Ramsay: a cyber-espionage toolkit tailored for air-gapped networks

Ignacio Sanmillan (ESET)
partner message

Questions? Comments? Join the chat on Discord now!

Go to the Chat page

Submit your questions for VB2020 speakers on the #q-and-a channel,

chat with your peers on #general-chat, say hi to our our partners on their channels,

and enjoy the bustle of the conference corridor.

partner message

ANY.RUN - Interactive malware analysis sandbox

http://any.run/

Get fast results in real-time! Intuitive interface. Convenient for any level analysts.

Join for free and start your malware hunting!

partner message

Avira Cloud Sandbox API. Completely private, unlimited-scale, automated malware analysis service

https://oem.avira.com/en/solutions/cloud-sandbox-api

Avira’s Cloud Sandbox API is built to ensure data privacy.

Receive detailed, file-specific threat intelligence reports containing actionable intelligence.

Supports MITRE ATT&CK™ framework.

partner message

Do APT Mercenary Groups Pose Real Threat to Companies?

https://businessresources.bitdefender.com/apt-as-a-service-webinar

Learn about the recent Bitdefender investigation of a new attack attributed to a sophisticated actor offering advanced-persistent-threats-as-a-service.

Access the investigation

partner message

Be a part of the cyber resilience story - explore careers at

https://careers.opentext.com/

Join the cybersecurity and data protection team at Carbonite + Webroot, OpenText companies.

partner message

We don’t just talk about sharing. We do it every day

https://www.cyberthreatalliance.org/our-sharing-model/

Find out more about how threat intelligence sharing and collaboration through the Cyber Threat Alliance can function as a force multiplier to improve defenses across the ecosystem.

partner message

Map Malicious Infrastructures with Pure Signal™ Intelligence

https://partners.team-cymru.com/pure-signal-trial

Elite analyst teams use Team Cymru’s Pure Signal platform to access 50+ data types, including global network flow, PDNS, malware and more.

Start your 2-week trial now!

partner message

What is cyber threat intelligence (CTI) and how is it used?

Join the VB2020 Threat Intelligence Practitioners’ Summit (TIPS)

Join the VB2020 Threat Intelligence Practitioners’ Summit, sponsored by the Cyber Threat Alliance,

to hear from leading industry voices on how CTI sharing can function as a force multiplier to strengthen defenses across the ecosystem.

partner message

Kaspersky Threat Intelligence Portal - find cyberthreats in files, URLs, IPs and domains

https://opentip.kaspersky.com/

Know which alerts or incidents pose real threats, and prioritize them fast and effectively based on impact and risk levels.

partner message

No-Cost Threat Detection for ISPs and Hosting Providers

https://partners.team-cymru.com/nimbus-threat-monitor

Partner with Team Cymru and get near-real-time threat detection, powered by our world-class IP Reputation data.

Join us now!

partner message

Outsource your Unwanted Software/PUA Work for Free

https://appesteem.com/avs

AppEsteem’s feeds sort out the good apps from the Deceptors.

Our criteria are widely accepted. We’ll help with your disputes.

All for Free. Giving you more time to fight real malware.

partner message

Do you want to know how IT security products score in independent tests?

https://www.av-comparatives.org/enterprise/latest-tests/

AV-Comparatives is an ISO certified independent organization offering systematic testing that checks whether security software lives up to its promises.

Results are available for free!

partner message

Defeating Application Fraud - Learn How

https://www.shapesecurity.com/solutions

We protect more accounts from fraud than everyone else in the world combined.

Shape Security is now part of F5 (www.f5.com)

partner message

30+ years of experience in the anti-malware industry

www.virusbulletin.com

Virus Bulletin is so much more than just a great conference.

Check out our website to see what more we have to offer.

partner message

DNSDB®: The DNS Super Power for Security Teams

https://www.farsightsecurity.com/get-started-guide/

Farsight Security DNSDB®: the world's largest real-time and historical database of DNS resolutions.

Get your free DNSDB API key and use it in our newly updated web GUI, DNSDB Scout and your own environments.

Contextualize everything DNS related with one API key - DNSDB.

Air gapping is a network security measure applied on one or more computers to ensure that a given computer network is physically isolated from other networks in a given organization. This measure provides a means to prevent exposure of the subject computer network to the Internet or LAN, usually enforced as a means of securing classified or critical information on military/governmental, financial or industrial control systems networks.

Malware targeting air-gapped networks is not rudimentary, as the scarcity of a network connection requires the innovation of alternative methods, leveraging unconventional tactics, techniques and procedures to provide the same capabilities as conventional malware that relies on a network-based communication channel.

In March 2020 we discovered a cyber-espionage toolkit we call Ramsay, specifically designed to steal documents and operate within air-gapped networks. 

In this presentation we will cover the technical aspect of Ramsay, documenting its core capabilities along with the different versions we found. Some of the core capabilities that will be discussed are persistence leveraged via phantom DLL hijacking, covert storage of collected artifacts via API hooking, control mechanisms using a custom file-based protocol, and spreading over the network by infecting files accessible via removable media and network drives leveraging a preprender file-infector. We will also cover artifact and code overlaps found between Ramsay and the DarkHotel APT, and document some OPSEC failures that we observed, which helped us reinforce this connection.
Ignacio Sanmillan
ESET A malware researcher at ESET, Ignacio began his career as a security researcher at Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity firm Intezer, in which he specialized in hunting for new Linux threats and contributed to developing novel code-reuse technologies. He is now part of ESET's Montreal research team investigating current malware trends and APT activity.
arrow left Back

Ramsay: a cyber-espionage toolkit tailored for air-gapped networks

Ignacio Sanmillan (ESET)
Air gapping is a network security measure applied on one or more computers to ensure that a given computer network is physically isolated from other networks in a given organization. This measure provides a means to prevent exposure of the subject computer network to the Internet or LAN, usually enforced as a means of securing classified or critical information on military/governmental, financial or industrial control systems networks.

Malware targeting air-gapped networks is not rudimentary, as the scarcity of a network connection requires the innovation of alternative methods, leveraging unconventional tactics, techniques and procedures to provide the same capabilities as conventional malware that relies on a network-based communication channel.

In March 2020 we discovered a cyber-espionage toolkit we call Ramsay, specifically designed to steal documents and operate within air-gapped networks. 

In this presentation we will cover the technical aspect of Ramsay, documenting its core capabilities along with the different versions we found. Some of the core capabilities that will be discussed are persistence leveraged via phantom DLL hijacking, covert storage of collected artifacts via API hooking, control mechanisms using a custom file-based protocol, and spreading over the network by infecting files accessible via removable media and network drives leveraging a preprender file-infector. We will also cover artifact and code overlaps found between Ramsay and the DarkHotel APT, and document some OPSEC failures that we observed, which helped us reinforce this connection.
Ignacio Sanmillan
ESET A malware researcher at ESET, Ignacio began his career as a security researcher at Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity firm Intezer, in which he specialized in hunting for new Linux threats and contributed to developing novel code-reuse technologies. He is now part of ESET's Montreal research team investigating current malware trends and APT activity.