Cybersecurity company Cyfirma claims to have uncovered the real identity of the developer behind the CypherRAT and CraxsRAT remote access trojans (RATs).
Using the online handle of ‘EVLF DEV’ and operating out of Syria for the past eight years, the individual is believed to have made over $75,000 from selling the two RATs to various threat actors. The same person is also a malware-as-a-service (MaaS) operator, according to Cyfirma.
For the past three years, EVLF has been offering CraxsRAT, one of the most dangerous Android RATs available now, on a surface web store, with at least 100 lifetime licenses sold to date.
The CraxsRAT builder, Cyfirma says, generates highly obfuscated packages, allowing threat actors to customize the contents based on the type of attack they are preparing, including with WebView page injections.
The builder also includes a quick install feature that generates applications with few install permissions to help bypass detections. After installation, however, the threat actor can send requests to turn on additional permissions.
“In order to gain access to the device’s screen and keystrokes, the app needs to enable its accessibility in settings. So, the builder allows the threat actor to edit the page which pops up right after the app’s installation is completed,” Cyfirma notes.
Additionally, a ‘super mod’ feature is available, to make the application difficult to remove from the infected devices, by crashing the page whenever an uninstall attempt is detected.
On the infected devices, the RAT can fetch precise device location, read and steal contacts, access the device’s storage, and read messages and call logs.
Cyfirma’s investigation into EVLF’s whereabouts led to the discovery of a Telegram channel with over 10,000 subscribers, and of a crypto wallet that revealed the malware developer’s earnings from selling the RATs over at least three years.
Cyfirma reached out to the cryptocurrency wallet company to request a freeze of the threat actor’s assets until an identity verification was performed.
With the funds remaining frozen after verification, EVLF started a thread on a crypto discussion forum, which helped Cyfirma to discover additional information on the adversary, such as the real name, various usernames, IP address, and email address.
“Based on our investigation, it can be ascertained with high confidence that EVLF is being operated by a man from Syria,” Cyfirma notes.