PoetRAT is a remote access trojan (RAT) that was first identified in April 2020. PoetRAT has been used in multiple campaigns against the private and public sectors in Azerbaijan, including ICS and SCADA systems in the energy sector. The STIBNITE activity group has been observed using the malware. PoetRAT derived its name from references in the code to poet William Shakespeare. [1][2][3]

ID: S0428
Platforms: Windows
Version: 2.2
Created: 27 April 2020
Last Modified: 22 March 2023

Techniques Used

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

PoetRAT has used HTTP and HTTPs for C2 communications.[2]

.002 Application Layer Protocol: File Transfer Protocols

PoetRAT has used FTP for C2 communications.[2]

Enterprise T1560 .001 Archive Collected Data: Archive via Utility

PoetRAT has the ability to compress files with zip.[1]

Enterprise T1119 Automated Collection

PoetRAT used file system monitoring to track modification and enable automatic exfiltration.[1]

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

PoetRAT has added a registry key in the hive for persistence.[1]

Enterprise T1059 Command and Scripting Interpreter

PoetRAT has executed a Lua script through a Lua interpreter for Windows.[2]

.003 Windows Command Shell

PoetRAT has called cmd through a Word document macro.[2]

.005 Visual Basic

PoetRAT has used Word documents with VBScripts to execute malicious activities.[1][2]

.006 Python

PoetRAT was executed with a Python script and worked in conjunction with additional Python-based post-exploitation tools.[1]

Enterprise T1555 .003 Credentials from Password Stores: Credentials from Web Browsers

PoetRAT has used a Python tool named Browdec.exe to steal browser credentials.[1]

Enterprise T1140 Deobfuscate/Decode Files or Information

PoetRAT has used LZMA and base64 libraries to decode obfuscated scripts.[2]

Enterprise T1573 .002 Encrypted Channel: Asymmetric Cryptography

PoetRAT used TLS to encrypt command and control (C2) communications.[1]

Enterprise T1048 Exfiltration Over Alternative Protocol

PoetRAT has used a .NET tool named dog.exe to exiltrate information over an e-mail account.[1]

.003 Exfiltration Over Unencrypted Non-C2 Protocol

PoetRAT has used ftp for exfiltration.[1]

Enterprise T1041 Exfiltration Over C2 Channel

PoetRAT has exfiltrated data over the C2 channel.[2]

Enterprise T1083 File and Directory Discovery

PoetRAT has the ability to list files upon receiving the ls command from C2.[1]

Enterprise T1564 .001 Hide Artifacts: Hidden Files and Directories

PoetRAT has the ability to hide and unhide files.[1]

Enterprise T1070 .004 Indicator Removal: File Deletion

PoetRAT has the ability to overwrite scripts and delete itself if a sandbox environment is detected.[1]

Enterprise T1105 Ingress Tool Transfer

PoetRAT has the ability to copy files and download/upload files into C2 channels using FTP and HTTPS.[1][2]

Enterprise T1056 .001 Input Capture: Keylogging

PoetRAT has used a Python tool named klog.exe for keylogging.[1]

Enterprise T1559 .002 Inter-Process Communication: Dynamic Data Exchange

PoetRAT was delivered with documents using DDE to execute malicious code.[1]

Enterprise T1112 Modify Registry

PoetRAT has made registry modifications to alter its behavior upon execution.[1]

Enterprise T1571 Non-Standard Port

PoetRAT used TLS to encrypt communications over port 143[1]

Enterprise T1027 Obfuscated Files or Information

PoetRAT has used a custom encryption scheme for communication between scripts.[1]

.010 Command Obfuscation

PoetRAT has pyminifier to obfuscate scripts.[2]

Enterprise T1003 .001 OS Credential Dumping: LSASS Memory

PoetRAT used voStro.exe, a compiled pypykatz (Python version of Mimikatz), to steal credentials.[1]

Enterprise T1566 .001 Phishing: Spearphishing Attachment

PoetRAT was distributed via malicious Word documents.[1]

Enterprise T1057 Process Discovery

PoetRAT has the ability to list all running processes.[1]

Enterprise T1018 Remote System Discovery

PoetRAT used Nmap for remote system discovery.[1]

Enterprise T1113 Screen Capture

PoetRAT has the ability to take screen captures.[1][3]

Enterprise T1082 System Information Discovery

PoetRAT has the ability to gather information about the compromised host.[1]

Enterprise T1033 System Owner/User Discovery

PoetRAT sent username, computer name, and the previously generated UUID in reply to a "who" command from C2.[1]

Enterprise T1204 .002 User Execution: Malicious File

PoetRAT has used spearphishing attachments to infect victims.[1]

Enterprise T1125 Video Capture

PoetRAT has used a Python tool named Bewmac to record the webcam on compromised hosts.[1]

Enterprise T1497 .001 Virtualization/Sandbox Evasion: System Checks

PoetRAT checked the size of the hard drive to determine if it was being run in a sandbox environment. In the event of sandbox detection, it would delete itself by overwriting the malware scripts with the contents of "License.txt" and exiting.[1]