Nanocore

NanoCore is a Remote Access Trojan or RAT. This malware is highly customizable with plugins which allow attackers to tailor its functionality to their needs. Nanocore is created with the .NET framework and it’s available for purchase for just $25 from its “official” website.

Type
Trojan
Origin
USA
First seen
1 January, 2013
Last seen
5 October, 2022
Global rank
7
Week rank
9
Month rank
11
IOCs
19016

What is NanoCore malware?

NanoCore is a Remote Access Trojan or RAT. This malware is highly customizable with plugins that allow attackers to tailor its functionality to their needs. Nanocore is created with the .NET framework and it’s available for purchase for just $25 from its “official” website.

This malware was recorded in the wild for the first time in 2013. Since then it has become extremely popular. It is now used in attacks all around the world. As a modular malware, the functionality of the NanoCore backdoor can be greatly expanded with plugins. This makes an already dangerous RAT potentially even more destructive for the company's cybersecurity.

Distributed on its own website with 24/7 technical support for just $25 with all official plugins included, the malware can also be downloaded from hacking forums where its "cracked" version has been leaked multiple times, making it an extremely accessible trojan to set up and use. Unfortunately, the accessibility, ease of use, and a bunch of information on NanoCore are still contributing to its growing popularity. It’s not completely certain whether the malware was being developed as a commercial program for institutions, or the creator had a goal to create malicious software from the beginning, Regardless, NanoCore author, Taylor Huddleston was tracked down and arrested by the FBI.

General Information about NanoCore RAT

According to the analysis, NanoCore’s first beta appeared in 2013. The latest version of the malware is being openly sold on its own website NANOCORE_dot_io. Unfortunately, this helped ensure the high popularity of the malware. Today NanoCore RAT targets victims worldwide. However, the majority of attacks are taking place in the US.

One of the key characteristics of this RAT is that technically savvy attackers are able to greatly expand the functionality of the malware, fine-tuning it to suit their needs, for instance, by adding screen locker functionality to the virus. Some essential plugins are already provided with the purchase bundle on the “official” website. Other even more sophisticated ones are being developed by the community of cybercriminals, that has formed around NanoCore.

For crooks that don’t want to engage in fiddling with plugins, NanoCore provides a straightforward user interface It allows even novice criminals to launch potentially destructive malicious campaigns. Thus further contributing to the popularity of the malware.

Interactive analysis of NanoCore

A video of the execution process provided by ANY.RUN malware hunting service allows us to perform the analysis of the lifecycle of the trojan or other malware such as WSHRAT or Vidar. We can watch NanoCore behavior as well as all processes as they unfold in a secure online environment.

nanocore execution process graph

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

How does NanoCore spread?

NanoCore RAT is distributed using multiple methods. However, the most commonly used is spam email campaigns. They trick users into downloading malicious documents, often presented as price lists or purchase orders.

The emails sometimes contain malicious attachments with .img or .iso extension. The large size of these files makes it difficult to scan them. Some versions of malware are also spread by a ZIP file which evades secure email gateways. Several file structure works here: one file script will download the payload while the rest are decoys that ensure the malicious content goes unnoticed by the system's security.

PowerPoint files acquire the same scenario as the infection chain takes place over multiple stages before the final payload is executed.

NanoCore RAT execution process

NanoCore is delivered to the victim’s PC using the AutoIt program. Not unlike Agent Tesla malware, which is somewhat typical for this type of RATs. Typically, NanoCore is spread using Microsoft Word documents. Infected files contain an embedded executable file or an exploit.

According to the RAT analysis, once the script file is opened an embedded macros download an executable script file and rename it. The downloaded executable file runs itself and creates a child process. The malware is able to use Regsvcs and Regasm to proxy the code execution through a trusted Windows utility.

nanocore execution process tree

Figure 2: A process tree of NanoCore execution processes generated by ANY.RUN

How to detect NanoCore malware using ANY.RUN?

You can identify whether you are dealing with a sample of NanoCore RAT or not by a quick analysis of the files and scripts created by the malware. Most often NanoCore injects into three processes RegSvcs.exe, RegAsm.exe, and MSBuild.exe.

Open "Advanced details of process" for these processes and look at the "Modified files" tab in the "Events" section. If a file named "run.dat" was created by one of these processes and placed in the %Root%:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming[GUID] folder, you can be sure that the malware you are observing is, in fact, NanoCore trojan.

file created by nanocore Figure 3: File created by Nanocore

Conclusion

Thanks to accessibility, ease of use, customization, and plenty of information, the popularity of NanoCore escalated making it one of the most widespread RATs in the world. Even though NanoCores’ creator has been arrested by officials, due to the appearance of several cracked versions, NanoCore is still openly available on hacker forums.

Often, it can be acquired for free, allowing anybody to set up attacks. The popularity of the malware is further aided by the fact that one does not need much programming knowledge to use this Trojan, as it comes equipped with a user-friendly interface. At the same time, very sophisticated and destructive attacks can be carried out with NanoCore RAT by skillful hackers, since its malicious capabilities can be extended with custom plugins. Thankfully, modern analysis tools such as ANY.RUN allow researchers to examine malware in detail, learn about its behavior patterns and set up an appropriate cybersecurity response.

