Network Footprints of Gamaredon Group

Beneath evaluation is reflecting our observations all through month of March 2022. We moreover wish to thank Maria Jose Erquiaga for her contribution in introduction and assist by way of the technique of writing.


As a result of the Russian-Ukrainian battle continues over commonplace warfare, cybersecurity professionals witnessed their space turning into an precise frontier. Menace actors deciding on sides [1], group members delivering opposition to 1 one other [2], some people handing out DDoS devices [3], some people mixing in to indicate it into income [4], and loads of totally different tales, proving that this new frontier is altering on daily basis, and its direct have an effect on isn’t restricted to geographical boundaries.

Whereas assaults seem like evolving on daily basis, it’s troublesome for one to stay up to date with all that’s going spherical. Resulting from this reality, we think about that you will want to differentiate between data and actionable intelligence. In Cisco World Menace Alerts, we wish to share our observations related to this battle all through March of 2022 and uncover how we are going to flip them into actionable intelligence collectively.

Menace Actors throughout the Russian-Ukrainian Battle

As a result of the quick escalation of the battle in 2022, security researchers and analysts have been gathering data in regards to the adversarial groups, malware, methods, and sorts of assaults carried out [1, 5, 6]. A couple of of the groups and malware related to the battle are described in Desk 1:

Menace Actor Malware Location
Gamaredon [7] Pteranodon [8] Crimea
Sandworm [9] CyclopsBlink [10] Russia
WizardSpider [11] Cobalt Strike [12], Emotet [13], Conti [14], Ryuk [15], Trickbot [16] Russia

Desk 1: Menace actors and their relations


Gamaredon group, additionally known as Primitive Bear, Shuckworm and ACTINIUM, is a sophisticated persistent menace (APT) primarily based in Russia. Their actions might be traced once more as early as 2013, earlier to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. They’re recognized to deal with state institutions of Ukraine and western authorities entities located in Ukraine. Ukrainian officers attribute them to Russian Federal Security Service, additionally known as FSB [17].

Gamaredon sometimes leverages malicious office data, distributed by way of spear phishing as the first stage of their assaults. They’re recognized to utilize a PowerShell beacon known as PowerPunch to acquire and execute malware for ensuing phases of assaults. Pterodo and QuietSieve are frequent malware households that they deploy for stealing data and diverse actions on purpose [18].

We now have been able to purchase neighborhood IoC’s related to Gamaredon infrastructure. All through our preliminary analysis, plenty of the symptoms weren’t attributed on to any specific malware and they also have been barely listed as part of Gamaredon’s infrastructure. Resulting from this reality, we would have liked to analysis their infrastructure to know their arsenal and deployment in bigger ingredient.

Neighborhood Infrastructure

The first part of this evaluation is focused on WHOIS doc analysis. We seen that Gamaredon domains have been dominantly registered by REG[.]RU. Creation dates are going once more as early as February 2019 and have a altering pattern for the registrant e mail. Until August 2020, we seen that[.]ru was the first registrant e mail. Later, it shifted to macrobit@inbox[.]ru, mixed with the occasional utilization of[.]ru and tank-bank15@yandex[.]ru. Space creation dates in among the many WHOIS knowledge are as present as March 2022.

Except for WHOIS data, the domains we seen which were related to Gamaredon campaigns had a distinguishing naming convention. Whereas dataset consisted of domains (with out TLDs) varied between 4 to 16 characters, 70% % of them have been between 7 to 10 characters. Blended with a restricted group of top-level domains (TLDs) used (see Desk 2), this leads us to a naming pattern for extra attribution. Furthermore, the utilization of TLDs on space creation seems to be rotating.

TLD Distribution TLD Utilization
on-line 42.07% 08/2020-02/2021,02/2022
xyz 29.47% 06/2022-08/2022, 02/2022-03/2022
ru 14.22% 08/2020, 05/2021-02/2022
web site 8.94% 07/2020-02/2021
space 2.64% 02/2019-06/2020

Desk 2: TLD distribution and time in use

Inside the case of space resolutions, we aimed to analysis the distribution of autonomous system numbers (ASN) utilized by resolved IP addresses (see Desk 3). As quickly as further, the proprietor REG[.]RU is primary the guidelines, proudly proudly owning plenty of the domains. TimeWeb was the second this time, with 28% of the domains we found to be related to Gamaredon actions. Domains having ‘. on-line’ and ‘.ru’ TLDs are recurrently updating their IP resolutions, just about on daily basis.

