News broke out that a malicious hacking tools have been used in attacks that were targeted specifically at high-value computers belonging to individuals and organizations of the financial sector in Ukraine. The malware discovered in those attacks is the same malware which ESET researchers managed to discover at the H2 of 2016 belonging to a new hacking group, known as TeleBots. At the moment it is not well known whether or not these hackers simply used the code of the malware developed by the BlackEnergy group or if they are the group themselves, just under a different name.
How The Attacks Are Conducted
The typical phishing e-mail attacks were used when it came down to those attacks. They were also related to Microsoft Excel documents which were attached to those e-mails. To make the users open those e-mails, the attackers perform social engineering (lying) in the e-mails that make them believe the e-mail sent to them is from an organization or a person they are familiar with. As soon as the victim opens the malicious attachment, he or she may see a document with concealed information that prompts to “Enable Content”, like the picture below displays:
As soon as this content is enabled, the user may activate a malicious macro that may cause the infection.
Researchers at ESET have analyzed those malicious macros and have identified that it injects a malicious process that is named “explorer.exe”. This process is executed, and it has been identified to be a trojan that downloads anything the attacker tells it to. More to it, researchers have also identified the malware to be written in the Rust language.
A Python-coded Backdoor Is Downloaded
As soon as an infection related to this downloader is conducted, a backdoor is downloaded, known as the TeleBot Backdoor. This virus uses obfuscation to infect and keep communication with the crooks to receive their “orders”. To communicate with the hackers after an infection has been caused, TeleBot uses advanced techniques to send and receive commands. One of those techniques is Telegram Messenger via which the attackers can input commands based on which the Trojan corresponds.
One of the features of the malware is that it can steal passwords. It contains a module which can be used to collect any saved passwords on the infected device. One of the tools, CredRaptor can attack web browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, Opera and others.
Another module, named plainpwd could be used by the TeleBot team to perform dumps from the system memory. These dumps may contain critical Windows credentials information.
There is also the usually used keylogger to obtain different passwords via collecting information from the typed keystrokes of the victim.
But this is not all. The hackers may also use network sniffers to collect different passwords from the hacked computer as well. Those tools, when viewed separately are nothing significant if you know how to protect yourself, but used in combination can surely steal a great deal of information.
Another information-stealing tool, called LDAP query tool by Eset researchers is reported to collect and send information about the computers that are an infection in a hidden domain; that is specifically made for the victim.
The KillDisk Feature
This feature is the most dangerous one in the TeleBots malware. Similar to ransomware viruses, like GoldenEye it attacks the master boot record and it also overwrites some specific files that allow it to create new files with the same name of the files it attacks. This feature allows it to destroy whole operating systems and delete information on computers, making the computers themselves no longer useful.
The Bottom Line
As a conclusion, whether they are TeleBots or black energy group, the crooks behind this malware have put a lot of effort to defend it from researchers and to even make the above picture of “fsociety” from Mr. Robot display in code.
- Guide 1: How to Remove KillDisk from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of KillDisk on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove KillDisk in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase KillDisk from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall KillDisk from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove KillDisk from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate KillDisk from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable KillDisk Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove KillDisk from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove KillDisk
Step 2: Uninstall KillDisk and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by KillDisk on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by KillDisk there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of KillDisk from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall KillDisk and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove KillDisk via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove KillDisk files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as KillDisk, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove KillDisk from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase KillDisk from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall KillDisk from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove KillDisk from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the KillDisk will be removed.
Eliminate KillDisk from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by KillDisk from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".