Hive Ransomware Deploys Novel IPfuscation Technique To Avoid Detection

The samples in question are 64-bit Windows Portable Executables, each containing an obfuscated payload used to deliver an additional implant.
The obfuscated payload masquerades itself as an array of ASCII IPv4 addresses.
Each one of these IPs is passed to the RtlIpv4StringToAddressA function, which will translate the ASCII IP string to binary.
The binary representation of all of these IPs is combined to form a blob of shellcode.

The general flow is:

Iterate through “IPs” (ASCII strings)
Translate “IPs” to binary to reveal shellcode
Execute shellcode either by:
Proxying execution via callback param passed to EnumUILanguagesA

Using byte sequences, sequences of WinAPI calls, and some hardcoded metadata affiliated with the malware author, SentinelOne were able to identify a handful of other variants of this loader (hashes provided below with the IOCs), one of which was dubbed “UUIDfuscation” and was also recently reported on by Jason Reaves.
A Golang Cobalt Strike loader was also discovered during the investigation, which had a hardcoded source code path similar to what was already seen with the ‘IPfuscate’ samples, suggesting that the same author may be responsible for both.

The TTPs uncovered during the incident align with previous reporting of the Hive Ransomware Affiliate Program, with the attackers having a preference for publicly available Penetration Testing frameworks and tooling (see TTPs table).
Like many other ransomware groups, pre-deployment Powershell and BAT scripts are used to prepare the environment for distribution of the ransomware, while ADFind, SharpView, and BloodHound are used for Active Directory enumeration.
Password spraying was performed with SharpHashSpray and SharpDomainSpray, while Rubeus was used to request TGTs.
Cobalt Strike remains their implant of choice, and several different Cobalt Strike loaders were identified including: IPfuscated loader, Golang loader, and a vanilla Beacon DLL.
Finally, GPOs and Scheduled Tasks are used to deploy digitally signed ransomware across the victim’s network.

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