Crimson RAT

Crimson is a Remote Access Trojan — a malware that is used to take remote control of infected systems and steal data. This particular RAT is known to be used by a Pakistani founded cybergang that targets Indian military objects to steal sensitive information.

Type
Trojan
Origin
Pakistan
First seen
1 January, 2016
Last seen
19 October, 2020
Also known as
SEEDOOR
Scarimson
Global rank
40
Week rank
25
Month rank
32
IOCs
191

What is Crimson RAT?

Crimson is a Remote Access Trojan — it is a malware that cybercriminals or threat groups can utilize to gather information from infected systems. The malware is also known under the names SEEDOOR and Scarimson. It can be used to spy on victims, capture screenshots, steal credentials and more.

Crimson is known to be used particularly by an APT (Advanced Persistent Threat), a cyber gang founded by a state. Therefore, the Crimson RAT is targeted at a very specific group of victims, among whom are Indian Government organizations and military.

General description of Crimson RAT

Crimson RAT is among malware that utilizes information related to the coronavirus to infect the machines of their victims. The strategy of using a natural disaster to exploit the need for information and the stress of potential victims is not new among cybercriminals. In fact, fake information about SARS and other epidemics is still used for phishing by some cyber-attack schemes.

As such, the Crimson malware authors use a fake health advisory email to trick victims into downloading a malicious document.

After the RAT is downloaded and installed it can perform several malicious functions, most of which are targeted at information gathering. The RAT can record and share running processes on an infected machine with the attackers, take screenshots, and steal information from web-browsers. Also, the malware has the capability to download files into infected systems from a control server.

As we mentioned above, the Crimson RAT is operated by an APT. In particular, APT36, which is thought to be sponsored by Pakistani officials to conduct military espionage. Thus, the victims of the RAT are almost exclusively among Indian officials and military personal. It is believed that retrieved sensitive information that the APT collects is used by Pakistan in military efforts against India.

In fact, APT36 is also commonly known under the name Mythic Leopard, has a history of successful attacks on Indian embassies and military infrastructure that resulted in the stealing of tactical and training information. However, other malware samples have been used in previous attacks.

Crimson RAT malware analysis

A video recorded in the ANY.RUN interactive malware analysis service shows the execution process of Crimson RAT.

crimson_process_graph

Figure 1: Shows the execution process of the Crimson RAT. This Graph was generated by ANY.RUN.

crimson_text_report

Figure 2: Displays a text report that users can create in ANY.RUN. Text reports can be used to demonstrate found information and can be customized to show only necessary data.

Crimson RAT execution process

Crimson RAT execution process is pretty straightforward but it can vary from sample to sample. Often, the malware executable file is located directly inside a malicious document and once the user opens it, the file drops the trojan. In other case, a maldoc can contain macro which leverages Powershell to download and start a Crimson executable file. After the trojan starts, it will try to establish a connection with a C2 server and transmit information about victim's system and the list of running processes on that system.

Crimson RAT malware distribution

Crimson RAT spreads using highly targeted email spam campaigns. Spear Phishing techniques that leverage the fear of the Covid-19 pandemic are used to trick victims into downloading a Microsoft Office Excel file, which allegedly contains information related to the outbreak. Once the file is opened, it launches malicious macros or exploits vulnerabilities, such as CVE-2017–0199 for example.

How to detect Crimson RAT

Analysts can detect the Crimson RAT based on file operations. To do so, click on the process in the "Process list" section and in the appeared "Process details" window click the "More info" button. In the "Event" section switch from "Friendly" to "Raw". After that, enter "Edlacar", "Dhrolas", "Ardscar" or "Dtromera" in the "Filename" field. If operations with a folder with such names are found, be sure — that’s the Crimson RAT in front of you.

Conclusion

Crimson is a prime example of a threat actor using a pandemic or other natural disaster to gain leverage over its victims and trick them into installing malware. So far this particular malware has been used almost exclusively in military espionage, but it may very well become more widespread in the future.

Since this is a lesser-known malware, not a lot of samples are available to analyze. Thankfully, ANY.RUN malware hunting service presents an opportunity to study this RAT in an interactive simulation, allowing for quick and simple dynamic analysis in a secure online environment.

IOCs

IP addresses
45.147.231.191
181.215.47.169
185.136.161.124
151.106.14.125
191.101.172.44
107.175.64.251
185.174.102.105
91.193.75.225
192.99.241.4
209.127.16.126
173.212.192.229
64.188.12.126
151.106.56.32
64.188.26.219
193.142.59.56
51.89.208.53
91.193.75.29
185.140.53.91
109.169.89.116
87.247.155.111
Hashes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isns.net
majul.com
booking.msg.bluhotels.com
booking.msg.bluhotels.com
tgservermax.duckdns.org
bjorn111.duckdns.org
gbam1234.duckdns.org
info1.duckdns.org
qxq.ddns.net
lawdvmercy.site
elumadns.eluma101.com
tasnimnewstehran.club
graceandfavorandlove.duckdns.org
naabz00.ddns.net
eastsidepapi.myq-see.com
gracelogs.ddns.net
westvalleyhospicecare.theworkpc.com
ddns.nanthings.xyz
arana-news.duckdns.org
boss5.hopto.org

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