Qbot has introduced a new strategy for spreading malware payloads.

The trojan is now spreading malware through phishing emails with password-protected ZIP archive attachments that contain malicious MSI Windows installer packages.

The trojan’s previous tactic so far has been to spread malware through phishing emails containing Microsoft Office documents laced with malicious macros.

Researchers believe the new method of spreading malware is due to Microsoft’s new plans that help block the delivery of malware via VBA Office macros. The feature was introduced after Microsoft disabled Excel 4.0 (XLM) macros by default in January.

Since attackers can use malicious VBA macros embedded in Office documents to spread malware, the feature introduced by Microsoft helps to protect Office customers.

Qbot, a Windows banking trojan is used to steal bank details, personal information and financial data. It is also used to drop backdoors on compromised computers while also deploying Cobalt Strike beacons.