The case for pre-emptive defence
Vessel Impersonation Report
Tactical Cyber Intelligence Reporting
|First Seen||Subject Line Used||Malware Detections||Sending Email||Targets|
|May 22, 2020||RE: REQUEST FOR QUOTATION - M.V. OMNI TIGRIS DRY DOCKING||Trojan:Win32/Sonbokli.A!cl||“SHAIFFUL RIDZUAN” firstname.lastname@example.org||Targets Not Disclosed|
|May 24, 2020||RE: ADJUSTMENT // PRE ALERT AT INDONESIA \"NYK FUJI V.084S\" LCL TO JKT YGLNGO004466 // YIF-FW-19004159/||PWS:Win32/Fareit.A!MTB||PT. YAMATO INDONESIA FORWARDING Jakarta email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|May 25, 2020||RE: REQUEST FOR QUOTATION - M.V. OMNI TIGRIS TRADER||HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2017-0199.a||TRAN QUANG email@example.com||Targets Not Disclosed|
|May 25, 2020||MV WAF PASSION / CALLING FOR DISCHARGING||Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml||"Maersk (Shanghai, Head Office)" firstname.lastname@example.org||Targets Not Disclosed|
|May 25, 2020||MV. BRAVE SAILOR (V.1801) - AGENT NOMINATION at BUSAN (Bunkering Only)||Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml||"Five Ocean - Ops" email@example.com||“Me” firstname.lastname@example.org|
|May 25, 2020||Ports Daily Port Position on 25.05.2020||Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml||"Aye Myint" email@example.com||“Me” firstname.lastname@example.org|
|May 25, 2020||RE: VSL: MV ANGEL SPIRIT, ORDER: AHOC-A77180011E||HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.Generic||Nguyen Quang email@example.com||Targets Not Disclosed|
|May 26, 2020||Documents for the Sea shipment(MATZ MAERSK / 017W , ETA:31/May)||Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.Cfirstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com|
|May 27, 2020||Mv Arkadiy Chernyshev/Calling for disch logs 8000cbms||Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml||"HOSCO AGENCY(YMS)" firstname.lastname@example.org||“Me” email@example.com|
|May 27, 2020||Fw: RE : M.V ARCTURUS - ARC/SPR/024-20||HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.Generic||"BULKSEAS MARINE MANAGEMENT S.A." firstname.lastname@example.org||Targets Not Disclosed|
|May 27, 2020||PRIORITY/MT SULPHUR GENESIS - CREW CHANGE/PDA MAY||Malicious_Behavior.SB||"Belarusian River Shipping Company" Info@export.by||Recipients Info@export.by|
|May 27, 2020||PO 337052/DRAFT DOCUMENTS FOR THE FIRST CONTAINER AGREEMENT||PWS:Win32/Fareit.W!MTB||"EXPORT-SALES7015b30becad229@4ca324.mz||EXPORT-SALES7015b30becad229@4ca324.mz|
|May 27, 2020||RE : URGENT!!! SHIPPING DOC BL,SI,INV#462345 // MAERSK KLEVEN V.949E||HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.Generic||"A.P. Moller - Maersk.(Shanghai, Head Office)" email@example.com||Targets Not Disclosed|
|May 28, 2020||Fw: RE: Vessel: KSL SAPPORO / Requisition No.: 20R-0114-1 / Supplier||Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml||"Kwon, J-H" firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com|
|May 28, 2020||WG: COSCON - Proforma Bill of Lading for COSU6263268050/Vessel: CMA\r\n CGM VOLGA SVVD: AEM3-QZG-025 E Shipper Ref: RTEUpdated||HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2017-0199.a||IT Support firstname.lastname@example.org||IT Request IT-Request@incoe.de|
|May 28, 2020||VSL: M/V TRANSATLANTIC, ORDER: TDR-AA20052||HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.Genericemail@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|May 28, 2020||Freight invoice for payment||HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.Generic||Kerry_=E2=80=93_Apex_Shipping = email@example.com||Targets Not Disclosed|
|May 28, 2020||RE: ADJUSTMENT // PRE ALERT AT LCL TO JKT \"YGLNGO004466\" //\n YIF-FW-19004159//||Trojan:Win32/FormBook.CJ!MTB||Raymond kane firstname.lastname@example.org||Microsoft Office email@example.com|
|May 28, 2020 May 28, 2020||Notice of Arrival for MSC B/L :MEDUG3735396/MSC CARLA 3/HC009A||PWS:Win32/Fareit.Y!MTB||ID547-MSC IDJKT IMPORT INVOICE ID547firstname.lastname@example.org||Targets Not Disclosed|
|May 28, 2020||RFQ for Vessel: GLENDA MELANIE/Ship Ref: GME-E-17-0094||PWS:Win32/VB.CU||"Patrick Jeong / Ops Dept" email@example.com||Recipients firstname.lastname@example.org|
|May 29, 2020||RE: COSCON - Proforma Bill of Lading for COSU6263268050/Vessel: CMA||HEUR:Exploit.MSOffice.CVE-2017-0199.a||"guanlin/Guan Lin(GSC-WH)" email@example.com||Targets Not Disclosed|
|May 30, 2020||Maersk : Arrival Notice ready for Bill of Lading 910571890.||DOC/TrojanDownloader.Agent.BMW||Maersk Notification firstname.lastname@example.org||Targets Not Disclosed|
