A threat actor using DanaBot has launched a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s webmail server. The DDoS attack was launched by leveraging DanaBot to deliver a second-stage malware payload using the download and execute command. It is unclear whether this is an act of individual hacktivism, state-sponsored, or possibly a false flag operation.
DanaBot, first discovered in 2018, is a malware-as-a-service platform where threat actors, known as affiliates are identified by affiliate IDs. These affiliates purchase access to the platform from another threat actor who develops the malware and command and control (C2) panel, sets up and maintains the shared C2 infrastructure, and provides sales and customer support. Affiliates then distribute and use the malware as they see fit–mostly to steal credentials and commit banking fraud.
On Wednesday March 2, 2022, in the midst of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the threat actor identified by the affiliate ID 5 launched an HTTP-based Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s webmail server with the URL hxxps://post.mil.gov[.]ua as shown in Figure 1:
Figure 1: Hardcoded DDoS Target Attacked by DanaBot With Affiliate ID 5
At the time of publication, the webmail server is still online and reachable as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 1: Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s Webmail Server Targeted by DanaBot Affiliate ID 5
The DDoS attack was launched using DanaBot’s download and execute (command 2048 / subcommand 9) to deliver a new executable with the SHA-256 hash: b61cd7dc3af4b5b56412d62f37985e8a4e23c64b1908e39510bc8e264ebad700
Similar to DanaBot, the downloaded DDoS executable is written in the Delphi programming language. Its sole functionality is to implement a bare-bones HTTP-based DDoS attack on a hardcoded target. The executable is very similar to the one used in another DanaBot DDoS attack that was documented in November 2021. In that attack, the DanaBot affiliate ID 4 launched a DDoS attack against a Russian language electronics forum.
While the timing and targeting certainly suggest this new attack is related to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is unclear whether this is an act of individual hacktivism, something state-sponsored, or possibly a false flag operation. If the threat actor’s motive is to attack Ukraine, it is quite likely that in addition to the DDoS attack, the actor is using DanaBot’s more typical functionality such as credential theft and document theft against any relevant victims as well.
Cloud Sandbox Detection
Indicators of Compromise
IOC Notes 7ea65c1cb2687be42f427571e3223e425d602d043c39f690d0c3c42309aff513 SHA256 hash for the affiliate ID 5 DanaBot loader component 192.236.161[.]4 DanaBot affiliate ID 5 C2 server 23.106.122[.]14 DanaBot affiliate ID 5 C2 server 5.9.224[.]217 DanaBot affiliate ID 5 C2 server ockiwumgv77jgrppj4na362q4z6flsm3uno5td423jj4lj2f2meqt6ad[.]onion DanaBot affiliate ID 5 C2 server b61cd7dc3af4b5b56412d62f37985e8a4e23c64b1908e39510bc8e264ebad700 SHA256 hash for the DDoS attack tool targeting the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense
Article Link: https://www.zscaler.com/blogs/security-research/danabot-launches-ddos-attack-against-ukrainian-ministry-defense