Malicious AutoHotkey Scripts Used to Steal Info, Remotely Access Systems

Attackers are targeting potential victims using a malicious AutoHotkey script to avoid detection and to steal information, to drop more payloads, and to remotely access compromised machines using TeamViewer​​​​​​.

AutoHotkey (also known as AHK) is an open-source scripting language for Windows back in 2003 to add keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) support in AutoIt, another free Windows automation language.

The malicious AutoHotkey script payload is delivered with the help of a decoy Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook email attachment named Military Financing.xlsm after the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program of the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency to trick potential targets into enabling macros to view the file’s contents.

As discovered by Trend Micro’s Cyber Threat Research Team. once the victims enabled macros in Microsoft Excel, the XSLM document will “drop the legitimate script engine AutoHotkey along with a malicious script file.”

Attack chain

Immediately after, the malicious script will be executed and will automatically connect to its command-and-control (CC) server downloading more

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