Memes  - J7fIL1544902294 - Hackers Using Weaponized Memes to Communicate with Malware

Researchers recently observed that cyber criminals using a in order to with for various malicious operations.

Memes are nowadays using for fast communication methods to spreading news which is now abused by cyber criminals to reach victims in a very effective way.

Attackers using Steganography to embed the malicious payload inside of the image to the security solutions to compromise vicitms.

Similarly last year, attackers using 2 memes that was posted in twitter that contain embedded link which point to the command & control server where malware dropped into victims system.

Currently observed being delivered via legitimate service, a popular social media service where attackers posted a meme that looks like very benign.

Malware Infection Process

Initially, once users infected by malware which download malicious memes from Twitter account to the victim’s machine

Further analysis reveals that the memes contain a “/print” command hidden inside that will be extracted and helps malware to take a screenshot of the infected victim’s machine.

- twitter meme 1 - Hackers Using Weaponized Memes to Communicate with Malware

The later moment it communicates with Command & control server from pastebin and send the collected screenshots of the victim’s machine. 

Also, researcher observed that Pastebin URL points to an internal or private IP address, which is possibly a temporary placeholder used by the attackers.

Attackers parse the malicious memes from the twitter account where the file posted using a specific pattern.

  “<img src=”(.*?):thumb” width=”.*?” height=”.*?”/>”

- twitter - Hackers Using Weaponized Memes to Communicate with Malware
Image : TrendMicro

According to Trend Micro, There where 2 memes were posted which contains a command that helps malware to perform  various malicious operation such as capture screenshots, collect system information, among others.

Following commands used by malware to retrieve the information from the infected machine.

Commands Description
/print Screen capture
/processos Retrieve list of running processes
/clip Capture clipboard content
/username Retrieve username from infected machine
/docs Retrieve filenames from a predefined path such as (desktop, %AppData% etc.)

Indicators of Compromise

 Hashes (SHA-256)

  • 003673cf045faf0141b0bd00eff13542a3a62125937ac27b80c9ffd27bb5c722
  • 3579d609cf4d0c8b469682eb7ff6c65ec634942fa56d47b666db7aa99a2ee3ef
  • 88b06e005ecfab28cfdbcab98381821d7cc82bb140894b7fdc5445a125ce1a8c
  • 8cdb574ba6fcaea32717c36b47fec0309fcd5c6d7b0f9a58fc546b74fc42cacd

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