Virus Labs & Distribution
VLAD #7 - Archive Infect

         S T R A T E G Y : I N F E C T I O N  O N  C O M P R E S S I O N

        (c) 1996 by MGL. None of this article may be used or
	    spread in any form without written permission of the
	    author. All rights are reserved for future use.

	0.) Sad news

        I am not proud to announce to the world that our group,	SVL
        ended work due to some unfortunate circumstances.
	So that was that. :-((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

	1.) Introduction.

Well, it has been discussed many times, switching to fast infection when an
attempt to run some compression software is made.  It is a kewl idea and
moreover a good way to penetrate the backups. But nothing is as easy as
it appears to be. This is also the reason why I want to share some of my
latest experiences with you.

Basically, I assume all of you can code a resident virus, because if
you can't, just skip this article or read it again sometime in
the near ( or far if you're lazy ) future.
All the code presented in this article is meta-code, it just illustrates
the way the virus should work. It's not optimised, nor part of any virus.

	2.) Which packer should I support in the virus ?

Good question. There are shitloads of them. It's a complete waste of
code to support packers that aren't very common. You should select only
those that every lamer has on his HD. That means ( present situation )
supporting ARJ, Pkzip/Pkunzip, RAR, LHA, UC. If you decide to select these
five packers, it is nearly guaranteed your virus can hurt 90 % of systems
in the whole Universe.  Ofcos, in some regions there's another list of
'most used ', but remember : you're the author, you have the choice.
You do not need know how good these packers are ( that isn't 100 % true, cos
the better are used more ), all you need to know is how the packers work.

	3.) How the packer works.

Uff ! Don't be scared, you don't need to disassemble the whole packer !
( of cos it is once again not 100 % true, so obtain Soft-ice 2.80 now )
It is about knowing the principles WHAT THE PACKER SHOULD DO. Every packer
works similarly to that described below : 

	1.  Find files to be packed
	2.  Open/create file in which everything'll be packed
	3.  Find 1st file to be packed
	4.  Open the file to be packed
	5.  Pack the file
	6.  Add packed file to archive
	7.  Close file to be packed
	8.  Last file ? If so , go to line 10
	9.  Find next file to pack and go to line 4
	10. Close archive and exit

Simple, isn't it ? But in section 5.) i'll describe possible problems.

	4.) What should the virus do ?

As I mentioned in the introduction, the virus has to be resident. Then it
will control all INT 21H / 4BH calls. If such a call apprears just test to
see if the ASCIIZ ( ASCII , ended by '0' ) string pointed by DS:DX contains
one of the names of the supported packers.  Then, if your virus is stealth
(and I hope it is ), switch all stealth capabilities off. You ask why ?
The reason is simple : the packer needs to know the real file size of the
file being processed, and of course the virus can't infect any file without
knowing its real size . Second, set the infection mode to the 'fastest
possible' - what that means is open for further discussion. And thats all
folks on INT 21H / 4BH for now.

Thirdly, infect the files ( this important point'll be discussed later in
this article ). And last but not least, on INT 21H / 4CH don't forget to
disable the 'fastest possible' infection mode and for the Lamer's sake, turn
all stealth back on !

If you are suspicious and you know Murphy's Law 'If something can go wrong,
it will ! ', you should also handle the situation when the packer calls for 
an external compression executable called e.g. 'fucklame.exe' which
after processing the file and creating the compressed image in memory exits
via the normal INT 21H / 4CH back to the packer. According to the stuff you
read above, the virus now turns stealth on and sets another infection
strategy ...

