Trojan program steals log-in credentials, other sensitive data from SAP client applications

Attackers can also use the malware to remotely control infected workstations and access SAP servers, Microsoft researchers said

A recently discovered malicious program steals log-in passwords and other sensitive information from SAP client applications and allows cybercriminals to access SAP servers from infected workstations.

Researchers from ERPScan, a company that develops SAP security scanning products, revealed at the RSA Europe security conference in October that a new malware program scans infected computers for the presence of SAP applications, possibly in preparation for future attacks.

Researchers from Microsoft recently analyzed the same malware, which they named TrojanSpy:Win32/Gamker.A, and found that it does more than just basic reconnaissance.

"This is an attempted attack on SAP and not just a harmless data-gathering operation to determine if SAP is installed," Geoff McDonald, a researcher with the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC), said Wednesday in a blog post. "The attackers are using the execution of the SAP component 'saplogon.exe' to trigger recording of the command-line arguments passed into it, combined with a series of 10 screenshots to the C&C server."

Gamker has a keylogging component that logs all keystrokes entered into any application running on an infected computer. This component can capture log-in credentials like usernames and passwords, including those entered in SAP client applications.

The malware also maintains a large list of specific applications for which it also records command-line parameters and takes screen shots of their active windows.

The list includes saplogon.exe, but also finance-related programs, cryptography tools, VPN clients, Bitcoin wallets and more. The complete list is included in the MMPC blog post, but some examples are rclient.exe (remote administration client), translink.exe (a tool by Western Union), truecrypt.exe and bestcrypt.exe (two encryption applications), openvpn-gui (a graphical user interface for the OpenVPN client).

Gamker shares some code with Carberp, a Russian online banking Trojan program whose source code was leaked online earlier this year, McDonald said. The common part is the Virtual Network Computing (VNC) remote desktop functionality that can be used to remotely control an infected computer.

"It is unclear if there is a larger connection between Gamker and Carberp since the remainder of Gamkers code differs from Carberp's publicly leaked code," the Microsoft researcher said.

According to McDonald, the command-line arguments for the saplogon.exe process are unlikely to contain sensitive information, but the screen shots of its active window can reveal the SAP user name, server name and other confidential data.

That information, combined with the SAP password captured by the keylogging component and the VNC functionality, gives attackers everything they need to attack SAP servers directly from infected machines.

SAP software is used by enterprises to track and manage many business operations including manufacturing, human resources and sales. This means that SAP servers usually contain a lot of sensitive information like customer details, trade secrets, intellectual property or financial data, which can be valuable for attackers.

Depending on the permissions of the stolen SAP credentials, in addition to stealing data, attackers can set up rogue payments or disrupt business operations.

According to ERPScan, 86 percent of companies on the Forbes 500 list use SAP software.

To mitigate the damage caused by possible attacks on their SAP systems, companies should grant users the minimum access privilege level required to complete their job, should implement two-factor authentication, run anti-malware programs and network intrusion detection systems, train their employees to avoid malware infections and keep the software running on their workstations up to date, McDonald said.

"This trojans targeting of businesses, as opposed to individuals, is an alarming move and we will be monitoring this for further developments to protect and inform our customers," he said.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Customer Relationship ManagementapplicationsMicrosoftBusiness Process Managementsecurityenterprise resource planningSAPsoftwarespywaremalwareERPScan

More about MicrosoftRSASAP AustraliaWestern Union

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Lucian Constantin

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place