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
6 August, 2020
Also known as
AVE_MARIA
Warzone RAT
Global rank
23
Week rank
10
Month rank
18
IOCs
1970

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
79.134.225.105
3.137.63.131
23.82.140.14
185.140.53.130
79.134.225.11
84.38.135.151
185.244.30.26
79.134.225.5
185.140.53.17
185.140.53.135
79.134.225.75
194.5.98.249
194.127.179.246
185.140.53.219
185.244.30.57
104.37.175.147
185.165.153.203
185.244.29.130
185.244.25.243
Hashes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MONSTER453254523-41859.portmap.host
Wikeos-28158.portmap.host
nanocookie-40438.portmap.host
Grando-56252.portmap.host
bogyz1-36349.portmap.io
bogyz1-64752.portmap.io
bogyz1-45581.portmap.host
bogyz1-33880.portmap.io
bogyz1-60690.portmap.host
bogyz1-61702.portmap.host
Mars12-24747.portmap.host
bogyz1-52337.portmap.host
bogyz1-52860.portmap.host
bogyz1-55048.portmap.host
bogyz1-60896.portmap.host
bogyz1-52753.portmap.host
bogyz1-63109.portmap.host
bogyz1-25125.portmap.io
bogyz1-36867.portmap.io
bogyz1-48304.portmap.io

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