April 23, 2019

Ramnit Returns to its Banking Roots, Just in Time for Italian Tax Season

8 min. read
By Remi Cohen, Roy Moshailov

F5 Labs and the F5 Security Operations Center (SOC) for WebSafe analyzed Ramnit banking Trojan Malware configurations active in February and March 2019. They discovered that Ramnit authors were—once again—largely targeting financial services websites, specifically in Italy.

  • Financial services and financial technology industries make up the largest part of Ramnit targets. However, like many other “banking” Trojans, Ramnit has expanded its targets over the years to include industries beyond banking, including online advertising, web services, and ecommerce sites. 

  • Although social networking sites made up a smaller portion of targets seen in February and March, the target list included some of the biggest social networking and sharing platforms in the world, including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube.

  • Italian banks made up a large portion of targets of this configuration. France and the UK (specifically banks based out of Scotland) were also popular targets.

In a recent Ramnit sample that was active in March 2019, Ramnit authors primarily targeted banks in Italy and the UK. See Figure 1 for a more detailed breakdown of which countries were highly targeted.

Figure 1. Frequency of European countries seen in the March 2019 Ramnit Configuration

At a global level, 70% of all targets in this Ramnit configuration were European. North American (USA) targets followed with 27% of the list, and the rest of the world made up the final 3%. See the frequency chart in Figure 2 for a more detailed breakout.

Figure 2.Frequency of targets from the March 2019 Ramnit configuration and their geographic locations in the world

In Figure 3 we can see Ramnit’s web injection manipulating the HTML. This type of web injection enables a malicious actor to capture credentials or sensitive account information, further allowing for funds to be stolen.

Figure 3. Screengrab from a recent sample of Ramnit malware showing web injection manipulating the HTML

In the Ramnit configuration, there were a number of targets that didn’t belong to a particular company or website: Instead, there were several words in French, Italian, and English. This is an innovation we have not seen in previous Ramnit configurations. It appears as though the Ramnit authors cast a wider net in hopes of catching random websites. Along with the simple word targets, Ramnit also included the name of an Italian Opera and a few misspelled domain names. Non-domain targets from this configuration include:

!** !*ocsp.* *control*
!*ads.* !*office* *corp*
!*analytic* !*outlook* *Customer*
!*api.* !*stream* *Dashboard*
!** !*track* *identity*
!*chat* !** *importo*
!*cloud* !*update* *login*
!*download* !*upload* *Main*
!*events* !*video* *manager*
!*game* !http://* *panel*
!** *access* *payment*
!*gstatic.* *account* *register*
!*hub* *admin* *secure*
!** *Authenticate* *sepa*
!** *authentipec* *sign*
!*lampoilbro* *bank* *trade*
!*messenger* *basic* *virement*
!*metric* *bonifico*  

Companies and websites targeted from this configuration include:

Target Name Target Domain Country Industry
Bing USA Search Engine
WebPT* USA Healthcare/Electronic Medical Records
New Relic Browser https://** USA Web Services
Google, LLC USA Online Advertising
Cure MD* USA Healthcare/Electronic Medical Records
Microsoft* USA Productvity
TrackJS* USA Web Services
AirBnB* USA Travel
SoundCloud https://** USA Music
Tyler Technologies https://** USA Computer Software
Microsoft* USA Email/Communications
Expedia* USA Travel
Yahoo* USA Email/Communications
Google, LLC* USA Email/Communications
Clicktale https://** USA Digital Analytics
Yahoo* USA Maps
Yahoo* USA News
Go daddy* USA Email/Communications
tSheets USA Productvity
Amazon USA Music
SpotX https://** USA Online Advertising
Dropbox https://** USA Web Services
Amazon USA Web Services
Microsoft* USA Web Services
Google, LLC* USA Video/Image Hosting
Google, LLC* USA Email/Communications
Google, LLC* USA Email/Communications
Facebook https://*facebook* USA Social networking
Youtube , LLC https://*youtube* USA Video/Image Hosting
Twitter https://*twitter* USA Social networking
Instagram https://*instagram* USA Social networking
Flickr https://** USA Video/Image Hosting
Linkedin https://** USA Social networking
Conviva https://** USA Digital Analytics
Google, LLC* USA Digital Analytics
Google, LLC* USA Web Services
Google, LLC* USA Email/Communications
Google, LLC https://** USA Web Services
Google, LLC https://** USA Web Services
Google, LLC https://** USA Web Services
Google, LLC https://** USA Web Services
Google, LLC https://** USA Web Services
Google, LLC USA Web Services
Google, LLC https://** USA Web Services
Google, LLC https://** USA Email/Communications
Google, LLC* USA Web Services
Google, LLC* USA Social networking
Google, LLC* USA Computer Software
Google, LLC* USA Productvity
Google, LLC* USA Productvity
Google, LLC* USA Productvity
Google, LLC https://** USA Web Services
Google, LLC* USA Web Services
Google, LLC* USA Productvity
Etsy https://** USA E-Commerce
Issu https://** USA News
Amazon* USA Music
Yahoo USA Online Advertising
Yahoo USA Online Advertising
Apple* USA Web Storage
Grendel CRM* USA Financial Technology
Yelp* USA Travel
LiveVol* USA Financial Technology
Google, LLC USA Digital Analytics
Amazon USA Web Services
Toys"R"Us* USA E-Commerce
tSheets* USA Productvity
Google, LLC* USA Web Services
Pandora Radio* USA Music
Google, LLC* USA Search Engine
Microsoft* USA Web Services
Yahoo* USA Web Services
Full Story* USA Digital Analytics
Mozilla* USA Web services
Microsoft AdminAPIWebService/adminapi.svc/silverlightXml USA Web Services
Full Slate USA Productvity
Optimizely USA Digital Analytics
Expedia USA Travel*    
Scanmarket https://** USA Computer Software
Intuit Inc. https://** USA Financial Technology
Yahoo* USA News


