Danabot

Danabot is an advanced banking Trojan malware that was designed to steal financial information from victims. Out of the Trojans in the wild, this is one of the most advanced thanks to the modular design and a complex delivery method.

Type
Trojan
Origin
Unknown
First seen
6 May, 2018
Last seen
25 January, 2023
Global rank
29
Week rank
22
Month rank
24
IOCs
1704

What is Danabot banking malware?

Danabot is a banking trojan that was spotted in the wild in 2018. Danabot differs from competing Trojans thanks to its robust delivery system and modular design. Since its first appearance, Danabot has obtained high popularity among cybercriminals and became an active threat in multiple regions of the world.

This malware is constantly updated by the creators, helping the Trojan continue to gain popularity in the hacking community. Danabot is written using the Delphi programming language carries several credential theft functions.

General description of Danabot

When first documented, Danabot malware was being used by just one actor who carried out a campaign against Australian companies. Since then, other malicious actors have started utilizing this malware and expanded the geography of attacks to Europe and North America.

In particular, the Danabot trojan was seen in attacks in Poland, Germany, Italy, Austria, and the US. Particularly, the US campaigns were carried out on a large scale, indicating that the malware is evolving and developing.

As far as the function set of this malware is concerned, Danabot can be classified as a banking trojan, though some of its features suggest that it is becoming a more versatile malware. Danabot is constructed out of three main components. The loader is a program created to download the main payload. The main component, which is installed by the loader, is configured to download the modules that the attacker can specify. Finally, once installed, the modules provide the functionality, which can vary depending on which modules were chosen by the ill-wisher in a particular campaign.

The malware can take screenshots, grant attackers remote control of the victims’ machine, collect system information, steal credentials, and record lists of files stored on infected PCs. Once collected, all information recorded by Danabot is sent to the control server in an encrypted form. Danabot aims to steal sensitive information that can be leveraged by the attackers later, therefore instead of confirming the victim head-on and demanding a ransom. This malware tries to stay hidden and collect valuable data over time. Some of the smaller distribution campaigns featuring Danabot were well made in terms of clever social engineering and carried on with the same philosophy of a more subtle approach.

In addition, researchers noticed that the attackers utilizing Danabot ventured beyond banking credentials theft and started utilizing this banking malware to host other spam and malicious campaigns, using the infected machines of their victims. What’s more, Danabot creators are thought to be collaborating with the group behind a different banking trojan – GootKit. Danabot was recorded as being used to distribute this type of threat. This case is a first for both malicious programs since neither has been distributed or distributed by other malware before.

In January 2019, researchers noticed a new version of the Danabot trojan in the wild. The investigation confirmed the new samples to be the evolution of Danabot, with a different C2 communication protocol that began to use multiple encryption layers and proved very complex. In the new variant, AES and RSA encryption algorithms were employed in particular. On top of that, the core design of the malware was also changed, as the loader was made responsible for downloading all the modules along with the main component. The researchers believe a technique was used to avoid detection on a network level that the attackers could have invented after reading existing analysis material on Danabot.

It should be noted that Danabot features several evasion techniques designed to make research as complicated as possible. For one, the banking malware is loaded with many lines of junk code, implemented solely to mislead the researchers. The malware also uses encryption and Windows API function hashing to fool automated sandboxes and researchers and prevent them from uncovering the true nature of the code.

Malware analysis of Danabot

A video recorded in the ANY.RUN malware hunting service enables us to take a look at Danabot in action.

danabot execution process graph

Figure 1: A process graph generated by ANY.RUN for the convenience of the researchers

text report of the Danabot malware execution

Figure 2: The text report generated by ANY.RUN is created to allow easy sharing of the study results

Danabot banking malware execution process

Typically Danabot trojan infects devices according to the following scenario. First of all, the downloader establishes a connection with the C2 server and downloads an executable file with a DLL file, which can be either 32-bit or 64-bit based on the infected OS version.

After that, Danabot begins stealing information from the infected OS. The banking malware bypasses user access control by using a DLL hijacking vulnerability in the Windows Update Standalone Installer (wusa.exe). This allows Danabot to create services and execute the injection into system processes. After all of these steps, Danabot receives full system control.

How to avoid infection by Danabot?

Danabot is distributed in email spam campaigns targeting organizations and using social engineering to trick victims into downloading malicious documents the same scenario as

Danabot is also known to get into PCs with another malware called Hancitor. Email campaigns featuring Danabot were considered well crafted by some researchers, who noted that social engineering involved seemed very effective.

Communication with C&C

In older samples of Danabot, the loader component used HTTP protocol to communicate with the control server, whereas the main component utilized the binary protocol. In more recent iterations, both components started to communicate with the C2 server over TCP port 443 using TLS instead.

How to detect Danabot using ANY.RUN?

ANY.RUN uses Suricata IDS rule sets, so if malware trying to communicate with C&C servers, it will be detected. To look at what threats were detected, click on the "Threats" section of the "Network" tab.

danabot network threats Figure 3: Danabot's network threats

Conclusion

Danabot is a very sophisticated malicious program used as a banking trojan and more. Targeting organizations across multiple continents, Danabot malware poses a high threat to businesses thanks to robust distribution methods and cutting-edge anti-evasion and persistence techniques.

In addition, the module nature of this banking malware allows attackers to fine-tune their campaigns, customizing them for every potential victim. All these traits combined helped make Danabot a very popular banking trojan that is only continuing to gain traction in the criminal community and further expand the geography of attacks.

To establish a reliable cyber defense, security professionals can utilize malware hunting and analysis services such as ANY.RUN, which allows to dissect malware samples and thoroughly study their behavior and architecture.

IOCs

IP addresses
192.236.192.238
192.236.192.241
131.59.110.186
116.111.206.27
45.77.40.71
181.63.44.194
185.43.196.194
152.163.122.91
192.161.48.5
58.41.130.190
2.56.213.39
5.61.58.130
66.85.185.120
193.34.167.138
51.77.7.204
38.68.50.179
149.255.35.125
51.178.195.151
51.222.39.81
192.236.161.79
Hashes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vcctggqm3t.dattolocal.net
booking.msg.bluhotels.com
booking.msg.bluhotels.com
searchkn1.sima-land.ru
isns.net
frederikkempe.com
majul.com
thuocnam.tk
krupskaya.com
m-onetrading-jp.com
ticket.ipv10.eu
3jkpvk2m8y.dattolocal.net
elx01.knas.systems
192-168-100-87.abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz012345.plex.direct
192-168-100-240.otmn.direct.quickconnect.to
192-168-100-240.otmn.direct.quickconnect.to
qxq.ddns.net
dyson-v11.ddns.net
ro-americanexpress.sytes.net
americanexpres.ddns.net

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