Retefe is a banking trojan that redirects its victim to a fake or a phishing banking URL in order to steal login credentials.

It installs a fake root certificate and a Tor client on the victim’s machine and change the network proxy which resulted in the victim being redirected to a fake banking URL through the Tor network when visiting certain banking URLs.


Automatic action

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Technical Details

Retefe’s source code which was written in JavaScript was compiled in Microsoft Visual C/C++ to render it executable.

Upon execution, Retefe will install a fake root certificate and a Tor client, and then change the proxy and internet settings on the infected machine

Infection Vector

Retefe typically gets into a system when the victim inadvertently opens a malicious file attachment that arrives via a spam email.


Install root certificate:

Retefe has been found to install a fake root certificate with sha1: a0050ba4163e64178600f0970a2cad9b2c13088b onto the machine it infected.

Terminate processes:

Once the certificate has been installed, it terminates processes used by web browsers using the following command:

  • taskkill /F /im iexplore.exe
  • taskkill /F /im firefox.exe
  • taskkill /F /im chrome.exe
Create task scheduler:

To achieve persistence, Retefe creates automated tasks with random names in Task Scheduler containing these values:

  • vbscript:close(CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Run("tor.exe",0,False))
  • s1cmd='socat tcp4-LISTEN:11290,reuseaddr,fork,keepalive,bind= SOCKS4A:,socksport=9050'; vbscript:close(CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Run("$s1cmd ",0,False))
  • $s2cmd='socat tcp4-LISTEN:5588,reuseaddr,fork,keepalive,bind= SOCKS4A:,socksport=9050'; vbscript:close(CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Run("$s2cmd ",0,False))
Create shortcut files:

It also creates the following shortcut files in the startup folder:

  • msword.lnk
    • Target: vbscript:close(CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Run("tor.exe",0,False))
  • acrobat.lnk
    • Target:vbscript:close(CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Run("socat tcp4-LISTEN:11290,reuseaddr,fork,keepalive,bind= SOCKS4A:,socksport=9050 ",0,False))
  • sync.lnk
    • Target: vbscript:close(CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Run("socat tcp4-LISTEN:5588,reuseaddr,fork,keepalive,bind= SOCKS4A:,socksport=9050 ",0,False))
Create and upload log file:

Retefe creates a log file which it then uploads to an external server.

  • File : $Logfile = $env:ALLUSERSPROFILE+"\\SP_$(gc env:computername).log
  • External server : hxxp://jxa43tf73eg34flp[.]tor2web. xyz/

The log file contains the following information:

  • Operating system
  • PowerShell version
  • AutoConfigURL status
  • Certificate (installed or not)
  • LOCALAPPDATA location
  • Antivirus product
Dropped files:

Retefe drops these files into C:\\ProgramData\:

  • 7za.exe: 7zip executable which is used to extract the dropped 7z files.
  • ts.7z: Contains Microsoft.Win32.TaskScheduler.dll third-party software applications to programmatically manage Windows scheduled tasks.
  • tor.7z: Tor file to make the connection anonymous.
  • socat.7z: Tool for transferring data between two addresses
Set proxy auto-config:

The URL is specified to:

  • hxxp://127.0.0[.]1:11290/{0}.js?ip={1}
Check the IP address:

It checks for these IP address on the victim’s machine:

  • hxxp://api[.]ipify[.]org
  • hxxp://icanhazip[.]com
Registry Changes:
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\AutoConfigURL:
    • Data: "hxxp://127.0.0[.]1:11290/{0}.js?ip={1}"
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\AutoDetect":
    • Data: 0
Network Activities:

Domains used in Tor communication:

  • wysq6o3r64d46bnn[.]onion
  • zw4lhcf756v5e4nq[.]onion
  • g5nhdiv4ooiiozxo[.]onion
  • 547iv7ubbdndxdna[.]onion
  • oxxavr4m4vpup4sa[.]onion

Analysis by: Fairuz Zainor

Date Created: 11/10/2019

Date Last Modified: -