Proprietor ASN In fashion Networks Distribution
REG.RU, Ltd AS197695
TimeWeb Ltd. AS9123
EuroByte LLC AS210079 10.56%
AS-CHOOPA AS20473 5.08%
LLC Baxet AS51659
System Service Ltd. AS50448 1.82%

Desk 3: Distribution of IP addresses per ASN and proprietor


After understanding the infrastructure, let’s proceed with their arsenal. We checked out associated file samples for the domains by way of Umbrella and Virustotal. A sample of the outcomes might be seen beneath. Referring to a file form, we are going to see that the Gamaredon group prefers malicious office paperwork with macros. Moreover, they’re recognized to utilize Pterodo, which is a frequently evolving personalized backdoor [8, 18].

Space Hash Kind Malware
acetica[.]on-line 4c12713ef851e277a66d985f666ac68e73ae21a82d8dcfcedf781c935d640f52 Office Open XML Doc Groooboor
arvensis[.]xyz 03220baa1eb0ad80808a682543ba1da0ec5d56bf48391a268ba55ff3ba848d2f Office Open XML Doc Groooboor
email-smtp[.]on-line 404ed6164154e8fb7fdd654050305cf02835d169c75213c5333254119fc51a83 Office Open XML Doc Groooboor
gurmou[.]web site f9a1d7e896498074f7f3321f1599bd12bdf39222746b756406de4e499afbc86b Office Open XML Doc Groooboor
mail-check[.]ru 41b7a58d0d663afcdb45ed2706b5b39e1c772efd9314f6c1d1ac015468ea82f4 Office Open XML Doc Groooboor
office360-expert[.]on-line 611e4b4e3fd15a1694a77555d858fced1b66ff106323eed58b11af2ae663a608 Office Open XML Doc Groooboor
achilleas[.]xyz f021b79168daef8a6359b0b14c0002316e9a98dc79f0bf27e59c48032ef21c3d Office Open XML Doc Macro enabled Phrase Trojan
anisoptera[.]on-line 8c6a3df1398677c85a6e11982d99a31013486a9c56452b29fc4e3fc8927030ad MS Phrase Doc Macro enabled Phrase Trojan
erythrocephala[.]on-line 4acfb73e121a49c20423a6d72c75614b438ec53ca6f84173a6a27d52f0466573 Office Open XML Doc Macro enabled Phrase Trojan
hamadryas[.]on-line 9b6d89ad4e35ffca32c4f44b75c9cc5dd080fd4ce00a117999c9ad8e231d4418 Office Open XML Doc Macro enabled Phrase Trojan
intumescere[.]on-line 436d2e6da753648cbf7b6b13f0dc855adf51c014e6a778ce1901f2e69bd16360 MS Phrase Doc Macro enabled Phrase Trojan
limosa[.]on-line 0b525e66587e564db10bb814495aefb5884d74745297f33503d32b1fec78343f MS Phrase Doc Macro enabled Phrase Trojan
mesant[.]on-line 936b70e0babe7708eda22055db6021aed965083d5bc18aad36bedca993d1442a MS Phrase Doc Macro enabled Phrase Trojan
sufflari[.]on-line 13b780800c94410b3d68060030b5ff62e9a320a71c02963603ae65abbf150d36 MS Phrase Doc Macro enabled Phrase Trojan
apusa[.]xyz 23d417cd0d3dc0517adb49b10ef11d53e173ae7b427dbb6a7ddf45180056c029 Win32 DLL Pterodo
atlanticos[.]web site f5023effc40e6fbb5415bc0bb0aa572a9cf4020dd59b2003a1ad03d356179aa1 VBA Pterodo
barbatus[.]on-line 250bd134a910605b1c4daf212e19b5e1a50eb761a566fffed774b6138e463bbc VBA Pterodo
bitsadmin2[.]space cfa58e51ad5ce505480bfc3009fc4f16b900de7b5c78fdd2c6d6c420e0096f6b Win32 EXE Pterodo
bitsadmin3[.]space 9c8def2c9d2478be94fba8f77abd3b361d01b9a37cb866a994e76abeb0bf971f Win32 EXE Pterodo
bonitol[.]on-line 3cbe7d544ef4c8ff8e5c1e101dbdf5316d0cfbe32658d8b9209f922309162bcf VBA Pterodo
buhse[.]xyz aa566eed1cbb86dab04e170f71213a885832a58737fcab76be63e55f9c60b492 Office Open XML Doc Pterodo
calendas[.]ru 17b278045a8814170e06d7532e17b831bede8d968ee1a562ca2e9e9b9634c286 Win32 EXE Pterodo
coagula[.]on-line c3eb8cf3171aa004ea374db410a810e67b3b1e78382d9090ef9426afde276d0f MS Phrase Doc Pterodo
corolain[.]ru 418aacdb3bbe391a1bcb34050081bd456c3f027892f1a944db4c4a74475d0f82 Win32 EXE Pterodo
gorigan[.]ru 1c7804155248e2596ec9de97e5cddcddbafbb5c6d066d972bad051f81bbde5c4 Win32 EXE Pterodo
gorimana[.]web site 90cb5319d7b5bb899b1aa684172942f749755bb998de3a63b2bccb51449d1273 MS Phrase Doc Pterodo
krashand[.]ru 11d6a641f8eeb76ae734951383b39592bc1ad3c543486dcef772c14a260a840a Win32 EXE Pterodo
libellus[.]ru 4943ca6ffef366386b5bdc39ea28ad0f60180a54241cf1bee97637e5e552c9a3 Win32 EXE Pterodo
melitaeas[.]on-line 55ad79508f6ccd5015f569ce8c8fcad6f10b1aed930be08ba6c36b2ef1a9fac6 Office Open XML Doc Pterodo
mullus[.]on-line 31afda4abdc26d379b848d214c8cbd0b7dc4d62a062723511a98953bebe8cbfc Win32 EXE Pterodo
upload-dt[.]hopto[.]org 4e72fbc5a8c9be5f3ebe56fed9f613cfa5885958c659a2370f0f908703b0fab7 MS Phrase Doc Pterodo

