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 January, 2021
Also known as
Loki
LokiPWS
Global rank
3
Week rank
9
Month rank
6
IOCs
18888

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
172.67.150.86
192.124.249.18
35.214.167.236
162.241.148.86
185.159.153.117
204.11.56.48
13.248.196.204
51.195.53.221
111.118.215.98
204.93.174.136
72.52.179.174
178.216.249.189
176.123.0.55
45.64.104.223
68.66.216.20
192.168.100.191
192.168.100.100
172.67.216.188
192.42.116.41
208.91.198.220
Hashes
9d68a12426cf5945a7f852ad0ebfb745858e80a10368e5ef9468030fa95363e4
136d81a0149a1b97c4924ed811df8ca3c331a43def9abec8e3f489b3944c896d
7c3de3a3f171afad1d2e31f88fcec1138aa19808b06b4b75b4a85e84d14dfbf8
b063e0814954e1b53983884c2058fcaaf2f28b37b7898689cbf55454d7bc2c3d
978a4093058aa2ebf05dc353897d90d950324389879b57741b64160825b5ec0e
9035fa3ad7e868ccea307bb51caa20f22e916ff2bea4f9d65513704fabb3af56
cf38c4fdb8899476e09925741f225203c9f07d2be1cb95833c1c48414812f2a2
61a024421c2b1b7753c079ce5dd6e84902bb406f212b6cb7009334730e8fcfc4
61cf371d87b081dbca8f7dacc088c35238295b5c71c79a8f06ab209dcbc7ff48
cd82528c1dd172d20632369ad7f34cdfad3945a610754764c045740d96b717fe
4c2ab5026b93ef64569cc15d94bbda9495938c90164355a34c4a4eeeb8badb15
0e820577c65497d10891701e77cf5b75ba3258166aafec8bf3536ba07bdfb794
a90fbd8d73e829993b7740a270753ecff29f12249834c6abb81e6de17b56cbd4
d708f02908087d4a052ac20c75cb4596edbe976747bf41f9064d428e78f4d193
caa546eb9dd6e8d2fbfe55f8150ff90d92add34ab0ba961d1f482e59dcb5b70e
cf8981966c65e58113929b7fbfb80ee4b76f60f77a9dc71d0184628116a41c8d
3da3d4d08d81e85337fcad590190b1575b80834e246012f3684ebe6d86118886
43e7e33417e21b41c839b367474714e1b889eeb68f13838a7d2ddbdaa8ddf6b6
5fc0f7c9076ea73f5636f538bed68cafc81dca111989ea553f5463977c84788e
20ed9a53d8646236d7c6be8fa36a1ec38b54290d221b12fb9b8b4d88b1d10d2f
Domains
parkingcrew.net
bcexgroup.co.uk
isns.net
notis.ru
89gospel.com
e.fomo.com
dlwordpress.com
maineglass.com
mike101.duckdns.org
majul.com
050290.parkingcrew.net
api.freesafeip.com
adtrackingflow.pro
becharnise.ir
leansupremegarcinia.net
celebration-studio.com
www.sciencepub123.com
proxyfreaks.com
ww1.fylitcl7pf7kjqdduolqouaxtxbj5ing.com
ww1.collegebaord.org

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