To prevent such a mistake, you can get the current PID ( segment address of
the PSP of current process ) by using INT 21H / 62h or INT 21h /51H - both
calls are equal and moreover - BOTH DO NOT USE ANY OF THE DOS INTERNAL STACKS 
and that means you can use structures like

	mov ah,62h
	int 21h
	mov ah,51h
	int 21h

directly in your interrupt handler ( in DOS 3.0 and above ) ! Both the calls
return in the PID in BX so then

	mov word ptr cs:[U_cant_fool_me-ReloCount],bx

and after storing the PID allow normal INT 21H / 4BH. Then you can test on
INT 21H / 4CH the parents PID

	push bx
	push ds
	push ax
	mov ah,51h
	int 21h
	mov ds,bx
	mov ax, word ptr [ds:16h]

because the PSP on offset+16h holds the segment of parent PID ( from which
the file has been executed via INT 21H / 4Bh and whose PID we have stored 
in the variable U_cant_fool_me ), the following code applies:

	cmp word ptr cs:[U_cant_fool_me-ReloCount],ax
	jne skip_some_lines
	mov byte ptr cs:[Stealth-ReloCount],switch_on
	mov byte ptr cs:[Strategy-ReloCount],another_one
	pop ax
	pop ds
	pop bx
	jmp far ptr dword cs:[Original_DOS_vector-ReloCount]

Now you can be sure that your virus turn on stealth only when the packer
really ends its work. The same structure on INT 21H /4CH can be used when
you handle some AV, and you also disable stealth for this reasson.

	5.) When to infect the file ?

To questions answer is not as trivial as it seems to be !
It is caused by :
	a.) The way packer works
	b.) The virus itself

I am sorry , but i'll discuss the point b.) as first . There are only two
'not very suspicious' ways to mark the file as infected which aren't too
hard to code : time-stamp ( preferrably some specific legal one ) and size
Time stamp marking is very easy to code and works well with full file stealth
but when you support some packers in your virus, get ready for big trouble.
All the needed stuff is in the section 'Time stamp viruses'.
Size padding is harder to code, with full-stealth it's quite complicated, but
you'll probably have no problems with implementing packer support in your vx,
with only one exception, see the section 'Size padding viruses' for details.

According to algorithm described in section 3.) everyone can assume that the
right moment for infection is INT 21H / 3DH - open file . This conclusion is
up to 95% correct . It has lot of strong points : DX:DX points to a buffer
which contains an ASCIIZ string with filename and path, the 3 lowest bites
in  AL describe the open mode ( 000 - read , 001 - write , 010 - read and
write ). So it is easy to force it open for read/write access, and infect 
the file pointed by DS:DX . Ofcos, I can tell you, it is not :-)

	6.) Solutions

	6.1. ) Size padding viruses.

This section'll be very short . There is no reason the strategy described in
section 5a. could fail with most packercs. Because if your virus infects the
file on file open, and then marks it by padding the size to some 'magic'
value, the packer should reach the EOF mark . Our virus will, after executing
the packer, infect the file and then pad the file to the 'magic' size. Then 
the compressed file will be infected.  That means the infected file will be
marked as infected and correctly stealthed . There is ONLY one EXCEPTION i 
know : PKZIP . How to fool this one is described in section 6.2
Maybe the packer will protest when extracting the files from the archive,
because the stored size in archive header and size of extacted file
didn't match, but there's only a small probability that the packer checks
for this.

I have to say, I didn't test the file padding with archivers - cos i was too
lazy to code it. But of all 5 packers tested by me, only pkzip causes
problems. RAR , UC , ARJ , LHA - all read until EOF is reached !

	6.2. ) Time stamp viruses .

So this section is really the crucial part of the article . If you use the
strategy from section 5a you 'll get following result :

  Packer name                   F1              F2              Result
	LHA                     +               +                GOOD
	RAR                     +               -                POOR

	ARJ                     +               -                POOR

   Pkzip/Pkunip                 +               -                POOR

	UC                      +               -                POOR

Legend :        F1 - file which was infected on archivation and is located in
		     specified directory
		F2 - file which has been extracted from archive we infected
		+  - infected and stealthed
		-  - infected and not stealthed

As you can see something went wrong. And after breaking your head with this
little problem you say : " Shit, the file is not marked as infectded !". And
that's problem we have to solve. If you are lazy, support only LHA . But for
correctly infecting with other packers we need to infect the file and mark it
PRIOR to opening.