Desk 4: Domains, data (hash and sort), and malware establish associated to the Gamaredon group

After reviewing the behaviors of the associated malicious samples, it’s less complicated to assemble attribution between the malicious space and the corresponding sample. IP addresses resolved by the realm are later used to find out raw IP command and administration (C2) communication with a distinguishing URL pattern. The subsequent occasion displays how 1c7804155248e2596ec9de97e5cddcddbafbb5c6d066d972bad051f81bbde5c4 resolves gorigan[.]ru and makes use of its IP cope with to assemble a C2 URL (http|https<IP>/<random alphanumerical string>). Resulting from this reality, DNS and outgoing web guests is important for its detection.

Decide 1: IP cope with resolutions of gorigan[.]ru
Decide 2: URL connections to resolved IP addresses (provide: Virustotal)

Detecting Gamaredon Train with World Menace Alerts 

In Cisco World Menace Alerts, we’re monitoring the Gamaredon group beneath the Gamaredon Train menace object. The menace description is enriched with MITRE references (see Decide 3).

Decide 3: Menace description of Gamaredon train, along with MITRE methods and methods (provide: Cisco World Menace Alerts)

Decide 4 displays a detection sample of Gamaredon train. Observe that the contaminated gadget tried to talk with the domains alacritas[.]ru, goloser[.]ru, and libellus[.]ru, which looked to be sinkholed to the OpenDNS IP cope with of 146.112.61.[.]107.

Decide 4: Gamaredon group detection occasion (provide: Cisco World Menace Alerts)


We’ve walked by way of the steps of producing intelligence from data we’ve collected. We began our analysis with an unattributed guidelines of neighborhood IoC’s and have been able to set up distinctive patterns of their metadata. Then, we pivoted to endpoint IoC’s and attributed domains to malware households. Subsequent, we confirmed how we turned it proper right into a detection of the Gamaredon group displayed throughout the Cisco World Menace Alerts portal.

In your consolation, proper right here’s a summary of the intelligence we developed on this weblog submit:

Aliases Primitive Bear, Shuckworm, ACTINIUM
Kind Menace Actor
Originating From Russia
Targets Ukranian State Organizations
Malware used Pterodo, Groooboor
File Kind Macro enabled office data, Win32 Exe, VBA
TLD’s used .on-line, .xyz, .ru, .web site, .space
ASN’s used REG.RU, Ltd, TimeWeb Ltd., EuroByte LLC, AS-CHOOPA, LLC Baxet, System Service Ltd.



[1] Cyber Group Tracker:

[2] Conti ransomware’s inside chats leaked after siding with Russia:

[3] Hackers sound identify to arms with digital weapon aimed towards Russian websites:

[4] Menace advisory: Cybercriminals compromise prospects with malware disguised as pro-Ukraine cyber devices:

[5] Ukraine-Cyber-Operations:

[6] What You Need to Know About Russian Cyber Escalation in Ukraine:

[7] Gamaredon:

[8] Pteranodon: program program/S0147/

[9] Sandworm:

[10] Menace Advisory: Cyclops Blink:

[11] Wizard Spider:

[12] Cobalt Strike: program program/S0154

[13] Emotet: program program/S0367

[14] Conti: program program/S0575

[15] Ryuk: program program/S0446

[16] TrickBot: program program/S0446

[17] Technical Report Gamaredon/Armageddon group:

[18] ACTINIUM targets Ukrainian organizations:

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