Researchers observed the Aggah campaign using Bit.ly, BlogSpot and Pastebin to distribute variants of the RevengeRAT malware.
According to Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42, the Aggah campaign began with an email sent on March 27. This email appeared to originate from a large financial institution and informed recipients that their accounts had been locked.
Under this ruse, the email passed along a malicious Word document that attempted to load a remote Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) document via template injection. The OLE document contained a macro that decoded and executed a Bit.ly link pointing to a BlogSpot post. Subsequently, the post used Pastebin entries to download additional scripts that downloaded a variant of the RevengeRAT malware family as the campaign’s final payload.
Initially, Palo Alto Networks found that the campaign targeted two countries based in the Middle East, but further analysis revealed a larger effort to prey upon nearly a dozen verticals in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
The Rise of RevengeRAT
As reported by Softpedia, an Arabic-speaking malware coder first began advertising RevengeRAT for free on underground forums in June 2016. The author released a more sophisticated version of the malware just two months later.
Since then, researchers have spotted numerous campaigns spreading around the remote access tool. For instance, RSA detected one campaign in October 2017 that used malspam to deliver the malware. In February 2019, Cofense discovered an attack that also leveraged BlogSpot posts and Pastebin to infect users with RevengeRAT.
How to Stay Ahead of the Aggah Campaign
Security professionals can help defend their organizations against an operation like the Aggah campaign by using ahead-of-threat detection. This method helps security teams spot potentially malicious domains before threat actors incorporate them into their attack campaigns. Organizations should also use VBA editor and other tools to inspect PDFs, Microsoft Office documents and other email attachments for malicious macros.