Social engineering at its best: ransomware delivery methods

I wrote already about Ransomware (and here), but in a more generic way as I will do now.

From me to me, with the subject “Documents from work” is the subject of a new Locky ransomware. Attached is a Word document containing macros.

In the document (which is actually an archive) is a file called  word\vbaProject.bin. That file seems to be the trigger that downloads the ransomware binary.



This is the link to the VirusTotal detection:

At the moment of writing this post, 30/53 engine detect it.


My goal is not to analyze here the ransomware, but the delivery.

The social engineering used here has as soly purpose to make the user to open and executed the attachment.

There are subjects of emails which simply “force” some people to open them without thinking.

  • FW:Expenses Report # xxxx
  • payment confirmation
  • Additional Costs
  • recent bill
  •  RE: Additional Information Needed #aaaaaa

What you MUST Do

The emails and attachments are not harmful just sitting in your inbox or Trash folder.

You MUST delete emails which you didn’t send and have these characteristics:

  • from yourself to yourself
  • contain attachments (archives, .JS, .DOC, .DOCX, .DOCM, XLS, .XLSX, etc.)
  • have a blank body area or few lines of text

Have the rule delete the messages for you, so you don’t have to deal with them. Please remember that this is not a fool-proof way to deal with these messages. At any time the attackers may change their tactics, invalidating these rules.

You SHOULD NOT extract the attachment or open the extracted file.


© Copyright 2016 Sorin Mustaca, All rights Reserved. Written For: Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity

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About the Author

Sorin Mustaca
Sorin Mustaca, (ISC)2 CSSLP, CompTIA Security+ and Project+, is working since over 20 years in the IT Security industry and worked between 2003-2014 for Avira as Product Manager for the known products used by over 100 million users world-wide. Today he is CEO and owner of Endpoint Cybersecurity GmbH focusing on Cybersecurity, secure software development and security for IoT and Automotive. He is also running his personal blog Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity and is the author of the free eBook Improve your security .
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