Marcus Murray gave a great talk at TechEd Berlin 2009: “Hack-Proofing Your Clients Using Windows 7 Security”. In one of his demos, he showed a trojaned Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet was a simple text-based game, but it had a malicious component that executed surreptitiously while the game was played.
As I’ve done several hacks with Excel macros in the past, this made me realize that social engineering is a key element to get people to run macros from a spreadsheet of unknown origin.
Several people have asked me about de details of the vulnerability I exploited in my PDF Info Stealer PoC. But that’s not important. It’s not about the exploit, it’s about the payload: the info stealer. As I’ve written in my previous post, I don’t even need an exploit to get users to execute the info stealer. If I put the info stealer inside an Excel spreadsheet and social engineer the targeted users to execute the macros, I’ve achieved my goal without exploiting a software vulnerability.
I present you Frisky Solitaire:
Frisky solitaire is more compelling than text-based Excel games, because of the graphics. I took Solitaire from ReactOS, turned it into a DLL and embedded it with my memory loading shellcode into Excel macros (the same technique as I developed for cmd.dll and regedit.dll). I imagine that a simple game like Solitaire in Excel can go viral inside a company, when you know that many corporations disable standard Windows games on their desktops and Terminal Servers.
But in a crude attempt at social engineering the male population of a targeted company, I added an element of nudity to the game. The implied message of the game’s title is that winning games increases nudity. I know, I’m talking about basic instincts here, but it still does the trick…
So I imagine that this game can become popular with a large part of the male employees of a targeted company. And that they wouldn’t question the fact you have to execute Excel macros to play a game. Sounds plausible, no?
Of course, you guessed it: Frisky Solitaire is trojaned with an info stealer… No need to exploit a software vulnerability to steal info. Given that here too, everything is done in memory, detection is unlikely.