The group behind Emotet malware is getting smarter and smarter in the way the deliver such a Malware. While the infection schema looks alike from years; the way the group tries to infect victims improves from day to day.
Today I’d like to share a quick analysis resulted by a very interesting email which claimed to deliver a SOC “weekly report” on the victim email. First of all the attacker knew the target organization was protected by a SOC (Security Operation Center) so she sent a well crafted email claiming to deliver a Microsoft document wrapping out the weekly SOC report as a normal activity in order to induce the victim to open-it.

SOC report 10 12 2019.doc ( 6125489453c1824da3e28a54708e7c77875e500dd82a59c96c1d1e5ee88dcad7 ) is the delivered file sent on Oct 11, 2019, 11:06:09 PM from I believe that is not a malicious domain but mostly a new compromised one.

Technical Analysis

ThreatWord document Dropper (Emotet)
Brief DescriptionFirst stage of Emotet campaign targeting organization with Security Operation Centers

Following the original eMail headers from to victim’s email box it is possible to figure-out the attacker used a SMPT client who left trace about the original sender IP address which happens to be: According to IPLocation that address is related to a very nice town in northern France: Thury-Harcourt, France.

Thury-Harcourt, France. Sender IP

The attached document is a well obfuscated Microsoft Word document which asks to enable macros in order to view its content. The autoopen function begins a complex obfuscated chain which tries to deter analyst by introducing junk code, junk variable assignments and fake apparent real comments. The following image proves the adopted obfuscation technique. The function c878cxx90590 is the “Real Code” by meaning is not part of junk code but actually is the function who really performs malicious actions. As you might see being in the middle of hundreds similar lines of code it gets hard to spot.

Obfuscated Macro

The obfuscated macro creates on-memory objects and runs them without passing through temporary files. The following image shows the auto-run created object before the Drop’n Execute. The analysed variable in the following image is the c0639047895c6 which, in that specific run, holds the Win32_ProcessStartup created Object for fulfill persistence on the victim machine.

Object Building

Once the dropper assured the persistence and to run during the start-up, it carves from itself the following powershell script. The script runs an encoded string hiding the dropping ULRs. The base64 decoded string shows a romantic foreach statement looping through a list of compromised websites hosting the real payload : de6a8b8612b5236a18eea1a6a8f53e117d046cf2ad95e079a6715af68f8d2216 (VT 6/69). It finally saves the dropped file in a userprofile location as placed in the variable xc0x57b38b2x7, before running it. The following image shows the powershell script before and after the encoding by giving a quick description on it.

Final Deobfuscated Dropper

According to VT, the final run looks like Emotet, a banking trojan who steals credentials, cookies and eCoin wallets. Emotet is also able to access to saved credentials of the major browser like Chromium, Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi to exfiltrate cookies, and to send back to command and control found victim information. But let’s try to quickly check it.

Analysis of dropped and executed file (emotet)

ThreatEmotet. Data Exfiltration
Brief DescriptionDropped and Executed by previous stage

The dropped file (VT 12/69), grabbed from the dropping URLs inside the previous powershell script, is an executable packed by internal functions which uses several techniques to avoid static and dynamic analysis. For example it deletes the original file once executed, it resolves an unusual very high number of APIs and it dynamically resolves functions avoiding static analysis.

Emotet Depacked

During the running phase the analyzed sample records many information on the hosting machine, it asks for local public IP address by querying an external resource: http[://185[.42[.221[.78:443/whoami.php and finally it pushes out those information to external Command and Control (please refer to IoC section for the complete C2 list).

Recorded Information

The sample starts a local service called khmerdefine and assures its persistence by adding that file in c:\Windows\SysWOW64 and setting up a system service in autorun. AV and plenty static traffic signatures confirm we are facing a new encrypted version of Emotet trojan.


Emotet gang is getting smarter and smarter in delivery artifacts. That time they addressed companies having an external Security Operation Center (SOC) pretending to simulate an external SOC operator who sends periodic reports to the company. The delivery content was a Microsoft word document within heavily obfuscated Macros who eventually drops and executes Emotet Malware. The following image represent the compiled MITRE ATT&CK matrix in order to qualify stages and to describe the overall behavior.




6125489453c1824da3e28a54708e7c77875e500dd82a59c96c1d1e5ee88dcad7 (.doc)
de6a8b8612b5236a18eea1a6a8f53e117d046cf2ad95e079a6715af68f8d2216 (.exe)

Drop URLs:

C2 (Emotet):

