The United States Department of Homeland Security issued a malware analysis report Wednesday, April 10, 2019, regarding a North Korean Trojan called HOPLIGHT. The report, issued in conjunction with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, provides an analysis of nine malicious executable files.
What It Is:
This Malware Analysis Report (MAR) is the result of analytic efforts between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Working with U.S. Government partners, the DHS and the FBI identified Trojan malware variants used by the North Korean government. This malware variant has been identified as HOPLIGHT. The U.S. Government refers to malicious cyber activity by the North Korean government as HIDDEN COBRA. For more information on HIDDEN COBRA activity, visit https://www.us-cert.gov/hiddencobra.
See the original Malware Analysis Report.
The DHS and the FBI are distributing this MAR to enable network defense and reduce exposure to North Korean government malicious cyber activity.
What It Means:
This MAR includes malware descriptions related to HIDDEN COBRA, suggested response actions, and recommended mitigation techniques. Users or administrators should flag activity associated with the malware and report the activity to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) or the FBI Cyber Watch (CyWatch), and give the activity the highest priority for enhanced mitigation.
This report provides an analysis of nine malicious executable files. Seven of these files are proxy applications that mask traffic between the malware and the remote operators. The proxies have the ability to generate fake TLS handshake sessions using valid public SSL certificates, disguising network connections with remote malicious actors. One file contains a public SSL certificate and the payload of the file appears to be encoded with a password or key. The remaining file does not contain any of the public SSL certificates, but attempts outbound connections and drops four files. The dropped files primarily contain IP addresses and SSL certificates.
For a downloadable copy of IOCs, see: MAR-10135536-8.stix.
Submitted Files (9):
• 05feed9762bc46b47a7dc5c469add9f163c16df4ddaafe81983a628da5714461 (23E27E5482E3F55BF828DAB8855690...)
• 12480585e08855109c5972e85d99cda7701fe992bc1754f1a0736f1eebcb004d (868036E102DF4CE414B0E6700825B3...)
• 2151c1977b4555a1761c12f151969f8e853e26c396fa1a7b74ccbaf3a48f4525 (5C3898AC7670DA30CF0B22075F3E8E...)
• 4a74a9fd40b63218f7504f806fce71dffefc1b1d6ca4bbaadd720b6a89d47761 (42682D4A78FE5C2EDA988185A34463...)
• 4c372df691fc699552f81c3d3937729f1dde2a2393f36c92ccc2bd2a033a0818 (C5DC53A540ABE95E02008A04A0D56D...)
• 70034b33f59c6698403293cdc28676c7daa8c49031089efa6eefce41e22dccb3 (61E3571B8D9B2E9CCFADC3DDE10FB6...)
• 83228075a604e955d59edc760e4c4ed16eedabfc8f6ac291cf21b4fcbcd1f70a (3021B9EF74c&BDDF59656A035F94FD...)
• d77fdabe17cdba62a8e728cbe6c740e2c2e541072501f77988674e07a05dfb39 (F8D26F2B8DD2AC4889597E1F2FD1F2...)
• ddea408e178f0412ae78ff5d5adf2439251f68cad4fd853ee466a3c74649642d (BE588CD29B9DC6F8CFC4D0AA5E5C79...)
Additional Files (4):
• 49757cf85657757704656c079785c072bbc233cab942418d99d1f63d43f28359 (rdpproto.dll)
• 70902623c9cd0cccc8513850072b70732d02c266c7b7e96d2d5b2ed4f5edc289 (udbcgiut.dat)
• 96a296d224f285c67bee93c30f8a309157f0daa35dc5b87e410b78630a09cfc7 (MSDFMAPI.INI)
• cd5ff67ff773cc60c98c35f9e9d514b597cbd148789547ba152ba67bfc0fec8f (UDPTrcSvc.dll)
See the original Malware Analysis Report for additional information and findings.
What To Do:
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) would like to remind users and administrators to consider using the following best practices to strengthen the security posture of their organization's systems. Any configuration changes should be reviewed by system owners and administrators prior to implementation to avoid unwanted impacts.
• Maintain up-to-date antivirus signatures and engines.
• Keep operating system patches up-to-date.
• Disable File and Printer sharing services. If these services are required, use strong passwords or Active Directory authentication.
• Restrict users' ability (permissions) to install and run unwanted software applications. Do not add users to the local administrators group unless required.
• Enforce a strong password policy and implement regular password changes.
• Exercise caution when opening e-mail attachments even if the attachment is expected and the sender appears to be known.
• Enable a personal firewall on agency workstations, configured to deny unsolicited connection requests.
• Disable unnecessary services on agency workstations and servers.
• Scan for and remove suspicious e-mail attachments; ensure the scanned attachment is its "true file type" (i.e., the extension matches the file header).
• Monitor users' web browsing habits; restrict access to sites with unfavorable content.
• Exercise caution when using removable media (e.g., USB thumbdrives, external drives, CDs, etc.).
• Scan all software downloaded from the Internet prior to executing.
• Maintain situational awareness of the latest threats and implement appropriate ACLs.
Additional information on malware incident prevention and handling can be found in NIST's Special Publication 800-83, Guide to Malware Incident Prevention & Handling for Desktops and Laptops.
Negative Consequences of Lost or Stolen Data:
The loss or theft of proprietary data can have severe impacts, particularly if the compromise becomes public and sensitive information is exposed. Possible impacts include:
• Temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information.
• Disruption to regular operations.
• Financial losses incurred to restore systems and files.
• Potential harm to an organization’s reputation.
Should your agency or business need assistance with the detection of malware or trojans or recovery due to malware, Dox can help. We are also happy to answer any questions you may have about Malware and its prevention. Please contact Dox if there is anything we can do to assist in securing your agency, business, or organization.
Thank you for your time and stay safe online.