Every packer has to scan the actual directory for files which should be
compressed.  This is done by just a normal INT 21H / 4Eh and INT 21H / 4FH. 
As i assume your virus has at least semi-stealth implemented, then your virus
has to handle these two subfunctions of INT 21H. After such a call the virus
fixes the file size in the DTA ( Disk Transfer Address ) - I hope it's called
semi-stealth.  Handling INT 21H FN 4EH /4FH will add only few lines of extra
code to your virus.
The situation before such a call from the packer is mostly as described
below :

 ÚÄÄÄÄ> DS:DX  point to ASCIIZ filename to match. Mostly it contains something
 ³             like '????????.???',0
 ³      AH     of course 4EH or 4FH
 ³      CX     atributes to match, for us uninteresting, cos every normal
 ³             virus can infect files with any attributes set
 ÀÄÄÄÄÄ As you can see, nothing useful for our purposes :-P

Here i would like to note, that you do not need to know path to files which
should be compressed or the name of the actual directory . You are already
in the directory where the target files are located ( courtesy of the packer
which is active ) , or the call will fail.

But the situation right after the allowed call of INT 21H 4EH/4FH is the most
important for us : if the call fails, nevermind, try it next time. If the
call succeded, the DTA is filled with data we require. Here is the DTA
structure once again :

	³ 00h ³ bits 0-6 holds drive letter , bit 7 is set if remote ³
	³ 01h ³ 11 bytes search template                             ³  
	³ 0Ch ³ search atributes                                     ³  
	³ 0Dh ³ entry count within directory                         ³  
	³ 0Fh ³ cluster number of start of parent directory          ³  
	³ 11h ³ 4 bytes reserved                                     ³  
	³ 15h ³ atributes of file which was found                    ³  
	³ 16h ³ file time                                            ³  
	³ 18h ³ file date                                            ³  
	³ 1Ah ³ file size , this one is DWORD !                      ³  
	³ 1Eh ³ filename and extension in ASCIIZ                     ³  

As you can see, offset DTA+1Eh is the ASCIIZ file name - we 'll need it
for file open. 

	call far ptr dword cs:[Original_DOS_vector-ReloCount]
	push es
	push ds

First check if the archiver is actually processing. If not, skip the whole
infection stuff.

	cmp byte ptr cs:[Archiver_active_flag-ReloCount],set
	jne Skip_infection

To get the filename from the DTA is easy

	mov ah,2f
	call far ptr dword cs:[Original_DOS_vector-ReloCount]

ES:BX now points to the beginning of the DTA, so ES:BX+1EH is the filename
and ES:BX+26H points to file extension. Remember the file is not yet open.
But before opening a test for *.exe or *.com has to be done.

	push es
	pop ds
	add bx,1eh
	xchg bx,dx
	cmp word ptr ds:[dx+8],'XE'
	je Open_file
	cmp word ptr ds:[dx+8],'OC'
	jne Exit
	mov ax,3d02h
	call far ptr dword cs:[Original_DOS_vector-ReloCount]
	jc Exit
	xchg ax,bx
	call Infect_file

Here you have a free choice. You can infect the filename pointed to by DS:DX
or the handle in bx . Both are quite easy to code.

	mov ah,3e
	call far ptr dword cs:[Original_DOS_vector-ReloCount]

As the DTA is filled with data, we need to test if stealth is necessary

	cmp byte ptr cs:[Stealth-ReloCount],switch_off
	je Skip_size_stealth
	call Size_stealth_on_4e_and_4f

Before exiting pop all stored registers 

	popf            ; btw, do you know that such a exit can hang
	pop ds          ; the system sometimes ? Everytime you push the 
	pop es          ; flags on the stack inside an interrupt handler, any
	popa            ; other interrupts are disabled. So this part
	retf 2          ; of code can exit the handler with disabled
			; interrupts . That may cause the system to hang with
			; some software written in asm. Languages like
			; C++ and Pascal ( |-P ) have this fixed...

