Netskope debuts as a Leader in the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™️ for Single-Vendor Secure Access Service Edge Get the report

  • Why Netskope chevron

    Changing the way networking and security work together.

  • Our Customers chevron

    Netskope serves more than 3,400 customers worldwide including more than 30 of the Fortune 100

  • Our Partners chevron

    We partner with security leaders to help you secure your journey to the cloud.

A Leader in SSE.
Now a Leader in Single-Vendor SASE.

Learn why Netskope debuted as a leader in the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™️ for Single-Vendor Secure Access Service Edge

Get the report
Customer Visionary Spotlights

Read how innovative customers are successfully navigating today’s changing networking & security landscape through the Netskope One platform.

Get the eBook
Customer Visionary Spotlights
Netskope’s partner-centric go-to-market strategy enables our partners to maximize their growth and profitability while transforming enterprise security.

Learn about Netskope Partners
Group of diverse young professionals smiling
Your Network of Tomorrow

Plan your path toward a faster, more secure, and more resilient network designed for the applications and users that you support.

Get the white paper
Your Network of Tomorrow
Introducing the Netskope One Platform

Netskope One is a cloud-native platform that offers converged security and networking services to enable your SASE and zero trust transformation.

Learn about Netskope One
Abstract with blue lighting
Embrace a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture

Netskope NewEdge is the world’s largest, highest-performing security private cloud and provides customers with unparalleled service coverage, performance and resilience.

Learn about NewEdge
Netskope Cloud Exchange

The Netskope Cloud Exchange (CE) provides customers with powerful integration tools to leverage investments across their security posture.

Learn about Cloud Exchange
Netskope video
The platform of the future is Netskope

Intelligent Security Service Edge (SSE), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Cloud Firewall, Next Generation Secure Web Gateway (SWG), and Private Access for ZTNA built natively into a single solution to help every business on its journey to Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture.

Go to Products Overview
Netskope video
Next Gen SASE Branch is hybrid — connected, secured, and automated

Netskope Next Gen SASE Branch converges Context-Aware SASE Fabric, Zero-Trust Hybrid Security, and SkopeAI-powered Cloud Orchestrator into a unified cloud offering, ushering in a fully modernized branch experience for the borderless enterprise.

Learn about Next Gen SASE Branch
People at the open space office
Designing a SASE Architecture For Dummies

Get your complimentary copy of the only guide to SASE design you’ll ever need.

Get the eBook
Make the move to market-leading cloud security services with minimal latency and high reliability.

Learn about NewEdge
Lighted highway through mountainside switchbacks
Safely enable the use of generative AI applications with application access control, real-time user coaching, and best-in-class data protection.

Learn how we secure generative AI use
Safely Enable ChatGPT and Generative AI
Zero trust solutions for SSE and SASE deployments

Learn about Zero Trust
Boat driving through open sea
Netskope achieves FedRAMP High Authorization

Choose Netskope GovCloud to accelerate your agency’s transformation.

Learn about Netskope GovCloud
Netskope GovCloud
  • Resources chevron

    Learn more about how Netskope can help you secure your journey to the cloud.

  • Blog chevron

    Learn how Netskope enables security and networking transformation through security service edge (SSE)

  • Events and Workshops chevron

    Stay ahead of the latest security trends and connect with your peers.

  • Security Defined chevron

    Everything you need to know in our cybersecurity encyclopedia.

Security Visionaries Podcast

The Convergence of CIO & CISO Roles
Join host Max Havey on the latest episode of Security Visionaries as he sits down with guest Jadee Hanson, CISO at Vanta.

Play the podcast
The Convergence of CIO & CISO Roles
Latest Blogs

Read how Netskope can enable the Zero Trust and SASE journey through security service edge (SSE) capabilities.

Read the blog
Sunrise and cloudy sky
SASE Week 2023: Your SASE journey starts now!

Replay sessions from the fourth annual SASE Week.

Explore sessions
SASE Week 2023
What is SASE?

Learn about the future convergence of networking and security tools in today’s cloud dominant business model.

Learn about SASE
  • Company chevron

    We help you stay ahead of cloud, data, and network security challenges.

  • Leadership chevron

    Our leadership team is fiercely committed to doing everything it takes to make our customers successful.

  • Customer Solutions chevron

    We are here for you and with you every step of the way, ensuring your success with Netskope.

  • Training and Certification chevron

    Netskope training will help you become a cloud security expert.

Supporting sustainability through data security

Netskope is proud to participate in Vision 2045: an initiative aimed to raise awareness on private industry’s role in sustainability.

Find out more
Supporting Sustainability Through Data Security
Thinkers, builders, dreamers, innovators. Together, we deliver cutting-edge cloud security solutions to help our customers protect their data and people.

Meet our team
Group of hikers scaling a snowy mountain
Netskope’s talented and experienced Professional Services team provides a prescriptive approach to your successful implementation.

Learn about Professional Services
Netskope Professional Services
Secure your digital transformation journey and make the most of your cloud, web, and private applications with Netskope training.

Learn about Training and Certifications
Group of young professionals working

Cloud CRM Services as a Malware Attack Vector

Feb 09 2017
Cloud Malware
Cloud Security
Netskope Threat Research Labs
Tools and Tips
Vulnerability Advisory

Cloud Customer Relationship Management (CRM) services are broadly used, house organization’s most critical customer data, and deliver those data to corporate users via the web. Netskope Threat Research Labs have identified malicious files related to credential stealers and backdoors residing in popular cloud CRM services. These files can be shared/collaborated on within an organization’s cloud CRM service thereby creating a new malware attack and propagation vector. The malicious files identified by the Netskope Threat Research Labs in cloud CRM services are detected by Netskope Threat Protection as Backdoor.Zbot.O, Backdoor.Generckd.3017777 and W97M.Downloader.UA.

