[Overview] Omicron-Themed Phishing Campaign

This post originally appeared on KnowBe4, December 29, 2021.


A mean-spirited phishing campaign began mocking victims after infecting their devices with Dridex malware in December of last year, according to Lawrence Abrams at BleepingComputer.

“Over the past few weeks, one of the Dridex phishing email distributors is having fun toying with victims and researchers,” Abrams writes. “This was first seen when the threat actor began trolling security researchers by using their names combined with racist comments as malware file names and email addresses. Earlier this week, the threat actor spammed fake employee termination letters that displayed an alert stating, ‘Merry X-Mas Dear Employees!,’ after infecting their device. In a new phishing campaign discovered by MalwareHunterTeam and 604Kuzushi, this same threat actor took it to the next level by spamming emails with a subject of ‘COVID-19 testing result’ that states the recipient was exposed to a coworker who tested positive to the Omicron COVID-19 variant.”

The Omicron-themed phishing emails state, “This letter is to inform you that you have been exposed to a coworker who tested positive for OMICRON variant of COVID-19 sometime between December 18th and 20th. Please take a look at the details in the attached document.”

If the victim opens the Excel document and enables macros, their device will be infected with the Dridex banking Trojan. In a poor attempt at humor, the document will then display a popup showing the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline number.

“With the COVID-19 variant being highly contagious and rapidly spreading worldwide, phishing emails about the Omicron variant are becoming popular and are likely highly effective in distributing malware,” Abrams writes. “This is especially true if the phishing campaign pretends to be from a company’s human resources department and targets employees from the same company. As Dridex phishing campaigns are currently using password-protected attachments, enterprises need to train their employees to spot and avoid these types of attacks. As always, if you receive unexpected emails or one that contains unusual attachments, always reach out to your network admin or other people in the workplace to determine if the email is legitimate.”

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