A new spear phishing campaign is targeting Saudi Arabia governmental organizations. The attack originates from a phishing email containing a Word document in Arabic language. If the victim opens it up, it will not only infect their system but send the same phishing document to other contacts via their Outlook inbox.
We know that at least about a dozen Saudi agencies were targeted. As with most email-borne attacks, this one leverages social engineering to execute malicious code via a Macro.
Macro might run executable Contains obfuscated macro code Loads DLL into its own memory Runs dropped executable Macro might read system main characteristics Runs existing executable Macro might overwrite file Access Windows sensitive data: Windows Address Book Suspicious delay Starts macro code when document is opened Searches inside certificate store database Gathers system main data (MachineGuid, ComputerName, SystemBiosVersion ...) Check user main folders path Access Windows sensitive data: Windows Profiles information Contains macro Contains macro with create file functionalities Drops .EXE file Drops .DLL file Access Windows sensitive data: certificates
A quick analysis with oletools shows us the sections within the macro:
The payload is embedded in the macro as Base64 code. It uses the certutil program to decode the Base64 into a PE file which is then executed:
Searches inside certificate store database Loads DLL into its own memory Gathers system main data (MachineGuid, ComputerName, SystemBiosVersion ...) Access Windows sensitive data: Windows Profiles information Access Windows sensitive data: Windows Address Book Drops .DLL file Drops .EXE file Access Windows sensitive data: certificates
Let’s take a look at the dropped binary itself. It is coded in .NET and not obfuscated. Here’s the encrypted payload:
It sets persistence for auto-relaunch via the Task Scheduler:
The purpose of this piece of malware appears to be stealing information and uploading it to a remote server:
According to reports from sources, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit blocked the targeted attack proactively without the use of signature updates thanks to its Application Behavior protection layer for all consumer and corporate users of Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware also detects and remediates the threat completely.
We will continue to analyze this threat and update the post at a later time with more information.
MD5: 3cd5fa46507657f723719b7809d2d1f9 SHA256: a6dbc36c472b3ba70a98efd0db35e75c340086be15d3c3ab4e39033604d0bcf9
MD5: 4ed42233962a89deaa89fd7b989db081 SHA256: a96c57c35df18ac20d83b08a88e502071bd0033add0914b951adbd1639b0b873
C:ProgramData**-x86-ui.exe with * being one of these: firefox|chrome|opera|abby|mozilla|google|hewlet|epson|xerox|ricoh|adobe|corel|java|nvidia|realtek|oracle|winrar|7zip|vmware|juniper|kaspersky|mcafee|symantec|yahoo|goog
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