Thursday, March 4, 2010

BlackEnergy Version 2 Analysis

BlackEnergy, a popular DDoS Trojan, gained notoriety in 2008 when it was reported to have been used in the cyber attacks launched against the country of Georgia in the Russia/Georgia conflict. BlackEnergy was authored by a Russian hacker. A comprehensive analysis of the version of BlackEnergy circulating at the time was done in 2007 by Arbor Networks. Although many versions of the trojan builder kit are in circulation on underground forums, the last release of the original BlackEnergy trojan available at the time of this writing seems to be version 1.9.2.

It appears however that BlackEnergy 2 has been in quiet development for over a year, and is a top-to-bottom rewrite of the codebase. Although there have been no public releases of the trojan builder kit for BlackEnergy 2 at this time (and thus we do not have any documentation actually containing the name "BlackEnergy 2", it is certain that this new trojan is the successor to BlackEnergy version 1, even if the author chooses to rename it. Various fingerprints of the original BlackEnergy codebase can be found throughout the new trojan, along with fingerprints of other source codes which were released by the author at different times. This analysis will refer to BlackEnergy version 2 as “BE2” at times throughout for the sake of brevity.

Unlike the old BlackEnergy versions, BlackEnergy 2 uses modern rootkit/process-injection techniques, strong encryption and a modular architecture. The original BlackEnergy kit did have a rudimentary trojan component used to hide the trojan executable and process, but BlackEnergy 2 is much more sophisticated. The basis for the new rootkit seems to be found in an older rootkit project released by the author called "BlackReleaver". Analysis of the code has shown that the older rootkit source code has been combined with new functions for unpacking and injecting modules into user processes and is now the core of the new rootkit-based BlackEnergy 2.


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