Through the Window: Creative Code Invocation

The following blog was written while working for CrowdStrike. It deals with a characteristic code invocation technique on 32-bit Windows that was discovered while analyzing malware linked to a targeted intrusion attributed to the VENOMOUS BEAR/Turla actor. The invocation technique leverages the window class “Shell_TrayWnd” to get a handle to explorer.exe, and uses SetWindowLong() to set a function pointer in extra window memory to the beginning of the injected shellcode.

Recently, while analyzing a targeted attack, CrowdStrike observed an interesting code invocation technique that we want to describe here. This particular technique can be used to invoke code that has been injected into explorer.exe.

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Christian J. Dietrich
Christian J. Dietrich
Professor of Computer Security