Cyber Security

Russian cybercrime gang targets finance corporations with stealthy macros


A brand new phishing marketing campaign dubbed MirrorBlast is deploying weaponized Excel paperwork which can be extraordinarily tough to detect to compromise monetary service organizations

Essentially the most notable characteristic of MirrorBlast is the low detection charges of the marketing campaign’s malicious Excel paperwork by safety software program, placing corporations that rely solely upon detection instruments at excessive danger.

Featherlight macro with zero detections

The builders of those malicious paperwork have made appreciable effort to obfuscate malicious code, reaching zero detections on VirusTotal.

VirusTotal results
VirusTotal outcomes arising with no detections
Supply: Morphisec

Nevertheless, these optimized paperwork have drawbacks that the actors are apparently keen to just accept as trade-offs. Most notably, the macro code can solely be executed on a 32-bit model of Workplace.


If the sufferer is tricked into opening the malicious doc and “allow content material” in Microsoft Workplace, the macro executes a JScript script which downloads and installs an MSI bundle.”

Previous to that although, the macro performs a primary anti-sandboxing test on whether or not the pc identify is the same as the person area, and if the username is the same as ‘admin’ or ‘administrator’.

In accordance with researchers at Morphisec who analyzed a number of samples of the dropped MSI bundle, it is available in two variants, one written in REBOL and one in KiXtart.

MirrorBlast attack chain
MirrorBlast assault chain
Supply: Morphisec

The REBOL variant, which is base64 encoded, begins by exfiltrating data just like the username, OS model, and structure.

Subsequent, it waits for a C2 command that initiates a Powershell which can fetch the second stage. The researchers weren’t in a position to retrieve that stage although, so its capabilities are unknown.

The KiXtart payload can be encrypted and in addition makes an attempt to exfiltrate primary machine data to the C2, together with the area, pc identify, person identify, and course of record.

A extremely motivated risk actor

The actors behind the marketing campaign seem like ‘TA505,’ an lively Russian risk group that has a long history of creativity in the best way they lace Excel paperwork in malspam campaigns.

Morphisec was in a position to hyperlink the actors with the MirrorBlast marketing campaign because of an infection chain similarities with previous operations, the abuse of OneDrive, the particularities in area naming strategies, and the existence of an MD5 checksum mismatch that factors to a 2020 assault launched by TA505.


TA505 is a extremely subtle risk actor that’s identified for a wide-range of malicious exercise through the years.

Sample of TA505's working schedule
Pattern of TA505’s working schedule from a previous marketing campaign
Supply: NCCGroup

An NCCGroup analysis on the actor’s work schedule displays an organized and well-structured group that makes use of zero-day vulnerabilities and quite a lot of malware strains in its assaults. This contains the deployment of Clop ransomware in double-extortion assaults.

TA505 can be attributed to quite a few assaults utilizing a zero-day vulnerability in Accenture FTA safe file sharing units to steal information from organizations.

The risk actors then tried to extort the businesses by demanding $10 million ransoms to not publicly leak the info on their Clop information leak web site.

As such, the IT groups on the monetary organizations focused by the MirrorBlast marketing campaign can’t afford to decrease their shields even for a second.

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