Yara Rules

      date = "2019-10-13"
      hash1 = "de6a8b8612b5236a18eea1a6a8f53e117d046cf2ad95e079a6715af68f8d2216"
      $x1 = "c:\\Users\\User\\Desktop\\2003\\Efential\\Release\\EFENTIAL.pdb" fullword ascii
      $s2 = "EFENTIAL.exe" fullword ascii
      $s3 = "ZNtlsIkbp2bxIIBXLbRtd3e85g7mJ73gSFPnybocDj/xsKVPWxzllXY/FdB150/ewzkkdzDw5VMbiVfS/SPd0FlXp+VqpDpPDXxNH3cc9TXXa53EGeMfGnsPa3chxKVv" ascii
      $s4 = "tblJgbnpgZmZCaHxmfEpoaS9Cb31DfHpZfVJobW5SYG56YGZmQmh8ZnxKaGkvQm99Q3x6WX1SaG1uUmBuemBmZkJofGZ8SmhpL0JvfUN8ell9UmhtblJgbnpgZmZCaHx" ascii /* base64 encoded string 'nR`nz`ffBh|f|Jhi/Bo}C|zY}RhmnR`nz`ffBh|f|Jhi/Bo}C|zY}RhmnR`nz`ffBh|f|Jhi/Bo}C|zY}RhmnR`nz`ffBh|' */
      $s5 = "C9813Hcfx1BkY3VrYVwfB4tWs+/Eb93UVwdvrbdywicNqMdPSiMzJFXbZbSLG6cDA/O9Vy2ob3d3PeVLcie95EpT50oKkSE/8bynT1sLOWCoPxXUd+dPO6BKhHcwzOdT" ascii
      $s6 = "G+MfTPu8J3chkKdvVwmN7R/fNdx3H8cxWUFva2FcHweLIPfrnG/d1FcHb/FxEOQnDajHT0qu26c122W0ixunZpkE2lctqG93dy4Z7jMnveRKU+dp33WJP/G8p09bPG/N" ascii
      $s7 = "RSVloG9h6HM56NP1tCMFZKs69gEEW+JoiOCz9U3uI3uYsb+mL2+97Wf903wpFDCKiBjjtt/TznbwXOcnHS87rh7rG4N2wHiRqPj2AReKM+CICO5NSlNOxut2wHOnb5dY" ascii
      $s8 = "iOC7W7cnZWhtQTw5nu3bSa/eHxvVFB3RfZP9CFkKs3KWazNkXJPk+HTPmTvpWFcnpLn2DUFtp2v1ELP9acqRoKOXIXMJCNtYpiEdTEP7nzdBU8UoA538OfhEk+kUzQrb" ascii
      $s9 = "6RzgkjSOWDNk6FtXIb1gBQ0oTx93sMelCVJYrG9ZEJB07FiwoYhZkKiSkNh3DQweyOCz9UXEmKjkHOXYfeRY2qT4p4UUBtCIA0+o00Fj/JSM4I+AkgRrpYTr7rS9V9wV" ascii
      $s10 = "StOEJiPbZbiKG6dLTcWrVy28bnd3MRHI6Se9+EtT5xnfnbI/8aimT1vHvvS1PxXYdudP5QazN3cw+OZTG6WMoPkj3ehaV6ftpUvyTw1ETh9335+9tGudzBrjH0t/zLV3" ascii
      $s11 = "mQOhiAgYsPyI4DhFgdYtLdGQ1W9Bxmd6m3lnTJcfr4gYGLD8iOA41oOuIaXdCNnnTaphWJ1HYWqR+qqIKBiwmIjgOPiFFCgT1NbQLUTYb0KTUW+UkPeoybBtiGSwewAX" ascii
      $s12 = "Jd812HQfx5Qv5tVrYSAcB4t1CVi1b93QVAdvpSmDyCcNpMRPSpcCbzzbZbCIG6fu/FMSVy20bHd3ShSspye94ElT56m+fUo/8bCkT1t+Me1nPxXQdOdPGL1DQHcw8ORT" ascii
      $s13 = "f64odyFEoG9XrrnC4d81EHAfx9MLlPdrYegYB4s9h95Cb91oUAdvuYg3nCcNHMBPSk5z9mnbZfiNG6fklZhYVy38aXd3FwtmSie9uExT54d2bFE/8eihT1swM44GPxWY" ascii
      $s14 = "G5WtAP8+00dbvQhs6PgZzXSo8WjM1YD2S2wk9prpUJn8oG0I4laYrNKGZTi4kPTVMKbGcImVZllhx5Tj+amkWDhXp2+bKhvFcO9Gasz1gDixo1+XH24Fpyq/01X5aw0b" ascii
      $s15 = "3ie9qEhT593fXyw/8filT1s1hgetPxWodedPR5foK3cwiOVTG/Eyi+Yj3ZhZV6cVyoNtTw00TR93mxbYI2udnBnjHxLYp+x3IZylb1e4qIYS3zXYdR/HAZflQmthIB0H" ascii
      $s16 = "RpFqNpYQapubxqPNu6yDXrsXC6qB7CzF0GzVj0FjbT6RdW15ncWnY7/vh92xHgE5j7MjB9mZ3mVK5FiwlKhYoKj4kIq4A4DduIQLc4bcLK/RsNUFQeBu9pLlbsmemKY/" ascii
      $s17 = "5Ewf7cgaGLAv7VSjeroTTJAjcpy+a7Ql2VPnU2HVntv/mUgzY6rVrB/TYQX35L9Xj+N9SPwkjLT2k+D48S0nWy/tVNKTKO5FA2W4Yy0Mxk9KrCt+b2nse4rmJKmXYRaT" ascii
      $s18 = "5Ewf7cgaGLAv7VSjeroTTJAjcpy+a7Ql2VPnU2HVntv/mUgzY6rVrB/TYQX35L9Xj+N9SPwkjLT2k+D48S0nWy/tVNKTKO5FA2W4Yy0Mxk9KrCt+b2nse4rmJKmXYRaT" ascii
      $s19 = "iBunjDe9gVct7Gx3d65SQF8nvahJU+cRqKveP/H4pE9bLL3YAz8VqHTnT7v1JHR3MIjkUxv0uwvjI92YWFenoW2yzU8NNEwfd/JCOHlrnZwY4x9adVfbdyGcpG9X8DDB" ascii
      $s20 = "pKjTapsqZ36hVbhZOPU4sD5ekeEYE2WaixuncUK41ZSfp87TA/3tI91r1DvwoBcDoQywknwbTexd6FjAV+2Ac8gY7SPda9RPwKByrBsJvAE05AhPsWyl0KilUwtkCFjk" ascii
      uint16(0) == 0x5a4d and filesize < 800KB and
      ( pe.imphash() == "ffcd1ab4ae5e052202d6af1ea2767498" or ( 1 of ($x*) or 4 of them ) )

