A research note from the Kaspersky team said Platinum was one of the more technologically advanced nation-state actors; its backdoors were utilised after a complex process of dropping, downloading and installing.
At every stage, the threat actor took care to hide its presence by behaving like common software such as sound drivers, video creation tools and protection-related software.
Kaspersky said the Titanium backdoor was similar to others that had been used by Platinum.
- "an exploit capable of executing code as a SYSTEM user;
- "a shellcode to download the next downloader;
- "a downloader to download an SFX archive that contains a Windows task installation script;
- "a password-protected SFX archive with a Trojan-backdoor installer;
- "an installer script (ps1);
- "a COM object DLL (a loader); and
- "the Trojan-backdoor itself."
Once the backdoor was ready to go after a complex series of steps which were detailed by Kaspersky, it was able to accept many different commands.
It was able to:
- Read any file from a file system and send it to the command and control centre;
- Drop or delete a file in the filesystem;
- Drop a file and run it;
- Run a command line and send execution results to the command and control centre;
- Update configuration parameters (except the AES encryption key); and
- Operate in interactive mode – allowing the attacker to receive input from console programs and send their output at the command and control centre.
"The Titanium APT has a very complicated infiltration scheme," the Kaspersky team said.
"It involves numerous steps and requires good co-ordination between all of them. In addition, none of the files in the filesystem can be detected as malicious due to the use of encryption and fileless technologies.
"One other feature that makes detection harder is the mimicking of well-known software."