Petya Destructive Malware Variant Spreading via Stolen Credentials and EternalBlue Exploit

UPDATE (July 21): FireEye continues to track this threat. An earlier version of this post has been updated to reflect new findings.

On June 27, 2017, multiple organizations – many in Europe – reported significant disruptions they are attributing to a variant of the Petya ransomware, which we are calling “EternalPetya”. The malware was initially distributed through a compromised software update system and then self-propagated through stolen credentials and SMB exploits, including the EternalBlue exploit used in the WannaCry attack from May 2017.

The initial infection vector for this campaign was a poisoned update for the MeDoc software suite, a software package used by many Ukrainian organizations. The timing of a MeDoc software update, which occurred on June 27, is consistent with initial reporting of the ransomware attack, and the timing correlates to lateral movement via PSExec we observed in victim networks starting around 10:12 UTC. Additionally, the MeDoc website had displayed a warning message in Russian stating: "On our servers is occurring a virus attack. Our apologies for the temporary inconvenience!"

Our analysis of the artifacts and network traffic at victim networks indicate that modified versions of the EternalBlue and EternalRomance SMB exploits were used, at least in part, to spread laterally. However, much of the propagation is believed to have occurred by the malware’s use of WMI commands, MimiKatz, and PSExec.

FireEye has confirmed the following two samples related to this attack:

  • 71b6a493388e7d0b40c83ce903bc6b04
  • e285b6ce047015943e685e6638bd837e

FireEye mobilized a Community Protection Event to investigate the threat activity and protect customer environments.

While FireEye detection leverages behavioral analysis of malicious techniques, our team has created a YARA rule to assist organizations in retroactively searching their environments for this malware, as well as detecting future activity. Our team has focused on the malicious attacker techniques that are core to the operation of the malware: SMB drive usage, ransom demand language, the underlying functions and APIs, and the system utilities used for lateral movement. The thresholds can be modified in the condition section that follows.

rule CPE_MS17_010_RANSOMWARE {
meta:version="1.1"
      //filetype="PE"
      author="Ian.Ahl@fireeye.com @TekDefense, Nicholas.Carr@mandiant.com @ItsReallyNick"
      date="2017-06-27"
      description="Probable PETYA ransomware using ETERNALBLUE, WMIC, PsExec"
strings:
      // DRIVE USAGE
      $dmap01 = "\\\\.\\PhysicalDrive" nocase ascii wide
      $dmap02 = "\\\\.\\PhysicalDrive0" nocase ascii wide
      $dmap03 = "\\\\.\\C:" nocase ascii wide
      $dmap04 = "TERMSRV" nocase ascii wide
      $dmap05 = "\\admin$" nocase ascii wide
      $dmap06 = "GetLogicalDrives" nocase ascii wide
      $dmap07 = "GetDriveTypeW" nocase ascii wide

      // RANSOMNOTE
      $msg01 = "WARNING: DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR PC!" nocase ascii wide
      $msg02 = "IF YOU ABORT THIS PROCESS" nocase ascii wide
      $msg03 = "DESTROY ALL OF YOUR DATA!" nocase ascii wide
      $msg04 = "PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOUR POWER CABLE IS PLUGGED" nocase ascii wide
      $msg05 = "your important files are encrypted" ascii wide
      $msg06 = "Your personal installation key" nocase ascii wide
      $msg07 = "worth of Bitcoin to following address" nocase ascii wide
      $msg08 = "CHKDSK is repairing sector" nocase ascii wide
      $msg09 = "Repairing file system on " nocase ascii wide
      $msg10 = "Bitcoin wallet ID" nocase ascii wide
      $msg11 = "wowsmith123456@posteo.net" nocase ascii wide
      $msg12 = "1Mz7153HMuxXTuR2R1t78mGSdzaAtNbBWX" nocase ascii wide
      $msg_pcre = /(en|de)crypt(ion|ed\.)/     

      // FUNCTIONALITY, APIS
      $functions01 = "need dictionary" nocase ascii wide
      $functions02 = "comspec" nocase ascii wide
      $functions03 = "OpenProcessToken" nocase ascii wide
      $functions04 = "CloseHandle" nocase ascii wide
      $functions05 = "EnterCriticalSection" nocase ascii wide
      $functions06 = "ExitProcess" nocase ascii wide
      $functions07 = "GetCurrentProcess" nocase ascii wide
      $functions08 = "GetProcAddress" nocase ascii wide
      $functions09 = "LeaveCriticalSection" nocase ascii wide
      $functions10 = "MultiByteToWideChar" nocase ascii wide
      $functions11 = "WideCharToMultiByte" nocase ascii wide
      $functions12 = "WriteFile" nocase ascii wide
      $functions13 = "CoTaskMemFree" nocase ascii wide
      $functions14 = "NamedPipe" nocase ascii wide
      $functions15 = "Sleep" nocase ascii wide // imported, not in strings     

      // COMMANDS
      //  -- Clearing event logs & USNJrnl
      $cmd01 = "wevtutil cl Setup" ascii wide nocase
      $cmd02 = "wevtutil cl System" ascii wide nocase
      $cmd03 = "wevtutil cl Security" ascii wide nocase
      $cmd04 = "wevtutil cl Application" ascii wide nocase
      $cmd05 = "fsutil usn deletejournal" ascii wide nocase
      // -- Scheduled task
      $cmd06 = "schtasks " nocase ascii wide
      $cmd07 = "/Create /SC " nocase ascii wide
      $cmd08 = " /TN " nocase ascii wide
      $cmd09 = "at %02d:%02d %ws" nocase ascii wide
      $cmd10 = "shutdown.exe /r /f" nocase ascii wide
      // -- Sysinternals/PsExec and WMIC
      $cmd11 = "-accepteula -s" nocase ascii wide
      $cmd12 = "wmic"
      $cmd13 = "/node:" nocase ascii wide
      $cmd14 = "process call create" nocase ascii wide

condition:
      // (uint16(0) == 0x5A4D)
      3 of ($dmap*)
      and 2 of ($msg*)
      and 9 of ($functions*)
      and 7 of ($cmd*)
}         

FireEye has read reports that the malware is spread by an email lure containing a malicious Office document attachment or links to infected documents exploiting CVE-2017-0199. We are confident that this document is unrelated to the current outbreak of activity, and we have seen no other indicators that CVE-2017-0199 is related. While FireEye detects these campaigns, we have not observed any correlation with known victims of the Petya attacks.

Implications

This activity highlights the importance of organizations securing their systems against SMB exploits and ransomware infections. Microsoft has provided a guide for securing Windows systems against the EternalBlue exploit in the context of the WannaCry ransomware. A robust back-up strategy, network segmentation and air gapping where appropriate, and other defenses against ransomware can help organizations defend against ransomware distribution operations and quickly remediate infections.