The Belonard Trojan is a dangerous weapon used against computer users worldwide. It infects mainly via Counter Strike in-game client vulnerabilities. Our article gives an overview of its behavior according to the collected samples and available reports, also it may be helpful in attempting to remove the virus.
|Short Description||The Belonard Trojan is a computer virus that is designed to silently infiltrate computer systems.|
|Symptoms||The victims may not experience any apparent symptoms of infection.|
|Distribution Method||Software Vulnerabilities, Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Scripts and others.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Belonard Trojan |
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Belonard Trojan.|
Belonard Trojan – Distribution Methods
The Belonard Trojan has been detected in an ongoing attack campaign which targets a new weakness in the popular computer game Counter Strike 1.6. According to the released information this infection makes use of a newly discovered vulnerability categorized as Remote Code Execution. The evidence that this is the case comes out from the fact that several of the weaknesses were identified in game builds. Two of the weaknesses are found in the official game client and four in modified pirate versions.
The Belonard Trojan consists of 11 components and it includes several scenarios according to the given situation. Depending on the type of version the criminals are using a different injection method is employed. The usual mechanism is to use a remote code execution weakness which is launched from a hacker-controlled server. Whenever the players launch the multiplayer mode of the game they will be given a list of servers from which they can choose. If a malware one is chosen the relevant code will automatically transfer dangerous libraries to the clients.
A complex initial check s performed in order to check if any Belonard Trojan files are available on the freshly infected computer. Depending on the obtained information the required files will be downloaded, various versions are devised in order to address the current conditions.
The Belonard Trojan will install a special component that will protect the deployed files from any tampering or removal. This is done by filtering the requests, files and commands from other game servers. All user interactions are transferred via a specially designed network connection.
Other methods that can be employed by the victims include the following mechanisms:
- Malicious Download Sites — The creation of hacker-made sites that pose as legitimate download sources is one of the most technique when spreading malware of all types. They are hosted on similar sounding domain names as well-known pages and may even use self-signed security certificates. Common variants include search engines, download portals, product landing pages and etc.
- Email Phishing Tactics — The criminals can utilize SPAM phishing tactics in order to coerce the recipients into thinking that they have received a legitimate message from a well-known company or service. They contain stolen content from the real sources and the infections can be caused via interaction with any links, images, multimedia and etc. They can be attached directly to the emails.
- File Sharing Networks — They are used by end users in order to share both legitimate and pirate content. The most popular option at the moment is BitTorrent.
- Browser Hijackers — They are made by the hackers as counterfeit browser plugins, known as “hijackers” — this is the name given to them as they will change the default settings of the web browsers. They are usually found on the relevant repositories with fake user reviews and user credentials. The descriptions will promise new feature additions or performance optimizations. As soon as they are installed the relevant virus deployment will take place and any other relevant actions.
Belonard Trojan – Detailed Description
One of the first components that are run once the Trojan has infiltrated the computer is to run a data harvesting component. It can be programmed to extract information that can be grouped in the two main types of data:
- Private Information — The engine can be programmed to extract extensive information about the victim users. This is done by looking out for specific strings such as their name, address, phone number and any stored account credentials.
- Machine Information — There is a wide variety of information that can reveal a lot of data about the compromised machines. It includes a full list of the installed hardware components, certain user settings and current operating system conditions.
Through the initial infection this system check is made mandatory as it allows the Trojan to automatically choose the most appropriate version of the post-infection engine. It is downloaded from the malware server by the main infection engine.
What’s more interesting is that a preliminary check is done after the Trojan files have been downloaded. This is done in order to ensure that a previous infection has not happened. What will happen next is that a persistent installation will be initiated. In this particular case this is a collection of several malicious actions. The first one is the modification of the Windows Registry — it is done by creating new strings for the Belonard Trojan. This is followed by modification of configuration files and certain boot options which will make the main engine automatically to start as soon as the computer is powered on.
All of the collected information is transferred immediately to the hacker operators. A peculiar feature of this particular threat is to set up a service that takes the name of “Windows DHCP Service” which is the name of a legitimate and important network service. After this module has completed running the Trojan will start a persistent connection to a hacker-controlled server. At random periods the Trojan will launch a new search for Counter Strike game clients, the infection modules and a connection to the relevant malicious servers.
One of the dangerous components associated with this particular threat is the game modifications module. It will compare the installed clients to its own internal list of customized versions and modify the CS files accordingly by either adding in new files, modifying existing ones or altogether deleting certain parts of the game’s structure. The newly uploaded payloads will emulate fake game servers on the compromised devices. The next component will create proxies for these servers and register them with the Steam API. This means that potentially all Counter Strike 1.6 gamers are vulnerable.
As a result of the infections a large-scale botnet has been created. Security researchers were able to disable the first wave of compromised machines however we anticipate that a follow-up attack campaign may follow.
Remove Belonard Trojan Completely
To remove Belonard Trojan manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal tutorial written down below. In case this manual removal does not get rid of the miner malware completely, you should search for and remove any leftover items with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software can keep your computer secure in the future.