RobbinHood Ransomware Using Signed Driver to Attack Patched Systems

Gordon B. Johnson

Include to favorites “This is the initial time we have seen ransomware carry its personal legitimately signed, albeit susceptible, third-party driver to acquire management of a device” A ransomware pressure dubbed “RobbinHood” is employing a vulnerability in a “legitimate” and signed hardware driver to delete stability merchandise from specific computers […]

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“This is the initial time we have seen ransomware carry its personal legitimately signed, albeit susceptible, third-party driver to acquire management of a device”

A ransomware pressure dubbed “RobbinHood” is employing a vulnerability in a “legitimate” and signed hardware driver to delete stability merchandise from specific computers ahead of encrypting end users files, in accordance to stability researchers at Sophos.

The ransomware exploits a recognised vulnerability in the driver from Taiwan’s GIGABYTE to subvert a setting in kernel memory in Home windows ten, eight and seven, that means it “brings its personal vulnerability” and can attack or else patched methods.

(The vulnerability, identified and released with evidence-of-principle code by SecureAuth’s Diego Juarez in 2018, was disclaimed by the business, which advised Juarez  “its merchandise are not influenced by the documented vulnerabilities.” It later on recanted.)

RobbinHood then drops a 2nd, unsigned destructive driver into the program to total its attack and encrypt files, possessing initial disabled driver signature enforcement by transforming a single byte that life in kernel area. (Hardware drivers permit an Operating Technique discuss to a given system. The just one in dilemma was distributed with motherboards and graphics playing cards of the same brand name, prior to the driver’s deprecation in early 2019).

The move is the most current stressing signal of how refined ransomware authors are getting at obtaining methods to circumvent endpoint stability protections. It will come soon after Sophos also noticed that the Snatch ransomware loved ones experienced commenced to reboot goal computers in “safe mode”, where stability software program doesn’t normally operate.

Mark Loman, Sophos’s director of engineering, mentioned: “Even if you have a entirely patched Home windows personal computer with no recognised vulnerabilities, the ransomware gives the attackers with just one that lets them ruin your defenses.”

RobbinHood: Ransomware Authors Get Creative 

The privilege escalation vulnerability in the GDRV.SYS driver makes it possible for reading through and crafting of arbitrary memory. The malware authors abuse this vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2018-19320, in get to (quickly) disable driver signature enforcement in Home windows on-the-fly, in kernel memory. Once driver signature enforcement is disabled, the ransomware, which calls itself RobbinHood, then masses the 2nd, unsigned driver into Home windows that kills processes and files belonging to endpoint stability merchandise.

The initial driver is from a now-deprecated software program package released by Taiwan-centered motherboard maker Gigabyte. Verisign, which digitally signed the driver, has not revoked the signing certification, so the Authenticode signature continues to be legitimate. (Verisign has been contacted for remark by Laptop or computer Organization Critique).

The driver runs in kernel mode and is thus “optimally positioned to acquire out processes and files devoid of becoming hindered by stability controls”, Sophos notes. Once the attackers make their landing they are then ready to disable driver signature enforcement by transforming a single variable (a single byte) that life in kernel area.

“On Home windows seven (or older), this variable is identified as nt!g_CiEnabled (NTOSKRNL.EXE). On Home windows eight and ten, this variable is called ci!g_CiOptions (CI.DLL). In get to solve the place of this variable, the attackers use a approach taken from DSEFix.”

Sophos adds: “On Home windows eight or ten, the trick commences by loading the common Home windows element CI.DLL as a facts library employing DONT_Resolve_DLL_REFERENCES in their system. Once CI.DLL is loaded, they query the place of CI.DLL in kernel memory by way of the GetModuleBaseByName perform.

“It works by using NtQuerySystemInformation(SystemModuleInformation …) to get the kernel addresses of all loaded kernel modules.”

Loman mentioned: “This is the initial time we have seen ransomware carry its personal legitimately signed, albeit susceptible, third-party driver to acquire management of a system and use that to disable the put in stability software program, bypassing the capabilities specifically intended to stop these types of tampering. Killing the safety leaves the malware absolutely free to set up and execute the ransomware uninterrupted.”

The whole technological write-up is right here. 

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