Lokibot

Lokibot was developed in 2015 to steal information from a variety of applications. Despite the age, this malware is still rather popular among cybercriminals.

Type
Stealer
Origin
ex-USSR territory
First seen
3 May, 2015
Last seen
19 February, 2020
Also known as
Loki
LokiPWS
Global rank
3
Week rank
3
Month rank
3
IOCs
9351

What is Lokibot malware?

Lokibot, also known as Loki-bot or Loki bot, is an information stealer malware that collects data from most widely used web browsers, FTP, email clients and over a hundred software tools installed on the infected machine. It was developed in one of the ex-USSR countries.

It was discovered for the first time on May 3rd, 2015 from a sale announcement made by the creator and the malware is still active to this day.

General description of Lokibot

Initially created and sold by a hacker known as "lokistov," or "Carter,", the first versions of Lokibot spyware used to cost up to $400. However, soon after almost identical malware started appearing on hacker forums, available for as little as $80 from a number of sellers. As it is thought, “lokistov” himself was hacked, and the source code of the virus was leaked, allowing others to make and sell extremely similar malware.

Curiously, a researcher subsequently found out that the first version of the virus got patched by someone without accessing the source code, which gave the hacker community the ability to set a series of individual domains used to receive the retrieved data.

Even though several versions of the virus exist today, it was found that all of them are actually modifications of the original malware. Interestingly, the server to which Lokibot stealer sends data is unique for every particular malware sample.

Lokibot malware analysis

A video displaying the simulation of the contamination process created by the ANY.RUN interactive malware hunting service provides the perfect opportunity to see how the contamination process is unfolding on an infected machine. As shown in the simulation, Lokibot needs email attachments, such as a Microsoft Office file or an archive file to be opened in order to enter an active phase.

process graph of lokibot stealer execution Figure 1: Process graph generated by the ANY.RUN malware hunting service

The malware life cycle can be broken down to the following stages:

  • Contamination. The victim downloads an infected archive or a Microsoft Office file which eventually downloads the malware;
  • Being packed initially, the Keylogger unpacks itself and begins the execution of the main payload;
  • The virus creates unique loop-functions for each application that it is targeting and saves retrieved data into a buffer;
  • Then, a registry key is modified and the Trojan is copied specifically into a folder with a specific name unique name under %APPDATA% folder. This allows the virus to establish persistence. MachineGuid MD5 is used for the name generation and the name can also be used as a Mutex as well as bot-id. As the last action of this step, the virus generates a registry key that points to the file it copied before to the specific folder inside the %APPDATA% folder;
  • Then, depending if the current user is privileged or not the virus sets persistence either under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE or KEY_CURRENT_USER;
  • Next, general system information is sent to the C&C server;
  • For persistence, the keylogger then applies triple DES encryption to the URL and the registry key;
  • After this the virus starts waiting for commands from C&C, creating a new thread to detect the C&C response.

How to avoid infection by Lokibot?

Since Lokibot spyware requires macros to be activated to infect the system, attackers will do everything in their power to make the victim enable them. Thus keeping macros turned off is the best bet to stay protected from the Trojan. Particularly, extra caution should be exhibited when a document downloaded from a suspicious source or an unknown email address prompts to enable macros.

In addition, having antivirus software from trusted developers and always keeping it updated is a good way to decrease the probability of becoming the malware’s victim. Another good common practice is to be extremely mindful when opening attachments or clicking links in emails from unidentified sources.

Distribution of Lokibot

Lokibot stealer is distributed mostly via mail-spam campaigns, prompting the user to download an infected file that is attached. Particularly, the three most commonly used types of files are Microsoft Office documents configured to begin the download and installation processes of the malware, archive files that contain a Loki-Bot executable or ISO files, also containing a Loki-Bot executable.

Lokibot execution process

Interactive sandbox simulation conducted on the ANY.RUN malware hunting service allows us to take a closer look at how the execution process of Lokibot unfolds in a case when a contaminated Microsoft Office file is the infection source.

  • The simulation starts with opening a Microsoft Office file. Immediately, WINWORD.EXE is executed with enable macros.
  • Then, through the exploitation of the CVE-2017-11882 vulnerability, Microsoft Office Equation Editor proceeds to download a malicious executable file;
  • Finally, a malicious executable file runs itself and then proceeds to steal the personal data and connect to the C&C server.

process tree of a lokibot stealer execution Figure 2: Illustrates the execution processes of Lokibot as shown by ANY.RUN simulation

a text report of a lokibot analysis Figure 3: A text report created by ANY.RUN

The virus generates multiple artifacts during its execution process. Particularly, four types of files can be simultaneously stored in the secret %APPDATA% directory at any point in time. Those files can have a “.exe,” “.lck,” “.hdb” or a “.kdb.” extensions and each file type is used for a specific purpose:

