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A new analysis of a Diavol ransomware sample shows a more clear connection with the gang behind the TrickBot botnet and the evolution of the malware.
The recent research is the second one that finds common ground in the code of the two threats, tying them to the same actor.
Early sample comes with hints
Previous analysis of Diavol (Romanian for Devil) ransomware from Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs revealed a set of similarities with the TrickBot malware as well as differences that prevented high-confidence attribution of the code.
Fortinet’s assessment at the beginning of July noted that both Diavol and Conti – a ransomware family strongly connected with TrickBot – used the same command-line parameters for a variety of tasks (logging, encryption, scanning).
A report from the IBM X-Force threat analysts Charlotte Hammond and Chris Caridi provides clues pointing to a stronger connection between Diavol ransomware and the TrickBot gang.
Unlike the sample analyzed by Fortinet, which was a newer, “fully functional and weaponized piece of ransomware,” the one that IBM examined is an older variant closer to a development version used for testing purposes.
The incomplete state of the malware contained the signs that allowed the researchers to reach a more reliable conclusion.
IBM X-Force looked at a sample submitted to Virus Total on January 27, 2021, with a reported compilation date of March 5, 2020. By comparison, the compilation date for the version in Fortinet’s analysis is April 30, 2021.
The researchers noticed that Diavol ransomware collected basic information from the infected system and generated a System or Bot ID that help the attacker track multiple intrusions from affiliates in the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation.
Diavol ransomware’s Bot ID format includes the hostname, username, and Windows version of the compromised system, and a global unique identifier (GUID). The format is “almost identical” to the one generated by TrickBot malware, the analysts note.
A very similar Bot ID pattern has been seen with Anchor DNS, another piece of malware attributed to the TrickBot gang, the researchers say in their…