|May 30, 2020||MV TBN // INQUIRY FOR JIANG YIN PORT FOR DISCHARGING 30,||Trojan:Win32/Vigorf.A||"Kostas Mathes" email@example.com||Kostas Mathes firstname.lastname@example.org|
In the above collection, we see malicious actors attempting to use vessel names to try to spoof companies in the maritime supply chain. This week we observed a wide variety of maritime-related subject lines. Some of the new vessel names used this week include “MV Angel Spirit” and “M.V. OMNI TIGRIS” among others. Interestingly, “M.V. OMNI TIGRIS” was used it two unique subject lines this week (see table above). This vessel is an offshore supply ship sailing under flag of Malaysia.
Also, notable this week is the large number of emails where the recipient email address was not disclosed or was the same as the sender email address. Another subject line was observed using the vessel name “MAERSK KLEVEN” this week. This vessel has been listed in subject lines over the last several months. Analysts are unable to determine, at this time, why this vessel name is so popular among subject lines but will continue to monitor it. The vessel is currently flying under the Liberian flag and is a Hazard A (major) cargo ship.
Analysts observed subject line “Documents for the Sea shipment(MATZ MAERSK / 017W , ETA:31/May)” being used in a malicious email this week. Although the header information is slightly obscured, analysts determined that it is being sent from a Korean company to a company based in the United Kingdom.
The email sender is listed as “email@example.com” which is an email alias given by the sending email server. However, the .kr top-level domain indicates the sender is likely based in Korea. The email message signature also indicates that the sender (J.Yun) is from Woohyun Shipping Co. LTD. based out of Seoul, South Korea.
Due to the use of an email alias, the exact recipient email address is unclear, but this email message appears relatively generic. Using a generic and common greeting “Dear sirs,” this short email could easily be used as a malicious email template to send to numerous recipients.
The malicious file attached to this email is named “matzmaersk.zip” and contains Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml malware. This malware is capable of stealing sensitive data from victim devices, and exfiltrate it to a command and control infrastructure. When downloaded, the zip file does not remain in the designated folder further indicating malicious activity.
Analysts observed another malicious email containing the subject line used last week, “MV WAF PASSION / CALLING FOR DISCHARGING.” The email was sent from “’Maersk (Shanghai, Head Office)’ <firstname.lastname@example.org>”. “WAF Passion” does not appear to be an active name for any vessel on marinetraffic.org, however, there are vessels that have used the name in the past.
The sender email appears as the head office for Shanghai Maersk operations, which indicates the email is likely targeting someone in the Maersk supply chain. The recipients are not disclosed in this case so analysts believe this with medium confidence.
As with the recipients, the message body has also been redacted in this case. However, the filename reveals that the attackers were disguising the file as a “PDF.” The filename is “MV WAF PASSION -500121_pdf.gz” which many common users would think is a PDF. It is in fact a gzip file which, just like the previously discussed email, does not remain in the folder it is downloaded to. When opened the file activates “Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.C!ml” malware which can be used to exfiltrate sensitive information from victim devices. It can also be used by attackers to download malware and commit future cyber-attacks.
Our Experts Say
Weekly Maritime Watchlist
Top 5 Malicious Maritime Subject Lines
The more convincing an email appears, the greater the chance employees will fall for a scam. To address this residual risk, software-based protection should be treated as one constituent of a wider strategy that also encompasses the human-element as well as organizational workflows and procedures.
It is imperative to:
- Train all levels of the marine supply chain to realize they are under constant cyber-attack.
- Stress maintaining constant attention to real-world cyber consequences of careless cyber practices or general inattentiveness.
- Provide practical guidance on how to look for a potential phishing attempt.
- Use direct communication to verify emails and supply chain email communication.
- Use Red Sky Alliance RedXray proactive support, our Vessel impersonation information and use the Maritime Black Lists to proactively block cyber attacks from identified malicious actors.