The Metamorfo Trojan is a newly discovered banking virus that can hijack account credentials and directly manipulate the browsers. Our removal guide features a detailed explanation of the banking Trojan’s mechanisms of operation, as well as instructions on restoring the infected computers from the infections.
|Type||Trojan Horse Virus|
|Short Description||Silently infects the target machines and modifies key applications and system services.|
|Symptoms||The user may not experience any signs of infiltration.|
|Distribution Method||Malicious web links, Malicious Files, Malicious E-Mails|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Metamorfo |
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Metamorfo.|
February 2020 New Metamofo Trojan Attacks
The Metamorfo Trojan has resurfaced once again in an active campaign which is focused against users that are using online banking services. The aim of the Trojan is to harvest personal information, including credentials for banks and payment card data. So far campaigns carrying it have been launched in countries around the world, examples are The USA, Peru, Canada, Chile, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Ecuador.
The chosen method of infection is once again phishing emails — the criminals may send out fake notifications or other types of content that the users might expect. The victims will receive informtion that they have received an invoice and manipulate the victims into downloading and running a ZIP archive. If it is run the built-in macros will execute an executable file.
One of the first modules which are run after the infection has started will be the security bypass — it will look for any running processes of security applications and engines and actively shut them down. This is done in order not to raise any alarm about the infection. The infection is done through an AutoIt script — a popular language used for automating tasks and primarily used in Microsoft Windows computers. An important operation is the disabling of auto-complete forms in web browsers. This is done in order to run a keylogger which will acquire the entered data and send them to the hacker operators behind the ransomware.
According to the available research a total of 32 keywords are monitored by the main engine for potential useful information. As soon as one of them is detected by the Trojan component it will be sent to the hackers via a secure connection.
Metamorfo – How Does It Infect
Security experts signal that a new threat known as the Metamorfo Trojan is infecting computer users in Brazil. According to the reports the primary distribution method is the use of SPAM email messages. Usually they contain social engineering elements that coerce the recipients into installing the dangerous threat. In most cases it can be either hyperlinked in the body contents or attached directly to the messages. They are also the most common carriers for viral payloads, two of the most popular types are the following:
- Infected Software Installers — The dangerous code is embedded in applications that are used by many users. Examples include office and productivity applications, creativity suites, system utilities and others.
- Infected Documents — Using the same strategy the hackers can integrate the code in documents of different types: rich text documents, spreadsheets or presentations. The code is activated through interaction with the built-in macros (scripts). When the files are opened a notification prompt appears that asks the targets to enable the scripts. If this is done the infection would follow.
The analysis shows that the hackers have devised a non-traditional scenario by crafting a malicious HTML attachment. It is designed to look like an electronic funds transfer notification. When the victim users interact with the scripts they will be redirected to a payload that may be hosted on various hosting sites or cloud service platforms: GitHub, Onedrive, Dropbox, MEGA, Google Drive and others. The security analyis shows that a shortener service is used in order to hide the redirecet URL. The payload itself is contained in a ZIP archive file and contains a single executable file. When it is started the Metamorfo Trojan infection follows.
Metamorfo – More Information and Analysis
The Metamorfo Trojan itself is composed of four elements:
- car.dat — A randomly generated name given to Windows tool.
- i4.dt — A VBS script that downloads the same zip file.
- id — An ID that is generated for each individual host.
- cryptui.dll — The malicious Trojan itself.
The Metamorfo Trojan infection process follows a multi-stage infection pattern. The first module that is launched by the main malicious engine is the data harvesting component. It can be configured to hijack two main types of information:
- Sensitive Data — It can be used to directly expose the victim’s identity by gathering strings that are related to them. Example strings include the victim’s name, address, telephone number, interests, location, account credentials or passwords.
- Campaign Metrics — The harvested information is used to optimize the attack campaigns. Example hijacked strings include hardware components information and certain operating system set values.
Further updates to it can lead to the use of a stealth protection module. It can be used to protect the virus instance from any applications that can interfere with the virus’s execution. Examples include anti-virus programs, sandbox environments and virtual machine hosts. This module is also responsible for supressing any system monitoring application and services including the following:
- Msconfig.exe (System Configuration Utility)
- TASKMGR.exe (Task Manager)
- Regedit.exe (Windows Registry Editor)
- CCleaner64.exe (CCleaner Application Instance)
The threat is configured in a stealth manner, attempting to mask itself. It is configured to leave small file prints which is a common sign of regular system services. When Metamorfo Trojan has been deployed properly to the system and its virus engine started it will commence with the built-in instructions. The Trojan will start to hook up to the operating system and the user-installed software looking for any signs of Internet banking services or exchange platforms. This means that the developers behind the threat have devised code that is made compatible with the most popular browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge. Having access to them allows the criminal operators to read and write stored data such as the following: cookies, history, bookmarks, settings and stored account credentials.
The virus is then set up as a persistent threat which means that it will automatically start every time the computer boots. The Trojan can remove the possibility to enter into the boot recovery menu to disallow users from attempting to manually remove it. To make things worse the engine can also delete Shadow Volume Copies of data that is deemed important to the victims. This means that the only way it can be restored is to use a quality data recovery tool, refer to our instructions for further guidance.
The malicious engine can make various changes to the Windows Registry. When they affect any user-installed applications the users may be unable to launch certain functions and services. If the operating system is impacted overall system performance can suffer.
A surveillance module is activated which starts to record the victim users’s actions and records screenshots in the JPEG format which are saved to a predefined location.
One of the most important functions of the Metamorfo Trojan is the network connection. It is used to connect to a predefined hacker-controlled server. There have been several versions that feature different addresses, so far the following have been identified:
The analysts were able to collect some of the commands that are being used by the hacker operators:
- OK — Retrieves a list of the installed banking software.
- PING — It is being sent from the command and control servers to keep the connection alive. A PONG response is expected.
- dellLemb — Deletes the predefined registry entries.
- EXECPROGRAM — Executes a target program on the compromised host.
- EXITEWINDOWS — Exits the current operation.
- NOVOLEMBRETE — Creates a predefined registry entry that stores preset data.
As the analysis has looked over the collected samples the experts discovered that there are certain advanced stealth features built into the later strains. In them the Metamorfo Trojan includes a legitimate product made by Microsoft along with corrupted DLL files that are loaded into the system memory. It is used to hijack critical services, using the granted access an expanded data harvesting operation can be initiated.
The Metamorfo Trojan can scan the compromised computer for any banking software. It is then compared with a downloaded list from the hacker-controlled servers. Whenever an compatible application or a browser event is detected the Trojan can automatically hijack the entered credentials.
Impacted services by the Metamorfo Trojan are both online banking solutions and (crypto)currency exchanges. In addition to stealing the account credentials some versions of the malware can be customized to modify any transactions forms and replace the recipients address without the user noticing. This means that as a result of their action funds will be automatically hijacked.
At the moment there are several signatures that are being used to label the threat. The following identifiers are associated with the collected samples:
- Spyware ( 005259ba1 )
Remove Metamorfo Effectively from Windows
In order to fully get rid of this Trojan, we advise you to follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They are made so that they help you to isolate and then delete the Metamorfo Trojan either manually or automatically. If manual removal represents difficulty for you, experts always advise to perform the removal automatically by running an anti-malware scan via specific software on your PC. Such anti-malware program aims to make sure that the Metamorfo is fully gone and your Windows OS stays safe against any future malware infections.