Netskope named a Leader in the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge. Get the report

  • Why Netskope chevron

    Changing the way networking and security work together.

  • Our Customers chevron

    Netskope serves more than 3,000 customers worldwide including more than 25 of the Fortune 100

  • Our Partners chevron

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

Still Highest in Execution.
Still Furthest in Vision.

Learn why 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ named Netskope a Leader for Security Service Edge the third consecutive year.

Get the report
Netskope Named a Leader in the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge graphic for menu
We help our customers to be Ready for Anything

See our customers
Woman smiling with glasses looking out window
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

On Patents, Trolls, and Innovation
In this episode host Emily Wearmouth chats with Suzanne Oliver, an intellectual property expert, and Krishna Narayanaswamy, co-founder and CTO of Netskope, about the world of patents.

Play the podcast
On Patents, Trolls, and Innovation
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 Security Service Edge?

Explore the security side of SASE, the future of network and protection in the cloud.

Learn about Security Service Edge
Four-way roundabout
  • 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

Pony Malware – How to Protect User and Wallet Data

Jan 24 2018
Pony Loader
Threat Research

What is Pony Loader?

Pony Loader is a botnet controller that targets user credentials on Windows computers. It has been around since 2011, and it is a big threat for credential theft. Pony Loader is also known as Pony, Pony Stealer, and FAreIT. When a computer is infected, Pony Loader runs in the background of the computer gathering private information about the system and the users connected with that system. Pony Loader can load other malware onto the system, or steal credentials from the system and send them to its own server. You may not even know that your computer has been infected with Pony Loader, as Pony Loader may disable antivirus software, and it can sometimes be set up to terminate after credentials are stolen.

How does Pony Loader steal credentials?

Pony Loader can steal credentials from many programs including web browsers like Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer. Pony Loader can also steal credentials from FTP applications, email accounts, and cryptocurrency wallets and more. Pony Loader steals credentials by reverse-engineering passwords that were in your computer’s encrypted storage. It can also steal credentials by using brute-force attacks, where software is used to generate many consecutive credential guesses. Once the credentials are stolen, Pony Loader sends the data back to its server where the hackers can use the data to steal money from users’ bank accounts or cryptocurrency wallets. The hackers may also sell the data to any number of sources.

Netskope Threat Research Labs has detected two variants of a data theft malware named Pony Loader resident in SaaS accounts, with one looking for around 35 different crypto-currency wallet credentials. The Pony Loader malware (also referred to as Fareit), is exclusively used in phishing campaigns, ever since the crimeware source code was made available for sale in the underground hacking forums. Netskope Threat Protection detects the two Pony Loader malware as Gen:Variant.Injector.124 and Gen:Variant.Midie.41711.

Phishing Email attachments

Phishing techniques—such as users opening an infected link in an email— can trick users into accidentally downloading Pony Loader. The phishing emails that distribute Pony Loader use enticing messages and filenames to encourage the recipients to open the email and download the infected file. These email attachments are often automatically synced to cloud storage services using file collaboration settings in popular SaaS applications and third-party applications. Once Pony Loader is in the computer’s system, it can then be used to download other forms of malware, like Vawtrack (used to steal more credentials). As Pony Loader is also a botnet controller, once it is in a computer’s system it can use its botnet to attack others.

The email attachments we observed are as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2.

Figure 1: Phishing email with ‘Christmas Order.ace’ attachment

Figure 2: Phishing email with REZKAR Korea order list end of year 11-2017.r11 attachment

As mentioned in Figure 1 and Figure 2, the email attachments have extensions .ace and .r11. Traditional compression tools like WinRAR support the decompression R11 and ACE file formats. We have also detailed the usage of .R11 file extension by Nanocore RAT in our previous research. Since decompression is also supported by these tools, the compressed archive with these extensions detonate successfully when the victim inadvertently executes the file.

