Friday, May 24, 2024

CoralRaider Hacker Evade Antivirus Detections Using Malicious LNK File

This campaign is observed to be targeting multiple countries, including the U.S., Nigeria, Germany, Egypt, the U.K., Poland, the Philippines, Norway, and Japan.

The threat actor behind this ongoing campaign has been identified as “CoralRaider, ” whose Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) overlap with the current campaign. 

The threat actor’s previous campaigns, which included using a Windows Shortcut file, identical PowerShell Decryptor and Payload download scripts, and FoDHelper techniques for bypassing UAC (User Access Control) on the victim machine, are similar.

CoralRaider Hacker Evade Antivirus

The threat actor hosted the download of files like the malicious HTA (HTML Application) file and the payload on a Content Delivery Network (CDN) Cache domain.

This is done as a means of evading detection from security products.

A new PowerShell command-line argument was found inside the LNK file, which was used to evade antivirus products and download the final payload onto the victim’s machine.

The PowerShell scripts used in this campaign were observed to have similarities with the CoralRaider threat group’s Rotbot campaign.

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Multi-Stage Infection Chain 

The infection chain starts with a victim opening a malicious shortcut embedded inside a ZIP file. This ZIP file is downloaded via drive-by download techniques or phishing emails.

This shortcut file contains an embedded PowerShell command running a malicious HTA file on the Attacker-controlled CDN domain.

Attack flow chain (Source: Talos Intelligence)

This malicious HTA file executes an embedded JavaScript which decodes and runs a PowerShell decrypter script which decrypts another embedded PowerShell Loader script that runs on the victim machine’s memory.

Following this, the downloader script executes multiple functions for downloading and running one of the infostealer malware (Cryptbot, LummaC2, or Rhadamanthys).

In addition, this loader script also evades detections and bypasses User Access Control (UAC).

PowerShell script inside the LNK file (Source: Talos Intelligence)

This loader script also drops a batch script onto the victim’s temporary folder and also writes its contents.

This batch script will also include the PowerShell command to add the “ProgramData” folder to the Windows Defender Exclusion. 

The Use Of LoLBin – FodHelper.exe

This new campaign also uses Living-off-the-land binary techniques as the dropped batch script is executed using “FoDHelper.exe” and also uses Programmatic identifiers (ProgIDs) registry keys to bypass UAC controls.

The FoDHelper has elevated privileges if certain registry keys have commands assigned.

First Batch script (Source: Talos Intelligence)

After doing so, the loader script also downloads the payload “X1xDd.exe” and saves it in the ” C: ProgramData” folder, which is not detected due to the addition of the ProgramData folder to the exclusion list in Windows Defender.

However, the PowerShell loader also overwrites the dropped batch script with new instructions.

Second Batch Script (Source: Talos Intelligence)

The new instructions include the commands to run the newly downloaded payload information stealer with the Windows start command.

Additionally, this step follows a similar pattern of using the FoDHelper to run the batch script.

Selection Of Payload With Requirement

All three infostealer malware, LummaC2, Cryptbot, and Rhadamanthys, have their own merits and demerits.

These info stealers can harvest multiple sensitive information such as system data, browser data, credentials, cryptocurrency wallets, and financial information.


First found in 2019, the CryptBot targets Windows systems designed to steal sensitive information from affected computers.

The new variant of Cryptbot has been distributed since January 2024 and is packed with VMProtect V2.0.3-2.13. 

This new variant also has password manager application databases and authenticator application information in an attempt to steal cryptocurrency wallets that have two-factor authentication enabled.

As an added advantage, Cryptbot Stealer also scans the victim’s machine for database file extensions for targeted applications to harvest credentials.

CryptBot targeted applications (Source: Talos Intelligence)


The threat actor is also observed using a new variant of LummaC2 malware, modified by the threat actor.

This malware seems to have been obfuscated by the threat actor with a custom algorithm. Moreover, the threat actor has set up over nine C2 servers, to which the malware connects one by one. 

All of these servers use a different key to encrypt the C2 domains.

The exfiltration of information is similar to the previous versions of LummaC2 malware but has added the exfiltration of discord credentials from the victim.


This infostealer malware has been sold on underground forums since September 2022.

This malware seems to be evolving until now, with newer versions coming out every now and then. The latest version, V0.6.0, was released on February 15, 2024. 

The threat actor has been using a Python executable file as a loader to execute this Rhadamanthys malware, which is done in two stages.

The first stage uses a simple Python script, and the second stage uses the Windows API to allocate a memory block and inject Rhadamanthys malware into the process.

Rhadamanthys sold on Underground Forums (Source: Talos Intelligence)

Indicators Of Compromise


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  • a04c6804b63220a9cb1ea6c5f2990e6a810d7b4b7225e0fc5aa7ed7e2bac3c99
  • 7682ec1cc9155e1dfa2ec2817f0510ac3f66800299088143f8a6b58eeb9a96c8
  • a28152ed5039484e858d3c7d4bac03c6ad66fbaffb0e8ea3dfa8def95e115181
  • b796cc4a54ee27601c1ed3a0016caa6f58206f4f280391f67820b8b019602add
  • 5cb65b469023dcc77ede21c66a753fa9cbe67597aae142958fce4936ce3974aa



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Eswar is a Cyber security content editor with a passion for creating captivating and informative content. With years of experience under his belt in Cyber Security, he is covering Cyber Security News, technology and other news.

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