Experts Observed Amadey Rolling Out LockBit 3.0 RansomwareSecurity Affairs

Experts have noticed that Amadey malware is used to deploy LockBit 3.0 ransomware on compromised systems.

Researchers from the AhnLab Security Emergency Response Center (ASEC) reported that the Amadey Malware is used to deploy LockBit 3.0 ransomware to compromised systems, researchers have warned.

Amadey Bot is a data-stealing malware that was first spotted in 2018, it also allows operators to install additional payloads. The malware is available for sale on illegal forums, in the past it was used by cyber crime gangs like TA505 to install GandCrab ransomware or DefaultAmmyy RAT.

In July, ASEC researchers discovered that the Amadey malware was distributed by SmokeLoader which was hidden in software cracks and serial builder programs available on several sites.

“ASEC analysis team has confirmed that attackers are using Amadey Bot to install LockBit. » reads the report published by the security company. “Amadey Bot, the malware used to install LockBit, is distributed through two methods: one using a malicious Word document file and the other using an executable disguised as a Word file icon.”

At the end of October, researchers discovered the Amadey robot distributed as a famous South Korean messaging app named KakaoTalk.

The researchers provided details on two recent distribution cases:

In the first distribution scenario, hackers used a malicious Word document named “Sia_Sim.docx”. It downloads a Word file containing a malicious VBA macro, the body text includes an image that prompts the user to click “Enable Content” to activate the VBA macro.

The body text contains an image that prompts the user to click “Enable Content” to activate the VBA macro which in turn executes a PowerShell command to download and run Amadey.

The malicious Microsoft Word document (“심시아.docx“) was uploaded to VirusTotal on October 28, 2022.

In a second case of distribution, threat actors disguised the Amadey malware as a seemingly harmless file with a Word icon, but it is actually an executable (“Resume.exe”). The file is distributed via phishing messages, but to date, ASEC has not yet identified the email used as a decoy.

Once installed, Amadey registers with the task scheduler to gain persistence. It connects to the C&C server, sends default information of the infected system and receives commands.

Experts have noticed that Amadey receives three commands from the C2 server. These commands are used to download and execute malware from an external source.

Two commands, “cc.ps1” and “dd.ps1”, are LockBits in powershell form, while a third named “LBB.exe” is LockBit in exe form.

“Lockbits installed via Amadey have been distributed in Korea since 2022, and the team has published various articles analyzing the ransomware. The recently confirmed version is LockBit 3.0 which is distributed using keywords such as job application and Judging from the themes, it appears that the attack is aimed at businesses, the report concludes.

“As LockBit ransomware is distributed through various methods, user caution is advised. Users should update the applications and V3 they are using to the latest version and refrain from opening document files from unknown sources.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security cases hacking, Amadey malware)

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