Malware

Shade Ransomware Attack Enterprise Networks through Weaponized PDF Files & Malspam Emails

Shade Ransomware emerged in late 2014; it includes malicious spam emails or exploits kits as their primary attack vectors. In a recent campaign, hackers abuses CMS such as WordPress and Joomla Sites to host the Shade Ransomware payload.

According to Palo Alto report, the following are the top countries affected by the ransomware strain that includes the United States, Japan, India, Thailand, and Canada. The top industries affected are High-Tech, Wholesale, and Education.

The ransomware delivered through malicious spam emails focused on Russian and English language Emails. The email poses to be as an invoice or bill.

When comparing with EXE samples since 2016, there are no remarkable changes; it was first reported as Troldesh in late 2014.

Shade Ransomware Infection

When shade infects a windows machine it places a desktop background announces that this system has been encrypted and creates a text file named readme1.txt through README10.txt.Once it encrypted file it appends [.]crypted000007] extension.

Infected Desktop Background

The infection involves a .js or PDF file disguised as an invoice or bill that contains links to download the Shade ransomware payload from the compromised servers.

Infection Chain

The downloaded payload is the Shade/Troldesh ransomware that encrypts all the users file with AES-256 and appends a filename(.ID_of_infected_machine.crypted000007).

It looks for following file extension to encrypt in local, network and USB drives.

.1cd, .3ds, .3fr, .3g2, .3gp, .7z, .accda, .accdb, .accdc, .accde, .accdt, .accdw, .adb, .adp, .ai, .ai3, .ai4, .ai5, .ai6, .ai7, .ai8, .anim, .arw, .as, .asa, .asc, .ascx, .asm, .asmx, .asp, .aspx, .asr, .asx, .avi, .avs, .backup, .bak, .bay, .bd, .bin, .bmp, .bz2, .c, .cdr, .cer, .cf, .cfc, .cfm, .cfml, .cfu, .chm, .cin, .class, .clx, .config, .cpp, .cr2, .crt, .crw, .cs, .css, .csv, .cub, .dae, .dat, .db, .dbf, .dbx, .dc3, .dcm, .dcr, .der, .dib, .dic, .dif, .divx, .djvu, .dng, .doc, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .dpx, .dqy, .dsn, .dt, .dtd, .dwg, .dwt, .dx, .dxf, .edml, .efd, .elf, .emf, .emz, .epf, .eps, .epsf, .epsp, .erf, .exr, .f4v, .fido, .flm, .flv, .frm, .fxg, .geo, .gif, .grs, .gz, .h, .hdr, .hpp, .hta, .htc, .htm, .html, .icb, .ics, .iff, .inc, .indd, .ini, .iqy, .j2c, .j2k, .java, .jp2, .jpc, .jpe, .jpeg, , .jpf, .jpg, .jpx, .js, .jsf, .json, .jsp, .kdc, .kmz, .kwm, .lasso, .lbi, .lgf, .lgp, .log, .m1v, .m4a, .m4v, .max, .md, .mda, .mdb, .mde, .mdf, .mdw, .mef, .mft, .mfw, .mht, .mhtml, .mka, .mkidx, .mkv, .mos, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .mpv, .mrw, .msg, .mxl, .myd, .myi, .nef, .nrw, .obj, .odb, .odc, .odm, .odp, .ods, .oft, .one, .onepkg, .onetoc2, .opt, .oqy, .orf, .p12, .p7b, .p7c, .pam, .pbm, .pct, .pcx, .pdd, .pdf, .pdp, .pef, .pem, .pff, .pfm, .pfx, .pgm, .php, .php3, .php4, .php5, .phtml, .pict, .pl, .pls, .pm, .png, .pnm, .pot, .potm, .potx, .ppa, .ppam, .ppm, .pps, .ppsm, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx, .prn, .ps, .psb, .psd, .pst, .ptx, .pub, .pwm, .pxr, .py, .qt, .r3d, .raf, .rar, .raw, .rdf, .rgbe, .rle, .rqy, .rss, .rtf, .rw2, .rwl, .safe, .sct, .sdpx, .shtm, .shtml, .slk, .sln, .sql, .sr2, .srf, .srw, .ssi, .st, .stm, .svg, .svgz, .swf, .tab, .tar, .tbb, .tbi, .tbk, .tdi, .tga, .thmx, .tif, .tiff, .tld, .torrent, .tpl, .txt, .u3d, .udl, .uxdc, .vb, .vbs, .vcs, .vda, .vdr, .vdw, .vdx, .vrp, .vsd, .vss, .vst, .vsw, .vsx, .vtm, .vtml, .vtx, .wb2, .wav, .wbm, .wbmp, .wim, .wmf, .wml, .wmv, .wpd, .wps, .x3f, .xl, .xla, .xlam, .xlk, .xlm, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltm, .xltx, .xlw, .xml, .xps, .xsd, .xsf, .xsl, .xslt, .xsn, .xtp, .xtp2, .xyze, .xz, and .zip

“Malspam-based Shade infection chains have one thing in common. They all involve retrieving an executable file from a compromised server. By focusing on the executable in this chain of events, we can determine where Shade ransomware infection attempts have occurred,” Brad Duncan.

According to Palo Alto search results between January through March 2019 reveals that 307 Shade ransomware samples over 6,536 sessions, and here are the top locations.

  • United States – 2,010 sessions
  • Japan – 1,677 sessions
  • India – 989 sessions
  • Thailand – 723 sessions
  • Canada – 712 sessions
  • Spain – 505 sessions
  • Russian Federation – 86 sessions
  • France – 71 sessions
  • United Kingdom – 67 sessions
  • Kazakhstan – 21 sessions
Affected Regions

Top Industries affected

  • High Tech: 5,009 sessions
  • Wholesale and Retail: 722 sessions
  • Education: 720 sessions
  • Telecommunications: 311 sessions
  • Finance: 51 sessions
  • Transportation and Logistics: 24 sessions
  • Manufacturing: 32 sessions
  • Professional and Legal Services: 8 sessions
  • Utilities and Energy: 4 sessions
  • State and Local Government: 1 session

Ransomware campaigns will continue to grow in numbers, but not all campaigns would be competent enough to last long. In Jan 2017, there were 635 campaigns, in Feb 2018 it was 1105, and in Jan 2019 it was 1453.

Indicator of Compromise

73 recent SHA256 file hashes for Shade ransomware
203 recent URLs that returned Shade ransomware

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