Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

1/9/2020
01:45 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

TrickBot Group Adds New PowerShell-Based Backdoor to Arsenal

PowerTrick is sort of a custom-version of PowerShell Empire and can be used to download additional malware, SentinelOne says.

Russia's infamous TrickBot organized cybercrime group has a new trick up its sleeve for high-value targets — a custom fileless PowerShell-based backdoor designed for stealth, persistence, and reconnaissance inside infected networks.

SentinelOne, which has been tracking the malware, has dubbed it PowerTrick. In a blog post Thursday, the vendor described the new malware as having similar capabilities as the PowerShell Empire open source penetration-testing tool but being harder to detect because it is custom developed.

Vitali Kremez, lead cybersecurity researcher at SentinelOne's SentinelLabs, says PowerTrick is a fileless post-exploitation tool that TrickBot operators are using to stealthily drop additional malware on systems belonging to organizations the group perceives as being of high value.

The malware is being used to enable mass data collection, reconnaissance, persistence, and lateral movement on infected networks. "We assess with high confidence at least some of the initial PowerTrick infections are being kicked off as a PowerShell task through normal TrickBot infections," Kremez says.

TrickBot is a Russia-based group that initially specialized in bank fraud activities but over the years has increasingly begun targeting enterprise organizations as well. The group is believed to have broken into numerous enterprise networks and gathered a massive amount of information on each of them, including credentials, network, and domain controller data.

In recent years, the group has been selling access to that data to other financially motivated cybercrime groups and more recently to advanced persistent threat (APT) groups such as North Korea's Lazarus operation. According to SentinelOne, TrickBot has processed and indexed data on victims it has compromised in such a manner that its customers can quickly identify high-value targets or the least-protected organizations.

In addition to selling access to compromised networks, TrickBot in recent years has also let other vetted groups use its custom malware to carry out attacks and distribute other malware. One example is Anchor, a collection of custom and existing tools for everything from post-exploit malware installation to cleanup and removal of all evidence of a break-in. Like many other cybercrime and APT groups, TrickBot also has extensively leveraged legitimate admin tools and services — notably PowerShell, Metasploit, Cobalt Strike, and PowerShell Empire — in its post-exploit operations.

"PowerTrick is a private solution that the TrickBot group leverages for the deployment of additional targeted malware," Kremez says. Similar to how PowerShell Empire's stager component works, PowerTrick can be used to download a larger, more powerful backdoor for executing other commands such as those for harvesting credentials, moving laterally or for installing more backdoors. TrickBot Anchor and another backdoor called TerraLoader are two examples of malware that attackers are deploying via PowerTrick, Kremez says.

The end goal of the PowerTrick backdoor is to bypass restrictions and security controls and exploit strongly protected and secure high-value networks. Like its other malware products, TrickBot appears to have made PowerTrick available to other cybercrime and APT groups as well, according to Kremez.

SentinelLabs has developed a mock command-and-control panel that organizations can use to test for PowerTrick related infections. The security vendor has also released indicators of compromise related to the threat.

Related Content:

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "In App Development, Does No-Code Mean No Security?"

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
When It Comes To Security Tools, More Isn't More
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  1/11/2021
US Capitol Attack a Wake-up Call for the Integration of Physical & IT Security
Seth Rosenblatt, Contributing Writer,  1/11/2021
IoT Vendor Ubiquiti Suffers Data Breach
Dark Reading Staff 1/11/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-28476
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-18
All versions of package tornado are vulnerable to Web Cache Poisoning by using a vector called parameter cloaking. When the attacker can separate query parameters using a semicolon (;), they can cause a difference in the interpretation of the request between the proxy (running with default configura...
CVE-2020-28473
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-18
The package bottle from 0 and before 0.12.19 are vulnerable to Web Cache Poisoning by using a vector called parameter cloaking. When the attacker can separate query parameters using a semicolon (;), they can cause a difference in the interpretation of the request between the proxy (running with defa...
CVE-2021-25173
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-18
An issue was discovered in Open Design Alliance Drawings SDK before 2021.12. A memory allocation with excessive size vulnerability exists when reading malformed DGN files, which allows attackers to cause a crash, potentially enabling denial of service (crash, exit, or restart).
CVE-2021-25174
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-18
An issue was discovered in Open Design Alliance Drawings SDK before 2021.12. A memory corruption vulnerability exists when reading malformed DGN files. It can allow attackers to cause a crash, potentially enabling denial of service (Crash, Exit, or Restart).
CVE-2021-25175
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-18
An issue was discovered in Open Design Alliance Drawings SDK before 2021.11. A NULL pointer dereference exists when rendering malformed .DXF and .DWG files. This can allow attackers to cause a crash, potentially enabling a denial of service attack (Crash, Exit, or Restart). This is issue 1 of 3.