.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Malware spam: "Payslip for period end date 27/08/2015" / ""

This spam does not come from Fermanagh District Council. Of course it doesn't. It is instead a simple forgery with a malicious attachment:

From: []
Date:    27 August 2015 at 12:28
Subject:    Payslip for period end date 27/08/2015

Dear administrator

Please find attached your payslip for period end 27/08/2015

Payroll Section

Attached is a file which contains a malicious executable payroll.scr - or it would have done, but in my case the email was malformed and the archive was not attached properly.

This executable has a detection rate of 3/56 and the Hybrid Analysis report indicates that it sends traffic to a server at (Cobranet, Nigeria) which has been used in a few recent attacks and is definitely worth blocking.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Malware spam: "RE:resume" leads to Cryptowall

This fake resume spam has a malicious payload. I got part way through decrypting it to discover that @Techhelplistcom had done all the hard bits which saved me some effort. This particular spam delivers a version of the Cryptowall ransomware.

In the only sample I saw, the spam looks like this:

Date:    26 August 2015 at 23:29
Subject:    RE:resume
Signed by:

Hi! my name is Janet Ronald it is my resume!Awaiting your prompt reply

Best regards

Janet Ronald
Attached was a file Janet_Ronald_resume.doc [VT 5/56] which (of course) contains a malicious macro that looks like this [pastebin].

The format of this message is very similar to this other fake resume spam seen recently, and a key feature here is that the message is really sent through Yahoo! and is not a forgery.

Deobfuscating the macro shows that a file is downloaded from which is then run through a decoding mechanism to create (I think) %APPDATA%\278721985.exe. The Hybrid Analysis report shows some of this in action, but Techhelplist did the hard work of decrypting it..

To save a bit of time, a helpful soul left a note on the VT scan of the fake JPEG which leads to this VT report on the actual executable itself, and this then leads to this rather informative Hybrid Analysis report which has some nice screenshots.

Out of all the IPs and domains listed in those reports, I think these are probably the priorities to block: (Eurobyte, Russia) / (GoDaddy, US)

You might want to block the entire range because.. well, Russia really.


Fake fax spam spoofs multiple senders, has malicious payload

This fake fax spam comes from random senders - company names and attachment names vary from spam to spam.

From: "Heaney, Vandervort and Hilll"
Subject: Fax #AhnxlQ8 from Donny Kub
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:02:30 +0000

You have a fax.
Data sent: Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:03:30 +0000

We are a new fax delivery service - Heaney, Vandervort and Hilll.
Our company develops rapidly and services remain fastest and open to everyone.
As our slogan goes: "Fast. Cheap. Best quality."
Attached is a ZIP file combining various elements from the spam (for example, in this case it was fax_AhnxlQ8_Heaney, Vandervort and Hilll_Donny This contains a malicious executable (e.g. Invoice Lake Janeview.exe) which currently has a 2/56 detection rate at VirusTotal.

The Hybrid Analysis report shows it phoning home to:

This pattern marks the malware out as being Upatre/Dyre. is an IP address belonging to Cobranet in Nigeria which was also used in a similar attack yesterday.

Malware spam: "Scanned image from MX-2600N" / ""

This spam is not from a scanner, but it is instead a simple forgery with a malicious attachment:

Date:    19 May 2014 at 18:11
Subject:    Scanned image from MX-2600N

Reply to: []
Device Name: Not Set
Device Model: MX-2600N
Location: Not Set

File Format: DOC MMR(G4)
Resolution: 200dpi x 200dpi

Attached file is scanned image in DOC format.
Use Microsoft(R)Word(R) of Microsoft Systems Incorporated
to view the document.
The email appears to come from the victim's own domain, but it does not. The "From" address on email is extremely easy to forge. So far I have seen three different malicious attachments, each one in the format noreply@victimdomain.com_20150826_181106.doc with detection rates of around 7/56 [1] [2] [3] containing one of three malicious macros [1] [2] [3] which attempt to download a malicious component from one of the following locations:

This malicious binary currently has a VirusTotal detection rate of just 2/54. Automated analysis [1] [2] shows network traffic to (Hostpro Ltd, Ukraine) which has been used in serveral attacks recently. The payload is almost definitely the Dridex banking trojan.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Malware spam: "Invoice 26949 from I - SPI Ltd" / ""

My spam traps did not collect the body text from this message, so all I have is headers. However, this fake financial email is not from i-Spi Ltd and is instead a simple forgery with a malicious attachment:
From     []
Date     Tue, 25 Aug 2015 20:37:09 +0800
Subject     Invoice 26949 from I - SPI Ltd
Attached is a file Inv_26949_from_I__SPI_Ltd_7888.doc which actually comes in several different versions [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] which contains a malicious macro like this one [pastebin] that downloads an executable from one of the following locations:

This Hybrid Analysis report shows network traffic to: (Hostpro Ltd, Ukraine)

This is the same bad IP as found in this earlier spam run, I recommend that you block it. The payload here is almost definitely the Dridex banking trojan.

