The DanaBot Trojan is a dangerous virus infection that specifically targets online banking users. It can cause many system modifications, spy on the users and also deploy other viruses, including ransomware. Read our complete analysis and removal guide to learn how to restore infected hosts.
|Trojan, Ransomware, Cryptocurrency Miner
|The DanaBot Trojan is capable of spying on the users and their machines and harvest sensitive data from it.
|Depending on the case the users may experience unusual performance issues.
|Spam Emails, Email Attachments
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DanaBot Trojan – Update August 2019
The Danabot Trojan has recently been detected in an infiltration attack targeting multiple networks across Europe, Australia and North America. One of the main countries which is targeted is Germany and targets are not only financial establishments, but also the retail industry. According to the available reports the new versions of the Danabot Trojan retain their banking theft capabilities and add new functionality as well.
When the main engine has been deployed onto a given system it will immediately start to reconfigure the system, the intended goal is to make itself a persistent infection — the threat will block the user attempts of removal and the will automatically start itself as soon as the computer is powered on. It can also block access to the recovery boot options.
Four command and control servers are used in the latest release which shows that the hackers behind the attack do not want to be easily discovered:
- The Netherlands
Following the initial intrusion and set the usual banking Trojan activities will be started.
DanaBot Trojan – Distribution Methods
The DanaBot Trojan is a newly discovered banking Trojan that peaked in May 2018. Samples continue to be spread to users worldwide and it appears that the hackers will continue to use various strategies in order to spread it. At the moment the main emphasis of the DanaBot Trojan attacks appear to be Australia, most of the reported infections seem to target victims located in the country.
One of the primary distribution techniques is the use of SPAM email messages. They use social engineering techniques that design the emails with elements taken from famous companies. This can confuse the users into thinking that they have received a legitimate notification or a password reset link. Upon interacting with the elements the users may download and execute the DanaBot Trojan file directly or be prompted into following “instructions” that will ultimately lead to its installation.
A similar technique is used to construct malicious web pages — using a similar strategy the criminals construct fake sites. They may impersonate legitimate vendor sites or download portals. Together with the email messages they are the primary distribution methods for infected payloads. There are two common types that are widely used to lead to the Trojan infection:
- Documents — The victim users are given links to documents that impersonate legitimate letters, notifications or other files of interest. They can be under various forms (presentations, text files, databases or spreadsheets). Once they are opened by the users a notification window will appear asking them to enable the built-in macros (scripts). When this is done the virus infection is started.
- Application Installers — A similar technique is used to infect application installers with the DanaBot Trojan code. The hackers behind it choose popular software that is often installed by the end users: creativity suites, system utilities or productivity apps. They are made by taking the legitimate installers from the official vendor/download portals and pushing them through the fake instances.
Advanced scenarios utilize browser hijackers — malicious web browser plugins that are usually spread on the associated browser plugin repositories. The criminals make use of fake developer credentials and user reviews along with an elaborate description. Once they are installed the built-in scripts will redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled address.
DanaBot Trojan – In-Depth Analysis
The DanaBot virus has been found to contain a modular engine that can be customized according to the proposed targets. It follows a multi-stage infection pattern that begins with the initial infection. A series of scripts are called which downloads the main engine.
One of the first actions performed is the start of an information gathering component which is used to harvest personal data from the infected systems. Usually the information is classified into two distinct groups:
- Victim User Identity — The Trojan is configured to lookup, isolate and extract strings that reveal details about the victims and their private identity. The collected information can be used to directly reveal them by containing data such as their name, address, phone number, interests, location and their account credentials.
- Campaign Optimization Metrics — The hackers can retrieve data that can be useful in planning and further optimizing the attacks. This includes a report of all installed hardware components, certain operating system values and the user-set regional settings.
This data can then be passed to another module called stealth protection. It scans the installed applications and processes running in memory for any instances that can block the usual execution of the Trojan. This includes any of the following — virtual machine host, anti-virus programs and debug environments used by programmers.
As a DanaBot is a banking Trojan it will include additional features such as the ability to carry out various system changes. Some of them include the following:
- Windows Registry Modifications — The engine can make changes to entries belonging both to the operating system and the user-installed applications. Such behavior can prevent certain features from working properly and overall performance will suffer.
