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Threat Group Cards: A Threat Actor Encyclopedia

Permanent link Tool: Powersing

NamesPowersing
CategoryMalware
TypeBackdoor, Info stealer
Description(Kaspersky) • Stage 0’s role is to extract and execute the next element of the chain, as well as a decoy document embedded inside the LNK file to display to the user. This creates the illusion of having clicked on a real document and ensures the victim doesn’t get suspicious.
• Stage 1 is a PowerShell script containing C# assembly designed to connect to a dead drop resolver (more on this in the next paragraph) and obtain cryptographic material used to decode the last stage of the chain by extracting a “DLL” file from the shortcut and locating a Base64-encoded list of URLs at a fixed offset. This establishes persistence by creating a shortcut (using the dropped icon) in the Windows startup folder pointing to the VBE startup script.
• Finally, on stage 2, the actual malware implant used to take control of the victim’s machine. It connects to one of the dead drop resolvers to get the address of the real C&C server and enters a loop that looks for orders every few seconds.
• Upon system restart, the VBE startup script – which closely resembles stage 0 – is automatically executed, once again leading all the way to Powersing stage 2.

Communications with the C&C server involve the exchange of JSON-encoded objects. Powersing only has two tasks:

• Capture periodic screenshots from the victim’s machine, which are immediately sent to the C&C server (two built-in commands allow operators to change screenshot quality and periodicity)
• Execute arbitrary Powershell scripts provided by the C&C
Information<https://securelist.com/deathstalker-mercenary-triumvirate/98177/>

Last change to this tool card: 26 August 2020

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All groups using tool Powersing

ChangedNameCountryObserved

Other groups

 Deceptikons, DeathStalker[Unknown]2012-May 2020 

1 group listed (0 APT, 1 other, 0 unknown)

Thailand Computer Emergency Response Team (ThaiCERT)
Electronic Transactions Development Agency

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