Anti-Malware Research

New TDL Clones in the Wild

New TDL clones are making the rounds these days, according to Bitdefender Labs antimalware researcher Marius Tivadar. The samples in question (which are just now completely analyzed) date from the beginning of April.

The basics are the same as for any other TDL variant – the master boot record gets infected, there is a 16-bit component and 32/64 bit DLLs.

Taking a look at the code, we can see that to decrypt the sectors where the components are stored, the RC4 key used is also XORed with 0x42965246:


The encrypted filesystem looks like this:

and we can see that, unlike other TDL clones, all the files have names made up exclusively of digits (perhaps chosen at random)
Previous clones used intuitive names for files: ldr16/ldr32/ldr64/mbr.

The configuration file is almost unchanged, except there aren’t almost any readable strings:



while the mbr loader binary looks like this:


Unfortunately, the TDL bootkit family remains relatively unknown in the wider IT security community, as the low detection rates from other major antivirus companies prove.

Bitdefender antimalware researchers have updated the free rootkit remover to deal with the latest TDL clones.

About the author



Razvan Stoica is a journalist turned teacher turned publicist and technology evangelist. When Bitdefender isn't paying him to bring complex subjects to wide audiences, he enjoys writing fiction, skiing and biking. Razvan Stoica started off writing for a science monthly and was the chief editor of a science fiction magazine for a short while before moving on to the University of Medicine in Bucharest where he lectured on the English language. Recruited by Bitdefender in 2004 to add zest to the company's online presence, he has fulfilled a bevy of roles within the company since. In his current position, he is primarily responsible for the communications and community-building efforts of the Bitdefender research and technology development arm.


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