The Rietspoof Malware is a dangerous weapon used against computer users worldwide. It infects mainly via hacker social network profiles. 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 Rietspoof Malware 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 Rietspoof Malware |
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Rietspoof Malware.|
Rietspoof Malware – Distribution Methods
The Rietspoof malware is distributed via rather unorthodox techniques which utilize a several stage-stage dropper. Instead of focusing on the traditional phishing email tactics the criminals are using hacker-made or stolen accounts on the popular instant messaging clients and social networks such as Skype and Facebook Messenger. There are several popular user cases such as the following:
- Malware Friend Requests and Interaction — The hacker-created or stolen accounts can be automated into sending the targets friend requests and subsequent messages containing the dangerous code.
- Group Posts — The criminals can post the malicious content in group chats and discussions, regularly blending them in with the content in question.
- Direct/Private Messages — The accounts can be programmed to send out private messages to the targets with the intended content.
The intended goal of the criminals is to deliver a highly obfuscated Visual Basic Script which will deliver the next stage of the Rietspoof malware. This usually means that the script can be placed in a variety of payloads. Popular ones include documents across all popular types: text files, presentations, databases and spreadsheets. Whenever they are opened by the users a prompt will appear asking them to enable the built-in scripts. The other popular method is to create malicious software installers — they represent hacker-made installers of popular applications which are created by taking the real installers from the official sources and modifying them to include the malicious code. These files can be spread via the social network and IM messages however additional methods can be used as well in order to increase the number of affected victims. Such include any of the following:
- File-Sharing Networks — The malicious payloads can be on peer-to-peer networks and file-sharing sites where both pirate and legitimate content is shared among Internet users.
- Hacker-created Sites — Malicious sites can be created by the hackers that impersonate search engines, product landing pages and portals that are frequently accessed by Internet users. Common elements include the use of similar sounding domains and security certificates that may be either issued by the criminals or stolen.
- Prior Infections — The threat can be carried over from previous infections.
When the first stage of the payload is executed it will instantly retrieve the next part of the module — a CAB file. The script will then run the CAB file which is signed with a valid signature — this does not raise any alarms as this appears to be just like any normal file execution.
The third stage however has been found to communicate with a hacker-controlled server via a TCP network connection. The end addresses are hardcoded in the binary file and the connection is secured through the AES cipher. There are two versions of the Rietspoof malware which are differentiated from the way the communication takes place:
- First Version — The encryption/decryption key is derived from the initial handshake.
- Second Version — The encryption/decryption key is derived from a hard-coded string. This version also supports running its own protocols and it can leverage both HTTP and HTTPS requests.
When the stage 3 phase of the infection has been reached the virus will continue further with the download of the final stage. The code analysis reveals that it is very possible that this is a signal of a targeted attack campaign.
Rietspoof Malware – Detailed Description
The captured Rietspoof malware files have been found to feature an in-depth security bypass mechanism which will cover its tracks from the system administrators. This is done by manipulating the date and time of access of the files. It can also interact with the command line interface which is a non-standard way of running commands. Anti-virus engines are not accustomed to rate such behavior as dangerous. This allows the malware to effectively bypass all sorts of security software such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, virtual machine hosts and debug environments.
During the Rietspoof malware operations a scheduled task for the engine will be created. This means that it will be installed as a persistent threat making it very difficult to remove. Similar malware samples usually disable access to the recovery boot menus and options which renders most manual user removal guides non-working.
After the scheduled task has been made the virus will be executed after a short delay — this is done in order to evade the usual behavior followed by most viruses. An additional feature that is part of the Riestpoof malware is the built-in certificate which is digitally signed by a legitimate certificate authority. This means that either the certificate is stolen or that the criminals have used a false identity in order to buy it.
The third stage dropped payload has the ability to act as a simple bot by allowing the criminals to carry out common tasks as expected by most Trojans:
- File Activities — The local client can be configured into downloading or uploading files from and to the infected machines.
Process Execution — The criminals can instruct the local machine into running certain processes remotely.
What’s more interesting about active Rietspoof malware infections is that they include a so-called geofencing feature — an analysis will be made of the current location of the client servers and the intrusion will be carried out only if they are found within the approved territories. This is particularly useful for targeted attack, in this case the Rietspoof malware will act against clients located in the USA.
The fact that the made connections are encrypted makes it a very difficult infections to discover. The malware contains many advanced modules which allows the hacker operators to cause a wide variety of actions. Common end goals include the following:
- Botnet Recruitment — The Rietspoof malware can recruit the hosts into a worldwide network of infected computers. They can be used to cause a massive DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack which can take down company sites, servers and even government agencies.
- Identity Theft — Via the malicious actions done by the threat the Rietspoof malware can extract details about the victims that can be reveal their identity. This is done by using a data harvesting component that will search for strings such as the person’s name, address, phone number, interests and any stored account credentials. This information can be used to impersonate the victims, blackmail them and lead to various financial abuse.
- Additional Malware Deployment — The made infections can be used to deploy other threats to the compromised machines.
- Miner Infections — One of the most common consequences of infections with similar viruses is the infection with a cryptocurrency miner. This is a script or stand-alone application that will download a series of resource-intensive tasks. They will take advantage of the available resources in order to process complex mathematical calculations: the CPU, GPU, memory and hard disk space. This is done by connecting to a special server called Mining Pool which distributes the tasks. Whenever one of them is completed a digital cryptocurrency payment will be made to the hacker operators directly to their wallets.
We anticipate that other functions will be made available in future versions.
Remove Rietspoof Malware
If your computer system got infected with the Rietspoof Malware, you should have a bit of experience in removing malware. You should get rid of this Trojan as quickly as possible before it can have the chance to spread further and infect other computers. You should remove the Trojan and follow the step-by-step instructions guide provided below.
Note! Your computer system may be affected by Rietspoof Malware and other threats.
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