Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Didier Stevens

SANS ISC: Fake Australian Electric Bill Leads to Cryptolocker - SANS Internet Storm Center SANS ISC InfoSec Forums

Participate: Learn more about our honeypot network

Sign Up for Free!   Forgot Password?
Log In or Sign Up for Free!
Fake Australian Electric Bill Leads to Cryptolocker

Our reader Mark sent us a link he recovered from a Phishing e-mail. We don't have the e-mail right now, but the web site delivering the malware is kind of interesting in itself.

The e-mail claims to come from "Energy Australia", an actual Australian utility company, and the link leads to:

hxxp:// data/ electricity/ view/get/ energy.php ?eid=[long number]

Note the somewhat plausible domain name ( The actual domain name for Energy Australia is "".

The first screen presented to the user asks the user to solve a very simple CAPTCHA. This is likely put in place to hinder automatic analysis of the URL:

Malware Captcha

(click on images to see full size)

The layout of the page matches the original very well. Users are confronted with CAPTCHAs regularly in similar sites, so I doubt this will raise suspicion.

Next, we are asked to download the file, again using a similar layout.

Fake Bill Download

The "bill" itself is a ZIP file that includes a simple ZIP file that expands to an EXE. Virustotal shows spotty detection:

Virus Total Results

You can also review the full updated results here:

It doesn't look like the checksum of this sample changes between downloads, so I hope AV signatures will catch up quickly.

Once downloaded and unzipped, the malware presents itself as a PDF:

PDF Icon in Microsoft Explorer

But then, as soon as the malware is launched, it does reveal it's true nature:

Crypto Locker Screen

We ran this on a fresh Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 32 Bit install with one round of patches, so there wasn't much to encrypt for Cryptolocker.

After launching the malware, the system connected via https to ), likely to retrieve/send the key. I did not see a DNS lookup. The self signed SSL certificate include the IP address as a Subject:

        Serial Number:
        Signature Algorithm: sha1WithRSAEncryption
        Issuer: CN=
            Not Before: Apr 10 09:41:14 2012 GMT
            Not After : Apr  8 09:41:14 2022 GMT
        Subject: CN=


Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D.

I will be teaching next: Application Security: Securing Web Apps, APIs, and Microservices - SANS London June 2022


4479 Posts
ISC Handler
May 30th 2014
I have a copy of the email if you still need one
please send me a copy o the email if you have it. Best to upload it via our contact page… . so AV doesn't strip it.
best way to send us a file: encrypted zip with password "infected".


4479 Posts
ISC Handler
How is this for log content... This is from my router (TP-Link TL-R860). I contacted the company and advised them that this doesn't help much for many people.

398 450179:DHCPS: 1:0x001aa09f4bd2,, ACK in request.
399 452312:DHCPS: 1:0x002215a1b903,, ACK in request.
400 452891:DHCPS: 1:0x001aa09f4bd2,, ACK in request.
Time = 2014-05-30 16:16:45 453601s
H-Ver = TL-R860 v5 1001225B : S-Ver = 4.3.3 Build 100519 Rel.41023n
L = : M =
W1 = DHCP : W = : M = : G =
Free=4992, Busy=38, Bind=36, Inv=0/6, Bc=0/10, Dns=0, cl=256, fc=0/0, sq=0/0

17 Posts
Whatever happened to the ``Some files can harm your computer'' warning. I thought that Windows would track the origin of executable files and issue that warning unless they came from trusted sources.
2 Posts

Sign Up for Free or Log In to start participating in the conversation!