The Saigon Trojan is a banking Trojan which is based on the popular Ursnif malware. It is being launched in a small-sized and carefully targeted attack campaign. Unlike other popular malware of this category, Saigon has been found to feature some really dangerous modules and it can have devastating consequences on the affected machine. Read our article to learn what the Saigon Trojan is capable of and to read instructions on safely removing active infection.
|Type||Trojan Malware, Banking Trojan|
|Short Description||A very dangerous banking Trojan capable of overtaking control of the machines.|
|Symptoms||The victims may notice performance issues and can get infected with other malware.|
|Distribution Method||Popular Malware Infection Strategies|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Saigon Trojan |
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Saigon Trojan.|
The Saigon Trojan is a new new release of the Ursnif malware family of banking threats. It is one of the most widely used malware which are used by different hacking groups in order to intrude onto networks and hosts. Banking Trojans are a popular method which rely on a modular engine seeking to manipulate web fields, stealing data and hijacking cryptocurrency wallets if such are found.
There are numerous ways that potential networks and computers can acquire a sample of the infection. One of the main methods rely on social engineering tactics that manipulate the victims into thinking that they are accessing a legitimate file or message from a company or service that they trust. This organization can be done via email messages or specific hacker-controlled sites that are hosted on similar sounding domain names and have forged contents.
The virus can be placed in all kinds of malware files — they can be either application installers or documents containing dangerous macros. They are easily uploaded to the hacker-controlled sites and may also be spread over file-sharing networks, a popular option is BitTorrent where both pirate and legitimate files can be found. Other sources of the banking Trojan can include the downloading of malware-infected files that can be either documents with dangerous macros or installers of famous programs. The hackers will specifically attempt to make such files as they are much more likely to be downloaded from websites and file-sharing networks (like BitTorrent).
The analysis also reveals that the Saigon Trojan samples are relatively low in number compared to other banking Trojans and Ursnif ones in particular. This gives experts reasons to believe that the threat has been used in carefully selected attacks against certain victims — they are probably fine-tuned to intrude onto their networks with well-prepared parameters in advance.
The Saigon Trojan is delivered onto the victim computers as a shellcode script which is placed in a Windows Registry string. It is accessed by a special PowerShell-based interface that is set as a scheduled task. All of this implies that the malware features advanced operating system manipulation capabilities. The main component itself is placed in a Windows DLL file that is responsible for all major operations.
One of the first actions that are run by the Saigon Trojan is the data retrieval process — it will create a detailed machine ID based upon the installed hardware components. The next step is to inject itself into a system process in an unusual way which may be a form of bypassing the system’s security scanners. The results from this would be the loading of two separate components into memory and interacting with them — a public key file which is used for securing data and transmitting it over to the hackers via a specially made network connection and a scripts execution PowerShell file. The Saigon Trojan has been confirmed to make changes to the Windows Registry which can have very serious consequences on the performance of the hosts. In addition the persistent installation of the malware code makes it significantly harder to remove — the PowerShell script will automatically edit out configuration files, settings and other areas in order to make sure that the virus code will be started every time the computer is powered on.
A distinct feature of the Saigon Trojan is its advanced network configuration settings. The security analysts note that unlike most other threats from this type the Saigon infections can fine-tune connection-related parameters. The information that is relayed from the hosts to the hacker-controlled servers will be sent alongside an initial header that may contain the following fields: bot version, botnet id, client id, request type, machine uptime report and “knock” period.
As a newer version of Ursnif Saigon also has additional functionality that the hackers have made:
- Removal — The Saigon Trojan will remove itself from the system including all associated scheduled tasks and Windows Registry keys.
Data Retrieval — This function can be used both to download files from remote locations, as well as updates the core of the virus or any of its associated contents.
- System Information Collection — This engine will automatically hijack information about the victim systems.
- Data Loading — This can be done either executable files or malware DLLs.
How to Remove Saigon Trojan
In order to fully remove Saigon from your computer system, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. If the first two manual removal steps do not seem to work and you still see Saigon or programs, related to it, we suggest what most security experts advise – to download and run a scan of your comptuer with a reputable anti-malware program. Downloading this software will not only save you some time, but will remove all of Saigon files and programs related to it and will protect your computer against such intrusive apps and malware in the future.