So, now our virus infects files on INT 21H / 4EH and INT 21H / 4FH. But
at this moment that doesn't change anything in the DTA after INT 21H 4EH/4FH.
If we repeat the tests with all packers again , we'll get these results :

  Packer name                   F1              F2              Result
	LHA                     +               +                GOOD
	RAR                     +               +                GOOD

	ARJ                     +               +                GOOD

   Pkzip/Pkunip                 +               -                POOR

	UC                      +               -                POOR

Just changing the INT 21H subfunction on which the virus infects files with
no code addition caused correct infection with two other packers. But
Pkzip/Pkunzip and UC are still a problem for our virus . You can change
the subfunction all you want but this method'll bring nothing more.

As i dissassembled those two 'nice' packers , i found such a structure :

	1.      Get DTA ( INT 21H / 2Fh )
	2.      Store it on the stack
	3.      Set new DTA ( INT 21H / 1A )
	4.      Find 1st matching file ( INT 21 / 4E )
	5.      Pop saved stuff
	6.      Restore original DTA
	and the same x-times round ....

 No open file here !!! That means in plain text : UC and Pkzip first get
information about all the files and then start to process it all. And
as we allowed the INT 21H / 4EH or INT 21H / 4FH call and then infected the
victim, no change in the DTA has been done and so the packer uses values
which were correct BEFORE INFECTION, but aren't afterwards ! The problem is
about fixing the DTA.

UC only requires fixing the file time in the DTA for correct infection. That
means patching the word at address DTA+16H to our value (eg. 40 seconds ).
Then will UC works with our virus fine.

With Pkzip/Pkunzip the situation not so easy. From all five packers tested
by me, only this one gets the size of the packed file from the DTA saved
earlier. That means the packed infected executable will always be corrupted.
Cruel, isn't it ? To fix the problem, we have to fix the DTA, but not only
the file time, but also the file size in DTA. That means to add the size
of the added code to the word at address DTA+1AH and to fix file time on
DTA+16H . 

If you modify the virus code as described above, you get nice results :

  Packer name                   F1              F2              Result
	LHA                     +               +                GOOD
	RAR                     +               +                GOOD

	ARJ                     +               +                GOOD

   Pkzip/Pkunip                 +               +                GOOD

	UC                      +               +                GOOD

	7.) Summary .

To infect a file when a packer is working is a good way of spreading.
The best point for infection is INT 21H / 4EH and INT 21H / 4FH. Just
by placing the infection routine here you can infect RAR, ARJ and LHA with
no problems at all ( no matter what you use as infection marker ). If you
want to handle infection with UC, and your virus uses file time/date
as an infection marker you have to fix it in the DTA after infection.
The most shitty packer is Pkzip/Unzip. You have to handle DTA file time/date 
and file size. This DTA size-fix is NECESSARY for BOTH usual TYPES OF MARKER 
( size padding & time stamp ), cos pkzip processes files only to ITS SAVED

Ofcos, there are several problems here. A packer with graphical user
interface ( rar , uc ) can show the size of the added code, or even the
whole virus ( rar ) as most viruses have stealth disabled when some
packers are active. The possible solution  -  analysing the command
line parameters - is too complicated, too long, so the best idea is
to forget it, hoping the user won't notice it at all. [ this is
the method of solving a problem by it's ignoration - quite common in the
software industry :-) , so why not use it in viruses ? ]
Moreover, the most bloody situation is with AV products able to test
packed archives. Here there is nearly no way to stealth the infected files.
But, this problem can be also ignored, cos testing archives for
infection is slow and takes shitload of time, so the normal user has his
AV package configured to skip testing archives.

And last but not least, the viruses' spread could be too fast, ofcos 
this one problem can be handled very easy . 

I hope this article helped you to gain new information. I am open
for any discussion, and i'll welcome any tips and hints u can tell
me. I can be reached on IRC, on #........ and #... ( channel names
were cleared by the ........ ( also cleared )



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