HomeNewsNotorious TrickBot malware updated to evade detection

Notorious TrickBot malware updated to evade detection

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TrickBot, a notorious malware strain that emerged in 2016, has cemented itself as a formidable foe for cybersecurity professionals.

Initially designed as a banking Trojan specializing in financial information theft, TrickBot has morphed into a versatile cyber weapon with a growing arsenal of capabilities.

This ongoing evolution, mainly the recent update on detection evasion, underscores the critical need for robust cybersecurity practices.

Let's delve deeper into TrickBot's history, evolving functionalities, and the defensive measures organizations can implement to mitigate risks.

From Banking Trojan to Multipurpose Menace

TrickBot's initial claim to fame was its proficiency in stealing banking credentials. Through phishing campaigns, it duped victims into opening malicious attachments that infected their systems.

Once nestled within a device, TrickBot could steal login information, passwords, and other sensitive data, granting unauthorized access to financial accounts.

However, TrickBot's developers weren't content with a singular purpose. They progressively expanded its capabilities, transforming it into a multipurpose malware tool:

  • Botnet Formation: TrickBot can function as a botnet controller, enabling attackers to command a network of infected devices. This botnet can be used for various malicious activities, including launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks or amplifying spam campaigns.
  • Backdoor Access: TrickBot can establish a backdoor on a compromised system, creating a hidden entry point for future attacks. This backdoor allows attackers to remotely access the system, deploy additional malware, or steal sensitive data.
  • Exploit Arsenal: TrickBot malware incorporates exploits like EternalBlue, a notorious vulnerability that allows attackers to move laterally within a network. This capability enables TrickBot to infect multiple devices within a network once it gains a foothold on a single system.

The New Era of TrickBot: Evading Detection

The latest update to TrickBot places a particular emphasis on evading detection. Researchers at Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 division identified a new ” nworm ” module that replaces the previously used “mworm” module. Here's how “worm” enhances TrickBot's stealth:

  • Reboot Removal: Unlike its predecessor, “nworm” doesn't leave traces on the infected system's disk. This makes it invisible to traditional antivirus software that relies on file scanning for detection. “Nworm” resides solely in the system's memory (RAM), disappearing upon reboot.
  • Domain Controller Targeting: “Nworm” facilitates the malware's propagation to Domain Controllers (DCs), central components in a Windows network environment. Compromising a DC grants attackers extensive control over user accounts, security policies, and network resources. By targeting DCs with a memory-resident module, TrickBot increases its chances of evading detection on these critical systems.

READ ALSO: 5 Ways To Make Your Company Website More Secure

Beyond Detection Evasion: The Future of TrickBot Malware

The continuous development of TrickBot signifies the relentless efforts of cybercriminals to refine their tools.

Experts at Palo Alto Networks and Semperis warn that further enhancements are likely on the horizon. Here's how individuals and organizations can stay ahead of the curve:

  • Patch Management: Regularly patching operating systems, applications, and firmware with the latest security updates is crucial to address known vulnerabilities that TrickBot might exploit.
  • Endpoint Security: Implementing robust endpoint security solutions that employ behavior-based detection techniques can help identify and stop malware, even if it attempts to remain hidden in memory.
  • Network Segmentation: Segmenting networks into smaller zones can limit the lateral movement of malware within a compromised system. This makes it more difficult for TrickBot to infect multiple devices throughout a network.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Enforcing MFA for critical systems and accounts adds an extra layer of security, making it significantly harder for attackers to gain unauthorized access even if they steal login credentials.
  • User Education: Educating users about phishing tactics and best practices for online security is vital in preventing them from falling victim to TrickBot's social engineering attempts.

Conclusion: A Persistent Threat Demands Constant Vigilance

TrickBot Malware's evolution highlights the dynamic nature of the cybersecurity landscape. By understanding its capabilities, implementing robust security practices, and staying informed about emerging threats, organizations and individuals can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to this versatile and continuously evolving malware.

Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing process requiring constant vigilance and adaptation to counter the ever-evolving tactics of cybercriminals.

Note: This was initially published in June 2020 but has been updated for freshness and accuracy.


About the Author:

john raymond
Writer at SecureBlitz

John Raymond is a cybersecurity content writer, with over 5 years of experience in the technology industry. He is passionate about staying up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the field of cybersecurity, and is an avid researcher and writer. He has written numerous articles on topics of cybersecurity, privacy, and digital security, and is committed to providing valuable and helpful information to the public.

Editor at SecureBlitz | Website

Christian Schmitz is a professional journalist and editor at SecureBlitz.com. He has a keen eye for the ever-changing cybersecurity industry and is passionate about spreading awareness of the industry's latest trends. Before joining SecureBlitz, Christian worked as a journalist for a local community newspaper in Nuremberg. Through his years of experience, Christian has developed a sharp eye for detail, an acute understanding of the cybersecurity industry, and an unwavering commitment to delivering accurate and up-to-date information.


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