Attackers utilize a 9/11 press release from an impersonated partner to deliver malware to recipients.
Platform: Office 365
Email Security Bypassed: Office 365
Payload: Malicious Attachment
Setup: This attack leverages the trust from a known partner to deliver malicious content disguised as a press release on the anniversary of 9/11.
Email Attack: The email is general and contains a brief message stating for the recipient to “Please see the attached document” along with a password to open the attached .zip file. The actual .doc file is embedded within the compressed file with the file titled “report,09.11.2020”.
Payload: An initial scan of the zip file doesn’t reveal anything malicious about its contents. Upon opening the .doc file, even the title “report,09.11.2020” looks like it contains legitimate information relevant to a press release. It isn’t until the file is downloaded and opened, that it reveals malicious malware that has the potential to wreak havoc on users devices.
Result: Should recipients fall victim to this attack, malware will be installed on the recipients computers, enabling attackers to steal sensitive business and personal information, or render their devices unusable.
Urgency: Since the email was sent with the file titled “report,09.11.2020”, recipients of the email would expect to receive correspondence from partners regarding the anniversary of 9/11.
Impersonated email/sender: The attacker impersonates a known partner using an expired domain. Although sent from a trivalleycentral.com domain, email authentication fails for the sender. As of 2016, the legitimate domain has been switched to pinalcentral.com.
Concealed Attachment: The email contains an attachment that could be relevant to the recipient. Press releases often contain photo/video files that are too large and thus are attached as compressed files. In this case it wouldn’t be unusual for this partner to do this.
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