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Irresponsibile Malware Operators Squandered an “Undetectable” Windows Backdoor

Due to the malware operators’ careless behaviour, a “completely undetectable” backdoor has been discovered.

SafeBreach Labs claims to have discovered a brand new PowerShell backdoor that, when properly executed, grants attackers remote access to compromised endpoints. From there, the attackers could launch a variety of stage-two attacks, ranging from data stealers to ransomware (opens in new tab) and everything in between.

Based on the report, an unknown threat actor created “ApplyForm[.]docm,” a weaponized Word document. It contained a macro that, when activated, ran an unknown PowerShell script.

“The macro drops updater.vbs, creates a scheduled task pretending to be part of a Windows update, which will execute the updater.vbs script from a fake update folder under ‘%appdata%localMicrosoftWindows,” the researchers explained

Updater.vbs would then execute a PowerShell script, granting the attacker remote access. The malware creates two PowerShell scripts, Script.ps1 and Temp.ps1, before running the scheduled task. The contents are concealed and placed in text boxes within the Word document, which is then saved in the fictitious update directory. As a result, antivirus software fails to identify the file as malicious.

Script.ps1 connects to the command and control server to assign a victim ID and receive additional instructions. Then it executes the Temp.ps1 script, which stores data and executes commands. The attackers made the mistake of issuing victim IDs in a predictable sequence, which allowed researchers to listen in on conversations with the C2 server.

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