Ave Maria

Ave Maria malware is a Remote Access Trojan that is also called WARZONE RAT. Hackers use it to control PCs of their victims remotely and steal information from infected PCs. For example, they can remotely activate the camera to take pictures of a victim and send them to a control server

Type
Stealer
Origin
Unknown
First seen
4 December, 2018
Last seen
29 May, 2020
Also known as
AVE_MARIA
Warzone RAT
Global rank
24
Week rank
14
Month rank
18
IOCs
1573

What is Ave Maria malware?

Ave Maria is a remote access Trojan, infostealer and keylogger. It is a malware that attackers can use to gain remote control of machines that it infects. When researchers first discovered this Trojan it was thought to be rather simplistic. However, later samples surprise with advanced functions.

The malware is available in the form of a one or three months subscription and can be freely purchased from the attackers, which is typical for this type of virus. Users can also purchase a dynamic DNS server from the same distributor to complete the package.

General description of Ave Maria malware

Ave Maria is a modular RAT with an advanced design. Though when it was first discovered researchers believed that the malware is fairly simple, it was later revealed that this virus has advanced functions under its hood, such as privilege escalation and remote camera control.

Furthermore, Ave Maria Trojan is capable of stealing a wide range of data from infected machines. Even such well-protected information such as credentials stored in Mozilla Firefox are not safe despite the utilized PK11 encryption.

However, some parts of the malware appear to be unfinished which may suggest that the authors are still working on expanding its functionality even further. Considering how effective this RAT already is this idea is nothing but worrying.

Ave Maria Trojan uses a DLL hijacking exploit that at this point doesn’t have a foreseeable fix. It allows the malware to escalate privileges of a Windows process and enable a malicious process to gain administrative control of an infected machine. Unfortunately, the malware is also capable of avoiding detection on many target machines.

Once the malware achieves this initial target it downloads additional plugins and even other viruses like Lokibot to the machine.

Interactive analysis of Ave Maria malware

A video recorded in the ANY.RUN malware hunting service displays the execution process of Ave Maria. Users can utilize this information to take a deep dive into how this malware functions under the hood.

ave maria execution process graph

Figure 1: Shows the graph of processes generated by the ANY.RUN malware hunting service.

text report of the ave maria analysis

Figure 2: ANY.RUN allows creating customizable text reports that contain detailed and nicely structured information. This functions is perfect for making presentations.

Ave Maria malware execution process

Ave Maria RAT execution process can vary a little different from one version to another. Since the main vector of this malware’s distribution is malicious spam email campaigns, it usually exploits CVE-2017-11882 (Microsoft Equation Editor) vulnerability but can infect a system in several other ways.

In the analysed sample, Maldoc gets downloaded and executed through macro. Then, the malware copies and runs itself from %temp% directory. To establish persistence, Ave Maria Trojan changes the autorun value in the registry and creates a scheduled task. For privilege escalation, the malware uses pkgmgr.exe to load a malicious DLL (dismcore.dll) that starts a malware instance with higher privileges. Also, the virus often injects into the explorer.exe process.

After all these steps, Ave Maria RAT starts its malicious activity such as keylogger function and saves all keystrokes and other user activity into a file, establishes a connection with the C2 server, steals more data from the system and so on.

Distribution of Ave Maria malware

Ave Maria like many other RATs is distributed in email spam campaigns that deliver a malicious attachment. However, attackers often use phishing techniques which means that they tailor the emails to suit each targeted segment of potential victims more closely than in typical email spam.

The danger of Ave Maria RAT distribution method along with tailored campings lies in the lack of macros use or the need for user interaction after a malicious document is downloaded by the victim. The infection often begins due to the use of a Microsoft Equation Editor exploit that is utilized by an embedded object which is contained in the downloaded document.

How to detect Ave Maria malware using ANY.RUN?

Ave Maria malware performs information stealing offline which causes it to save data locally on an infected system. To find out what information was stolen by Ave Maria RAT, take a look inside files that it creates using "Static Discovering". These files often have names in the dd-mm-yy_hh.mm.ss format. To open a file just click on a file’s name.

information stolen by ave maria Figure 3: Information stolen by Ave Maria

Summary

Ave Maria malware should be considered a serious threat to cybersecurity. It utilizes a vulnerability that may remain unfixed for the foreseeable future.

