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
16 April, 2021
Also known as
Loki
LokiPWS
Global rank
3
Week rank
9
Month rank
6
IOCs
19588

What is Lokibot malware?

Lokibot, also known as Loki-bot or Loki bot, is an information stealer malware that collects data from the 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.

In the latest versions of Lokibot, a third stage is added to the process of compromising systems, besides more encryption, a way to escape detection. Each layer is encrypted to attempt to hide the eventual source of code.

The malware uses documents with blurred images to force users to enable macros. This trick infects machines quite successfully.

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 into 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 the %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 on 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.

Also, 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 “.exe,” “.lck,” “.hdb” or “.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 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 the "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
192.168.100.8
209.99.40.222
204.11.56.48
45.64.104.223
185.221.216.3
192.168.100.211
103.21.59.27
192.168.100.100
51.195.53.221
192.168.100.227
192.168.100.234
192.168.100.191
192.168.100.155
192.168.100.207
93.157.63.185
192.168.100.27
192.168.100.173
208.91.198.102
72.52.179.174
167.88.160.226
Hashes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grab-indonesia.com
boatshowradio.com
ysasite.com
wouldntbeprudent.com
bcexgroup.co.uk
majul.com
data.jsdelivr.com
shopget24.com
booking.msg.bluhotels.com
booking.msg.bluhotels.com
cdn.siteswithcontent.com
www.usaclisurvival.com
www.kasiornbank.com
vinarorganics.com
www.markaharitasi.com
xt.nova-saude2.com
formocks.com
xt.saude-acesso2.com
farhaani.com
application.spacemailling.com

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