Azorult

AZORult can steal banking information, including passwords and credit card details, as well as cryptocurrency. This constantly updated information stealer malware should not be taken lightly, as it continues to be an active threat.

Type
Stealer
Origin
ex-USSR
First seen
1 January, 2016
Last seen
20 May, 2022
Also known as
PuffStealer
Rultazo
Global rank
11
Week rank
14
Month rank
16
IOCs
27009

What is AZORult malware?

AZORult is an information stealer malware that is targeted at stealing credentials and accounts. Updated multiple times over the years, AZORult continues to be an active concern for the users, stealing information such as banking passwords, credit card details, browser histories, and even cryptocurrency.

AZORult stealer was discovered, analyzed, and documented for the first time on July 26, 2016, by Proofpoint researchers. At the time, the virus was distributed together with another trojan called Chthonic. However, subsequent spam email campaigns started distributing AZORult as the main payload while Hermes and Aurora ransomware were added as additional payloads. A new strain of the stealer Trojan was documented In July 2018. The analysis revealed that it brought several upgrades to the functions of both the stealer and the loader of the virus, additionally allowing to distribute AZORult with the RIG exploit kit. The latest recorded version of the malware is v3.3. This strain was first documented in October 2018. Most notably, this strain updated a way of encrypting the C&C domain string and improved crypto-stealing function.

General description of AZORult malware

A trojan type malware originated in one of the ex-USSR countries. AZORult spyware searches for useful information on the affected computer and sends it to the C2 server to potentially steal the victim’s bank account data. AZORult can steal cookies, browser autofill information, desktop files, chat history, and more.

Interestingly, to get into a machine, the virus, in some cases, requires secondary malware like HawkEye or Seamless. Notably, after every bit of useful data is obtained in campaigns with Hermes and Aurora, user files are encrypted, and a ransom is requested to restore the lost data.

One of the interesting features of AZORult is that after execution, the malware is removed from the system due to the lack of a persistence mechanism.

Malware analysis of AZORult

ANY.RUN displays the execution process of AZORult in an interactive virtual environment. As shown by the sandbox simulation, the virus launches the following process during its execution:

  • Firstly, a Microsoft Office file opened, and WINWORD.EXE with enable macros is executed;
  • The malware runs EQNEDT32.EXE and downloads a malicious executable through the exploitation of the CVE-2017-11882 Microsoft Office Equation Editor vulnerability;
  • A 3.exe file is then launched, which changes the autorun value in the registry. A malicious executable file then proceeds to make changes in the registry so that the system runs it at the system start;
  • A malicious executable file launches itself and then proceeds to steal the personal data and connect to the CnC server;
  • Then, a malicious executable file starts cmd.exe to delete itself after a 3-second timeout.

The execution process of AZORult can be viewed in more detail in the video provided by ANY.RUN sandbox.

azorult execution process graph

Figure 1: Illustrates the life cycle of malware. Graph generated by ANY.RUN

How to avoid infection by AZORult?

AZORult is distributed mainly using spam email campaigns or via the RIG exploit kit. Notably, a major AZORult distribution campaign was observed on July 18, 2018, targeting North America.

Spam emails that the attackers sent carried largely employment-related subjects and included an infected and password-protected resume file that triggered the download of the virus.

AZORult malware execution process

Below is an illustration of the execution process created by the ANY.RUN interactive malware hunting service for analysis.

azorult execution process tree

Figure 2. AZORult execution process in ANY.RUN

text report of the azorult malware analysis

Figure 3: A text report generated by ANY.RUN

AZORult stealer uses a clever technique to trick various antivirus engines. Particularly, the version of the stealer Trojan distributed in the July 2018 spam campaign was activated after unlocking a password-protected document. Since a password protected the document that was attached to the email, antiviruses had not been able to scan it and determine whether it was malicious or not. For the virus to become active, the victim had to unlock and enable macros for the document. In this particular campaign, the malware was distributed with two payloads embedded in the main binary. Both payloads were dropped to the disk and executed, with the first executable payload being the information gatherer – AZORult itself and then the secondary ransomware.

It should be noted that in aforecited ANY.RUN simulation AZORult uses an exploit when a Microsoft Office file is opened, allowing to embed several malicious OLE objects into a document and executes arbitrary code on a machine, and even download any file from a remote server and execute it.

How to share your AZORult malware analysis with others?

If you want to share your virus analysis with others, you can create a text report and send it to anyone you want. Just click the "Text report" button. You can save it using your browser function by clicking the "Save page as..." or "Print..." buttons. You can also download or share other malware investigations, for example Adwind or Remcos. Note that you can choose that information section in your report you want to print or save into a file using the "Print..." button by clicking on the little printer icon on the left side of the sections. On the illustration below, the first section with a grey-colored button won't be included in the report. However, you can see a section with a black-colored printer button there.

text report for azorult Figure 4: Azorult text report

Conclusion

AZORult remains to be a hazardous trojan. The stealer Trojan has been upgraded throughout its lifespan and currently poses even more dangers than during the first days of its lifespan. Particularly, most recent versions of AZORult are distributed in bundles with ransomware and can steal cryptocurrency from the victims.

AZORult's distribution in clever email campaigns makes becoming a victim of the stealer Trojan by accident relatively easy. The interactive sandbox analysis provided by services like ANY.RUN is a great way to learn more about the threat and greatly increase cybersecurity.

IOCs

IP addresses
188.114.97.10
104.18.226.52
104.18.225.52
188.114.96.10
37.48.65.151
66.254.114.41
35.205.61.67
188.114.96.15
5.189.140.77
103.224.212.222
1.1.1.1
172.67.208.45
198.12.125.130
99.83.153.108
75.2.26.18
45.141.152.18
75.2.18.233
104.26.0.109
172.94.18.243
185.53.177.54
Hashes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gtly.to
madbbs.org
id.a-mx.com
riversnails.club
c.usefulcontentsites.com
cdn.usefulcontentsites.com
networknoise.xyz
www.httpdebugger.com
cloud26.xyz
zooomyapps.com
svntrk.com
mediapalmtree.com
cdn.plyr.io
geo.ngtv.io
pnsqsv.com
bvmcdn.com
rdr9.xyz
punosy.best
cdntechone.com
yqmxfz.com

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