Last Updated: 2017-02-09 13:20:56 UTC
by Brad Duncan (Version: 1)
At the end of January 2017, BleepingComputer published a report about an updated variant of CryptoMix (CryptFile2) ransomware calling itself CryptoShield . It was first discovered by Proofpoint security researcher Kafeine. At that time, CryptoShield was distributed by the EITest campaign using Rig exploit kit (EK).
With that in mind, let's look at a recent infection generated on Wednesday, 2017-02-08.
As I've stated before, EK traffic is kicked off by some sort of referer, usually by a compromised website or a malicious online ad (malvertisement) that has injected code leading to an EK landing page .
I tried the site and saw injected EITest script leading to a Rig EK landing page. Approximately 35 minutes later, I tried it again and saw a different Rig EK domain using the same IP address.
Shortly after viewing the site, the Windows host was infected. I first saw an application error, then received a User Account Control (UAC) notification. After clicking through those two popup notifications, the host was fully infected. The infected Windows host then showed indicators of CryptoShield. Both a browser window and a text file appeared on the desktop, and they showed the decryption instructions.
CryptoShield uses .CRYPTOSHIELD as the suffix for any files it encrypts. Based on the HTML file, the sample I saw (the same sample during both infections) was version 1.1 of the ransomware. This CryptoShield sample set itself up for persistence in the Windows registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run.
Indicators of compromise (IOCs)
Rig EK IP address and domains:
- 18.104.22.168 port 80 - need.southpadreforsale.com
- 22.214.171.124 port 80 - star.southpadrefishingguide.com
Post infection traffic from the CryptoShield sample:
- 126.96.36.199 port 80 - 188.8.131.52 - POST /images/gif_png/gif.php
File information for the Rig EK Flash exploit:
- SHA256 hash: 0c1b3a0131c98032141d2315902b546bd926d5d4365628dafbbfca165f934f12
- File description: Rig EK flash exploit
File information for the Rig EK payload:
- SHA256 hash: 8ce1ce2e7b15cadee04ce6b32c30531e808e2869200d39e04f43788ec21283ac
- File description: CryptoShield ransomeware
- File location: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Temp\rad4F812.tmp.exe
- File location: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Temp\rad1BB53.tmp.exe
- File location: C:\ProgramData\MicroSoftTMP\system32\winlogon.exe
Thanks to the people on Twitter who tweet information about compromised websites leading to Rig EK. Without help from the community, this type of traffic would be much harder to obtain.
Rig EK has been around for a while. I wrote a diary about Rig EK back in April 2015, and Rig EK was active well before then. As always, if you follow best security practices (keep your Windows computer up-to-date and patched), your risk of infection is minimal. Unfortunately, not enough people follow best practices, so it apparently remains profitable for criminals to continue using Rig EK as a method of malware distribution.
For now, CryptoShield ransomware from Rig EK remains a continuing presence in our threat landscape.
Pcaps, malware, and artifacts for this diary are available here.
brad [at] malware-traffic-analysis.net