Researchers recently observed that cyber criminals using a weaponized memes in order to communicate with malware 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 bypass 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 campaign 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.

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=\”.*?\”/>”

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.

/printScreen capture
/processosRetrieve list of running processes
/clipCapture clipboard content
/usernameRetrieve username from infected machine
/docsRetrieve filenames from a predefined path such as (desktop, %AppData% etc.)

Indicators of Compromise

 Hashes (SHA-256)

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

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BALAJI is a Former Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.


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