Cybereason, a Boston-based security firm, has been looking at underground forums since April of 2019. They say that malware they call "Raccoon stealer" is one of the 2019's top ten most-mentioned malware in the underground economy. They attribute it to Russian threat actors. They also saythat it has infected hundreds of thousands of devices around the world (including organizations and individuals in North America, Europe and Asia), despite it not being overly sophisticated or innovative. This is due, they think, to a growing trend of the commoditization of malware as the authors follow a MaaS (malware-as-a-service) model and evolve their efforts.
The malware is said to leverage several potential delivery methods. It can be delivered by an exploit kit (Fallout and RIG), by phishing, or by bundled malware. (Bundled means that a legitimate app's installer has been modified by some means to also install the malware.)
It has the ability to steal a large amount of data, such as credit card information, cryptocurrency wallets, browser data and email credentials.
Raccoon is also known as "Mohazo" or "Racealer." It has an easy-to-use automated backend panel, bulletproof hosting and 24/7 customer support in both Russian and English. As of this writing, it costs $200 per month to use. Cybereason says the malware's development team is quick, responsive and dedicated, using short development cycles to release updates, bug fixes and new features within days. They are also highly active in underground communities under the username raccoonstealer. They post daily and reply to community questions and comments within hours in underground forums and on Telegram.
Upon successful connection and verification of Raccoon's Bot ID, it downloads a compressed zip file with multiple different DLLs. These DLLs are not necessarily malicious on their own, but Raccoon depends on them to successfully collect and steal data on the target machine.\r\nLocal language settings are then examined. If the language is Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Armenian, Tajik or Uzbek the malware immediately aborts. This is typical of Russian-originated malware.
Raccoon collects system information from the infected machine, including username, IP address, language settings, OS version, information on installed apps, and CPU and memory information. Browser information is gotten from the SQLite database files on a local machine. Raccoon steals this information from over 30 different browser types. Also, Raccoon extracts information about Microsoft Outlook accounts from registry keys on the target machine.
Raccoon saves all stolen data to a zip file (gate.zip) and sends the information to its command and control (C2) server.\r\nAfter a successful exfiltration of all the sensitive data, Raccoon deletes its binary from the victim's machine.
As Cybereason puts it, "As malware authors choose to develop MaaS, they must partake in many of the same activities as a legitimate SaaS business: marketing efforts, relying on positive reviews, responsive customer support, and regularly improving features in their product. We only expect this trend to continue into 2020 and push the evolution of MaaS forward."
— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.