Malware spam: "UPDATE_VACATIONS_SCHEDULE_09_2015.pdf" via

 This fake Dropbox email leads to malware, hosted on the sharing service

From:    June Abel via Dropbox []
Date:    25 August 2015 at 12:59
Subject:    June Abel shared "UPDATE_VACATIONS_SCHEDULE_09_2015.pdf" with you

June used Dropbox to share a file with you!

Click here to download.

© 2015 Dropbox
I have seen three different samples with different download location:

In each case, the binary downloaded is identical and has a VirusTotal detection rate of 3/55. Analysis is pending, but the payload appears to be the Dyre banking trojan.

The Hybrid Analysis report shows traffic to (Cobranet, Nigeria) which I recommend you block.

Malware spam: "Visa Card Aug 2015" / ""

This fake financial spam does not come from Ellesemere Engineering but is in fact a simple forgery with a malicious attachment.

From     []
To     "'Sharon Howarth'" []
Date     Tue, 25 Aug 2015 09:52:47 +0200
Subject     Visa Card Aug 2015

Visa Card payments this month

This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.

Attached is a document Visa Card Aug 2015.docm which I have seen in three different versions, containing one of three malicious macros [1] [2] [3] that then attempt to download a malicious binary from one of the following locations:

This executable has a detection rate of just 1/55 and the Malwr report shows network traffic to: (Hostpro Ltd, Ukraine)

I strongly recommend that you block that IP address. The payload to this is almost definitely the Dridex banking trojan.


Monday, 24 August 2015

Popular German wesite hacked, serving malware via

Popular German media website has been hacked and is serving up malware, according to this URLquery report.

URLquery's IDS function detects what looks like the RIG Exploit kit:

The exploit is in injected code pointing to a server at (Marosnet Telecommunication Company, Russia) which in the example is using which is a hijacked GoDaddy domain.

The exploit only appears to work if the site is accessed via a search engine, which looks like a classic .htaccess hack. URLquery's script relationship chart shows this in action:

VirusTotal gives an overview of other malicious domains on this server. It indicates that the following domains have been hijacked and malicious subdomains set up:

Malware spam: "Message from scanner" / ""

I don't have the body text for this particular message, but I can tell you this is not from Brian Holt (a property agent in Coventry, UK) but is instead a simple forgery with a malicious attachment.

Subject     Message from scanner
X-Mailer     KONICA MINOLTA bizhub C360
Date     Wed, 12 Aug 2015 08:19:28 +0000
Message-Id     []
MIME-Version     1.0
Content-Type     multipart/mixed; boundary="KONICA_MINOLTA_Internet_Fax_Boundary"
Content-Transfer-Encoding     7bit

To show the level of detail the bad guys go to, they have even included extra mail headers (usually hidden) to attempt to identify the sender as a Konica MFD. It's a strange thing to do, considering that anyone skilled enough to examine the mail headers should also notice the malicious executable Sscanner15081208190.exe embedded into the attachment . This executable has a detection rate of just 5/54.

The Hybrid Analysis report shows the malware POSTing to:

.SU (Soviet Union) domains are almost always bad news. If you can block them on your web filter then I recommend that you do so. This particular site is hosted on (RTComm-Sibir, Russia). The  network range of does seem to contain some legitimate Russian-language sites, but you might want to block the whole range to be on the safe side.

The payload is unknown, but typically malware like this will drop either the Dyre banking trojan or some sort of ransomware.

Friday, 21 August 2015

What the hell is

So.. I saw some mysterious outbound traffic to ( / Microsoft, US). Googling around for the domain came up with some references to malware, but nothing very conclusive.

The WHOIS details for the domain are anonymised (never a good sign), and the IP address is also used by which uses similarly hidden details. Team Cymru have an analysis of what is being phoned home to this mystery server, and I found an existing Malwr analysis referencing the alternate domain.

I eventually found the mystery executable in C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\SoftUpdate\SoftUpdate.exe on the afflicted machine. Various analysis tools confirm that it generates this traffic [1] [2] [3].

The binary itself does not identify its creator. I found various references (such as in this report) linking this software and the domains to (a "free" presentation tool) and a look at the users traffic logs indicates that they visited this site, referred to it by which is some sort of plugin.

Neither domain identifies itself through the WHOIS details, not can I find any contact details on either site. A look through the historical WHOIS for gives:

   Administrative Contact:
      info, info
      visual software systems LTD.
      6 Hanechoshet st.
      Tel-Aviv, Israel 69710

And for

   Administrative Contact:
      Rubenstein, Steven
      504 224th PL SE
      Bothell, Washington 98021
      United States

This Crunchbase profile for Shai Schwartz links the two companies.

I don't like sharing data with commercial operations who are not prepared to fully reveal their identity, and I personally recommend blocking traffic to: