A newly discovered spam campaign powered by version two of the well-known Cutwail botnet has been found targeting Japanese users in an attempt to infect them with the URLZone (aka Bebloh) banking trojan.

In a company blog post yesterday, Crowdstrike researchers Sebastian Eschweiler, Brett Stone-Gross and Bex Hartley note that the operation leverages the art of stenography -- the practice of concealing secret data inside larger files or images -- in order to hide the payload.

The group behind the campaign, which Crowdstrike refers to as Narwhal Spider, commenced its latest activity on Oct. 24 in a spam operation featuring a malicious, macro-enabled Microsoft Excel attachment. Written in Japanese, typical subject lines in the spam emails included generic business jargon, including "Order Form," "Submit application form," and "We will send billing data." The message body was either left blank or contained a brief statement referencing an order form that must be confirmed and thanking the recipient for their help.

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