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Trickbot Malware Analysis


TrickBot is an advanced banking Trojan that was first identified in 2016. Malicious threat actors spread this trojan primarily by spearphishing campaigns using tailored emails that contain malicious attachments or links, which – if enabled – execute the underlying malware. As per the joint advisory released by The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), “TrickBot – first identified in 2016 – is a Trojan developed and operated by a sophisticated group of cybercrime actors. Originally designed as a banking Trojan to steal financial data, TrickBot has evolved into a highly modular, multi-stage malware that provides its operators a full suite of tools to conduct various illegal cyber activities.” In 2021, CISA and FBI observed continued targeting through spearphishing campaigns using TrickBot malware in North America. A sophisticated group of cybercrime actors luring victims via phishing emails with a traffic infringement phishing scheme to download TrickBot.

Evolution of Trickbot

Trickbot is computer malware, a trojan for the Microsoft Windows and other operating systems that was first reported in October 2016. Since its origin, Trickbot has been in the headlines for performing and contributing to the most notorious cyber attacks across globe.

  • 2016 – Origin of Trickbot
  • 2017 – WannaCry
  • 2018 – Trickbot continued exploiting SMB vulnerability and overtook emotet
  • 2019 – Enhanced capabilities like webinject and attempted to exploit the US-based mobile carriers, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile
  • 2020 – Trickbot used to distribute Ryuk
  • 2021 – Trickbot used to distribute Conti ransomware

Technical Analysis

Document Analysis using ThreatResponder FORENSICS

NetSecurity has captured a suspicious executable file during one of its investigations. Following are the details of the captured executable file:

Name Sample2.exe
SHA256 236f4e149402cba69141e6055a113a68f2bd86539365210afb9861f4e2d3ad5f
Type WIN32 EXE

NetSecurity’s ThreatResponder FORENSICS is a versatile tool for understanding the file attributes in detail. Upon importing the suspicious file in the ThreatResponder FORENSICS tool, we identified several critical findings regarding the executable file.

The ThreatResponder FORENSICS machine learning engine detected the suspicious executable file as malicious.

Upon analyzing further, we captured the randomly encrypted strings, indicating the obfuscation performed by the attackers to hide the actual code.

In addition, we have also identified several strings like SizeofResource, VirtualFree, HeapAlloc, GetCurrentProcess, CreateProcessW, LoadResourceW, etc., which indicate some suspicious behavior.

In addition, upon analyzing the SHA256 in VirusTotal, we found that the suspicious file is indeed malicious and belongs to the TrickBot malware family.

Behavior Analysis using ThreatResponder EDR

When the malicious .exe file is detonated in an isolated machine, the ThreatResponder EDR agent immediately detects the new threat and alerts the user through the Windows notification, as shown below.

The malicious execution alert has been recorded in the EDR console. The alert in ThreatResponder provided a detailed understanding of the chain of events related to the malicious execution.

As you can see in the below screenshot, the alert was triggered with the name sample2.exe (suspicious executable).

Upon analyzing further, it is understood that the malicious executable is spawning svchost.exe and other malicious sample2.exe, as shown in the below figure. In addition, ThreatResponder also provides the details of each process and the executed corresponding commands.

ThreatResponder EDR also enriches the alert by incorporating the Virus Total information regarding the identified threat, which helps analysts get deeper insights into the threat.

ThreatResponder EDR also provides a detailed timeline of the events that triggered the alert. We can understand that the malicious executable has invoked other applications like 72g.exe, chrome.exe, etc., and performing some other activities that include file modification and registry key creation.

Mitre ATT&CK Mapping – TrickBot Malware

Initial Access [TA0001]

Technique Title ID Use
Phishing: Spearphishing Attachment T1566.001 TrickBot has used an email with an Excel sheet containing a malicious macro to deploy the malware.
Phishing: Spearphishing Link T1566.002 TrickBot has been delivered via malicious links in phishing emails.

Execution [TA0002]

Technique Title ID Use
Scheduled Task/Job: Scheduled Task T1053.005 TrickBot creates a scheduled task on the system that provides persistence.
Command and Scripting Interpreter: Windows Command Shell T1059.003 TrickBot has used macros in Excel documents to download and deploy the malware on the user’s machine.
Command and Scripting Interpreter: JavaScript/JScript T1059.007 TrickBot victims unknowingly download a malicious JavaScript file that, when opened, automatically communicates with the malicious actor’s C2 server to download TrickBot to the victim’s system.
Native API T1106 TrickBot uses the Windows Application Programming Interface (API) call, CreateProcessW(), to manage execution flow.
User Execution: Malicious Link T1204.001 TrickBot has sent spearphishing emails in an attempt to lure users to click on a malicious link.
User Execution: Malicious File T1204.002 TrickBot has attempted to get users to launch malicious documents to deliver its payload.