Additionally, the joint effect from highly targeted phishing emails and lack of need for the user interaction to begin execution make the chance of contamination with this malware larger than average. We should also add the fact that the latest samples of the malware showed a lot of advancements compared to the first reportings. It is safe to assume that Ave Maria will be upgraded down the line.

This threat is fairly new and right now there is limited information about Ave Maria RAT. All the more reason to utilize advanced functions provided by the ANY.RUN malware hunting service and dissect the available samples. Unfortunately, we must admit that it is likely that we will hear about this malware again and the more prepared we are then, the better.

IOCs

IP addresses
193.161.193.99
3.137.63.131
79.134.225.115
79.134.225.93
185.140.53.22
40.113.221.7
79.134.225.101
79.134.225.94
209.58.144.239
185.140.53.84
185.227.82.72
79.134.225.54
185.140.53.18
185.244.30.252
13.89.246.115
185.140.53.10
185.140.53.46
79.134.225.75
194.5.98.234
18.223.41.243
Hashes
677a3868bcb832770ad99cf08ee52ba0ca3c67e71d7eee62e0669de8f83c4f10
9792aed76169db669e7d894af5961347d5ede08320a9b9954ebaae7f7bc8a5f7
5a7fde3d1fb47fc7426fa1039e41a601633de8fad80c9c52823382dfe01eac86
5c7b6c75eee95614a740b733b6895346066ae6c893c7b7cc8885ffa425ca6c86
d0b771681ca1f486be3efc349653e38e750a626bea06ebcb1d634431fd1e8dda
4276e2e076e8b02efaf5f3f83be36f7d5dd36a345d6629436b592167199c7b08
5c7a9107b4086238586f06f3df52815064c5a0c537645c1545391060af4b2f38
7ce6f84cc82471b9cb9c9092fc15b11b43f17bddd749de2148a658be7c96e00c
50ef52910983b0d7789e0e981019573a96badf014b57f669e1e8deaa9051bac1
00eefa6efa1815770b9bcd826b985d67668194c98329e0c339060b9d22e6483d
e1d165776063f60a18cdd5d21f19c4700f79b1911da4d78c42fd2c885feac0b9
cc920a4c5c431179de53e9f260064857c6510e47d9ddb9f2005c33601624509b
d9b542485bdddfb45d27ee2849cd7faaea9f73e24323730f461d095a3d633847
31c4578c65f057eb9582233d40fee9ef2c527d6c2c2dcb43d9cf34c6fd26d5b3
d66ddc5604f3785ea0baa33689917fb625bc3798a57d53b659ff1fee6ad0a7c7
27eab7c5f97956d0f22c6c5d7c69d6e408a5a6e3255ca4a1626e606bd6367ec4
cb3dbd206577a169b0cdaa806335221e59813249ec52ad4554a351dd0d4808ad
ebddbf171d569ce4db44a0284ac1cbe390e075854749713aa9186276036cacd6
9d36d90f9c2899d43c70a09d23e06ac6d151f738f83cd69d590c76d4bb9b6c9e
67cacba2f313fd69b51eb0bc495ee79ce7f2706f068cb35a5419edc03c97449b
Domains
server12511.sytes.net
UbiquitousLV-34772.portmap.host
DARKBOTNET1337-53975.portmap.io
fertun-31739.portmap.host
Super21-22019.portmap.host
Leep-25813.portmap.host
RatsAreCute-52351.portmap.io
sweeper-63754.portmap.host
nobert-51061.portmap.host
Rahulratter-32231.portmap.host
2323135-32857.portmap.host
letmeinwar-32071.portmap.host
leon123354-45726.portmap.host
Bracka-50173.portmap.host
KrazeY-62470.portmap.host
UbiquitousLV-46838.portmap.host
UbiquitousLV-44507.portmap.io
spynetserver.ddns.net
RatsAreCute-52402.portmap.io
scca.duckdns.org

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