Spamvertised AICPA themed emails serve client-side exploits and malware


By Dancho Danchev

Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are a common target for cybercriminals. Throughout 2012, we intercepted several campaigns directly targeting CPAs in an attempt to trick them into clicking on the malicious links found in the emails. Once they click on any of the links, they’re automatically exposed to the client-side exploits served by the latest version of the Black Hole Exploit Kit.

In this post, I’ll analyze one of the most recently spamvertised campaigns impersonating the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, also known as AICPA.

More details:

Sample screenshot of the spamvertised email:

AICPA_Email_Spam_Exploits_Malware_Black_Hole_Exploit_Kit

Second screenshot of the spamvertised email from the same campaign:

AICPA_Email_Spam_Exploits_Malware_Black_Hole_Exploit_Kit_01

Sample subjects: Tax return assistance contrivance; Suspension of your CPA license; Revocation of your CPA license; Your accountant license can be end off; Your accountant CPA License Expiration

Email message: Valued AICPA participant, We have received a notice of your potential participation in income tax return infringement on behalf of one of your customers. According to AICPA Bylaw Section # 700 your Certified Public Accountant status can be cancelled in case of the event of presenting of a improper or fraudulent income tax return on the member’s or a client’s behalf. Please be informed of the complaint below and provide explanation of this issue to it within 7 days. The waiver to submit explanation within this period would abide in revokation of your CPA license.

Sample compromised URLs participating in the campaign:
hxxp://acitcpatiala.com/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/aicpataxcompl.html
hxxp://wohnbau-rastatt.com/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/aicpataxcompl.html
hxxp://qebelemescidi.com/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/aicpataxcompl.html
hxxp://chooum.com/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/aicpataxcompl.html
hxxp://kentplus-temizlik.com/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/aicpataxcompl.html
hxxp://qebelemescidi.com/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/aicpataxcompl.html
hxxp://lexisdei.org/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/taxfraudalert.html
hxxp://javaautoparts.com/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/taxfraudalert.html
hxxp://lexisdei.org/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/taxfraudalert.html
hxxp://irbuild.com/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/taxfraudalert.html
hxxp://porsancristobal.com/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/taxfraudalert.html
hxxp://investrus.info/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/taxfraudalert.html
hxxp://facesittingextrememf.com/components/com_ag_google_analytics2/taxfraudalert.html

Sample client-side exploits serving URLs:
hxxp://ibertomoralles.org/detects/five-wise_leads_ditto.php
hxxp://eaglepointecondo.org/detects/denouncement-reports.php
hxxp://eaglepointecondo.co/detects/denouncement-reports.php

Sample malicious payload dropping URL:
hxxp://eaglepointecondo.org/detects/denouncement-reports.php?qf=1g:2v:33:2v:2w&ve=1o:32:2v:1n:2w:30:1m:1j:32:1m&y=1f&mf=i&om=y

Upon successful client-side exploitation, the campaign drops MD5: 5b7aafd9ab99aa2ec0e879a24610844a – detected by 31 out of 45 antivirus scanners as Worm:Win32/Cridex.E.

Once executed, the sample performs the following actions:

  • Creates a batch script
  • Accesses Firefox’s Password Manager local database
  • Creates a thread in a remote process
  • Installs a program to run automatically at logon

It also drops the following MD5 on the affected hosts: MD5: 3e2df81077283e5c9d457bf688779773 – detected by 27 out of 45 antivirus scanners as PWS:Win32/Fareit.

It also phones back to the following C&C servers:
hxxp://69.64.89.82:8080/DPNilBA/ue1elBAAAA/tlSHAAAAA/
132.248.49.112
173.192.229.36
64.120.193.112
89.221.242.217
174.143.174.136
209.51.221.247

We’ve also seen and profiled the same IP (132.248.49.112) in multiple previously analyzed malware campaigns:

Upon execution, the sample also creates the following mutexes:
Local\XMM000005D4
SHIMLIB_LOG_MUTEX
Local\XMM00000264
Local\XMQ426FB97F
Local\XMM000001D0

and the following Registry Keys:
\REGISTRY\USER\S-1-5-21-299502267-926492609-1801674531-500\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CBA6D3F36
\REGISTRY\USER\S-1-5-21-299502267-926492609-1801674531-500\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\S9CC20790

Malicious domain names reconnaissance:
eaglepointecondo.org – 59.57.247.185
Name Server:NS1.AMISHSHOPPE.NET – 84.32.116.189 – Email: solaradvent@yahoo.com
Name Server:NS2.AMISHSHOPPE.NET – 211.27.42.138 – Email:

eaglepointecondo.co – 59.57.247.185
Name Server:NS1.AMISHSHOPPE.NET – 84.32.116.189 – Email: solaradvent@yahoo.com
Name Server:NS2.AMISHSHOPPE.NET – 211.27.42.138 – Email: solaradvent@yahoo.com

ibertomoralles.org – Email: rick.baxter@costcontrolsoftware.com

Responding to the same IP (59.57.247.185) in the time of posting this analysis are also the following malicious domains:
moid.pl
securityday.pl
pleansantwille.com
labpr.com
ibertomoralles.com
shopgreatvideonax.com
eaglepointecondo.co
zindt.net
naky.net
svictrorymedia.ru
ygsecured.ru
romoviebabenki.ru
robertokarlosskiy.su
africanbeat.net
incinteractive.net
lloydstsb-offshoren.com
sessionid0147239047829578349578239077.pl

We’ve already seen the same name servers (NS1.AMISHSHOPPE.NET; NS2.AMISHSHOPPE.NET) used in the following previously profiled campaigns, indicating that all of these campaigns have been launched by the same malicious party.

Webroot SecureAnywhere users are proactively protected from these threats.

You can find more about Dancho Danchev at his LinkedIn Profile. You can also follow him on  Twitter.

3 thoughts on “Spamvertised AICPA themed emails serve client-side exploits and malware

  1. Pingback: ‘Please confirm your U.S Airways online registration’ themed emails lead to Black Hole Exploit Kit « Webroot Threat Blog – Internet Security Threat Updates from Around the World

  2. Pingback: ‘Batch Payment File Declined’ EFTPS themed emails lead to Black Hole Exploit Kit « Webroot Threat Blog – Internet Security Threat Updates from Around the World

  3. Pingback: ‘Your Kindle e-book Amazon receipt’ themed emails lead to Black Hole Exploit Kit « Webroot Threat Blog – Internet Security Threat Updates from Around the World

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