Thanos Ransomware which targeted an attack on State-run organizations in the Middle East and North Africa on July 6 and July 9, 2020, seems to be active again as per a recent study reported by the Cyble security research team. 

Cyble team claims to found the blog on the darkweb during their regular threat hunting operations that were hosted by the Prometheus ransomware group. It was affiliated itself with the REvil Ransomware group. 

source: Cyble

Technical Analysis on Thanos Ransomware

As per the researchers, the Thanos Ransomware is a 32-bit .NET executable that is highly obfuscated. Upon decompiling malware files, they found it difficult to reverse the files as they contained non-readable codes in them. Cyble team used a de-obfuscation tool to read the contents of the malware file but it was unsuccessful. Also, when they tried to decompile the files found that data object that contained multiple base64 strings and few plain strings helped to track the activities of the ransomware.

On running the program, they have found that only document files and database files were found to be encrypted by Thanos Ransomware. Then the modified Thanos ransomware contained interesting strings which are related to document extension, persistence file names, system information, and various other extension files.

source: Cyble

After one-by-one checking the process, it was observed that ransomware started and stopped various services as below, 


  • Dnscache – Used for client-side DNS resolution for the faster DNS query. 
  • FDRsePub – Makes computers and resources visible in the network. 
  • SSDPSRV – Discovers networked devices. 
  • Upnphost – Discovering universal plug and play devices. 

Here, the critical services are stopped by the ransomware for various reasons which include disabling Antivirus, Backup and system restore and database backup and restore, the main purpose of these services is getting stopped by ransomware to run its process of encryption without any interruptions on the victim.  In addition, to start and stop the services, Thanos ransomware uses SC (Service Control) command to permanently change the service configuration.  

Also, the ransomware terminates the various running process using taskkill.exe, as these files can be targeted for the ransomware encryption process, where some of the process files include excel.exe, steam.exe, thunderbird.exe, msaccess.exe, steam.exe, etc.,  

Firewall rules will be changed to open various ports and allow outbound connections from other systems.

And obfuscation technique is used during ransomware runtime so it loads the reversed base64 encoded string which contains information of the registry path.

Path: “SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options”.  

The ransomware encryption is started after disabling the AV, backup and restore, and changing the firewall rules. Thanos ransomware uses the AES encryption technique, and after the encryption, infected files are appended with the file extension: “.LZG-ZNM-YDNM”. And the ransom notes are dropped as below.  

source: Cyble


This Ransomware group will emerge in the new future, so it’s better to get ourselves protected from this ransomware and follow the best practices as below, 

  1. Use MFA to secure the RDP connections for access. 
  2. Always check for instances of standard executables with the hash of another process. 
  3. Using separate administrative accounts on the administration workstations and implementing the Local administrator password solutions (LAPS). 
  4. Unnecessary services to be deactivated from Organization workstations and configuring the firewall configuration on the workstations to block any unwanted connection requests. 
  5. Always keep the endpoint security tools updated with the latest and signatures in it.

Indicators of Compromise (IoCs):


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  • 2033194ab3c2602eb9d3b31eeb5432514c423eac213f1219e5865dfee371ed58  
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  • 52f7f9e8369a3e89899d40e89766c9642b137b25bfd58a2b564dac67a40445f3  
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  • 8d268be58a27d2c980b807ffe703ea28b0fd0cd1ba2e455902faebe9ec17c52e  
  • d7f7ea6cb92e1f01e815007fdcdf2455680e739077aff7e3eaf51311cf3388a5  
  • 5eedadeabe3b12131cdbc04c7af3927bd3d09add1d0725bce5db024d5102fb96  
  • 02665fcf9c0ddfb2cd3e04d254f60c5a4453947f7c3df5480316a040c0c8686f.

By Michael

Writer of Infohaunt is an Cyber Security Professional have experience in SOC operations, Threat Management, Incident Response, Threat Hunting, Digital Forensics.

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