Here are the results of my analysis of TrickBot Banking Trojan mcconfs shared up to the end of the week commencing 16th July 2018. This analysis covers 2,506 unique C2 IP addresses used in 513 mcconfs across 286 versions, with highest versions of A-1000234, B-1000068, and C-1000198.
Since its first use from approximately 19th October 2016, TrickBot has frequently issued new versions of its XML configuration file, mcconf. Originally there was a single chain of config versions which started at 1000002. (There may have been a 1000001 but it is not been shared publicly.) I refer to this original sequence as iteration A. On 16th November 2017 TrickBot mcconfs were issued for older version numbers than the current iteration A configs, but with different command and control (C2) servers to those in that version’s iteration A config. This indicated the start of iteration B, a new sequence of configs believed to be for a second botnet. While there is a small amount of overlap of the C2 servers between iteration A and iteration B, the majority of C2 servers are specific to an iteration (hence botnet). The iteration B botnet stopped receiving new configs on 28th February 2018. As of 28th March 2018 another iteration, iteration C, was started, once again repeating previously used version numbers but with different C2 server lists. Victim hosts in that third botnet were merged into the iteration A botnet as of 23rd May 2018.
This week’s analysis:
Figure 1 shows the rate of discovery of TrickBot versions in the wild, based on shared mcconfs. The flatter the line, the more frequently versions are discovered. Ignore the two long, almost vertical lines which coincide with the switch from one iteration to the next. These vertical lines are purely an artefact of graphing the data in a single series. (Note: Full size versions of all the graphs and tables are available via the link at the end of this post.)
There were five new config versions discovered in the week commencing 16th July 2018 (A-1000229, A-1000230, A-1000231, A-1000232, and A-1000234) , five the week before, and three the week before that. All new config versions extend the iteration A botnet, taking this to 1000234. The secondary, iteration B, botnet was not extended in the discovered versions and remains unchanged since 1000068 of 28th February 2018. The tertiary, iteration C, botnet was merged into the iteration A botnet on 23rd May 2018.
|Figure 1 - TrickBot Version Discovery Dates|
The following graphs (Figures 2 and 3) show the number of server entries using ports:
- 443 (HTTPS);
- 444 (Simple Network Paging Protocol) – INACTIVE;
- 445 (IBM AS Server Mapper) – INACTIVE;
- 449 (Cray Network Semaphore Server); and
- 451 (SMB) – INACTIVE.
Figure 2 is for iteration A configs, Figure 3 is for previous iteration B and C configs. Since mid April, the length of the C2 server lists has stabilised significantly in iteration A configs, with between 25 and 33 server entries. In the same time-frame, the percentage of :443 (HTTPS) servers in those lists has increased (albeit with intermittent, temporary drops), from 1/3rd to almost all of the list.
|Figure 2 - TrickBot SRV Port Usage (Iteration A)|
|Figure 3 - TrickBot SRV Port Usage (Iterations B and C)|
Figure 4 shows the top 25 servers (of 2,527 unique) used within the 286 versions. Server 109[.]86[.]227[.]152[:]443 continues to be used since its introduction in May and reaching 2nd last week. Two other servers, 93[.]109[.]242[.]134[:]443 and 158[.]58[.]131[.]54[:]443, have also been seeing ongoing use and have now reached 3rd and 4th in the top 25. There have been a number of other changes this week, with 182[.]253[.]210[.]130[:]449 the next highest climber at 8th, up from 17th.
|Figure 4 - TrickBot Top 25 SRV|
Figure 5 shows the number of mcconfs per campaign identifier for identifiers seen more than once. A full breakdown of detected TrickBot campaign ‘gtag’ (group tags) values used in the 513 mcconfs analysed is provided in the downloadable zip file at the bottom of the post.
|Figure 5 - TrickBot Campaign mcconf Counts (where seen more than once)|
45 C2 servers were used in the mcconfs from this week, of which 24 (53%) were new. Figure 6 shows the proportional server count of mcconfs shared each week (when compared to the greatest count in a week), along with the percentage churn of the servers. The churn trend line highlights that the churn percentage is reducing, with an increasing number of servers being re-used from one week to the next. Interestingly, during the last ten weeks the number of new servers detected averaged just under 50, with counts of 50, 58, 56, 50, 52, 35, 50, 50, 45, and 45. This illustrates the increased maturity and stability of infrastructure management, alongside that demonstrated in Figure 2.
|Figure 6 - TrickBot Weekly Advertised SRV Count and Churn|
The BGP prefix registrations for the C2 server IP addresses continue to be heavily biased to ASN routed through RU (and so Figure 7’s Y-axis is cut short to allow clearer viewing of other country counts). The new servers’ IP addresses are associated with ASN routed to: 8xRU, 4xCA, 2xNL, 2xUA, 1xAT, 1xIN, 1xIR, 1xFR, 1xGB, 1xLT, 1xLV, 1xUS.
|Figure 7 - TrickBot SRV IP Address BGP Prefix Country Codes|
Figure 8 shows the geographical location of 40 (those with location data) of 40 (scanned by Shodan) of the 45 C2 server IP addresses used in the analysed configs.
According to Shodan’s most recent data:
- 12 are Ubiquiti devices and one is a MikroTik device.
- 26 are running nginx, 18 are running Dropbear SSH, 14 are running OpenSSH, two are running Exim, one is running MySQL, and one is running uc-httpd.
|Figure 8 - TrickBot C2 Server IP Locations For New Configs|
Figure 9 shows the top 25 BGP prefixes used by TrickBot for C2 servers. A breakdown of the BGP allocations of C2 servers’ IP addresses to country by TrickBot version is provided in the downloadable zip file at the bottom of the post.
|Figure 9 - TrickBot Top 25 BGP Prefixes|
Full size versions of the figures included in this post are available here
, along with two breakdowns (gtag and BGP) which are too large to show above. I’ve also created a page
documenting the various discrepancies identified in TrickBot’s mcconf files.
Thanks to hasherezade
, and mesa_matt
This post was made by @EscInSecurity
and first appeared on https://escinsecurity.blogspot.com/
Article Link: https://escinsecurity.blogspot.com/2018/07/weekly-trickbot-analysis-end-of-wc-16.html