Dridex

Dridex is a very evasive and technically complex banking Trojan. Despite being based on a relatively old malware code, it was substantially updated over the years and became capable of using very effective infiltration techniques that make this malware especially dangerous.

Type
Trojan
Origin
ex-USSR territory
First seen
1 January, 2014
Last seen
19 January, 2021
Global rank
28
Week rank
12
Month rank
13
IOCs
891

What is Dridex malware?

Dridex is one of the most technologically advanced banking trojans currently active. The primary target of this malware is stealing banking credentials from its victims. Dridex has been around since 2014 and has benefited from very consistent updates that helped the malware evolve and become more and more capable.

Thanks to constant evolution, Dridex currently supports very advanced functions like the Atom Bombing injection technique, web injects into Chrome and Microsoft Word zero-day exploit which helped the Dridex malware to make its way into countless machines.

Dridex is classified to be the evolution of the GameOver ZeuS, borrowing a C&C architecture from this virus and further improving upon it, making control servers very hard to pinpoint. The Dridex banking trojan also features similarities to other malware – CRIDEX and Bugat. However, while the latest relies mostly on vulnerabilities as an attack vector, Dridex also uses mail spam to infect the machines of its victims.

General description of Dridex malware

According to the new information, US and UK law enforcement organizations uncovered the identities of people behind Evil Corp — the cybergang that developed Dridex and several other malicious programs. Maxim Yakubets who is living in Moscow is suspected to be the group’s leader. He has been seen driving a Lamborghini Huracan with a number plate that reads “thief” in Russian. As a result of the investigation, the US Department of State has announced a $5 million reward for turning in Yakubets. This is the largest reward ever offered for a cybercriminal.

The spike of the popularity of Dridex trojan was recorded in the period between its first spotting in the wild until the year 2015. The subsequent malicious campaigns were fewer in number and perhaps not as global as the ones observed before 2015. Usually, the malware targets victims in Europe with over half of recorded infections taking place in the UK, though, German, French and US users are also in danger. Notably Dridex banking Trojan never attacks victims in the Russian Federation, which could indicate that the group behind this threat comes from this country. Dridex is one of the most popular banking Trojans in the world, placing at the seventh spot out of the top ten most widely spread viruses of this type by the number of infections in 2015, according to the data of flashpoint-intel.

The malware can perform a series of data-stealing actions including Form-grabbing, clickshot taking, and site injections. This allows Dredex to steal sensitive data such as logins and passwords when the victim logs into their banking account. This data can then be used by the attackers in future campaigns or sold to other criminals. In addition, the malware is capable of taking screenshots, allowing hackers to collect personal information about the victim. What’s more, the malware is able to change the content of web pages that the user is viewing using web-inject techniques, so when the user enters his login and password, instead of logging into a personal account this sensitive data is sent directly to the attackers.

Dridex trojan uses a Botnet as a Service operation model which entitles that infected PCs can become attack sources for future campaigns. This helps the malware to spread more efficiently and makes its attacks more global.

Some of the previous versions of this malware used to have a fairly unique persistence mechanism which researchers called “invisible”. It was dubbed so because the malware’ dynamic link library (DLL) was saved on a disk, and a registry value was generated to run the malicious DLL at system startup just only before the PC would be turned off.

Malware analysis of Dridex trojan

A video simulation recorded on ANY.RUN allows us to examine the lifecycle of the Dridex malware.

process graph of the dridex execution Figure 1: Process graph generated by ANY.RUN allows us to see the main processes of Dridex execution.

text report of the dridex analysis Figure 2: Displays the customizable text report generated by ANY.RUN.

Execution of Dridex malware

The execution process of Dridex is pretty short and straightforward. Similarly to a lot of malware nowadays, the banking Trojan makes its way into the victim's system as a malicious attachment, usually a Microsoft Office file, which is delivered in spam emails. After the user downloads and opens such a file and enables macros, the infection process begins. Dridex trojan is capable of utilizing different techniques to deliver the main payload. The payload can be downloaded directly by Microsoft Office or by injected system applications, for example, explorer.exe, or leveraged by the vulnerabilities exploit such as Microsoft Equation Editor. After the downloaded payload starts execution, it begins the main malicious activity such as writing itself into autorun in the registry, searching for installed software, executing scripts, connecting to the C2 server, and more.

Prevention of Dridex attacks

Users can avoid getting infected by banking Trojans such as Dridex by staying clear of suspiciously looking emails. To stay completely safe one should never launch files downloaded from emails which were delivered from unknown senders. A clear indication of the malicious nature of downloaded files can be that when opened, Microsoft Office files will prompt the user to enable macros – something users should never do to avoid infection. Additionally, it is advised to keep an updated version of a trusted antivirus product on a machine at all times.

