Threat actors abuse Adobe Acrobat Sign to distribute RedLine info-stealer

Pierluigi Paganini March 20, 2023

Threat actors are abusing the legitimate Adobe Acrobat Sign service to distribute the RedLine information stealer.

Avast researchers reported that threat actors are abusing the legitimate Adobe Acrobat Sign service to distribute the RedLine information stealer.

Adobe Acrobat Sign allows registered users to sign documents online and send a document signature request to anyone. This latter process consists of generating an email that is sent to the intended recipients. The message includes a link to the document that that will be hosted on Adobe itself. 

The experts pointed out that the users can also add a text to the email, this option can be abused by the attackers.

Le e-mail generate dai servizi hanno come indirizzo del mittente ‘[email protected]’, che ovviamente è un indirizzo e-mail legittimo considerato affidabile da qualsiasi soluzione di difesa.

Adobe Acrobat Sign

When the victim clicks on the “Review and sign” button, it takes them to a page hosted in “”, which is another legitimate source that belongs to Adobe. As I mentioned earlier, people using this service can upload a broad variety of file types to Adobe Acrobat Sign, which will be displayed in the email with the option to sign them. 

Avast researchers observed crooks including text with a link in a document that attempts to trick the victim into thinking that they’ll be through the content before signing it. Once clicked on the link, the victim is redirected to another site where they’re asked to enter a CAPTCHA that is hardcoded.

Upon providing the CAPTCHA, the victim will be asked to download a ZIP archive containing the Redline Trojan variant.

The experts also observed threat actors targeting the same recipient days later by adding another link to the email sent by Adobe. Upon clicking on that link, the recipient is redirected to a page that is hosted on, which offers electronic document signing too.

The archive used in this second attack includes another Redline Trojan variant and some non-malicious executables belonging to the Grand Theft Auto V game.

The attackers also employed a simple trick in an attempt to avoid detection, they artificially increased the size of the Redline Trojan to more than 400MB.

“One of the characteristics of the two variants of Redline that these cybercriminals used in these attacks is that they’ve artificially increased the size of the Trojan to more than 400MB. This is not noticeable by the victim during the download, as the file is compressed and most of that artificial size has just been filled with zeros.” reads the anaysis published by Avast. “The reason for this is unknown; it’s possible that the cybercriminals are using it in the hope of bypassing some antivirus engines that could behave differently with big files.”

The experts concludes that the abuse of Adobe Acrobat Sign to distribute malware is a new technique used by attackers in targeted attacks.

“Our team has yet to detect other attacks using this technique; nevertheless, we fear that it may become a popular choice for cybercriminals in the near future.” concludes the report.

Follow me on Twitter: @securityaffairs and Facebook and Mastodon

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, malware)

you might also like

leave a comment