"According to security researcher 3xp0rt, Mars stealer is an advanced upgrade of the 2019 Oski Trojan and can loot cryptocurrency stored in people’s wallets by attacking the wallets’ browser extensions." "About July 2020 Oski support stopped responding to buyers and deleted the telegram account and bot. It should alert because such large projects don’t disappear so simply (e.g. KPOT Stealer, Predator The Thief)." "Fast forward almost a year later, and a new information-stealing malware called 'Mars Stealer' began to be promoted on Russian-speaking hacking forums."


"The Trojan malware began circulating on Russian-speaking hacking forums in the summer of 2021" "After security researcher @3xp0rt obtained a sample, the researcher discovered that the Mars Stealer is a redesigned version of Oski malware with enhanced functionality." "But when I’ve found a sample of the Mars Stealer, I noticed that it was just an improved copy of the Oski Stealer." "Currently, Mars Stealer is sold for $140 to $160 (extended version) on hacking forums, so it will likely get in the hands of numerous threat actors and be used in attacks in the future."


"The Mars stealer is a lightweight malicious program. Hence, it does not strain the compromised OS (Operating System), which means that there are no obvious signs of infection (e.g., significant decrease in response/operation time, system crashes, etc.)." “Mars Stealer written in ASM/C with using WinApi, weight is 95 kb. Uses special techniques to hide WinApi calls, encrypts strings, collects information in the memory, supports secure SSL-connection with C&C, doesn’t use CRT, STD.” "Mars Stealer is known to invade the extensions of wallets by spreading through numerous channels, including file-hosting websites, torrent clients, and dubious websites." It "relies on its own loader and wiper, which minimizes the infection footprint."


"Mars Stealer uses a custom grabber to retrieve its configuration from the command and control infrastructure and then proceeds to target application data from popular web browsers, two-factor authentication plugins, and multiple cryptocurrency extensions and wallets." "So far, it has been found to attack 40+ different browser-based wallets." "Once it enters the crypto wallet extension, the malware then performs the theft by sabotaging the wallet’s personal keys and security features and later exits the extension after deleting any visible traces of the theft."


"Browser extension list: Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Kometa, Amigo, Torch, Orbitium, Comodo Dragon, Nichrome, Maxxthon5, Maxxthon6, Sputnik Browser, Epic Privacy Browser, Vivaldi, CocCoc, Uran Browser, QIP Surf, Cent Browser, Elements Browser, TorBro Browser, CryptoTab Browser, Brave, Opera Stable, Opera GX, Opera Neon, Firefox, SlimBrowser, PaleMoon, Waterfox, CyberFox, BlackHawk, IceCat, K-Meleon, Thunderbird."


"Crypto extension list: TronLink, MetaMask, Binance Chain Wallet, Yoroi, Nifty Wallet, Math Wallet, Coinbase Wallet, Guarda, EQUAL Wallet, Jaox Liberty, BitAppWllet, iWallet, Wombat, MEW CX, Guild Wallet, Saturn Wallet, Ronin Wallet, Neoline, Clover Wallet, Liquality Wallet, Terra Station, Keplr, Sollet, Auro Wallet, Polymesh Wallet, ICONex, Nabox Wallet, KHC, Temple, TezBox Cyano Wallet, Byone, OneKey, Leaf Wallet, DAppPlay, BitClip, Steem Keychain, Nash Extension."


"Wallets targeted: Bitcoin Core, Ethereum, Electrum, Electrum LTC, Exodus, Electron Cash, MultiDoge, JAXX, Atomic, Binance, Coinomi."


"2FA plugins targeted: Authenticator, Authy, EOS Authenticator, GAuth Authenticator, Trezor Password Manager."


"What’s particularly concerning about Mars Stealer is its ability to navigate the wallet’s security features. For example, it can use a “grabber function” to steal private keys even if 2FA is enabled. This makes it a particularly dangerous threat for anyone holding crypto assets."


"Mars Stealer is a lean malware of just 95 KB in size, which attempts to evade security by using routines that hide API calls and string-encryption techniques using a combination of RC4 and Base64. The information it collects is wrapped in memory, while all connections with the C2 are done with the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol, so they’re encrypted. Moreover, the Mars Stealer code contains Sleep function intervals to perform timing checks that would result in a mismatch if a debugger is used. Finally, the malware can remove itself after the user data has been exfiltrated or when the operator decides to wipe it."


"Mars Stealer can also extract valuable information concerning processor model, computer name, machine ID, GUID, installed software and their versions, user name, and domain computer name." "The only notable omission from the targeted application list is Outlook, which the malware authors will likely add in future releases."


"Another interesting feature of this malware is that Mars Stealer performs a prior check on a user’s country of origin to check whether the user belongs to a commonwealth of independent states. If a user’s ID belongs to countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan, the program will not perform any negative activity and will exit the application."

Mars Stealer is a new form of malware released last summer, which is gaining popularity. Once a user is tricked into installing it, it has the capacity to steal from a massive list of cryptocurrency wallets and extensions you may have installed. If you are affected, there are very limited means by which lost cryptocurrency can be recovered.


As a user, be careful what software you download and install on your computer. You can also use a malware detection software to scan any downloaded files. Only install information from a trusted source directly and double check you are at the correct URL. The most secure form of storage for cryptocurrency is offline storage on paper or a hardware wallet, and that's where the majority of funds should be stored.


Check Our Framework For Safe Secure Exchange Platforms

Sources And Further Reading

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