Trojan malware designed to attack the online customers of banks and financial institutions has been around for over a decade, but it continues to evolve in technique and sophistication. Ramnit is a persistent banking Trojan that first emerged in 2010 as a less sophisticated form of a self-replicating worm. Today, both its tactics and targets have evolved to include many other industries. It’s no longer enough for banking Trojans to just steal sensitive information or manipulate an online transaction—Ramnit in particular was designed to manipulate online banking sessions in order to steal credentials and funds from customers via wire transfer. Over the 2017 holiday season, however, F5 Labs reported that Ramnit’s targets turned from banks to retail, in anticipation of the busy shopping season. Today’s most sophisticated malware authors evade detection and demonstrate their knowledge of the targets by using new techniques to circumvent a target’s defense mechanisms. We’re seeing this trend in almost every piece of code that descends from banking malware.

It’s critically important for banks and financial institutions to implement web fraud protection solutions to protect their customers and to help ease the burden of fraud expenses—especially banks that are actively being targeted. Because we’re seeing traditional banking Trojans expand their targets, other industries outside of banking (such as online advertising, ecommerce, social media, crypto currency exchanges, and others) need to be aware of attackers’ increasingly clever techniques so they can take equal precautions. Because Trojan malware is typically installed through phishing or malicious advertising, it’s also becoming more critical for all organizations to provide security awareness training to employees and clients to help them avoid falling victim.

Ramnit is just one of many types of malware we follow at F5 Labs. Check back for updates to this article as future campaigns materialize and targeted industries expand.


Malware hashes seen in this configuration:

SHA 1 hash: 1acc71bd6f830061ed8f1d9446f439e019063656
SHA 256 Hash: 746bd60108cb3af40b98346f467c9fd9a3db216
MD5 Hash: ace9bd5b0a7e0d50e31eeec00970bf6f
Config first seen: 3/21/19 13:26
Config last seen: 3/21/19 13:26
  • Deploy a web application firewall
  • Implement multi-factor authentication
  • Implement web fraud protection to detect customers logging into your applications with infected clients designed to engage in fraud
  • Use an intrusion detection system to catch Trojan malware
  • Change email addresses of targeted employees
  • Administrative/Corrective: Review access controls
  • Notify your clients of the malware you detected on their system while logging into your application (why they are blocked from transacting), so they can take steps to clean their systems
  • Provide security awareness training to employees and to clients


Expertly picked stories on threat intelligence

Hundreds of apps will be attacked by the time you read this.

So, we get to work. We obsess over effective attack methods. We monitor the growth of IoT and its evolving threats. We dive deep into the latest crypto-mining campaigns. We analyze banking Trojan targets. We dissect exploits. We hunt for the latest malware. And then our team of experts share it all with you. For more than 20 years, F5 has been leading the app delivery space. With our experience, we are passionate about educating the security community-providing the intel you need to stay informed so your apps can stay safe.


9 hrs

a critical vulnerability—with the potential for remote code execution—is released.