Hancitor

Hancitor was created in 2014 to drop other malware on infected machines. It is also known as Tordal and Chanitor. This malware is available as a service which makes it accessible tools to criminals and contributes to the popularity of this virus.

Type
Loader
Origin
Unknown
First seen
1 January, 2014
Last seen
1 August, 2021
Also known as
Tordal
Chanitor
Global rank
30
Week rank
19
Month rank
35
IOCs
7436

What is Hancitor malware?

Hancitor, sometimes called Tordal and Chanitor is a loader designed to install other malware on the victim’s PC – most often it’s either Pony, Vawtrak, or DELoader. The malware has been around since 2014 and it is distributed to other users as a service by the original creators.

This malware can’t be considered dangerous since even Microsoft's built-in antivirus Windows Defender can detect it. On top of that, being distributed in email spam campaigns, in a lot of cases emails don’t even reach their targets, being intercepted by spam filters. In essence, the only people truly in danger of getting infected by Hancitor, are those who still utilize older Windows version like Windows seven or earlier and who either don’t have or disabled their antivirus software. Curiously, despite such a limited “target audience”, Hancitor creators continue to update this malware and it is still very active to this day.

General description of the Hancitor Trojan

Creators of Hancitor provide their loader as a service to other criminals, helping to install various malware on the target PCs. The people behind Hancitor are extremely active and organized. Some researchers suspect that they work full business weeks since the surge of Hancitor attacks usually takes place on business days and falls off on the weekends, which suggests that the hackers responsible have a work structure and a schedule.

Despite that, Hancitor loader has not changed very much since 2016 and to this day relies on very simple execution and evasion techniques which makes it’s detection and prevention relatively easy, especially for corporate targets with adequate levels of cybersecurity.

The 2016 version of the malware had 66 functions and had the size of 20 480 bytes while the 2018 version is made up of 51 functions that amount to the size of 20 992 bytes. One of the main differences between the versions is the lack of connectivity check functionality in the 2018 iteration. As such, the older iteration of Hancitor would try to connect to Google.com during execution to check for connections whereas the never iteration fully omits this step. The newer version also makes use of the RC4 encryption and contains some updated commands.

Not unlike other malware, Hancitor Trojan uses several attack vectors to maximize the success rate. Hancitor creators have exploited uncommon API abuse and PowerShell methods among others to ensure the successful infection.

Over the last two years, over 80 variations of Hancitor were detected in the wild. Usually, a new variation would be created simply to define a new variable for a different campaign, while at other times the basic functions of the loader were completely changed and rewritten. However, such instances were rather rare and highly rewritten samples didn’t stick around for long. Some researchers believe that in such instances the malware authors were testing different approaches and keeping track of the infection rate to determine what changes should remain and which innovations should go.

Hancitor malware analysis

A video recorded on the ANY.RUN malware hunting service displays the execution process of Hancitor.

process graph hancitor execution

Figure 1: A visual graph of Hancitor execution processes generated by ANY.RUN

text report of the hancitor malware analysis

Figure 2: A customizable text report shown here was generated in the ANY.RUN malware hunting service

Hancitor execution process

Because of its main purpose, the execution of Hancitor doesn't look that impressive. Since the most common vector of attack to infect users' devices is malicious spam campaigns, Hancitor mostly gets into devices with Microsoft Office files. Once the user downloads and opens the malicious file, the malware either use the lure to trick the victim into enabling macros or uses an exploit. After that Hancitor will be either downloaded from the C2 server or dropped from an Office file. The next step is its execution during which the malware downloads the main payload, usually a trojan such as Pony, Vawtrak, or DELoader.

Distribution of Hancitor

Hancitor trojan is usually distributed in malspam campaigns as a malicious Microsoft Office file attachment. However, since most organizations started improving their cybersecurity measures some campaigns distributing Hancitor contain a link pointing at the website from where this loader is downloaded.

In the case of distribution using .DOC attachments, the user must first download the file and then activate macros, ignoring multiple security warning. Malware authors use lures to trick users into doing that. Some phishing emails contain an invoice or a fake payment related document, trying to make the user download it. In addition, attackers provide instruction to enable macros. If the user complies, malicious macros will download Hancitor or it will be dropped from the document.

