Dark Caracal

Dark Caracal is threat group that has been attributed to the Lebanese General Directorate of General Security (GDGS) and has operated since at least 2012. [1]

ID: G0070
Version: 1.3
Created: 17 October 2018
Last Modified: 11 October 2021

Techniques Used

Domain ID Name Use
Enterprise T1071 .001 Application Layer Protocol: Web Protocols

Dark Caracal's version of Bandook communicates with their server over a TCP port using HTTP payloads Base64 encoded and suffixed with the string "&&&".[1]

Enterprise T1547 .001 Boot or Logon Autostart Execution: Registry Run Keys / Startup Folder

Dark Caracal's version of Bandook adds a registry key to HKEY_USERS\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run for persistence.[1]

Enterprise T1059 .003 Command and Scripting Interpreter: Windows Command Shell

Dark Caracal has used macros in Word documents that would download a second stage if executed.[1]

Enterprise T1005 Data from Local System

Dark Caracal collected complete contents of the 'Pictures' folder from compromised Windows systems.[1]

Enterprise T1189 Drive-by Compromise

Dark Caracal leveraged a watering hole to serve up malicious code.[1]

Enterprise T1083 File and Directory Discovery

Dark Caracal collected file listings of all default Windows directories.[1]

Enterprise T1027 Obfuscated Files or Information

Dark Caracal has obfuscated strings in Bandook by base64 encoding, and then encrypting them.[1]

.002 Software Packing

Dark Caracal has used UPX to pack Bandook.[1]

Enterprise T1566 .003 Phishing: Spearphishing via Service

Dark Caracal spearphished victims via Facebook and Whatsapp.[1]

Enterprise T1113 Screen Capture

Dark Caracal took screenshots using their Windows malware.[1]

Enterprise T1218 .001 Signed Binary Proxy Execution: Compiled HTML File

Dark Caracal leveraged a compiled HTML file that contained a command to download and run an executable.[1]

Enterprise T1204 .002 User Execution: Malicious File

Dark Caracal makes their malware look like Flash Player, Office, or PDF documents in order to entice a user to click on it.[1]

Mobile T1476 Deliver Malicious App via Other Means

Dark Caracal distributes Pallas via trojanized applications hosted on watering hole websites.[1]

Mobile T1437 Standard Application Layer Protocol

Dark Caracal controls implants using standard HTTP communication.[1]


ID Name References Techniques
S0234 Bandook [1][2] Audio Capture, Command and Scripting Interpreter: Windows Command Shell, Command and Scripting Interpreter, Command and Scripting Interpreter: Python, Command and Scripting Interpreter: PowerShell, Command and Scripting Interpreter: Visual Basic, Data from Local System, Deobfuscate/Decode Files or Information, Encrypted Channel: Symmetric Cryptography, Exfiltration Over C2 Channel, File and Directory Discovery, Indicator Removal on Host: File Deletion, Ingress Tool Transfer, Input Capture: Keylogging, Native API, Non-Application Layer Protocol, Obfuscated Files or Information: Steganography, Peripheral Device Discovery, Phishing: Spearphishing Attachment, Process Injection: Process Hollowing, Screen Capture, Subvert Trust Controls: Code Signing, System Information Discovery, System Network Configuration Discovery, User Execution: Malicious File, Video Capture
S0235 CrossRAT [1] Boot or Logon Autostart Execution: Registry Run Keys / Startup Folder, Create or Modify System Process: Launch Agent, File and Directory Discovery, Screen Capture
S0182 FinFisher [1] Abuse Elevation Control Mechanism: Bypass User Account Control, Access Call Log, Access Token Manipulation: Token Impersonation/Theft, Boot or Logon Autostart Execution: Registry Run Keys / Startup Folder, Capture Audio, Capture SMS Messages, Commonly Used Port, Create or Modify System Process: Windows Service, Deobfuscate/Decode Files or Information, Exploit OS Vulnerability, File and Directory Discovery, Hijack Execution Flow: DLL Search Order Hijacking, Hijack Execution Flow: DLL Side-Loading, Indicator Removal on Host: Clear Windows Event Logs, Input Capture: Credential API Hooking, Location Tracking, Masquerading: Match Legitimate Name or Location, Obfuscated Files or Information, Obfuscated Files or Information: Binary Padding, Obfuscated Files or Information: Software Packing, Pre-OS Boot: Bootkit, Process Discovery, Process Injection: Dynamic-link Library Injection, Query Registry, Screen Capture, Software Discovery: Security Software Discovery, System Information Discovery, Virtualization/Sandbox Evasion: System Checks
S0399 Pallas [1] Access Call Log, Access Contact List, Access Stored Application Data, Application Discovery, Capture Audio, Capture Camera, Capture SMS Messages, Delete Device Data, Deliver Malicious App via Other Means, Input Prompt, Location Tracking, Network Information Discovery, Obfuscated Files or Information, Standard Application Layer Protocol, System Information Discovery