FortiGuard Labs Threat Research

Trickbot’s New Reconnaissance Plugin

By Floser Bacurio Jr. and Joie Salvio | April 09, 2018

FortiGuard Labs has found a new plugin named networkDLL that is being distributed to the victims of the Trickbot Trojan. This new plugin is similar to the old DomainGrabber plugin discovered late last year in that they both try to collect information about the victim’s network. In fact, we have observed the same functions being used by both plugins.

The key difference between these two plugins lies in the type of information they gather. In the past, DomainGrabber focused on obtaining domain credentials and configurations from domain controllers by accessing shared SYSVOL files. networkDLL, on the other hand, focuses on mapping out the victim’s network and getting to know more about the victim’s local system. Which means that it’s essentially a reconnaissance stage plugin, which is very common with multi-staged APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) attacks. In this stage, threat actors gather as much information as they can to determine what type of follow-on attacks are appropriate for the targeted system.

As is common with Trickbot plugins, networkDLL does not have any obfuscations, as can be seen in the following image of the library’s main routine:

Figure 1. The plugin’s main routine

It starts out by listing all the processes currently running in the machine. After that, the following basic information about the system’s operating system is gathered:

·       CSName (Computer Name)

·       Caption (Description)

·       CSDVersion (Service Pack)

·       OSArchitecture

·       ProductType (Workstation, Domain Controller, Server)

·       BuildType

·       WindowsDirectory

·       SystemDirectory

·       BootDevice

·       SerialNumber

·       InstallDate

·       LastBootUpTime

·       RegisteredUser

·       Organization

·       TotalVisibleMemorySize

·       FreePhysicalMemory

In acquiring this basic network information about the victim’s network information, the following Windows native shell commands are executed in the system:

·       “ipconfig /all” – show all adapter TCP/IP configurations

·       “net config workstation” – shows what domain/workgroup the machine belongs to

·       “net view all” – display all available network shares

·       “nltest /domain_trusts /all_trusts” - list all trusted domains in the network

Furthermore, by using the IADsADSystemInfo interface the malware attempts to retrieve the following information:

·       User Name

·       Computer Name

·       Site Name

·       Domain Short Name

·       Domain DNS Name

·       Forest DNS Name

·       Domain Controller DNS Name

·       Forest Trees


Figure 2. Retrieving the AD system info

Finally, it further expands its view of the victim’s network by enumerating all visible domain controllers. By using Global Catalogue and LDAP queries it is able to list all computers and user accounts in both the Forest and Domain levels. 

Figure 3. Gathering AD computer and user accounts

The following are the attributes that are gathered from the computer and user objects:


·       Cn (Common Name)

·       dNSHostname

·       distinguishedName

·       description

·       operatingSystem


·       sAMAccountName

·       mail

·       comment

·       description

To retrieve the above information, this plugin uses the Active Directory Service Interface (ADSI) APIs to query the attributes for both computer and user accounts.

Figure 4. Retrieving computer account attributes
Figure 5. Retrieving user account attributes


Although this plugin does not currently have the capability to perform an actual attack, the sensitive information that it gathers provides a wide surface that threat actors can utilize for future operations. For instance, they can use the network information to initiate additional lateral movement techniques beyind from EternalRomance exploit that was previously used in Trickbot’s tabDll plugin, as discussed in BleepingComputer’s article. By adding this scheme to the malware’s imminent move to implementing a screen locker module, considerable damage to a target is a real possibility.


The trickbot loader and this new plugin are already detected as W32/Trickbot.KAD!tr.pws by Fortiguard Antivirus service.

All the C2 servers found are already blocked and categorize as malicious by our Web Filtering service.



6a6e190459768d3eb0c0a40c3883fba0fc3de5d8c1f19410eb9233c482139e46 (Trickbot Main) – W32/Trickbot.KAD!tr.pws

a9608bb65b33abaaa3b9f94981cff7b1b76dfb6be5a30b84c2dec46e90521e13 (networkDll) - W32/Trickbot.KAD!tr.pws


-= FortiGuard Lion Team =-



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