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Thursday 6 February 2014

Fake HMRC "VAT Return" spam

This fake HMRC spam comes with a malicious attachment:

Date:      Thu, 6 Feb 2014 20:32:34 +0100 [14:32:34 EST]
From:      "noreply@hmrc.gov.uk" [noreply@hmrc.gov.uk]
Subject:      Successful Receipt of Online Submission for Reference 3608005

Thank you for sending your VAT Return online. The submission for reference 3608005 was
successfully received on Thu, 6 Feb 2014 20:32:34 +0100  and is being processed. Make VAT
Returns is just one of the many online services we offer that can save you time and

For the latest information on your VAT Return please open attached report.

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the Government Secure Intranet
virus scanning service supplied by Cable&Wireless Worldwide in partnership with
MessageLabs. (CCTM Certificate Number 2009/09/0052.) On leaving the GSi this email was
certified virus free.

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for
legal purposes.
I love the "certified virus-free" bit, because of course this thing comes with a malicious payload. Attached to the message is an archive Reference.zip which in turn contains a malicious executable Reference.scr (a plain old executable, not a screensaver). This has a VirusTotal detection rate of 2/50.

Automated analysis tools [1] [2] [3] [4] show an encrypted file being downloaded from:

Recommended blocklist:

second version of the email is circulating with the following body text:

The submission for reference 485/GB1392709 was successfully received and was not

Check attached copy for more information.

This is an automatically generated email. Please do not reply as the email address is not
monitored for received mail.

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