Trickbot, the main cybersecurity threat for the banking sector

30 Jun 2017
2 Minutes of reading
  • S2 Grupo has presented a report in which those responsible for its Malware Laboratory have analyzed the evolution of this type of Trojan that is mainly affecting digital banking.
  • Among the main conclusions of the study is that because of its rapid evolution it can affect other sectors and become one of the biggest cyber threats of the moment.
  • The main target countries for this virus were Australia, New Zealand and Germany.
  • While the main countries from which it operates are the US and China.

Valencia, June 19, 2017.- The Malware Laboratory of S2 Grupo has presented the 1st Malware Report that, on this occasion, has focused on the evolution of Trickbot. According to experts of the company, it is a type of Trojan virus that develops at a high speed and that in less than 6 months has reached its 17 version. Trickbot has become the main cybersecurity threat for the banking sector as it steals credentials and banking data from affected users. This malware is injected into the browser so that once the client accesses one of the monitored banks, it can compromise the security of the user. "While it is true that its main objective and behavior is focused on online banking users, being a modular Trojan it has capabilities that attackers could use for other purposes, such as document exfiltration. This means that in a short time Trickbot can become one of the biggest cyber threats of network users", said José Rosell, associate- director of S2 Grupo. "We thought it was a virus that was at an early stage of development, but seeing how it has evolved at a really rapid rate has made this report essential to provide more information about its patterns of behavior and contribute to improving cybersecurity both of people and of any kind of organization", continued Miguel A. Juan, associate-director of S2 Grupo. Main countries affected In its first movements it was observed that banks of Australia, New Zealand, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Israel and Ireland were targets. In recent months we have been observing how the list of target countries progressively increases and how they are gradually modifying the malware to make it more difficult to detect. The countries from which it has been found that Trickbot mainly operates are the US (7%), China (5%) and other countries such as Zambia (4%), Brazil (4%), India ), Romania (4%) or Ukraine (4%). Main conclusions of the 1st Malware Report of S2 Grupo The objective of this study was to analyze the operation of Trickbot in its new versions to know its way of acting and to be able to establish guidelines of prevention and disinfection that increase cybersecurity worldwide. As it has been pointed out from S2 Grupo, some of the main characteristics of Trickbot are that it:

  • Loads the code into the system.·
  • Creates a replica of itself in a directory named % APPDATA%·
  • Applies persistence techniques.·
  • Collects sensitive user information.·
  • Injects code into other applications to control the information they handle.·
  • Exfiltrates the information it gets to its command and control server.

From S2 Grupo it has been pointed out that the main route of infection of this type of malware occurs when opening a Word document that arrives by email or through some vulnerability exploited by a malware Exploit Kit when surfing the net. One of Trickbot's main evolutions is that, although in the first versions the loader (virus loading program) was marked with descriptive names, in the latest versions they are no longer, which makes it difficult to identify them by cybersecurity systems. It is also noteworthy the persistence action of this malware on systems that at first created a task program that was launched every minute to ensure that the program was still running, while in the latest versions it also runs simply when the user logs on. "Understanding its operation is easier to combat and manipulate its operation to prevent it from fulfilling its mission. That is why, in this report, we have extracted very useful information that will facilitate its detection, recover the stolen information and the appropriate steps for the disinfection of the system", explained Rosell. More information: