Don’t ‘Enable Macro if Data Encoding is Incorrect’!

30 January 2016

If you open a word document attached to an email and you see the message ‘Enable macro if data encoding is incorrect’ you are well on the way to become the victim of a cyber-attack:

Dridex malware requests to lower macor security

Dridex malware requests to lower macro security

Word blocked the auto-open macro in the document to prevent its execution. In the case of document ‘Fax 49 2232949992120160128232732.doc’ it’s about the trojan ‘W2KM_DRIDEX.BM’. Besides other malicious activities the macro downloads and executes the program g545.exe from a server hosted in the Russian Federation.

So far everything went well. Word was well secured and blocked the auto-open macro from executing the payload. The best way to go ahead is to close word and drop the email and the downloaded attachment.

But if you comply with the request and lower the macro virus settings in word you will be definitely tricked.

As always the first line of defense is a well-trained user who follows the commandments

  • ‘Think twice before you click on whatever links or attachments’,
  • ‘Never lower your security settings upon requests of whatever sources’ and
  • ‘Disable all macros with notification’ in Word Trust Center, section Macro Settings.

In the worst case it may come to a blackout in a country, done in Ukraine 23 December 2015.

Have a good weekend.

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