- Persistent Threat — The malware can be installed as a persistent threat which makes it automatically start once the computer is booted. This step may interrupt certain services and applications from running properly. Another effect is the inability to enter into the boot recovery menu. This prevents the use of most manual recovery instructions.
- Additional Modules Download — Depending on the individual user profiles the DanaBot Trojan infection can request the download and installation of additional plugins.
- Network Sniffer Execution — This module can harvest the live network traffic which can indirectly reveal account credentials and site interactions.
- Information Stealer — This component is used to initiate the in-depth information stealing activities mentioned above.
- VNC Client — This installs a remote desktop client which is used by the hackers to take over control of the infected hosts at any given time.
DanaBot Trojan – Trojan Operations
DanaBot is a banking Trojan which downloads and watches for specific signatures of online banking services. It uses the info stealing module in order to hook up to the supported browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera) and extract all stored within credentials. An interesting fact is that the hackers behind the malware engine have also added support for some FTP clients: FileZilla, WinSock FTP, SmartFTP and FlashFXP.
Whenever a login page for an online banking account is accessed the engine will automatically redirect the users to a fake phishing page. This is a very successful tactic as it implies the following conditions:
- Security Software Is Bypassed — As one of the first steps in the infection process is the security bypass of security software the hackers will be able to present all kind of phishing pages without interruption.
- No Warning Signs — The infections can hook up deep into the system and application processes. This leads to a very seamless infection.
- Live Computer Takeover — The criminals can monitor and take over the computers at any given time without this being noticed by the victims.
Along with the online banking details the malware can also scan the system for any cryptocurrency wallets. They are the specialist software that is used to store and operate with digital currencies.
The threat is also known under the following names:
- Trojan-Downloader (005318d71)
- Trojan-Downloader (00532fa91)
Preparation before removing DanaBot.
Before starting the actual removal process, we recommend that you do the following preparation steps.
- Make sure you have these instructions always open and in front of your eyes.
- Do a backup of all of your files, even if they could be damaged. You should back up your data with a cloud backup solution and insure your files against any type of loss, even from the most severe threats.
- Be patient as this could take a while.
What Does DanaBot Trojan Do?
The DanaBot Trojan is a malicious computer program designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.
It can be used to steal sensitive data, gain control over a system, or launch other malicious activities.
Can Trojans Steal Passwords?
Yes, Trojans, like DanaBot, can steal passwords. These malicious programs are designed to gain access to a user's computer, spy on victims and steal sensitive information such as banking details and passwords.
Can DanaBot Trojan Hide Itself?
Yes, it can. A Trojan can use various techniques to mask itself, including rootkits, encryption, and obfuscation, to hide from security scanners and evade detection.
Can a Trojan be Removed by Factory Reset?
Yes, a Trojan can be removed by factory resetting your device. This is because it will restore the device to its original state, eliminating any malicious software that may have been installed. Bear in mind, that there are more sophisticated Trojans, that leave backdoors and reinfect even after factory reset.
Can DanaBot Trojan Infect WiFi?
Yes, it is possible for a Trojan to infect WiFi networks. When a user connects to the infected network, the Trojan can spread to other connected devices and can access sensitive information on the network.
Can Trojans Be Deleted?
Yes, Trojans can be deleted. This is typically done by running a powerful anti-virus or anti-malware program that is designed to detect and remove malicious files. In some cases, manual deletion of the Trojan may also be necessary.
Can Trojans Steal Files?
Yes, Trojans can steal files if they are installed on a computer. This is done by allowing the malware author or user to gain access to the computer and then steal the files stored on it.
Which Anti-Malware Can Remove Trojans?
Anti-malware programs such as SpyHunter are capable of scanning for and removing Trojans from your computer. It is important to keep your anti-malware up to date and regularly scan your system for any malicious software.
About the DanaBot Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this DanaBot how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific trojan problem.
How did we conduct the research on DanaBot?
Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of trojans (backdoor, downloader, infostealer, ransom, etc.)
Furthermore, the research behind the DanaBot threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by trojans, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.