Late last week, we saw new samples of Word documents from TA551 (Shathak) pushing malware. This actor was active up through 2020-12-18 pushing IcedID malware before going on break for the holidays. Now that it’s returned, TA551 has been pushing Qakbot (Qbot) malware instead of IcedID.
Images from the infection
See below for images associated with the infection in my lab environment.
Shown above: One of the emails exported from the pcap (a copy is available here).
This month, the affiliate or campaign identification string for Qakbot malware distributed through TA551 has been krk01. When my krk01 Qakbot-infected host started spamming more Qakbot, the affiliate/campaign ID for Qakbot samples caused by this malspam was abc120.
Because of this and its previous history pushing different families of malware, I believe TA551 (Shathak) is a distributor for other criminals in our cyber threat landscape. The other criminals push malware (like the criminals behind Qakbot), while TA551 is specifically a distribution network.
Indicators of Compromise (IOCs)
- File size: 76,663 bytes
- File name: particulars-01.26.21.doc
- File description: TA551 (Shathak) Word doc with macros for Qakbot (Qbot)
- File size: 888,832 bytes
- File location: hxxp://5that6[.]com//assets/55ddb775/ce51025b12/9b75bbce/8a06fd47/6ac84e7424b0539286562b/xtuaq14?anz=125c5909&dlzwg=7aec167a5a2ab0&bu=a09f740
- File location: C:ProgramDataaZe4I.tmp
- File description: Windows malware DLL retrieved by Word macro, used to install Qakbot (Qbot) affliate/campaign ID krk01
- Run method: regsvr32.exe [filename]
A pcap of the infection traffic and and malware from the infected Windows host can be found here.
brad [at] malware-traffic-analysis.net
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