We’ve spotted a Remote Access Trojan(RAT) and are headed down into the unknown. In this blog post we’re going to examine some malicious infrastructure that we’ve found by pivoting through domains delivering and communicating with RATs.
A RAT is malware that creates a back door to gain access to the target and its connected resources in order to spy/steal information, drop additional malware such as ransomware, or to enlist the target into a botnet for DDoS purposes. A RAT can basically give all of the same access to a system that the attacker would have if they were physically accessing the target. A RAT has many functionalities: remote desktop control, webcam and microphone control, keylogger, remote shell, crypto miner, download and execute functionalities, screen capturing.
Purchase and Preparation
When deciding on which RAT to setup and spread, there is a choice between free or paid varieties. There are RATs that are free to use and RATs that require one to pay for a license. They vary in their ease of setup and stability. Since these RATs have been available for years and are detectable through signatures, a “crypter” is used on the malware before deployment. Crypters are tools that can use encryption and obfuscation on the malware in an effort to make them FUD (Fully UnDetectable) against known pattern based or behavior based signatures used in Anti-Virus or IDS/IPS systems. When a low detection rate is reached they have a better chance of infecting targets. The goal is to appear to be a harmless program. Once crypted, criminals run the file through underground scan services that will tell them their file’s achieved detection rate.
The ease of setup and availability of these RATs have helped them remain a threat. There are also rental services, offering to do all of the setup needed to build the infrastructure for RATs and bots, and then rent the use of them for a price.
LuminosityLink is widely considered by some cyber criminals to be one of the best RATs. When searching for only one AV signature from Malwarebytes, Backdoor.LuminosityLink, in Virustotal with a First Submission date of the last 30 days; there were 147 new submissions.
On our resolvers, we see active traffic to the Command and Control (C2) panels and infrastructure behind these RATs.
Let’s investigate some infrastructure around this paid RAT, LuminosityLink.
In The Wild
LuminosityLink is seen here dropped from this site, http://onsitepowersystems[.]com/invoice86291320[.]zip, which appears to be exploited with the C99 Shell. The delivery method is a bit.ly link leading to the zip file at onsitepowersystems[.]com. The C2 communications are at 191.101.22[.]47.
The bit.ly link as well as the onsitepowersystems[.]com zip file are still active at the time of this analysis.
As a side note, OpenDNS offers the optional filtering of the URL Shortener category on your network. While URL shorteners are not malicious by design, removing access to them can help protect your users from clicking on links that will redirect them to unexpected places.
Above sample 083bb90a33710585883ae6bbb7f36437c083a5d889a3e4e3994955a53bfa1be0
On and On…
Here are a few more C2 panels and associated traffic we’ve recently seen coming through our resolvers.
thevm2[.]biz and blackhills[.]ddns[.]net
thevm2[.]biz– C2 panel for VM-ZeuS aka KINS (malware that was part of Avalanche) seen with traffic from a LuminosityLink sample and domains associated with Ramnit (a banking trojan).
This RAT is dropping additional malware; utilizing it’s download and execute functionality.
The email address nie0461@gmail[.]com is the registrant for thevm2[.]biz and the following domains.
We’re blocking hackcom[.]org which has the nameservers that are hosting these panels currently, and hosted some in the past. Pivoting through these registrant’s domains, we find more malicious infrastructure.
vm2online[.]biz – more panel configs
marciaguthke[.]com – redirected to a fake Microsoft support page
This domain virus-os-77h7ft[.]pw is hosted on 192.111.155[.]6, which hosts tons of fake AV support domains. By blocking this IP address, we prevent access to all of these domains.
From RATs, to banking trojans, to fake support domains. Due to a RATs ability to drop additional malware and the criminals utilizing different delivery methods, we’ve found a wide range of infrastructure and traffic comingling. By fully understanding the traits of the attack, we can make the most effective counter to protect our customers.