  • .exe files contain an executable copy of the Trojan that triggers when a user logs into an account,
  • .lck files are generated in order to prevent resource conflicts when either Windows Credentials or Keylogging are decrypted,
  • .hdb files are used to store the hashes of all data samples already transmitted to the C&C server
  • .kdb files are in turn used to hold information about the data that is yet to be sent to the server

The keylogger uses the following algorithm to name the files:

  1. First, Lokibot takes the value of MachineGuid from the registry branch HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Cryptography . In the case of our simulation, it was set to dc5131b5-5fbc-4f85-b1ed-28d4392080ca.

lokibot mutex creation GUID registry

  1. Then, the virus uses the MD5 algorithm to calculate the hash sum of the MachineGuid which in our case ended up being c83ba0aa282a966263dda560052b3caf.

lokibot mutex creation md5

  1. Finally, characters from the 8th to the 13th of the resulting hash amount are used as the name of the subdirectory, and the characters from the 13th to the 18th are used as the name of the files.

lokibot mutex creation

Communication with C&C

To communicate with the C&C server, the patched version of the virus which is also the most widely spread strain sends a “ckav.ru” string. Interestingly, the sent data is also is a substring of “fuckav.ru”.

How to detect Lokibot using ANY.RUN?

Among other things you can detect either it is Lokibot in front of you or not by looking inside sending packets - there's always text "ckav.ru" inside them.Just click on the sent packet in "HTTP REQUESTS" tab and take a look inside a packet.

lokibot network stream Figure 4: Lokibot network stream

Conclusion

Not lastly due to the fact that the first version of the malware was leaked and cloned, eventually becoming available for a significantly cheaper price than the original, Lokibot spyware became a widely spread malware that is continuing to appear in several mail-spam campaigns. In fact, the virus has become so popular that it’s set-up explanation videos are publically available on YouTube.

Fortunately, modern malware hunting tools like ANY.RUN provides the ability to examine the malware behavior in detail and establish solid protection against the hazard.

IOCs

IP addresses
192.169.69.25
185.53.179.29
209.127.19.34
184.168.221.36
82.221.129.19
104.31.67.4
104.24.124.73
192.168.100.100
89.208.229.55
89.208.229.55
204.11.56.48
173.239.8.164
198.23.200.241
107.175.150.73
104.18.49.122
46.21.147.207
104.27.168.31
166.62.10.31
103.74.123.3
167.114.220.88
Hashes
31a61d056b5164974055abe375764fd23f7c1136027260f1db60c63ec20c90c6
feb88bd92ecaa3ea61046327213f7ff02b7708d170dc6feaea5a5a71985708f1
b9711d83650ee2fc95ad1568444aa0e78d1be470ec446d88edcd584b264147a7
49d55b5b4e09fd731977cc56ab76eb37c604a232f038421bd19085abed93295e
009ee2491deb0c0a4deb49c93105e1960ce099d3ddcfde34b10b82652003676f
4e3fb137b84b8b42923a848ab4b3b31d535acc28a781f392e01d68c1aa5019c0
7896172a1c97dfd5abdbf4c309622583250aaec9a5a67693092feca7af49113a
ef46e2bd8c272972032edc67a6c784564bf842c8965772b66ded77181214279a
a239091c8a28ade185c0c29a78da044070bc1a00ef3dfa3280f02fa074201ab0
6cb2146b0ce7193d290351767431dcb832bebc009d3b825567b0e159b368b837
c3241dbaef544703750bcfd3e107dd114ca43e43d06178d8dffdb170a332f089
b1c97003c0cb1b24506b979de009175c0fd0a6782377417c3e6567f46eb2ba09
025a09abafbd786e850cbeb1c11875febfdd6d2fde8ee0af1a9fc5fe99b6aeea
17f746d82695fa9b35493b41859d39d786d32b23a9d2e00f4011dec7a02402ae
11699294d5f68250ba895cfd7bf7e19bfa2fcba32e6273c676a95c43ae878efc
fccd2795f53be3f1130ca04d2670ed2952495b0ec353820570ec5df369c2db65
02b2dca5f507f22b96fe99375c09a5e5f97fd18248482b14f195a233d266bef6
89b0c06f78ded1b71c754e9d6ac276b661596abb8c97f3aaaba15e40c7639232
f7ad4b09afb301ce46df695b22114331a57d52e6d4163ff74787bf68ccf44c78
4d577973151bbe8afd94c8b58d18ee7245dd836c444bbc712175e2948ed0daf1
Domains
parkingcrew.net
elx01.knas.systems
worldatdoor.in
klickus.com
klickus.in
corpcougar.com
corpcougar.in
kitchenraja.in
shpshare.ml
inland-waterway.ddns.net
madstore.sk
adnoc.biz
debianflexibles.info
ntrcgroup.com
deliveryexpressworld.xyz
insuncos.com
farzanatradings.com
www.impulsefittness.info
alwaysdelivery.xyz
invoicesconfirm.bounceme.net

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