VB2019 paper: Attribution is in the object: using RTF object dimensions to track APT phishing weaponizers

Posted by    on   Mar 12, 2020

Malicious RTF files, exploiting vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office, have long been a popular way to deliver malware, most often through (spear-)phishing attacks. Such files are often created using exploit builders, which were the subject of a VB2018 presentation by Sophos researcher Gábor Szappanos.

One such builder (or weaponizer) is ‘Royal Road’, which has been used by various Chinese APT groups to deliver malware. Royal Road and how the properties of RTF files can be used to track weaponizers and their users were the subject of a VB2019 paper by Michael Raggi (Proofpoint) and Ghareeb Saad (Anomali).

Figure 1_8.pngPermanence versus operational visibility in RTF attribution techniques.

Today, we publish the researchers' paper in both HTML and PDF format as well as the recording of their VB2019 presentation.

VB2019-conference-paper.jpgAttribution is in the object: using RTF object dimensions to track APT phishing weaponizers

Read the paper (HTML)

Download the paper (PDF)




Have you carried out research that furthers our understanding of the threat landscape? Have you discovered a technique that helps in the analysis of malware? The Call for Papers for VB2020 in Dublin is open until 15 March - submit a proposal now for a chance to make it onto the programme of one of the most international threat intelligence conferences!



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