~Dissecting Malware
// f0wL's Blog about malware analysis and reverse engineering
~Dissecting Malware
Not so nice after all - Afrodita Ransomware

A new Ransomware strain spread by malicious Office documents targeted at Croatian systems - let's check it out


This strain was first discovered by Korben Dallas on Twitter on the 9th of January. As I already mentioned the Malware is delivered via a Malspam/Maldoc attack crafted for Users / Companies from Croatia. Researchers that were involved in the initial analysis: @KorbenD_Intel, @James_inthe_box, @Malwageddon, @pollo290987 and I (@f0wlsec). Thank you for your contributions!

A general disclaimer as always: downloading and running the samples linked below will lead to the encryption of your personal data, so be f$cking careful. Also check with your local laws as owning malware binaries/ sources might be illegal depending on where you live.

Afrodita @ AnyRun | VirusTotal | HybridAnalysis --> sha256 9b6681103545432cd1373492297a6a12528f327d14a7416c2b71cfdcbdafc90b

Here you can see three images extracted from the malicious Excel Docs. Funny how they didn't even bother to think of a fake company name for the second Logo :D

Sleep Meme

Afrodita uses a sleep routine for Sandbox evasion. In my Tests it took 30-60mins until the system was infected.

Sleep Meme

After unpacking the sample with UPX, Detect it easy returns the following:

Detect it easy

It was likely build with a very new Version of Visual Studio (2019)

Below you can see a screenshot of PEBear from the Imports-Tab.

PEBear Imports

The extracted strings tell us quite a lot in this case. It looks like the internal name of the Project is Afrodita and it utilizes the CryptoPP Library. There are some references to .key files, but I haven't found a path or file on a infected machine yet. README_RECOVERY .txt is will be the filename of the Ransomnote. It's contents are embeded in the binary's .data section with Base64 encoding. Lastly Afrodita.dll is the rewritten file that is downloaded as a payload (originally notnice.jpg or verynice.jpg). It's executed via rundll32.exe Afrodita.dll,Sura.


The following filetypes will be encrypted by Afrodita:


The Ransomware encrypts the first 512 Bytes of the File Header which will render most filetypes useless. It does not leave any Signature in the data of the files and neither does it append a custom extension to the filename.


Another IOC: It creates the following Mutex: 835821AM3218SAZ


Update 10.01.2020:

The criminals obviously failed to properly display the key / victim ID in the Ransomnote. This was also a problem because the screwed encoding killed this Blogs Atom RSS Feed :D To resolve this issue I removed the malformed section from this page. If you want to have a look at the original note plus a couple of encrypted jpegs, download the zip file.

Also this Malware family isn't as new as I originally thought. According to Michael Gillespie the MalwareHunterTeam found the first Maldoc in Late November. A few days later Checkpoint research found it as well:

Today Michael also asked if anyone was able to parse the main-public.key because the format seems off. I extracted it from the binary:


A quick look into the CryptoPP Wiki revealed that the key was in raw (uncooked) ASN.1 format (you can identify it by hex 30 82). Using an online ASN.1 decoder (Link) yields us the public key:




T1179 --> Hooking --> Persistence

T1179 --> Hooking --> Privilege Escalation

T1045 --> Software Packing --> Defense Evasion

T1179 --> Hooking --> Credential Access

T1114 --> Email Collection --> Collection



notnice.jpg --> SHA256: 9b6681103545432cd1373492297a6a12528f327d14a7416c2b71cfdcbdafc90b
                SSDEEP: 6144:EXrm0zIiAhjC7Cqa5ZhiIJDQ13Xdksm1Cx2tJk:EbNQaCq6iIJcdksmJtJ