Persistence [TA0003]

Technique Title ID Use
Scheduled Task/Job: Scheduled Task T1053.005 TrickBot creates a scheduled task on the system that provides persistence.
Create or Modify System Process: Windows Service T1543.003 TrickBot establishes persistence by creating an autostart service that allows it to run whenever the machine boots.

Privilege Escalation [TA0004]

Technique Title ID Use
Scheduled Task/Job: Scheduled Task T1053.005 TrickBot creates a scheduled task on the system that provides persistence.
Process Injection: Process Hollowing T1055.012 TrickBot injects into the svchost.exe process.
Create or Modify System Process: Windows Service T1543.003 TrickBot establishes persistence by creating an autostart service that allows it to run whenever the machine boots.

Defense Evasion [TA0005]

Technique Title ID Use
Obfuscated Files or Information T1027 TrickBot uses non-descriptive names to hide functionality and uses an AES CBC (256 bits) encryption algorithm for its loader and configuration files.
Obfuscated Files or Information: Software Packing T1027.002 TrickBot leverages a custom packer to obfuscate its functionality.
Masquerading T1036 The TrickBot downloader has used an icon to appear as a Microsoft Word document.
Process Injection: Process Hollowing T1055.012 TrickBot injects into the svchost.exe process.
Modify Registry T1112 TrickBot can modify registry entries.
Deobfuscate/Decode Files or Information T1140 TrickBot decodes the configuration data and modules.
Subvert Trust Controls: Code Signing T1553.002 TrickBot has come with a signed downloader component.
Impair Defenses: Disable or Modify Tools T1562.001 TrickBot can disable Windows Defender.

Credential Access [TA0006]

Technique Title ID Use
Input Capture: Credential API Hooking T1056.004 TrickBot has the ability to capture Remote Desktop Protocol credentials by capturing the CredEnumerateA API.
Unsecured Credentials: Credentials in Files T1552.001 TrickBot can obtain passwords stored in files from several applications such as Outlook, Filezilla, OpenSSH, OpenVPN and WinSCP. Additionally, it searches for the .vnc.lnk affix to steal VNC credentials.
Unsecured Credentials: Credentials in Registry T1552.002 TrickBot has retrieved PuTTY credentials by querying the Software\SimonTatham\Putty\Sessions registry key.
Credentials from Password Stores T1555 TrickBot can steal passwords from the KeePass open-source password manager.
Credentials from Password Stores: Credentials from Web Browsers T1555.003 TrickBot can obtain passwords stored in files from web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge, sometimes using esentutl.

Discovery [TA0007]

Technique Tactic ID Use
System Service Discovery T1007 TrickBot collects a list of install programs and services on the system’s machine.
System Network Configuration Discovery T1016 TrickBot obtains the IP address, location, and other relevant network information from the victim’s machine.
Remote System Discovery T1018 TrickBot can enumerate computers and network devices.
System Owner/User Discovery T1033 TrickBot can identify the user and groups the user belongs to on a compromised host.
Permission Groups Discovery T1069 TrickBot can identify the groups the user on a compromised host belongs to.
System Information Discovery T1082 TrickBot gathers the OS version, machine name, CPU type, amount of RAM available from the victim’s machine.
File and Directory Discovery T1083 TrickBot searches the system for all of the following file extensions: .avi, .mov, .mkv, .mpeg, .mpeg4, .mp4, .mp3, .wav, .ogg, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .tiff, .ico, .xlsx, and .zip. It can also obtain browsing history, cookies, and plug-in information.
Account Discovery: Local Account T1087.001 TrickBot collects the users of the system.
Account Discovery: Email Account T1087.003 TrickBot collects email addresses from Outlook.
Domain Trust Discovery T1482 TrickBot can gather information about domain trusts by utilizing Nltest.

Lateral Movement [TA0008]

Technique Tactic ID Use
Lateral Tool Transfer T1570 Some TrickBot modules spread the malware laterally across a network by abusing the SMB Protocol.

Collection [TA0009]

Technique Tactic ID Use
Data from Local System T1005 TrickBot collects local files and information from the victim’s local machine.
Input Capture:Credential API Hooking T1056.004 TrickBot has the ability to capture Remote Desktop Protocol credentials by capturing the CredEnumerateA API.
Person in the Browser T1185 TrickBot uses web injects and browser redirection to trick the user into providing their login credentials on a fake or modified webpage.



