Tricky Pyxie

Trickbot has been seen often as a payload dropped by other malware like Emotet, and has been seen dropping many payloads, most notably ransomware. But while Emotet sleeps it may be that this botnet is passing out access to other groups a la Emotet style. In the past month we witnessed a Trickbot infection lie dormant for several days before being scoped by Cobalt Strike and then left with just a Pyxie infection.

Initial infection

A Trickbot sample was run in the lab:

dmndfkle.exe|81ee8c62fff641b99f3e5ac83c575526
81ee8c62fff641b99f3e5ac83c575526
cdde976a0d485e91c9e304eeac91eab5b19126c1
4dc82acf2a736e9cbaa39b5decfa943177417ad88d995ebe7fba79d9d0579849

Upon execution the sample moved itself to:

C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\CmdValidate\ேதததததகககஏஏேஏேேஓோோபகபகபபபஊஊூலலலல.exe

We’ve seen the Trickbot actors use various unicode characters for some time now, we believe that the intention here is to evade security tools as many have difficulty parsing these characters and can fail to detect or even simply break while trying to parse these characters.

After an hour or so we witnessed the common Trickbot internal reconnaissance using Microsoft utilities.

During the time Trickbot was active network traffic indicated gtag man6

Locally on the system the Trickbot config file showed the following configuration.

From the infected host we saw two different processes get injected for running Trickbot and communications with the C2 infrastructure.

C:\Windows\System32\svchost.exe
C:\Windows\System32\wermgr.exe
These legitimate windows executables allow Trickbot to run unhindered and undetected on the system. After the initial checkins and setting up on the host, Trickbot proceeded to do nothing but beacon for 3 days. Then out of the blue things moved on to the next phase.

Group 2 Arrives

Trickbot delivered a Cobalt Strike payload using PowerShell to inject into memory.
This Cobalt Strike payload was using the malleable c2 amazon profile.
Cobalt Strike ran a flurry of windows recon commands and this interesting AV enumeration script:
Commands ran by the attacker during Cobalt Strike session:
C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /C whoami /groups
C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /C tasklist /v
C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /C netstat -na | findstr "EST"
C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /C systeminfo
C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /C ipconfig /displaydns
C:\Windows\system32\cmd.exe /C wmic /Namespace:\\root\SecurityCenter2 Path AntiVirusProduct Get displayName,pathtoSignedProductExe
wmic /Namespace:\\root\SecurityCenter2 Path AntiVirusProduct Get displayName,pathtoSignedProductExe
netstat -an
net user
net use
net view /all
netstat -an
net user
net use
net view /all
net view /all /domain
cmd.exe /c "reg.exe save hklm\security c:\windows\temp\xqjxxkmbrx"
reg.exe save hklm\security c:\windows\temp\xqjxxkmbrx
cmd.exe /c "reg.exe save hklm\system c:\windows\temp\kjmohmuk"
reg.exe save hklm\system c:\windows\temp\kjmohmuk
cmd.exe /c "reg.exe save hklm\sam c:\windows\temp\emmbnafzjtwq"
reg.exe save hklm\sam c:\windows\temp\emmbnafzjtwq
net share
C:\Windows\system32\net1 share
net config workstation
C:\Windows\system32\net1 config workstation
net group "Domain Admins"
C:\Windows\system32\net1 group "Domain Admins"
route print
net localgroup
C:\Windows\system32\net1 localgroup
ipconfig /all
tasklist /V
net share
C:\Windows\system32\net1 share
net config workstation
C:\Windows\system32\net1 config workstation
net group "Domain Admins"
C:\Windows\system32\net1 group "Domain Admins"
route print
net localgroup
C:\Windows\system32\net1 localgroup
ipconfig /all
tasklist /V
net config workstation
C:\Windows\system32\net1 config workstation
nslookup -type=any %%userdnsdomain%%
net config workstation
C:\Windows\system32\net1 config workstation
nslookup -type=any %%userdnsdomain%%

PyXie

At the same time that Cobalt activity began an additional entry point began using a combination of PyXie RAT and a Logmein signed binary used to load the RAT. For an in depth breakdown of Pyxie check out this write-up by Ryan Tracey of Cylance.

 

C2

PyXie C2 uses TLS to encrypt its communication so it was very helpful to have ssl interception here. Multiple ET-PRO signatures (2029084, 2029086) fired for this communication based on the certificate. C2 ip is 162.[]248[.]245[.]71 and the domain is benreat.com.

