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Threat Research, Analysis, and Mitigation

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Introducing GoCrack: A Managed Password Cracking Tool FireEye's Innovation and Custom Engineering (ICE) team released a tool today called GoCrack that allows red teams to efficiently manage password cracking tasks across multiple GPU servers by providing an easy-to-use, web-based real-time UI (Figure 1 shows the dashboard) to create, view, and manage tasks. Simply deploy a GoCrack server along with a worker on every GPU/CPU capable machine and the system will automatically distribute tasks across those GPU/CPU machines. Figure 1: Dashboard As readers of this blog probably know, password cracking tools are an effective way...
Remote Symbol Resolution Introduction The following blog discusses a couple of common techniques that malware uses to obscure its access to the Windows API. In both forms examined, analysts must calculate the API start address and resolve the symbol from the runtime process in order to determine functionality. After introducing the techniques, we present an open source tool we developed that can be used to resolve addresses from a process running in a virtual machine by an IDA script. This gives us an efficient way to quickly add readability back into the disassembly.  Techniques When performing an an...
Writing a libemu/Unicorn Compatability Layer In this post we are going to take a quick look at what it takes to write a libemu compatibility layer for the Unicorn engine. In the course of this work, we will also import the libemu Win32 environment to run under Unicorn. For a bit of background, libemu is a lightweight x86 emulator written in C by Paul Baecher and Markus Koetter. It was released in 2007 and includes a built-in Win32 environment that allows shellcodes to resolve API at runtime. The library also provides end users with a convenient way to receive callbacks when API functions are hit. The original project sup...
Introduction to Reverse Engineering Cocoa Applications While not as common as Windows malware, there has been a steady stream of malware discovered over the years that runs on the OS X operating system, now rebranded as macOS. February saw three particularly interesting publications on the topic of macOS malware: a Trojan Cocoa application that sends system information including keychain data back to the attacker, a macOS version of APT28’s Xagent malware, and a new Trojan ransomware. In this blog, the FLARE team would like to introduce two small tools that can aid in the task of reverse engineering Cocoa applications f...
FLARE IDA Pro Script Series: MSDN Annotations IDA Pro for Malware Analysis The FireEye Labs Advanced Reverse Engineering (FLARE) Team continues to share knowledge and tools with the community. We started this blog series with a script for Automatic Recovery of Constructed Strings in Malware. As always, you can download these scripts at the following location: https://github.com/fireeye/flare-ida. We hope you find all these scripts as useful as we do.   Motivation   During my summer internship with the FLARE team, my goal was to develop IDAPython plug-ins that speed up the reverse engineering workflow in IDA Pro. While analyzing malware samples w...
FLARE IDA Pro Script Series: Automatic Recovery of Constructed Strings in Malware The FireEye Labs Advanced Reverse Engineering (FLARE) Team is dedicated to sharing knowledge and tools with the community. We started with the release of the FLARE On Challenge in early July where thousands of reverse engineers and security enthusiasts participated. Stay tuned for a write-up of the challenge solutions in an upcoming blog post. This post is the start of a series where we look to aid other malware analysts in the field. Since IDA Pro is the most popular tool used by malware analysts, we’ll focus on releasing scripts and plug-ins to help make it an even more effec...
Hunting COM Objects (Part Two) Background As a follow up to Part One in this blog series on COM object hunting, this post will talk about taking the COM object hunting methodology deeper by looking at interesting COM object methods exposed in properties and sub-properties of COM objects. What is a COM Object? According to Microsoft, “The Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) is a platform-independent, distributed, object-oriented system for creating binary software components that can interact. COM is the foundation technology for Microsoft's OLE (compound documents), ActiveX (Internet-enabled compo...
Government Sector in Central Asia Targeted With New HAWKBALL Backdoor Delivered via Microsoft Office Vulnerabilities FireEye Labs recently observed an attack against the government sector in Central Asia. The attack involved the new HAWKBALL backdoor being delivered via well-known Microsoft Office vulnerabilities CVE-2017-11882 and CVE-2018-0802. HAWKBALL is a backdoor that attackers can use to collect information from the victim, as well as to deliver payloads. HAWKBALL is capable of surveying the host, creating a named pipe to execute native Windows commands, terminating processes, creating, deleting and uploading files, searching for files, and enumerating drives. Figure 1 shows the decoy ...
Hunting COM Objects COM objects have recently been used by penetration testers, Red Teams, and malicious actors to perform lateral movement. COM objects were studied by several other researchers in the past, including Matt Nelson (enigma0x3), who published a blog post about it in 2017. Some of these COM objects were also added to the Empire project. To improve the Red Team practice, FireEye performed research into the available COM objects on Windows 7 and 10 operating systems. Several interesting COM objects were discovered that allow task scheduling, fileless download & execute as well as co...
Framing the Problem: Cyber Threats and Elections This year, Canada, multiple European nations, and others will host high profile elections. The topic of cyber-enabled threats disrupting and targeting elections has become an increasing area of awareness for governments and citizens globally. To develop solutions and security programs to counter cyber threats to elections, it is important to begin with properly categorizing the threat. In this post, we’ll explore the various threats to elections FireEye has observed and provide a framework for organizations to sort these activities. The Election Ecosystem: Targets Historically...