Researchers from Trend Micro have analyzed the BatCloak, a fully undetectable (FUD) malware obfuscation engine used by threat actors to stealthily deliver their malware since September 2022.
The samples analyzed by the experts demonstrated a remarkable ability to persistently evade anti-malware solutions.
The researchers discovered that 80% of the retrieved samples had zero detections from security solutions. The average detection rate for the overall sample set of 784 used by the experts was less than one.
The researchers discovered that the BatCloak engine was part of FUD builder named Jlaive that began circulating in 2022,
The analysis of the Jlaive repository revealed the developer (ch2sh)’s effort in FUD technologies. The developers used AES encryption and implemented techniques to bypass the anti-malware scan interface (AMSI).
After the repository containing the open-source tool was taken down in September 2022, it has since been cloned and modified by other threat actors. The researchers discovered modified versions and
clones offered Jlaive as a one-time service for purchase, instead of a classic subscription-based model.
While many of the repositories containing modified or cloned Jlaive versions continue to be removed from code hosting sites such as GitHub and GitLab, threat actors continue to upload the code and in some cases development team have also ported to other languages such as Rust.
Jlaive relies on a modified version of Nettitudes RunPE (runpe.dll), an open-source C#
reflective loader for unmanaged binaries, to maintain the payload in memory and run multiple portable executables (PEs) from within the same process (process hiving).
The researchers reported that the BatCloak engine is the core engine of Jlaive’s obfuscation algorithm and includes LineObfuscation.cs and FileObfuscation.cs. The latter algorithm contains the logic used to obfuscate batch files.
The final payload is packed using three layers, a C# loader, a PowerShell loader, and a batch loader.
“The last step for the builder is to generate a batch loader. The batch loader contains an obfuscated
PowerShell loader and an encrypted C# stub binary.” reads the analysis published by Trend Micro.
BatCloak was continuously updated, the most recent version, dubbed ScrubCrypt, was first spotted by Fortinet FortiGuard Labs.
ScrubCrypt is designed to include testing on a host of popular pieces of malware such as Amadey, AsyncRAT, DarkCrystal RAT, Pure Miner, Quasar RAT, RedLine Stealer, Remcos RAT, SmokeLoader, VenomRAT, and Warzone RAT (aka Ave Maria).
“The evolution of BatCloak underscores the flexibility and adaptability of this engine and highlights the development of FUD batch obfuscators.” concludes the report.
(SecurityAffairs – hacking, BatCloak)