Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security //

Malware detection

1/29/2018
09:05 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
50%
50%

OilRig's Use of RGDoor Shows Sophistication of Nation-State Attacks

OilRig, a group linked to Iran, has been installing RGDoor, a secondary backdoor that can reopen a system even if it's been fixed. Its use shows how sophisticated nation-state attacks are becoming.

An Iran-linked group called OilRig has been conducting cyber espionage since at least 2015. Its latest escapade involves the Internet Information Services (IIS) servers that have been used by other Middle Eastern government organizations, as well as financial and educational institutions.

What the group does with the IIS servers is to put a backdoor on them called the TwoFace webshell. This shell will in turn enable the Mimikatz tool, which is used to snarf up the login credentials of users. Having those available, OilRig can get to anything on the server.

The shell is multilayered, and able to live in the server undetected and functional for long periods of time. This gives it a big strategic advantage over other methods of compromise. The longer it can be active, the more credentials it can send back to its creator.

(Source: Tama66 via Pixabay)

Additionally, the TwoFace webshell can spread laterally, replicating itself on other connected web servers which can then be compromised.

Palo Alto Networks Inc. has recently discovered that TwoFace has another trick up its sleeve -- one that takes it beyond the kind of threat usually seen.

TwoFace installs a secondary backdoor on top of itself, called RGDoor. It can allow OilRig to re-compromise the affected server if the TwoFace shell is discovered and mediated.

RGDoor seems to have been created in C++, ending up as a compiled dynamic link library (DLL).

IIS has a feature where DLLs can extend its capabilities to help carry out custom actions on requests. This is the manner that RGDoor acts.

"This backdoor has a rather limited set of commands, however, the three commands ['cmd$,' 'upload$' and 'download$' -- ed.] provide plenty of functionality for a competent backdoor, as they allow an actor to upload and download files to the sever, as well as run commands via command prompt," according to Palo Alto.

This kind of detailed planning about a target shows the seriousness of OilRig's threat.

Once the group gets hold of the server, even if the primary malware is nullified, OilRig has a backup plan in place to continue its campaign. The backdoor within the backdoor is both functional and works by other methods than the primary backdoor does.

This kind of campaign shows the sophistication and stealth techniques that nation-states will use to obtain their goals. They do not make the same kinds of errors that an adversary, which has limited financial goals, will make.

An attack launched by this kind of threat actor requires defenders to consider the kinds of alternatives that may not be necessary in simple breaches.

Related posts:

— 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.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World
Download the Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World report to understand how security leaders are maintaining pace with pandemic-related challenges, and where there is room for improvement.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-41086
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-21
jsuites is an open source collection of common required javascript web components. In affected versions users are subject to cross site scripting (XSS) attacks via clipboard content. jsuites is vulnerable to DOM based XSS if the user can be tricked into copying _anything_ from a malicious and pastin...
CVE-2021-41087
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-21
in-toto-golang is a go implementation of the in-toto framework to protect software supply chain integrity. In affected versions authenticated attackers posing as functionaries (i.e., within a trusted set of users for a layout) are able to create attestations that may bypass DISALLOW rules in the sam...
CVE-2020-19554
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-21
Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists in ManageEngine OPManager <=12.5.174 when the API key contains an XML-based XSS payload.
CVE-2020-35540
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-21
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was in a CNA pool that was not assigned to any issues during 2020. Notes: none.
CVE-2020-35541
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-21
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was in a CNA pool that was not assigned to any issues during 2020. Notes: none.