The financially enthusiastic threat actor acknowledged as FIN8 has been observed making use of a “revamped” model of a backdoor named Sardonic to deliver the BlackCat ransomware.
According to the Symantec Danger Hunter Crew, component of Broadcom, the progress is an endeavor on the portion of the e-crime group to diversify its emphasis and optimize revenue from contaminated entities. The intrusion endeavor took position in December 2022.
FIN8 is currently being tracked by the cybersecurity firm underneath the name Syssphinx. Known to be lively since at least 2016, the adversary was initially attributed to attacks concentrating on place-of-sale (PoS) units applying malware this kind of as PUNCHTRACK and BADHATCH.
The group resurfaced just after additional than a year in March 2021 with an up to date variation of BADHATCH, adhering to it up with a absolutely new implant named Sardonic, which was disclosed by Bitdefender in August 2021.
“The C++-based Sardonic backdoor has the skill to harvest method facts and execute commands, and has a plugin system designed to load and execute added malware payloads delivered as DLLs,” Symantec stated in a report shared with The Hacker Information.
Compared with the earlier variant, which was designed in C++, the most current iteration packs in substantial alterations, with most of the source code rewritten in C and modified so as to deliberately stay away from similarities.
In the incident analyzed by Symantec, Sardonic is embedded into a PowerShell script that was deployed into the targeted process after acquiring original access. The script is created to start a .NET loader, which then decrypts and executes an injector module to ultimately run the implant.
“The reason of the injector is to begin the backdoor in a recently designed WmiPrvSE.exe procedure,” Symantec stated. “When building the WmiPrvSE.exe course of action, the injector attempts to start out it in session- (very best exertion) employing a token stolen from the lsass.exe method.”
Sardonic, besides supporting up to 10 interactive classes on the contaminated host for the threat actor to operate destructive instructions, supports 3 diverse plugin formats to execute added DLL and shellcode.
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Some of the other capabilities of the backdoor include the capability to drop arbitrary documents and exfiltrate file contents from the compromised device to an actor-controlled infrastructure.
This is not the first time FIN8 has been detected utilizing Sardonic in link with a ransomware attack. In January 2022, Lodestone and Craze Micro uncovered FIN8’s use of the White Rabbit ransomware, which, in by itself, is primarily based on Sardonic.
“Syssphinx proceeds to produce and make improvements to its capabilities and malware supply infrastructure, periodically refining its resources and techniques to avoid detection,” Symantec reported.
“The group’s determination to increase from point-of-sale attacks to the deployment of ransomware demonstrates the menace actors’ devotion to maximizing earnings from target organizations.”
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