njRAT

njRAT is a remote access trojan. It is one of the most widely accessible RATs on the market that features an abundance of educational information. Interested attackers can even find tutorials on YouTube. This allows it to become one of the most popular RATs in the world.

Type
Trojan
Origin
Middle East
First seen
1 January, 2013
Last seen
2 August, 2021
Also known as
Bladabindi
Njw0rm
Global rank
7
Week rank
2
Month rank
2
IOCs
18979

What is njRAT Malware?

njRAT, also called Bladabindi and Njw0rm is a remote access trojan that is used to remotely control infected machines. Because of its availability, excess of online tutorials, and a robust core feature set along with several implemented evading techniques made njRAT one of the most widely used RATs in the world.

This malware was detected for the first time in 2013, however, some related RATs have been observed by researchers in 2012. The highest surge of njRAT trojan attacks was recorded in 2014 in the middle east, which is the most targeted region for this malware.

General description of njRAT

njRAT trojan is built on .NET framework. This RAT gives hackers the ability to control the victim’s PC remotely. njRAT allows attackers to activate the webcam, log keystrokes, and steal passwords from web browsers as well as multiple desktop apps.

In addition, the malware gives hackers access to the command line on the infected machine. It allows to kill processes as well as remotely execute and manipulate files. On top of that, njRAT is capable of manipulating the system registry. When infected, Bladabindi trojan will collect several bits of information about the PC that it got into, including the name of the computer, operating system number, country of the computer, usernames, and OS version.

Also, this malware is able to target cryptocurrency wallet applications and steal cryptocurrency from PCs. For example, it is known to be able to grab bitcoins and even access credit card information which sometimes can be stored in crypto apps as a means to purchase cryptocurrency.

After infecting a computer the malware uses a variable name and copies into %TEMP%, %APPDATA%, %USERPROFILE%,%ALLUSERSPROFILE% or %windir% – a behavior not uncommon for this time of malware. It can also copy itself into <any string>.exe, to ensure that it will be activated every time the victim switches on their computer.

njRAT trojan has a few tricks up its sleeve to avoid detection by antivirus software. For example, it uses multiple .NET obfuscators to obstruct its code. Another technique that the malware uses is disguising itself into a critical process. This does not allow the user to shut it down. It also makes njRAT hard to remove from the infected PCs. Bladabindi RAT can also deactivate processes that belong to antivirus software, allowing it to stay hidden. njRAT also knows how to detect if it has been run on a virtual machine which helps the attackers to set up countermeasures against researchers.

Authors of Bladabindi are leveraging Pastebin to avoid investigation by cybersecurity researchers. njRAT downloads additional components and executes secondary-stage payloads from Pastebin. So, the malware has no need to establish a traditional command-and-control (C2) server. The Pastebin creates a pathway between njRAT infections and new payloads. With the trojan acting as a downloader, it will grab encoded data dumped on Pastebin, decode, and deploy.

For spreading, njRAT can detect external hard drives connected via USB. Once such a device is detected, the RAT will copy itself onto the connected drive and create a shortcut.

Who created njRAT?

Creators of njRAT are members of an underground hacker community named Sparclyheason. Evidently, they have created a very popular and destructive malware. njRAT was classified as “severe” by Microsoft Malware Protection Center.

In fact, following a large malicious campaign in 2014, Microsoft shut down four million websites in an effort to filter traffic that was going through no-ip.com domains.

njRAT malware analysis

ANY.RUN allows researchers to watch the njRAT in action in an interactive sandbox simulation.

njRAT execution process graph

Figure 1: Displays the lifecycle of njRAT in a visual form as a process graph generated by ANY.RUN malware hunting service

text report of the njRAT malware analysis

Figure 2: A customizable text report generated by ANY.RUN allows to take an even deeper look at the malware and helps to share the research results

njRAT execution process

In our simulation, after njRAT got into the target device and began execution it instantly started its malicious activity. Usually, the initial file renames itself and creates a child process. Sometimes njRAT trojan injects its code into legitimate processes such as RegSvcs.exe and RegAsm.exe.

The malware also has the ability to run itself through Task Scheduler. This child process executes the main malicious activity. Such activity includes stealing information, connecting to C2 servers, and changing the autorun value in the registry to run itself when the operating system starts.

Distribution of njRAT

njRAT trojan uses quite a few attack vectors to infect its victims. For example, the malware is known to target Discord users as part of spam campaigns. In addition, leverage cracks and keygens in well-known software in order to trick users. It installs malicious packages to infect the machine.

Another known distribution method was through a compromised website that tricked users into downloading a fake Adobe product update which in turn installed njRAT malware to the PC. Bladabindi was also featured in spam email campaigns. In this case, it was delivered to potential victims as a malicious attachment.

In October 2020 mailspam used the 'shipment tracking' theme, faking popular courier and postal services. Malicious packages contain attachments in Zip format with an encoded Visual Basic script (VBE) payload and components.

Moreover, crooks use cloud-based storage platforms more often. Attackers host malicious files there to deliver malicious software, and even use them as part of a command and control (C&C) architecture.

How to detect NJRAT using ANY.RUN?

To determine whether the sample under review is njRAT or not, you can take a look at the changes that it made in the registry. To do so, open "Advanced details of process" of the malicious process and look at the "Registry changes" tab in the "Events" section. If a process has created a key with the name [kl] into the path HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\32_characters_and_digits, you can be sure that the given sample is njRAT.

njrat registry changes Figure 3: Сhanges made by njRAT in registry

Conclusion

The relative ease of operation, multiple tutorials on how to set up this malware, and very extensive information stealing feature set have made this RAT one of the most popular remote access trojans in the world.

Even though the peak of its activity was recorded in 2014 and targeted mostly the middle east and India, njRAT trojan remains to be extremely popular today. This malware is known to have targeted both private and corporate victims and poses a lot of danger to internet users, especially considering that it can be delivered by packages to potential victims in several ways, and preventing infection is much harder in some cases than in others.

Even though Bladabindi malware creators have taken several steps to hinder the analysis, malware hunting services like ANY.RUN allows professionals to easily study njRAT malware samples and share the research results with the world to improve global cybersecurity.

IOCs

IP addresses
213.8.166.188
184.75.221.171
3.134.39.220
192.254.74.210
178.78.49.2
192.169.69.26
3.131.147.49
3.22.15.135
3.138.180.119
52.14.18.129
3.141.142.211
3.138.45.170
3.141.177.1
3.22.53.161
193.161.193.99
82.202.167.212
198.54.133.71
49.12.80.40
3.142.167.4
3.136.65.236
Hashes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majul.com
kokohackpack.hopto.org
coodyz.site
WindowsAuthentication324-49629.portmap.host
isns.net
medicosco.publicvm.com
4.tcp.ngrok.io
qualiphar.be
ar.oldversion.com
amechi.duckdns.org
888rats.duckdns.org
britianica.uk.com
googleupdatter.duckdns.org
googleapis2.duckdns.org
bccd.duckdns.org
2.tcp.ngrok.io
6.tcp.ngrok.io
dfsewrd.duckdns.org
sommernph.com
googleapis2m.duckdns.org

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