Command and Control [TA0011]

Technique Tactic ID Use
Fallback Channels T1008 TrickBot can use secondary command and control (C2) servers for communication after establishing connectivity and relaying victim information to primary C2 servers.
Application Layer Protocol: Web Protocols T1071.001 TrickBot uses HTTPS to communicate with its C2 servers, to get malware updates, modules that perform most of the malware logic and various configuration files.
Ingress Tool Transfer T1105 TrickBot downloads several additional files and saves them to the victim’s machine.
Data Encoding: Standard Encoding T1132.001 TrickBot can Base64-encode C2 commands.
Non-Standard Port T1571 Some TrickBot samples have used HTTP over ports 447 and 8082 for C2.
Encrypted Channel: Symmetric Cryptography T1573.001 TrickBot uses a custom crypter leveraging Microsoft’s CryptoAPI to encrypt C2 traffic.

Exfiltration [TA0010]

Technique Tactic ID Use
Exfiltration Over C2 Channel T1041 TrickBot can send information about the compromised host to a hardcoded C2 server.

Impact [TA0040]

Technique Tactic ID Use
Resource Hijacking T1496 TrickBot actors can leverage the resources of co-opted systems for cryptomining to validate transactions of cryptocurrency networks and earn virtual currency.

Table 1: TrickBot ATT&CK techniques for enterprise – CISA

Indicators of Compromise (IoCs)


  • alert tcp any [443,447] -> any any (msg:”TRICKBOT:SSL/TLS Server X.509 Cert Field contains ‘example.com’ (Hex)”; sid:1; rev:1; flow:established,from_server; ssl_state:server_hello; content:”|0b|example.com”; fast_pattern:only; content:”Global Security”; content:”IT Department”; pcre:”/(?:\x09\x00\xc0\xb9\x3b\x93\x72\xa3\xf6\xd2|\x00\xe2\x08\xff\xfb\x7b\x53\x76\x3d)/”; classtype:bad-unknown; metadata:service ssl,service and-ports;)
  • alert tcp any any -> any $HTTP_PORTS (msg:”TRICKBOT_ANCHOR:HTTP URI GET contains ‘/anchor'”; sid:1; rev:1; flow:established,to_server; content:”/anchor”; http_uri; fast_pattern:only; content:”GET”; nocase; http_method; pcre:”/^\/anchor_?.{3}\/[\w_-]+\.[A-F0-9]+\/?$/U”; classtype:bad-unknown; priority:1; metadata:service http;)
  • alert tcp any $SSL_PORTS -> any any (msg:”TRICKBOT:SSL/TLS Server X.509 Cert Field contains ‘C=XX, L=Default City, O=Default Company Ltd'”; sid:1; rev:1; flow:established,from_server; ssl_state:server_hello; content:”|31 0b 30 09 06 03 55 04 06 13 02|XX”; nocase; content:”|31 15 30 13 06 03 55 04 07 13 0c|Default City”; nocase; content:”|31 1c 30 1a 06 03 55 04 0a 13 13|Default Company Ltd”; nocase; content:!”|31 0c 30 0a 06 03 55 04 03|”; classtype:bad-unknown; reference:url,www.virustotal.com/gui/file/e9600404ecc42cf86d38deedef94068db39b7a0fd06b3b8fb2d8a3c7002b650e/detection; metadata:service ssl;)
  • alert tcp any any -> any $HTTP_PORTS (msg:”TRICKBOT:HTTP Client Header contains ‘boundary=Arasfjasu7′”; sid:1; rev:1; flow:established,to_server; content:”boundary=Arasfjasu7|0d 0a|”; http_header; content:”name=|22|proclist|22|”; http_header; content:!”Referer”; content:!”Accept”; content:”POST”; http_method; classtype:bad-unknown; metadata:service http;)
  • alert tcp any any -> any $HTTP_PORTS (msg:”TRICKBOT:HTTP Client Header contains ‘User-Agent|3a 20|WinHTTP loader/1.'”; sid:1; rev:1; flow:established,to_server; content:”User-Agent|3a 20|WinHTTP loader/1.”; http_header; fast_pattern:only; content:”.png|20|HTTP/1.”; pcre:”/^Host\x3a\x20(?:\d{1,3}\.){3}\d{1,3}(?:\x3a\d{2,5})?$/mH”; content:!”Accept”; http_header; content:!”Referer|3a 20|”; http_header; classtype:bad-unknown; metadata:service http;)
  • alert tcp any $HTTP_PORTS -> any any (msg:”TRICKBOT:HTTP Server Header contains ‘Server|3a 20|Cowboy'”; sid:1; rev:1; flow:established,from_server; content:”200″; http_stat_code; content:”Server|3a 20|Cowboy|0d 0a|”; http_header; fast_pattern; content:”content-length|3a 20|3|0d 0a|”; http_header; file_data; content:”/1/”; depth:3; isdataat:!1,relative; classtype:bad-unknown; metadata:service http;)
  • alert tcp any any -> any $HTTP_PORTS (msg:”TRICKBOT:HTTP URI POST contains C2 Exfil”; sid:1; rev:1; flow:established,to_server; content:”Content-Type|3a 20|multipart/form-data|3b 20|boundary=——Boundary”; http_header; fast_pattern; content:”User-Agent|3a 20|”; http_header; distance:0; content:”Content-Length|3a 20|”; http_header; distance:0; content:”POST”; http_method; pcre:”/^\/[a-z]{3}\d{3}\/.+?\.[A-F0-9]{32}\/\d{1,3}\//U”; pcre:”/^Host\x3a\x20(?:\d{1,3}\.){3}\d{1,3}$/mH”; content:!”Referer|3a|”; http_header; classtype:bad-unknown; metadata:service http;)
  • alert tcp any any -> any $HTTP_PORTS (msg:”HTTP URI GET/POST contains ‘/56evcxv’ (Trickbot)”; sid:1; rev:1; flow:established,to_server; content:”/56evcxv”; http_uri; fast_pattern:only; classtype:bad-unknown; metadata:service http;)
  • alert icmp any any -> any any (msg:”TRICKBOT_ICMP_ANCHOR:ICMP traffic conatins ‘hanc'”; sid:1; rev:1; itype:8; content:”hanc”; offset:4; fast_pattern; classtype:bad-unknown;)
  • alert tcp any any -> any $HTTP_PORTS (msg:”HTTP Client Header contains POST with ‘host|3a 20|*.onion.link’ and ‘data=’ (Trickbot/Princess Ransomeware)”; sid:1; rev:1; flow:established,to_server; content:”POST”; nocase; http_method; content:”host|3a 20|”; http_header; content:”.onion.link”; nocase; http_header; distance:0; within:47; fast_pattern; file_data; content:”data=”; distance:0; within:5; classtype:bad-unknown; metadata:service http;)
  • alert tcp any any -> any $HTTP_PORTS (msg:”HTTP Client Header contains ‘host|3a 20|tpsci.com’ (trickbot)”; sid:1; rev:1; flow:established,to_server; content:”host|3a 20|tpsci.com”; http_header; fast_pattern:only; classtype:bad-unknown; metadata:service http;)


