HP Threat Research Blog Attackers Disguise RedLine Stealer as a Windows 11 Upgrade

February 8, 2022 Category: Threat Research By: Patrick Schläpfer Comments: 0

Attackers Disguise RedLine Stealer as a Windows 11 Upgrade

Threat actors are always looking for topical lures to socially engineer victims into infecting systems. We recently analyzed one such lure, namely a fake Windows 11 installer. On 27 January 2022, the day after the final phase of the Windows 11 upgrade was announced, we noticed a malicious actor registered the domain windows-upgraded[.]com, which they used to spread malware by tricking users into downloading and running a fake installer. The domain caught our attention because it was newly registered, imitated a legitimate brand and took advantage of a recent announcment. The threat actor used this domain to distribute RedLine Stealer, an information stealing malware family that is widely advertised for sale within underground forums.

Domain Name: windows-upgraded.com
Creation Date: 2022-01-27T10:06:46Z
Registrar: NICENIC INTERNATIONAL GROUP CO., LIMITED
Registrant Organization: Ozil Verfig
Registrant State/Province: Moscow
Registrant Country: RU

The attackers copied the design of the legitimate Windows 11 website, except clicking on the “Download Now” button downloads a suspicious zip archive called Windows11InstallationAssistant.zip. The file was hosted on Discord’s content delivery network.