Feb 09 2024

HijackLoader Expands Techniques to Improve Defense Evasion

Category: Malwaredisc7 @ 10:39 am
  • HijackLoader continues to become increasingly popular among adversaries for deploying additional payloads and tooling
  • A recent HijackLoader variant employs sophisticated techniques to enhance its complexity and defense evasion
  • CrowdStrike detects this new HijackLoader variant using machine learning and behavior-based detection capabilities 

CrowdStrike researchers have identified a HijackLoader (aka IDAT Loader) sample that employs sophisticated evasion techniques to enhance the complexity of the threat. HijackLoader, an increasingly popular tool among adversaries for deploying additional payloads and tooling, continues to evolve as its developers experiment and enhance its capabilities. 

In their analysis of a recent HijackLoader sample, CrowdStrike researchers discovered new techniques designed to increase the defense evasion capabilities of the loader. The malware developer used a standard process hollowing technique coupled with an additional trigger that was activated by the parent process writing to a pipe. This new approach has the potential to make defense evasion stealthier. 

The second technique variation involved an uncommon combination of process doppelgänging and process hollowing techniques. This variation increases the complexity of analysis and the defense evasion capabilities of HijackLoader. Researchers also observed additional unhooking techniques used to hide malicious activity.

This blog focuses on the various evasion techniques employed by HijackLoader at multiple stages of the malware.

HijackLoader Analysis

Tags: HijackLoader

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