  • 7d57b8a21ea34fe0c01e801436f7b6e4
  • 2b3ffb06fa94e535e0b474dc70d1b5e0
  • 42a1b0d6f55b1b7143ab42b057765ba
  • 80c8a7211e93fc8a3a52b103c7b92d60
  • e05d85acc62b2795bfb94a681e64e20f
  • 7cb195e05a78a39cacb0c0d4d4fa23e4c3366785
  • 8d6ed63f2ffa053a683810f5f96c76813cdca2e188f16d549e002b2f63cee001
  • 236f4e149402cba69141e6055a113a68f2bd86539365210afb9861f4e2d3ad5f
  • 04eadc285ef0342a29997650eb0625eda6710ba6e8bb065b6e5ea5a09bf26db8
  • b18968f545ec472e621bea49edae6532ba611fe99e4984e02d6d95f80d8e066e
  • 62cf90d565675daf9b9f288e592c5c1331bab3a11f97130f0d7109791f2aab19

IP Address

  • 36.37.176[.]6
  • 74.131[.]16
  • 185.118.167[.]120


  • hxxp://myexternalip[.]com/raw
  • hxxp://api.ipify[.]org/
  • hxxps://snapfile[.]org/d/c7817a35554e88572b7b
  • hxxp://canarytokens[.]com/tags/traffic/images/azp6ai8pg5aq0c619ur0qzi6h/post.jsp
  • hxxp://Watson[.]Microsoft[.]com/StageOne/236f4e149402cba69141e6055a113a68f2bd86539365210afb9861f4e2d3ad5f/0_0_0_0/57b70f98/StackHash_ac38/0_0_0_0/00000000/c0000005/1a010044.htm?LCID=1033&OS=6.1.7601.2.00010100.


  • jdmowcibgc.exe
  • executable.exe
  • sample2.exe
  • SHELL32.dll
  • ntdll.dll
  • KERNEL32.dll
  • msvcrt.dll

How to Prevent TrickBot Malware?

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