Dima van de Wouw

Solving The “Unhooking” Problem

For avoiding EDR userland hooks, there are many ways to cook an egg:

Direct system calls (syscalls), Indirect syscalls, unhooking, hardware breakpoints, and bringing and loading your own version of a library. These methods each have advantages and disadvantages. When developing a C2 implant it’s nice to work with a combination of multiple of these. For instance, you could use a strong (in)direct syscall library for direct usermode to kernel transition, then use unhooking or hardware breakpoints for user mode-only (to bypass AMSI, ETW e.g.) functions.

Regarding system calls, excellent research has already been done. A small selection of relevant blog posts is Klezvirus’ post on syswhispers, MDSec’s post on direct invocation of system calls and our own blog post on combining direct system calls srdi.


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A phishing document signed by Microsoft – part 2

This is the second part of our blog series in which we walk you through the steps of finding and weaponising other vulnerabilities in Microsoft signed add-ins. Our previous post described how a Microsoft-signed Analysis Toolpak Excel add-in (.XLAM) was vulnerable to code hijacking by loading an attacker controlled XLL via abuse of the RegisterXLL function.

In this post we will dive deep into a second code injection vulnerability in the Analysis Toolpak in relation to the use of the ExecuteExcel4Macro function in a Microsoft-signed Excel add-in. Furthermore, we will show that the Solver add-in is vulnerable to a similar weaknesses with yet another vector. In particular, we will discuss:

  • Walkthrough of the Analysis Toolpak code injection vulnerability patched by CVE-2021-28449
  • Exploitation gadgets for practical weaponisation of such a vulnerability
  • Weakness in Solver Add-in
  • Our analysis of Microsoft’s patch

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A phishing document signed by Microsoft – part 1

This blog post is part of series of two posts that describe weaknesses in Microsoft Excel that could be leveraged to create malicious phishing documents signed by Microsoft that load arbitrary code.

These weaknesses have been addressed by Microsoft in the following patch: CVE-2021-28449. This patch means that the methods described in this post are no longer applicable to an up-to-date and securely configured MS Office install. However, we will uncover a largely unexplored attack surface of MS Office for further offensive research and will demonstrate practical tradecraft for exploitation.

In this blog post (part 1), we will discuss the following:

  • The Microsoft Analysis ToolPak Excel and vulnerabilities in XLAM add-ins which are distributed as part of this.
  • Practical offensive MS Office tradecraft which is useful for weaponizing signed add-ins which contain vulnerabilities,

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