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Security Research

Android and Windows RATs Distributed Via Online Meeting Lures

Introduction

Beginning in December 2023, Zscaler’s ThreatLabz discovered a threat actor creating fraudulent Skype, Google Meet, and Zoom websites to spread malware. The threat actor spreads SpyNote RAT to Android users and NjRAT and DCRat to Windows users. This article describes and shows how the threat actor’s malicious URLs and files can be identified on these fraudulent online meeting websites.

Key Takeaways

  • A threat actor is distributing multiple malware families using fake Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet websites.
  • The threat actor is distributing Remote Access Trojans (RATs) including SpyNote RAT for Android platforms, and NjRAT and DCRat for Windows systems.

Campaign Overview

The attacker utilized shared web hosting, hosting all these fake online meeting sites on a single IP address. All of the fake sites were in Russian as shown in all the figures below. In addition, the attackers hosted these fake sites using URLs that closely resembled the actual websites.      
 

Attack Sequence

The diagram below illustrates how the malware was distributed and executed on the victim's machine during the campaign: 

Attack chain and execution flow for Android and Windows campaigns.

Figure 1: Attack chain and execution flow for Android and Windows campaigns.

When a user visits one of the fake sites, clicking on the Android button initiates the download of a malicious APK file, while clicking on the Windows button triggers the download of a BAT file. The BAT file when executed performs additional actions, ultimately leading to the download of a RAT payload.     
 

Skype

During our investigation, we discovered that the first fake site, join-skype[.]info, was created in early December to deceive users into downloading a fake Skype application as shown in Figure 2.

The fraudulent Skype website, with a fake domain meant to resemble the legitimate Skype domain. (Image courtesy of urlscan.io.)

Figure 2: The fraudulent Skype website, with a fake domain meant to resemble the legitimate Skype domain. (Image courtesy of urlscan.io.)

The Windows button pointed to a file named Skype8.exe and the Google Play button pointed at Skype.apk (neither of these files was available at the time of analysis). The Apple App Store button redirected to https://go.skype.com/skype.download.for.phone.iphone, indicating that the threat actor was not targeting iOS users with malware. 

Google Meet

In late December, the attacker created another fake site, online-cloudmeeting[.]pro, mimicking Google Meet as shown in Figure 3. The fake Google Meet site was hosted on online-cloudmeeting[.]pro/gry-ucdu-fhc/ where the subpath gry-ucdu-fhc was deliberately created to resemble a Google Meet joining link. Genuine Google Meet invite codes typically follow the structure [a-z]{3}-[a-z]{4}-[a-z]{3}.

The fake site provides links to download a fake Skype application for Android and/or Windows. The Windows link leads to a BAT file named updateZoom20243001bit.bat, which in turn downloads the final payload named ZoomDirectUpdate.exe. This final payload is a WinRAR archive file that contains DCRat, packed with Eziriz .NET Reactor.

The fake Google Meet page, showing the fraudulent domain in the address bar for a fake Google Meet Windows application link to a malicious BAT file that downloads and executes malware.

Figure 3: The fake Google Meet page, showing the fraudulent domain in the address bar for a fake Google Meet Windows application link to a malicious BAT file that downloads and executes malware.

The Android link in this figure led to a SpyNote RAT APK file named meet.apk.

Zoom

In late January, we observed the emergence of a fake Zoom site (shown in Figure 4), us06webzoomus[.]pro. The fake Zoom site, hosted at the URL us06webzoomus[.]pro/l/62202342233720Yzhkb3dHQXczZG1XS1Z3Sk9kenpkZz09/, features a subpath that closely resembles a meeting ID generated by the Zoom client. If a user clicks the Google Play link, a file named Zoom02.apk will be downloaded containing the SpyNote RAT. Similar to the fake Google Meet site, when a user clicks the Windows button it downloads a BAT file, which in turn downloads a DCRat payload.

The fake Zoom page, showing a domain similar to the real Zoom domain in the address bar and a link to the malicious APK file that contains SpyNote RAT when the Google Play button is clicked.

Figure 4: The fake Zoom page, showing a domain similar to the real Zoom domain in the address bar and a link to the malicious APK file that contains SpyNote RAT when the Google Play button is clicked.

Open Directories

In addition to hosting DCRat, the fake Google Meet and Zoom websites also contain an open directory (shown in Figure 5) with two additional Windows executable files named driver.exe and meet.exe (inside the archive gry-ucdu-fhc.zip), which are NjRAT. The presence of these files suggests that the attacker may utilize them in other campaigns, given their distinct names.

Example of additional malicious files hosted on the websites hosting fake online meeting applications.

Figure 5: Example of additional malicious files hosted on the websites hosting fake online meeting applications.

Conclusion

Our research demonstrates that businesses may be subject to threats that impersonate online meeting applications. In this example, a threat actor is using these lures to distribute RATs for Android and Windows, which can steal confidential information, log keystrokes, and steal files. Our findings highlight the need for robust security measures to protect against advanced and evolving malware threats and the importance of regular updates and security patches.

As cyber threats continue to evolve and become increasingly complex, it is critical to remain alert and take proactive measures to protect against them. Zscaler's ThreatLabz team is dedicated to staying on top of these threats and sharing our findings with the wider community. 

Zscaler Sandbox Coverage

During our investigation of this campaign, the Zscaler sandbox played a vital role in analyzing the behavior of different files. The sandbox analysis allowed us to identify threat scores and pinpoint specific MITRE ATT&CK techniques that were triggered during the analysis process.

DCRat Zscaler sandbox report

Figure 6: DCRat Zscaler sandbox report

NjRAT Zscaler sandbox report

Figure 7: NjRAT Zscaler sandbox report

Zscaler’s multilayered cloud security platform detected payloads with the following threat names:

MITRE ATT&CK Techniques

Enterprise Matrix

TACTIC

TECHNIQUE ID

TECHNIQUE NAME

Execution

T1064

T1059.001

Scripting

PowerShell

Persistence

T1547.001

Registry Run Keys / Startup Folder

Privilege Escalation

T1547 

Boot or Logon Autostart Execution

Defense Evasion

T1140

 

T1064

T1027

T1027.002

T1070.004

T1036

Deobfuscate/Decode Files or Information

Scripting

Obfuscated Files or Information

Software Packing

File Deletion

Masquerading

Credential Access

T1056 

T1555 

Input Capture

Credentials from Password Stores

Discovery

T1124

T1083

T1082

T1518.001

T1057

T1010

T1018

T1016

 

T1120 

System Time Discovery

File and Directory Discovery

System Information Discovery

Security Software Discovery

Process Discovery

Application Window Discovery

Remote System Discovery

System Network Configuration Discovery

Peripheral Device Discovery

Collection

T1123 

T1115 

T1056

T1113 

T1125  

Audio Capture

Clipboard Data

Input Capture

Screen Capture

Video Capture

Command and Control

T1219

T1573

T1571

T1095

T1071

Remote Access Software

Encrypted Channel

Non-Standard Port

Non-Application Layer Protocol

Application Layer Protocol

Impact

T1498 

T1529 

Network Denial of Service

System Shutdown/Reboot


Mobile Matrix

TACTIC

TECHNIQUE ID

TECHNIQUE NAME

Persistence

T1624

T1444

 

Event Triggered Execution: Broadcast Receivers

Masquerade as Legitimate Application

 

 

Privilege Escalation, Persistence

T1626

T1546

Abuse Elevation Control Mechanism 
Event Triggered Execution

Collection

T1533 
T1429 
T1430 
T1636

Data from Local System

Audio Capture

Location Tracking

Contact and SMS data

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