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.
|Type||Trojan, Ransomware, Cryptocurrency Miner|
|Short Description||The DanaBot Trojan is capable of spying on the users and their machines and harvest sensitive data from it.|
|Symptoms||Depending on the case the users may experience unusual performance issues.|
|Distribution Method||Spam Emails, Email Attachments|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by DanaBot |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss DanaBot.|
|Data Recovery Tool||Windows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.|
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)