Red-Teaming Tool Being Abused by Malicious Actors

While containing a malicious payload associated with Brute Ratel C4 (BRc4) capability has managed to stay out of the spotlight and remains less commonly known than its Cobalt Strike brethren, it is no less sophisticated.
Instead, this tool is uniquely dangerous in that it was specifically designed to avoid detection by endpoint detection and response (EDR) and antivirus (AV) capabilities.
Its effectiveness at doing so can clearly be witnessed by the aforementioned lack of detection across vendors on VirusTotal.

In terms of C2, specialists found that the sample called home to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) IP address located in the United States over port 443.
Further, the X.509 certificate on the listening port was configured to impersonate Microsoft with an organization name of “Microsoft” and organization unit of “Security.” Additionally, pivoting on the certificate and other artifacts, specialists identified a total of 41 malicious IP addresses, nine BRc4 samples, and an additional three organizations across North and South America who have been impacted by this tool so far.

This unique sample was packaged in a manner consistent with known APT29 techniques and their recent campaigns, which leveraged well-known cloud storage and online collaboration applications.
Specifically, this sample was packaged as a self-contained ISO.
Included in the ISO was a Windows shortcut (LNK) file, a malicious payload DLL and a legitimate copy of Microsoft OneDrive Updater.
Attempts to execute the benign application from the ISO-mounted folder resulted in the loading of the malicious payload as a dependency through a technique known as DLL search order hijacking.
However, while packaging techniques alone are not enough to definitively attribute this sample to APT29, these techniques demonstrate that users of the tool are now applying nation-state tradecraft to deploy BRc4.

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