Sandbox Evasions are now packed in latest Elise APT

Elise is made by the Dragon Fish and Lotus Blossom APT hacker groups which primary targets governments and defense contractors. Elise is used to infecting victims by using the latest exploits available and now is packed with exciting Sandbox evasion techniques.

Our cybersecurity team analyzed the newest version of Elise and released a report about it.
The sample investigated is spread across cyberspace using an Office document made in Rich Text Format.
The analyses started with process EQNEDT32.EXE that was started among Winword.exe which is the Microsoft Office Equation Editor. This process can be exploited with CVE-2017-11882 and CVE-2018-0802.

The shellcode embedded in this Office document renames and loads the PE file previously dropped by Word. Then it injects code into IExplorer.exe where the primary payload is executed.

Before the Elise executes the payload it performs a variety of sandbox checks in In IExplorer:

– VMware backdoor check
– Disk Name Check
– Check for various Analysis Tools
– Process Check
– Mac Address Check
– Payloads

If Elise pass all the sandbox an autostart key is created, this adds:

– a Proxy to Internet Explorer
– a Proxy to Firefox

After installing and running the payload, Elise can collect and upload the following data:

– CPU Usage
– Ram (size/free)
– Disk space (size/free)
– Windows Version
– Username
– Locale
– Timezone
– SID
– List of tasks
– List of network adapters
– List of files on Desktop

Elise represents a very advanced piece of malware using for its distribution only the latest exploits. This kind of treats will be very numerous in the future, and this is why cybersecurity solution like antivirus or firewall must be installed mandatory on every device that is connected to the internet.

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