DHS and FBI published a Malware Analysis Report on North Korea-linked tool ELECTRICFISH

Pierluigi Paganini May 10, 2019

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FCI published a new joint report on ELECTRICFISH, a malware used by North Korea.

US DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a joint analysis of a traffic tunneling tool dubbed ELECTRICFISH used by North Korea-linked APT group tracked as Hidden Cobra (aka Lazarus).

It is interesting to note that the sample analyzed in the report is not on Virus Total, as highlighted by the security expert Dariel Huss.

According to Huss, three different samples of the same malware were uploaded to VirusTotal in August, September and October 2018.

The malware implements a custom protocol that allows threat actors to funnel traffic between two IP addresses. The Malware Analysis Report (MAR) published by the US agencies is related to an analysis of one malicious 32-bit Windows executable file.

This report includes indicators of compromise (IoC), it also suggests response actions and recommends mitigation techniques. 

The software is a command-line utility that accepts as arguments the destination IP address and port, a source IP address and port, a proxy IP address and port, and a user name and password to authenticate with a proxy server.

It will attempt to establish TCP sessions between the source IP address and the destination IP address using a custom protocol. The configured proxy server is not required for this utility.

“The malware continuously attempts to reach out to the source and the designation system, which allows either side to initiate a funneling session. The malware can be configured with a proxy server/port and proxy username and password.” reads the malware report. “This feature allows connectivity to a system sitting inside of a proxy server, which allows the actor to bypass the compromised system’s required authentication to reach outside of the network,”


According to the US agencies, Hidden Cobra’s arsenal includes a broad range of malware and tools. US experts already analyzed Joanap, Brambul
HOPLIGHT, Delta Charlie, Type frame, Sharpknot, Hardrain, Badcall, BankshotFallchil, and Volgmer.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – ELECTRICFISH, North Korea)

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