Ferocious Kitten is an APT group that has been active since at least 2015 and has been targeting Persian-speaking individuals who appear to be based in Iran. Although it has been active for a long time, the group has mostly operated under the radar and has not been covered by security researchers. The malware dropped by the APT group is dubbed ‘MarkiRAT’ and used to record keystrokes, clipboard content, provide file download and upload capabilities as well as the ability to execute arbitrary commands on the victim machine. Some of the TTP used by this threat actor are reminiscent of other groups that are active against a similar set of targets, such as Domestic Kitten and Rampant Kitten.
After opening the document, no content is displayed, inducing the victim to enable the macro to view the information. Once the victim enables the macro, the malicious executable file will be released for execution, and the macro code will set the body font color to black to display the information and confuse the victim, Display of the bait information is as shown in the figure below:
The macros in the documents convert an embedded executable from hexadecimal and write it to the “Public” folder as “update.exe”. Afterwards, the payload gets copied to the “Startup” directory under the name “svehost.exe” to ensure it automatically runs when the system is started: