Ukraine’s CERT Warns Threat Actors For Fake AV Updates


Ukraine’s Computer Emergency Response Team is cautioning that threat actors are dispersing counterfeit Windows antivirus updates that introduce Cobalt Strike and other malware. The phishing messages imitate Ukrainian government offices offering ways of expanding network security and encourage beneficiaries to download “security updates,” which come as a 60 MB record named “BitdefenderWindowsUpdatePackage.exe.”


These messages contain a connection to a French site (presently disconnected) that offers download buttons for the supposed Antivirus updates. Another site, nirsoft[.]me, was likewise found by MalwareHunterTeam to be going about as the command and control server for this mission.

When a victim downloads and run this fake BitDefender Windows update [VirusTotal], the screen below will be shown prompting the users to install a ‘Windows Update Package.’ In any case, this ‘update’ really downloads and introduces the one.exe document [VirusTotal] from the Discord CDN, which is a Cobalt Strike reference point.

In any case, this ‘update’ really downloads and introduces the one.exe document [VirusTotal] from the Discord CDN, which is a Cobalt Strike reference point.

Cobalt Strike is a penetration testing suite that offers hostile security capacities, works with sidelong organization development, and guarantees perseverance.

A similar interaction gets a Go downloader (dropper.exe) which disentangles and executes a base-64-encoded record (java-sdk.exe).

This document adds another Windows registry key for persistence and furthermore downloads two additional payloads, the GraphSteel backdoor (microsoft-cortana.exe) and GrimPlant indirect access (oracle-java.exe).

All executables in the mission are pressed on the Themida tool, which shields them from reverse engineering, detection, and analysis.

The infection chain of the uncovered campaign (CERT-UA)

GraphSteel and GrimPlant Malware payloads are written in GO. This program has minimal impression and low AV identification rates.

The capabilities of the two tools cover network reconnaissance, command execution, and file operations, so the fact that both are deployed in the same system is likely done for redundancy.

GraphSteel features:

  • Gather hostname, username, and IP address information
  • Execute commands
  • Steal account credentials
  • Use WebSocket and GraphQL to communicate with C2 using AES and base64 encryption

GrimPlant capabilities:

  • Gather IP address, hostname, OS, username, home dir
  • Execute commands received remotely and return results to C2
  • Use gRPC (HTTP/2+SSL) for C2 communication

Indicator of Compromise:

https://cdn[.]discordapp[.]com/attachments/947916 997713358890/949978571680673802/cesdf[.]exe


The Ukrainian Computer Emergency Response Team connects the recognized movement with the UAC-0056 gathering with medium certainty.UAC-0056, otherwise called “Lorec53”, is a modern Russian-speaking APT that utilizes a blend of phishing messages and custom backdoors to gather data from Ukrainian associations.

( Source: Bleeping computer & CERT-UA )

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Balaganesh is a Incident Responder. Certified Ethical Hacker, Penetration Tester, Security blogger, Founder & Author of Soc Investigation.


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