In some malspam campaigns, Hancitor was delivered to victims with .RTF documents which used an exploit to run the PowerShell command which downloaded the loader to the computer.

How to detect Hancitor using ANY.RUN?

Analysts can take a look at what modules malware uses. Choose the process by clicking on it in the process tree of the task then click on the "More info" button. In "Advanced details of process" window switch to the "Registry changes" tab and take a closer look.

modules loaded by hancitor Figure 3: Modules loaded by Hancitor

Conclusion

Despite its simplicity and vulnerability to even simple countermeasures, Hancitor Trojan somehow remains to be an active malware which continues to target it is limited demographic, evidently with a good success rate. The authors of this loader are extremely active and regularly come up with new iterations of Hancitor.

Researchers can take advantage of malware hunting services such as ANY.RUN to take Hancitor samples apart and study this loader in-depth.

IOCs

IP addresses
23.202.231.167
213.186.33.4
85.10.222.114
194.147.78.155
194.147.115.74
23.202.231.167
213.186.33.2
92.53.96.150
202.124.241.203
148.66.137.40
2.56.10.123
104.216.103.115
185.76.64.161
176.9.248.151
77.222.42.67
194.226.60.15
135.125.241.4
13.211.21.195
51.254.187.177
37.221.65.115
Hashes
1b01a65467e1ae3fc6c93c5ebf3ae80742943448142cab38258c1a37bbc9b709
e205b987b1faa34dc3457c76299779f5b1fe604a276cf578fc5642e708be5f12
19ec906a62b8911830cd92900c308bc443fafc3e5d4042cd2a2e0707114f187e
dfd5d7645d4e91fd65f8d139f4b3ee102027aad6f121608eb58135ed1d53355f
3db14214a9eb98b3b5abffcb314c808a25ed82456ce01251d31e8ea960f6e4e6
6f1fdca97982d547dd976bca985e117bb47ddbacf487f3ddddc61a65872cbff6
cd78243e2a4e94cd61aa95edfb4708ceeed5a3ed50ee9b81c57d0935908eb23e
f62990c3aaa51432e45797e50ee02b6b9db0dce2ee9181fd3feb8b52ae0ee21b
cca24cf66321e5b2f63bb52b5183e9cc437bf1b59d5f34043307dbd3ab02ae62
cf04f94e59fc369c00b7f82e68485218690161589a3272aa759b9ab7317ce8ac
fcba3daba91a4c061d7ea5ac9a2076668f9c029826e4b2b9d2894f90673f65ab
de5e9077481f7cf0b1addaeaaf21d6d39cabed2eea02276aaf9c241bce446c3d
c3e21f7b2bfc3da5e77b37f6556fb985e4402551bac45636a7488664e67d477f
773f5e4bc9f8c4aac82f8cab8f416efe83f5a39735358301c6ca0559d61c8bf0
31799b95716aafede8ee3743c0a3976a4367f3e7ac946be7fab519a50b7dc067
7314a35113c8e67b23a70383fe7a40ced5fa09f8a349f1289b52a9103de6cc96
f4427ef6b665bf0563f23fde314caf9f905ab1e049fc5c0b33384d526ec3cbf1
aa57258f768a786edb9918b99ba6718fc5464b56ac26911482026e7f072ace16
69d31631316a841ae89e81d2efdcb2b3003e6c41da09a096231605d9ff9292ae
feba398a73a373a2b7e42b6acebb32c153e0fa59495753709c32b6ca78fd03ee
Domains
caffeinternet.it
www.yollabolly.org
itroublvehacker.gq
isns.net
www.theloveassembly.com
www.hencountrydo.org
www.hanaleedossmann.com
majul.com
cheekrest.store
direitapernambuco.com
yeuquynhnhai.com
psoeiras.net
elx01.knas.systems
aidgodown.ru
thervidolown.com
tagnicredga.com
anithedtatione.ru
tholeferli.com
gatiallyde.com
trictuatiove.com

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