Confucius is a cyber espionage group that has primarily targeted military personnel, high-profile personalities, business persons, and government organizations in South Asia since at least 2013. Security researchers have noted similarities between Confucius and Patchwork, particularly in their respective custom malware code and targets.[1][2][3]

ID: G0142
Associated Groups: Confucius APT
Version: 1.0
Created: 26 December 2021
Last Modified: 30 June 2022

Techniques Used

Domain ID Name Use
Enterprise T1583 .006 Acquire Infrastructure: Web Services

Confucius has obtained cloud storage service accounts to host stolen data.[1]

Enterprise T1071 .001 Application Layer Protocol: Web Protocols

Confucius has used HTTP for C2 communications.[3]

Enterprise T1119 Automated Collection

Confucius has used a file stealer to steal documents and images with the following extensions: txt, pdf, png, jpg, doc, xls, xlm, odp, ods, odt, rtf, ppt, xlsx, xlsm, docx, pptx, and jpeg.[2]

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

Confucius has dropped malicious files into the startup folder %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup on a compromised host in order to maintain persistence.[3]

Enterprise T1059 .001 Command and Scripting Interpreter: PowerShell

Confucius has used PowerShell to execute malicious files and payloads.[2]

.005 Command and Scripting Interpreter: Visual Basic

Confucius has used VBScript to execute malicious code.[1]

Enterprise T1041 Exfiltration Over C2 Channel

Confucius has exfiltrated stolen files to its C2 server.[2]

Enterprise T1567 .002 Exfiltration Over Web Service: Exfiltration to Cloud Storage

Confucius has exfiltrated victim data to cloud storage service accounts.[1]

Enterprise T1203 Exploitation for Client Execution

Confucius has exploited Microsoft Office vulnerabilities, including CVE-2015-1641, CVE-2017-11882, and CVE-2018-0802.[3][1]

Enterprise T1083 File and Directory Discovery

Confucius has used a file stealer that checks the Document, Downloads, Desktop, and Picture folders for documents and images with specific extensions.[2]

Enterprise T1105 Ingress Tool Transfer

Confucius has downloaded additional files and payloads onto a compromised host following initial access.[3][2]

Enterprise T1566 .001 Phishing: Spearphishing Attachment

Confucius has crafted and sent victims malicious attachments to gain initial access.[3]

.002 Phishing: Spearphishing Link

Confucius has sent malicious links to victims through email campaigns.[2]

Enterprise T1053 .005 Scheduled Task/Job: Scheduled Task

Confucius has created scheduled tasks to maintain persistence on a compromised host.[2]

Enterprise T1218 .005 System Binary Proxy Execution: Mshta

Confucius has used mshta.exe to execute malicious VBScript.[1]

Enterprise T1082 System Information Discovery

Confucius has used a file stealer that can examine system drives, including those other than the C drive.[2]

Enterprise T1221 Template Injection

Confucius has used a weaponized Microsoft Word document with an embedded RTF exploit.[3]

Enterprise T1204 .001 User Execution: Malicious Link

Confucius has lured victims into clicking on a malicious link sent through spearphishing.[2]

.002 User Execution: Malicious File

Confucius has lured victims to execute malicious attachments included in crafted spearphishing emails related to current topics.[3]


ID Name References Techniques
S0670 WarzoneRAT [4][3] Abuse Elevation Control Mechanism: Bypass User Account Control, Boot or Logon Autostart Execution: Registry Run Keys / Startup Folder, Command and Scripting Interpreter: Windows Command Shell, Command and Scripting Interpreter: PowerShell, Credentials from Password Stores: Credentials from Web Browsers, Data from Local System, Deobfuscate/Decode Files or Information, Encrypted Channel: Symmetric Cryptography, Event Triggered Execution: Component Object Model Hijacking, Exfiltration Over C2 Channel, File and Directory Discovery, Hide Artifacts, Impair Defenses: Disable or Modify Tools, Ingress Tool Transfer, Input Capture: Keylogging, Modify Registry, Native API, Non-Application Layer Protocol, Phishing: Spearphishing Attachment, Process Discovery, Process Injection, Proxy, Remote Services: Remote Desktop Protocol, Remote Services: VNC, Rootkit, System Information Discovery, Template Injection, User Execution: Malicious File, Video Capture