Cloud CRM services as an attack vector in the cloud

The malicious files residing inside the cloud CRM services are typically viewed as internal files. Either the sales organization users or other users involved in the customer relationship process will open malicious files they believe to be associated with a sales engagement at a later date or as per the CRM workflow. This is a critical compromise, since some of the users may be operating on a device that they view as relatively hardened against malware. This makes them less likely to scrutinize the attachment. That said, other users involved in the customer relationship process may genuinely be on a vulnerable endpoint.

Attack delivery

The delivery of malware from cloud CRM services starts with the initial step of uploading malicious files into the enterprise service accounts. There are a number of  ways in which malicious files make their way into these services. An enterprise user operating on an unmanaged and insecure device could upload files as attachments to objects in the service. A large number of enterprises provide their vendors and partners access to their CRM services for uploading documents such as invoices, purchase orders, etc. (and often these happen as automated workflows). The enterprise has no control over the vendor or partner device and, most importantly, over the files being uploaded from them. In many cases, vendor- or partner-uploaded files carry with them a high level of implicit trust. Along with these, the growth of interconnected cloud services provide new paths for malicious files to make their way into cloud CRM services. For example, a number of popular services integrate with cloud storage services such as Box, Dropbox, and Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive for Business, as well as collaboration services such as Slack. Once inside the cloud CRM service, malware get delivered to unsuspecting users via the implicit CRM workflows and collaboration features.

Attack depiction

The visual depiction of the cloud CRM service as an attack vector and Netskope Threat Protection are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Visual depiction of the CRM service as an attack vector and protection using Netskope

Malware payloads

We observed three different data stealing malware payloads in popular cloud CRM services. We will talk briefly about these payloads in the following sections of this blog.

Pony payload


  • MD5 – c29bef85ec6c0e1cc8bcb5a54d3e4146
  • Netskope detection – Backdoor.Zbot.O


The first malware we analyzed was part of an archive file. These files typically have file name such as <bankname>.<something>.zip. The malware payload within the archived file was a PONY botnet that was leaked online a couple of years ago. The PONY botnet is infamous and well-known malware extensively used for credential stealing from software such as FTP clients, email clients, remote desktop clients, browser saved passwords, and more. The malicious file we observed had a PDF icon with the extension as executable, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Malicious archive file contains executable file with PDF icon

Once the payload gets executed, it makes a number of HTTP POST requests along with encrypted data to its command and control (C&C) server (typical PONY botnet behavior), as shown in Figure 3.


Figure 3: PONY botnet HTTP POST requests to its C&C server

The memory strings inside the executed payload show PONY’s C&C server lists along with links to payloads which will install other malware, as shown in Figure 4.
FIgure 4: C&C servers and other malware URLs list in the memory dump

The links to C&C and other malicious URLs are down at the moment, but they probably download other malware like Zeus. The PONY botnet steals credentials from different software like FTP clients, email clients, etc., as seen from the strings found in the binary, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: PONY botnet steals information from different software

Predator Pain Logger payload


  • MD5 – 3625a35efa62c96dbca391fe9f80c879
  • Netskope detection – Backdoor.Generckd.3017777


The second malware we analysed was part of an archive file as well. These files typically have the file name “PO <somenumbers>.zip” or “PO <somenumbers>.7z,” typically disguising themselves as compressed files related to purchase orders to increase the probability they’ll be opened. The payload within the archived file was of type, “SCR,” as shown Figure 6.

Figure 6: DOT NET assembly payload with “SCR” extension

We identified the payload as “Predator Pain Logger,” whose builder was also leaked online. The payload executable comes as a DOT NET assembly file which incorporates a couple of software modules used for recovering lost passwords from users’ devices. Once the Predator Pain Logger payload gets executed, these modules, along with keylogging capabilities, can steal sensitive information from users’ devices.

Software modules

While analyzing the Predator Pain Logger payload, we observed the two following software modules incorporated into it.

1) WebBrowserPassView

“WebBrowserPassView” is a password recovery tool from NirSoft that reveals passwords stored by different web browsers such as Internet Explorer (Version 4.0 – 11.0), Mozilla Firefox (all versions), Google Chrome, Safari, and Opera. This can be confirmed by looking into the strings within the memory snapshot created when the payload is executed, as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Memory dump of “WebBrowserPassView” software module

2) Mail PassView

Mail PassView is another password recovery tool from NirSoft that reveals the passwords and other account details for the different email clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Yahoo!, etc. Here are the memory strings confirming usage of this module, as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8: Memory dump of Mail PassView software module

Lastly, the payload installs a keylogger as well as a Bitcoin/MineCraft stealer program to capture sensitive data, as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9: Payloads can capture clipboard data/screenshots and steal Bitcoins  

Office macro downloader


  • MD5 – a3cf605a4a0553bac2396c809a34b045
  • Netskope detection – W97M.Downloadr.UA


The third malware payload we analyzed was a Microsoft Office document file with hidden macros inside it, as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10: Microsoft Office document file containing hidden malicious macros

The macros inside the document file were password protected in order to make the manual reverse engineering and analysis difficult, as shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11: Macros inside are password protected

However, password protection can easily be defeated using a method described here. After removing this protection we analyzed the obfuscated VBA macro code inside document file, as shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12: Obfuscated VBA macro code inside document file

At the time of writing this blog, the main payload wasn’t available for analysis but an earlier analysis report of a similar malicious sample shows additional malicious files being downloaded by the payload. One of the dropped file by this payload suggest final malware capable of stealing data was hosted on, as shown in Figure 13. The final payload too wasn’t available for further analysis.