      date = "2019-10-13"
      hash1 = "6125489453c1824da3e28a54708e7c77875e500dd82a59c96c1d1e5ee88dcad7"
      $x1 = "*\\G{0D452EE1-E08F-101A-852E-02608C4D0BB4}#2.0#0#C:\\windows\\system32\\FM20.DLL#Microsoft Forms 2.0 Object Library" fullword wide
      $x2 = "Customer50041 Keeling Bypass, North Christellefort, Tunisia Global128 Manuel Stravenue, New Nicholasfort, Montserrat" fullword ascii
      $x3 = "*\\G{00020430-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}#2.0#0#C:\\Windows\\system32\\stdole2.tlb#OLE Automation" fullword wide
      $x4 = "Forward297 German Trail, West Miloshire, Germany Product44796 Chesley Bypass, East Santos, Antigua and Barbudan" fullword ascii
      $x5 = "Regional1198 Rahsaan Motorway, Klockoburgh, Czech Republic Human326 Olson Bypass, North Nicholaus, Zimbabwe" fullword ascii
      $x6 = "Dynamic6743 Hickle Bypass, West Karliborough, United States Minor Outlying Islands Product6344 Zieme Inlet, Gloverfurt, Taiwan" fullword ascii
      $x7 = "*\\G{3D3F9F38-A9F3-48A3-AE60-38AE7491F39A}#2.0#0#C:\\Users\\ADMINI~1\\AppData\\Local\\Temp\\Word8.0\\MSForms.exd#Microsoft Forms" wide
      $s8 = "Central080 Ari Ranch, Port Sarinachester, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Product4773 Cornelius Ford, Maybelleville, Morocco" fullword ascii
      $s9 = "Senior75970 Kiehn Brook, Port Joaquin, Comoros Forward6656 Parker Extension, Halvorsonton, Zambia" fullword ascii
      $s10 = "6868686868686868686868" ascii /* reversed goodware string '8686868686868686868686' */ /* hex encoded string 'hhhhhhhhhhh' */
      $s11 = "*\\G{2DF8D04C-5BFA-101B-BDE5-00AA0044DE52}#2.8#0#C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\Microsoft Shared\\OFFICE16\\MSO.DLL#Microsoft " wide
      $s12 = "Dynamic98251 Karli Mission, Deronhaven, Democratic People's Republic of Korea Chief1365 Hermann Passage, Rickyport, Oman24 " fullword ascii
      $s13 = "Forward0973 Nienow Dam, Walkermouth, Egypt Customer976 MacGyver Mountain, Schoentown, Northern Mariana Islands+ Lo " fullword ascii
      $s14 = "Corporate28089 Etha Bypass, Jastbury, Turkmenistan Dynamic764 Price Cliffs, Welchtown, Algeriaog(1 " fullword ascii
      $s15 = "National4629 Brianne Locks, Port Shadburgh, Bangladesh Forward481 Ashton Course, Lake Judson, Pakistana Pr" fullword ascii
      $s16 = "Forward563 Sasha Mountains, Nitzschestad, Palau Lead58549 Lesch Parkways, Port Archburgh, Burundi" fullword ascii
      $s17 = "Forward00009 Labadie Valley, Lake Othaview, Brunei Darussalam Future796 Fritsch Road, Mertzchester, Montserrat1831 " fullword ascii
      $s18 = "Central9007 Leland Isle, Laurynview, Morocco Product75313 Mueller Harbors, West Nakiafort, Lithuania+ Log( " fullword ascii
      $s19 = "Regional973 Aubrey Squares, South Simoneville, Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands Dynamic7842 Madilyn Course, O'Harastad, Armenia" fullword ascii
      $s20 = "Lead7617 Nicolas Meadows, West Odell, Saint Pierre and Miquelon Product9412 Stamm Cove, South Katlynnport, Comoros " fullword ascii
      uint16(0) == 0xcfd0 and filesize < 900KB and
      1 of ($x*) and 4 of them