New stealthy Python RAT malware targets Windows in attacks

silversurfer

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Aug 17, 2014
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A new Python-based malware has been spotted in the wild featuring remote access trojan (RAT) capabilities to give its operators control over the breached systems.

Named PY#RATION by researchers at threat analytics company Securonix, the new RAT uses the WebSocket protocol to communicate with the command and control (C2) server and to exfiltrate data from the victim host.

A technical report from the company analyzes how the malware works. The researchers note that the RAT is actively developed as they've seen multiple versions of it since August when the PY#RATION campaign started.
Securonix researchers say that the malware "leverages Python's built-in Socket.IO framework, which provides features to both client and server WebSocket communication." This channel is used for both communication and data exfiltration.

The advantage of WebSockets is that the malware can simultaneously receive and send data from and to the C2 over a single TCP connection using ports commonly left open in networks like 80 and 443.

The analysts noticed that the threat actors used the same C2 address ("169[.]239.129.108") throughout their campaign, from malware version 1.0 to 1.6.0.

According to the researchers, the IP has not been blocked on the IPVoid checking system, indicating that PY#RATION has gone undetected for several months.

At the moment details about specific campaigns using this piece of malware and its targets, distribution volume, and the operators behind it remain unclear.
 

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