How does Dridex malware spread?

Dridex mainly spreads using spam email campaigns and makes its way into targeted machines in the form of malicious email attachments. The emails are designed to resemble financial related messages, such as invoice delivery from real businesses and usually contain a malicious Microsoft Office document as an attachment.

Social engineering is used to trick potential victims into downloading and opening attached files, which when run execute a malicious macro which installs the Dridex banking trojan on the machine.

How to detect Dridex using ANY.RUN?

If Dridex trojan wasn't detected or you want to double-check you can use additional ANY.RUN functionality to get more from your analysis. During execution, Dridex unpacks itself in memory and enters the long-drawn-out loop. On each loop iteration malware output debug string "Installing...", so if you run into this first think that this is Dridex

dridex debug output Figure 3: Dridex debug output

Conclusion

Even though Dridex popularity has declined somewhat since its initial release, it is still an extremely popular and capable malware which is used in several attacks targeting companies in Europe and North America. Thanks to advanced persistence mechanisms and almost untraceable C&C servers, Dridex attacks are very hard to battle, making this malware extremely effective.

Thankfully, malware hunting services like ANY.RUN allow researchers to study threats similar to Dridex to set up effective countermeasures.

IOCs

IP addresses
160.153.136.3
104.23.98.190
80.86.91.27
77.220.64.37
85.25.144.36
188.165.17.91
52.73.70.149
221.126.244.72
195.231.69.151
198.71.233.227
212.227.92.116
185.25.149.178
78.100.87.212
160.153.137.170
8.4.9.152
104.131.144.215
212.27.63.105
190.114.254.163
85.214.26.7
192.175.111.212
Hashes
7b38b9c14389d7c57591a3aa4ae8a8f847ff7314f40e9cd2987ee5d4d22e84e9
e30688f06c8ce5bce84f690a508533262e068cf57a3d3a1d63baff6d3d391f6e
c0dc89bdb2f7c4c6ac13491b5dcf43712836a9e5091338572dcaafd711dd38c8
ca29ef4568817379ea2e7fd8ef4f2eadf4d65c554c5d18661996b87a3512f8e8
54a381ae101d3e95b0f3d7b7b4957600acabb7c949f2ed678cb22bb6d11d2843
bf1e36ac51a1a92eb6b5f4c68b67dfccc0692841d73045136cb9d7bc53bcf46d
b4834d24538514089628f7ad19d935e4e89675e2d9260f6cf0e39e61633caede
f24cec525e6b0580e11a11905b11d7015ca0715464e04648f2fcc4642258d408
0098b586935058cbae3b6713d281f47c361fe87c5b9148add360cfb84cec73e0
3069915e03f560e6f95bb6daab1e06752edf186a85cf82ddc868fb0cc308adc9
74a30c278e5592bf84a3b07da0edb9dc07d79ca9ec2df55049193f209a5e0aa4
1bea16ff5d8d503b62b9bf850c50d6493d73bf5802835102d36ede5d24b5e6e0
df49023a205f8cbd0481142f2206cce03fd367cf522d51ba4f282564c7a1b801
ae13c96938d54f2f37d2fe5a7d267e2d4d3b7f5215bfbdc3cedf312b7e2fa412
15018a65cecd3a919d7ac783c9e01e837b91f481794b60ce63f3f1de3e6f79a6
1b77275079c1a95a62d107baa39618ea1854e12dc288dd49afda4d854deba759
a2b8e93b078cf558b87a271d6fa87d378548ae0c2594f065d9bccbaeda0320da
ee148909734cc9bbf1b40c818ca5d5e43d0f4d2de4541fa545de391528acbfd9
30cced2a494ef2cfce8eae712f78ce9b11eee0641eef32261bc8048d8dc3ac3a
63a3889378b130da7e28db5346e9c2946161d49832e0afa0da4378857e23fb65
Domains
asexgroup.co.uk
isns.net
www.asappiling.com.au
capbonconsulting.com
www.capbonconsulting.com
www.koshersushiparty.com
www.shreveportnightlife.com
okckratom.com
bitqueen.com
www.waystoreducebellyfat.com
themidlandstrainingpartnership.co.uk
www.ivsdc.com
www.lgnutritionconsulting.com
shingletonfarms.com
www.shingletonfarms.com
winecountrymobilespa.com
winecountrymobilespa.com
www.lemoto.info
rbizassociates.com
www.rackingusa.com

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