Payload Servers


E-Mail Addresses / Contact



~~~ Greetings ~~~

[+] What has happened? [+]

Your files are encrypted, and currently unavailable. You are free to check.
Every file is recoverable by following our instructions below.

Encryption algorithms used: AES256(CBC) + RSA2048 (military/government grade).

[+] Guarantees? [+]

This is our daily job. We are not here to lie to you - as you are 1 of 10000's.
Our only interest is in us getting payed and you getting your files back.

If we were not able to decrypt the data, other people in same situation as you
wouldn't trust us and that would be bad for our buissness --
So it's not in our interest.

To prove our ability to decrypt your data you have 1 file free decryption.

If you don't want to pay the fee for bringing files back that's okey,
but remeber that you will lose a lot of time - and time is money.

Don't waste your time and money trying to recover files using some file
recovery "experts", we have your private key - only we can get the files back.

With our service you can go back to original state in less then 30 minutes.

[+] Service [+]

If you decided to use our service please follow instructions below.

Contact us:

Install Telegram(available for Windows,Android,iOS) and contact us on chat:
Telegram contact: https://t.me/RecoverySupport

Also available at email afroditateam@tutanota.com cc: afroditasupport@mail2tor.com

Make sure you are talking with us and not impostor by requiring free 1 file decryption to make sure we CAN decrypt!!

[Removed victim ID because it breaks the RSS Feed :D]

Title Image by Robert Drózd, modified

"Nice decorating. Let me guess, Satan?" - Dot / MZP Ransomware

Happy new year y'all. And with it there's new Ransomware to analyze, so come along for the ride :D

Dot "MZP" Ransomware @ AnyRun | VirusTotal | HybridAnalysis --> sha256 bebf5c12e35029e21c9cca1da53eb43e893f9521435a246ea991bcced2fabe67 This sample was first discovered by AmigoA and AkhmendTaia on the 31st of December 2019. AV Detections and Ransomnote contents didn't seem to match any previously present strain. The Note is delivered via a .txt File with a strange numeric victim ID and only one contact email address. The extension appended to encrypted Files seems to...

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Setting up a Malware Exchange for 36C3 with Viper

Since my original project for 36c3 (something with chinese gear and coreboot) didn't really work out in time I had an even better idea: Setting up a Malware Sample Exchange

After checking the projects and self-organized Sessions I couldn't find anything related to Malware Research or a place to discuss reverse engineering (besides CTF maybe), so with the "Malware XCHG" I want to create a place for attendees to share malicious binaries and discuss them at the same time. To host this project at the MysteryHack Assembly I wanted to use a small but capable enough machine which is why I used the Intel NUC...

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I literally can't think of a fitting pun - MrDec Ransomware

I took notice of the Ransomware Family after a series of posts in the Bleeping Computer Forum.

It employs techniques that are not seen very often in other ransomware samples, so the Analysis is actually quite difficult, but I'm hoping reading this is also a bit interesting atleast. Work in Progress Because Christmas and 36c3 is coming up in the next few I days I might have to push this analysis back a bit. A general disclaimer as always: downloading and running the samples linked below will lead to the encryption...

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Another one for the collection - Mespinoza (Pysa) Ransomware

Back in October of 2019 the Mespinoza Ransomware family first surfaced via Malspam. On the 14th of December it returned with a new extension .pysa so let's see if any changes have been made.

Fun Fact: The Extension "pysa" is probably derived from the Zanzibari Coin with the same name. Apparently it's quite popular with collectors. But enough of the pocket change, so let me put my two cents in on this sample :D A general disclaimer as always: downloading and running the samples linked below will lead to the encryption of your personal data, so be f$cking careful. Also check with your local laws as owning...

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A "Project.exe" that should have stayed in a drawer - MZRevenge / MaMo434376

I first read about this strain on Twitter but it didn't seem like a big thing. Turns out I Was wrong: In the last 3 days I collected over 35 samples :O

Searching for "Project.exe" on AnyRun yields more than a healthy list of results all matching this strain. Oh would you look at that: Looks like we have a Borland Delphi application here 🧐 Yep, it's that ugly it definitely is Deplhi :D And the criminals seem to have a very strong opinion about the Land of the Free but no arguments to back it up (since the rest...

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A B C, easy as один, два, три - Lockbit (ABCD) Ransomware

Let's continue with the obscure music -> malware references by analysing Lockbit, a strain that has been around for a few weeks, but with very little Info about is origin and behaviour.

I got this sample from one of the victims posting in the Bleeping Computer Forum thread. From what I gather their systems fell to yet another RDP Bruteforce attack (one user was affected on multiple systems in their domain). A general disclaimer as always: downloading and running the samples linked below will lead to the encryption of your personal data, so be f$cking careful. Also check with your local laws as owning malware...

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God save the Queen [...] 'cause Ransom is money - SaveTheQueen Encryptor

Honestly I couldn't decide between the title above and "All crimes are paid", but Sex Pistols fans will get it regardless ¯\(ツ)/¯

I found this sample while browsing the new public submissions on AnyRun on the 1st of December. It peaked my interest because there were just three samples of it on the platform at the time of writing this and they were all uploaded very recently. A general disclaimer as always: downloading and running the samples linked below will lead to the encryption of your personal data, so be f$cking careful. Also check with your...

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Quick and painless - Reversing DeathRansom / "Wacatac"

No flashy wallpapers or other bells and whistles, but if you aren't careful and maintain backups as you should DeathRansom will take your data with it to its grave. Or will it ?

A general disclaimer as always: downloading and running the samples linked below will lead to the encryption of your personal data, so be f$cking careful. Also check with your local laws as owning malware binaries/ sources might be illegal depending on where you live. DeathRansom @ AnyRun | VirusTotal | HybridAnalysis --> sha256 3a5b015655f3aad4b4fd647aa34fda4ce784d75a20d12a73f8dc0e0d866e7e01 The plain text note doesn't look that special. I'll be refering to this strain as Deathransom, since the Read More

About PINEs and supply chain attacks gone wrong

I got myself a Pinebook Pro to run and port OpenBSD on. (Un)fortunatelly it seems like slowly but surely everything I get my hands on has something to do with Malware, so let's have a look what's in store today.

Sality @ AnyRun | HybridAnalysis | VirusTotal --> sha256 37f1b6394a408e0a959b82ff118a526c1362b4ddc1db5da03c9ffa70acaebff4 To all Pinebook Users that may be affected by this Malware: It will not pose any threat to the notebook itself. It will however, potentially infect Windows machines that mount the eMMC storage (which is not a common use case). To remove Sality simply run a system upgrade or run this script manually. On the 3rd of November it was first publicly...

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About me

Hey there! My Name is Marius Genheimer aka f0wL and I'm a Computer Science Student from Germany. As you can probably tell I like to analyse malware (especially Ransomware) in my spare time.


A searchable database of E-Mail addresses used in Ransomnotes plus facts and analysis


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A tracking and logging system for Phishing attacks and Malspam

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