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
13 July, 2020
Also known as
Loki
LokiPWS
Global rank
3
Week rank
5
Month rank
5
IOCs
17064

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
176.104.107.3
192.169.69.25
208.115.234.234
51.75.75.196
194.180.224.87
192.185.129.96
68.66.216.56
104.28.26.97
67.215.233.7
185.53.179.29
185.55.227.198
185.126.202.111
45.156.24.169
162.213.253.111
77.222.62.31
104.28.24.163
204.11.56.48
111.118.212.120
172.67.150.86
128.0.47.140
Hashes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niskioglasi.rs
djanic.duckdns.org
fantogrosic.duckdns.org
magicshavingpowder.duckdns.org
kemfon.duckdns.org
50968.duckdns.org
remmywurldtu.duckdns.org
remmywurld.duckdns.org
hammouchi.duckdns.org
glo1234.duckdns.org
41008.duckdns.org
jeffserver.duckdns.org
grivenop.duckdns.org
kingkill.duckdns.org
ververdenuevo.duckdns.org
Noreplyrobot.duckdns.org
hali.duckdns.org
raaqtwo.duckdns.org
daqexploitfree.duckdns.org
garmitt.duckdns.org

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