Here’s a keep alive from PyXie. Notice the referer being google.com; that wouldn’t normally arise suspicion. The user-agent string does appear to be unique as we weren’t able to validate the string. Looking at the content we see some interesting information being passed such as uptime, system name, admin or not, domain name, if in memory or on disk, godmode (system?), av check, os version, etc.

Sharphound

Sharphound was downloaded and run via PyXie.

 

After the initial flurry of activity Cobalt Strike fell off, PyXie continued with little beacon activity and once a day returning to dump creds via the registry.

Conclusion

We did not see a final action on objectives, based on TTP’s ransomware could have been a likely choice.

Trickbot seem to be continuing strong even in Emotet’s absence and seeing usage of PyXie is certainly new ground for infections we’ve seen. Still being able to detect default behavior can help you quickly identify and remediate malicious behavior. Trickbot C2 infrastructure is quite well known and you should treat any Trickbot infection as a potential full domain compromise.

Being able to detect Cobalt Strike and Bloodhound/Sharphound activity may just save your digital domain.

IOCs

Pyxie Intezer

Trickbot Any.Run

dmndfkle.exe|81ee8c62fff641b99f3e5ac83c575526
81ee8c62fff641b99f3e5ac83c575526
cdde976a0d485e91c9e304eeac91eab5b19126c1
4dc82acf2a736e9cbaa39b5decfa943177417ad88d995ebe7fba79d9d0579849
192.169.6.180
ConsoleHost_history.txt|444b446dd246829db1b7b343a7d4d9ce
444b446dd246829db1b7b343a7d4d9ce
97a481c07f8ca2346f5167ae2ae0d992a8fdebf4
199969c142a625ac50364623ba43898f3db4e4ff3441f93911717ce5cd68bb0f
LMIGuardianDll.dll|82df61349a9391a6cf236047c7471572
82df61349a9391a6cf236047c7471572
b8ec908cc4a0e8e406ce5d100a8f34a10fe3d064
80bd15267756343f028cbe77afe810068b0e6a36ce32f52be63f620ef5b5ed89
LMIGuardianDll.dll.dat|a82672168756becefe2dac9234ee61f6
a82672168756becefe2dac9234ee61f6
5bfc42ed380e5b9701ccaec2d2f312069ef4af11
39646dd3bf20ff74415b806cea08daa8277ccc1bb7da5df4c5bd4313ae5cd697
cmdline.txt|6d0b192efb3909556cc6452ee5336b93
6d0b192efb3909556cc6452ee5336b93
a4789b71f8382f23b39c656f797fe1c2f22e3cc8
4beed76d5848fda5c41a9705ebef9bd81278e085ed57ffacc97b188ed8979b50
51.89.115.112|443
185.141.27.225|443
151.80.212.114|443
5.182.210.178|443
188.119.113.60|443
91.235.129.199|443
185.234.72.193|443
194.5.250.200|443
185.14.29.141|443
185.99.2.197|443
185.234.72.50|443
194.5.250.201|443
108.170.61.186|443
217.12.209.159|443
185.99.2.44|443
51.89.115.108|443
164.68.120.58|443
164.132.255.19|443
148.251.185.164|443
94.250.250.69|443
94.250.249.170|443
195.123.237.105|443
190.214.13.2|449
181.129.104.139|449
181.112.157.42|449
181.129.134.18|449
131.161.253.190|449
121.100.19.18|449
202.29.215.114|449
171.100.142.238|449
190.136.178.52|449
45.6.16.68|449
110.232.76.39|449
122.50.6.122|449
103.12.161.194|449
36.91.45.10|449
103.227.147.82|449
96.9.77.56|449
103.5.231.188|449
110.93.15.98|449
200.171.101.169|449
162.248.245.71
185.206.144.40
216.189.145.132
teamchuan.com
benreat.com
tedxns.com
148.251.185.186|443
170.238.117.187|8082
176.119.159.147|443
178.156.202.251|443
185.99.2.152|447
203.176.135.102|8082
217.12.209.176|447
217.12.209.244|443
51.254.164.243|443
5.182.210.30|447
51.89.115.121|443
5.196.247.14|443
93.189.42.81|443
96.9.77.142|80
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 2.1; Windows NT 5.0; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0)