Security Insights

Trade with caution - bad guys are stealing

Trade with caution - bad guys are stealing

Threats continue to evolve in their complexity and scale as cyber criminals regularly come up with new ideas and find ways to target their victims. 

Modern information stealer families such as RedLine, RecordBreaker, ArkeiStealer, Vidar, Satacom, BatLoader are often sold through Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) models and they continuously update with their varying initial attack vectors.

ThreatLabz discovered that threat actors are now distributing ArkeiStealer through Windows Installer binaries which masquerade as a trading application. The trading application is backdoored with the SmokeLoader downloader which further downloads an information stealer. In May 2021 in a similar campaign, ThreatLabz identified a fake TradingView website and backdoored TradingView application associated with the MineBridge RAT campaign [1]


Key Points

  • ThreatLabz was able to flag malicious activity to an IP address based on C2 beaconing characteristics and a low domain and ASN reputation. 
  • It also discovered a recently registered domain spoofing the official TradingView website
  • It was able to identify that the actual malware was embedded inside TradingView Desktop Application
  • The actual malware and the C2 IP address flagged were identified as SmokeLoader and ArkeiStealer


Technical Analysis

ThreatLabz identified C2 beaconing events connected to an IP address, and the team started the threat hunting process. Following characteristics were essential in identifying and flagging the C2 beaconing activities:

  • Frequent C2 beaconing 
  • Low domain reputation
  • Newly Registered Domain

The process started with the Indicator of Attack (IoA) being flagged and the rest of the process revolved around identifying the TTP of the threat campaign.   

The IP address “” was flagged as an Indicator of Attack. The ThreatLabz Threat Intel team immediately validated the IP address as a SmokeLoader C2, as shown below in the following malware configuration in Figure 1.

Figure 1: SmokeLoader Malware Configuration


During the threat hunting process, the ThreatLabz team analyzed network transactions in a time window around the trigger point to identify the end-to-end attack flow as shown in Figure 2. 


Figure 2: Complete end-to-end attack chain, used to deliver SmokeLoader and ArkeiStealer


While reconstructing the end-to-end attack chain, our team has identified 3 TradingView Desktop App download attempts from the following URL:

Further analysis revealed the victim searching for the TradingView Desktop Application on the DuckDuckGo search engine, as shown below in Figure 3. 

Figure 3: TradingView search results with SEO poisoned results

On October 6th, 2022, the threat actors registered the domain "tradingview[.]business", a look-alike of the legitimate website "tradingview[.]com". At first glance, “tradingview[.]business” looks almost identical to the legitimate website.

While the real website allows users to download clients for Windows, macOS and Linux platforms, the fake website only offers a Windows application. The download link for the malicious TradingView Desktop Windows application was placed on the homepage as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Legitimate vs. Fake TradingView website


The official and latest version of the TradingView Desktop Application was launched on October 25 2022. The malicious website, however, was registered prior to this on October 6 2022 in anticipation of the release; and the malicious TradingView Desktop Application was launched on October 31, 2022, shortly after the official release. This indicates that the threat actors are diligent in identifying and preparing for such opportunities ahead of time. In addition, they are extremely quick in developing and deploying the attack.

Comparing Whois data for both websites, we quickly validated the malicious intent of the fake website. While the original website’s Whois record is legitimate, the fake website redacts most of its registration details as shown in Figure 5.