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
15 January, 2021
Also known as
AVE_MARIA
Warzone RAT
Global rank
23
Week rank
12
Month rank
16
IOCs
2900

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
3.22.30.40
13.59.15.185
13.59.15.185
185.140.53.135
3.131.147.49
185.222.58.156
3.13.191.225
185.19.85.136
52.146.42.226
95.217.251.120
73.140.59.149
91.193.75.212
185.222.57.68
168.61.222.215
66.42.107.233
45.141.58.213
195.140.214.82
216.38.2.215
45.77.193.90
Hashes
9c8d3ded8a7da33087bd417aaa7229eaac696c90977c59f7fbe581b1e96391fd
e5afa3d0aadbf3c559d41ae3b354e4258230de01d6514de7fd3133c1f3b6306c
cc02e86827782311667492e5e9204280ab7d7d3d7f66a5dfa37e33db594826d6
b09e529b5320faa3235c9edd9951be33d6c0bcb7338f6e3803fd36b70a9caa13
cf6fc4b3a468d55d129b5289cde3faa6221f5ff683cd044822764e974b75fbd0
023823859e196b15112c3e59e6247ceef4001f5a36f0e1383aa63b3b5a1c3aa6
f74176506b2de80c22ba193508413540b9b13ca4ab364ecba8ae97120adb3ec3
d31cd3d115f23ac70007b2b3918de2502ee0636178c3b1b8557a3b0cb5903acf
6764633b19998476bdf7ced0b5197a292c545a9e8068b44b40afd720bbbb62d9
8fa012cc7bebb93ce19f2d74819faccf7ce9d7aad53c65373432d794726506e5
65b1e10ed3763cba4c0d1e4ecad4605e1df1408adcc84e74efb7f36b60d0888c
c4271b1f26f43f19fe64ddcc4e563e4bf75904ae861b661d89ed9af14afabe62
3cf4ce35803ca5e5d8d03efd6d90108b0424598b4ef93cf3bcf7696ee7541b93
504e0489472d6107d56d6d4f88600200b055bd97c3158ef1c9a54ea38074351a
5666caf6b25ea4875648bb18b5ec4db958a283514861578639d3d3a3eab89863
4500851dad1ac87165fc938fe5034983c10423f800bbc2661741f39e43ab8c8d
70278d9fb1dffeb87d9d2866dc6e5769be83dc2af06c5e5b4b1271bbbe231925
c3f19b61675a0a14b4f9a821e27abc61bc3896dbc346f0d4d5d70cfe2b3975de
425fda571f2f9117cb9dfc1bf01a1e93cbd1c4d02754832ab737f4f12a50f852
f102b84a95cdef3710405017dcd88a2fad1ab18c71fded6008e6f15159b5106f
Domains
Alan855647-55362.portmap.host
ImagineTyingToGetMyIp-31268.portmap.host
FiveBranch2K-50721.portmap.io
discord-51452.portmap.io
Noxxium-24569.portmap.host
putcheeseonit-23074.portmap.host
putcheeseonit-36506.portmap.host
admini-31007.portmap.host
wanda321-55652.portmap.io
idevour-30752.portmap.host
IDevour-30752.portmap.host
Khazaroth-46159.portmap.host
astatic-37340.portmap.host
edvpn-51143.portmap.host
rikkhackedyou-27394.portmap.host
minerboy123-61906.portmap.host
Stremtyyt-36284.portmap.host
Yeetret-34302.portmap.io
decyzja-24073.portmap.host
mazzion1234-44451.portmap.host

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