IOCs

IP addresses
52.220.121.212
91.109.184.6
79.134.225.46
37.120.217.243
194.5.98.84
37.120.141.153
94.237.28.110
109.206.241.128
194.5.98.48
91.109.180.6
3.132.159.158
163.123.143.143
3.142.167.54
177.75.89.26
107.182.129.248
194.5.97.4
206.123.141.239
2.56.59.113
79.134.225.94
91.192.100.56
Hashes
7d2ad88f29de5ffcc82f37da8b3a6864b362538768911fcdea6c55875c392e36
3270335f00c7c93f5be77441eca6a256df1d15d9dbdfd54522b49de7076a27cc
7dc1613ec3822d75a3c21649a34152dc7fcabaa96d203173003105d29373175f
d4266b19a8fb226e3752a78f08c107a0035411d9e57c71fc03f1dec2c5ff5c51
702a898f99fdcf56d29f5a9d4c54794c09880f7b000488a1f9f4c2259e520bee
ec359f50ca15395f273899c0ff7c0cd87ab5c2e23fdcfc6c72fedc0097161d4b
7ef24f6499dd9fc7809783a98febc44c2dc25a3f74d02c9bf8ddbae0d3b781c6
60951ec1ed11f5ca0eeda2940466dc675d2fefa2bf3750c26b12c967d0c1fba4
b6e3ab9f1b5baa461cd38668f85bd6920aa840d82d5f80f6606e1a4fa01bdbcf
6815f797a6433ba2e0429d791bac8bddc160e24a4c6144ec9af1345972858fab
0f6e0cdda967c82d2c4e94dd98617a31be3deb7aeb6f3fd69d7b726660206f14
2d57aea0e38808fec1cc257c3d7475de6abe5f4ec227dc8e44d5e6ab2069fea1
e0efbcd30c8b6c9f8f415c5ecb8c436f07fc393f3cc63166efe82a46b6859287
f2816fcd6906964f6015ce410a510439a9eee955ed2204aa9a84955ef9b8432a
dc0b11c322962777800bbbf46a77413d8eef877f4805e46bd967b130c07cbdca
35b4a215ff70e1cab4d3a208b53244338dbca3fa30b4548525f5f312be8457b7
9bc2f124fccf91d28e6f37f83c12a11ad1dcc314caaaba6819c7d062681f55b3
a498f89441bc002e0877e776c1d7fce90e65015932331b157c4e9af2e271a548
80cbb1f3837b4736acdb6df2aebc415d847f649937613802511a8307556d0f58
4dd0dc19ea5dd7fec815bc3844a33513e377c9b92ce96bb8f5318a2afdd5652c
Domains
been-david.at.playit.gg
wavezz.ddns.net
icando.ug
WindowsAuthentication324-49629.portmap.host
frederikkempe.com
majul.com
0934-2001-569-7ed3-bd00-1d59-f4b7-9e51-370.ngrok.io
papzdr.ngrok.io
61c2-219-74-67-125.ngrok.io
d8d5ffd7.ngrok.io
718b-2a01-cb08-a11-3300-af7d-ea87-380e-8a24.ngrok.io
a950-190-86-252-234.ngrok.io
fe43-71-204-101-183.ngrok.io
ec5e-2a0c-5a80-d301-df00-5d8a-c5e7-bb11-1bdd.ngrok.io
41cb-212-179-195-50.ngrok.io
53e3-77-77-218-72.ngrok.io
1ead-98-43-70-81.ngrok.io
3a32-2804-14c-179-89ec-91f-22e0-8c55-aade.ngrok.io
3be9-194-28-65-140.ngrok.io
4755-34-66-241-103.ngrok.io

HAVE A LOOK AT

Adwind screenshot
Adwind
adwind trojan
Adwind RAT, sometimes also called Unrecom, Sockrat, Frutas, jRat, and JSocket, is a Malware As A Service Remote Access Trojan that attackers can use to collect information from infected machines. It was one of the most popular RATs in the market in 2015.
Read More
Agent Tesla screenshot
Agent Tesla
agenttesla trojan rat stealer
Agent Tesla is spyware that collects information about the actions of its victims by recording keystrokes and user interactions. It is falsely marketed as a legitimate software on the dedicated website where this malware is sold.
Read More
Ave Maria screenshot
Ave Maria
avemaria stealer trojan rat
Ave Maria malware is a Remote Access Trojan that is also called WARZONE RAT. Hackers use it to control the PCs of their victims remotely and steal information from infected PCs. For example, they can remotely activate the camera to take pictures of a victim and send them to a control server.
Read More
Azorult screenshot
Azorult
azorult trojan rat
AZORult can steal banking information, including passwords and credit card details, as well as cryptocurrency. This constantly updated information stealer malware should not be taken lightly, as it continues to be an active threat.
Read More
Crimson RAT screenshot
Crimson RAT
crimson rat trojan
Crimson is a Remote Access Trojan — a malware that is used to take remote control of infected systems and steal data. This particular RAT is known to be used by a Pakistani founded cybergang that targets Indian military objects to steal sensitive information.
Read More
Danabot screenshot
Danabot
danabot trojan stealer
Danabot is an advanced banking Trojan malware that was designed to steal financial information from victims. Out of the Trojans in the wild, this is one of the most advanced thanks to the modular design and a complex delivery method.
Read More