Analysis of the Pony Loader Binaries

Both the Pony Loader archives we observed contained binaries that are packed and complied with Microsoft Visual Basic. The details of the samples, detection by Netskope Threat Protection and Netskope Advanced Heuristics Analysis is as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Email attachments and detection from Netskope Threat Protection

Both the payloads are responsible for stealing credentials from several password authentication services like FTP accounts and browsers from the victim’s machine. This has already been detailed by us in our earlier research. The presence of this binary can be identified by a unique string “YUIPWDFILE0YUIPKDFILE0YUICRYPTED0YUI1.0” in the memory of the running process of the Pony Loader binary

File name – REZKAR Korea order list end of year 11-2017.exe

Netskope detection – Gen:Variant.Injector.124

C&C – http://mangiaine[.]com/bobventures/Panel/gate[.]php

At the time of writing, the C&C admin panel was active. The file path of the C&C, bobventures/Panel/ is as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: C&C path bobventures/Panel/

The Pony Loader login panel is as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Pony Loader login panel

The packet capture of the data sent to the C&C is shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6: C&C connection to mangiaine[.]com

Interestingly, the domain maingiane[.]com has the name server as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 7: maingiane[.]com name server is associated to a website named Domains4Bitcoins that allows to buy domains and hosting with Bitcoin.

File name – Christmas Order.exe

Netskope detection – Gen:Variant.Midie.41711

C&C –  http://prontocasamos[.][.]php

In addition to data exfiltration, this version of Pony Loader tries to retrieve credentials from 35 Cryptocurrency wallets as shown in Table 1.

Pony Loader Cryptocurrency Wallet targets
DigitalcoinMincoinGoldCoin (GLD)YacoinBBQcoin

Table 1: Pony Loader Cryptocurrency Wallet targets

Additionally, the malware also contains a list of 232 common passwords to brute-force user accounts.

The passwords used by the malware are listed below

“samantha,michelle,david,eminem,scooter,asdfasdf,sammy,baby,diamond,maxwell,justin,james,chicken,danielle,iloveyou2,prince,junior,rainbow,nintendo,peanut,none,church,bubbles,robert,destiny,loving,gfhjkm,mylove,jasper,hallo,cocacola,helpme,nicole,guitar,billgates,looking,scooby,joseph,genesis, forum,emmanuel,cassie,victory,passw0rd,foobar,ilovegod,nathan,blabla,digital,peaches,football1,power, thunder,gateway,iloveyou!,football,tigger,corvette,angel,killer,creative,google,zxcvbnm,startrek,ashley,cheese,sunshine,christ,soccer,qwerty1,friend,summer,merlin,phpbb,jordan,saved,dexter,viper,winner,sparky,windows, 123abc,lucky,anthony,jesus,ghbdtn,admin,hotdog,baseball,password1,dragon,trustno1,jason,internet,mustdie, john,letmein,mike,knight,jordan23,abc123,red123,praise,freedom,jesus1,london,computer,microsoft,muffin,qwert,mother,master,qazwsx,samuel,canada,slayer,rachel,onelove,qwerty,prayer,iloveyou1,whatever,god,password,blessing,snoopy,1q2w3e4r,cookie,chelsea,pokemon,hahaha,aaaaaa,hardcore,shadow,welcome,mustang,bailey,blahblah,matrix,jessica,stella,benjamin,testing,secret,trinity,richard,peace,shalom,monkey,iloveyou,thomas,blink182,jasmine,purple,test,angels,grace,hello,poop,blessed,heaven,hunter,pepper,john316,cool,buster,andrew,faith,ginger,hockey,hello1,angel1,superman,enter,daniel,forever,nothing,dakota,kitten,asdf,banana,gates,flower,taylor,lovely,hannah,princess,compaq,jennifer,myspace1,smokey,matthew,harley,rotimi,soccer1,single,joshua,green,123qwe,starwars,love,silver,austin,michael,amanda,charlie,bandit,chris,happy,hope,maggie,maverick,online,spirit,george,friends,dallas,adidas,1q2w3e,orange,testtest,asshole,fapple,biteme,william,mickey,asdfgh,wisdom,batman”

At the time of analysis, the C&C was not active and not serving any response.


Pony Loader is a well-known crimeware used for data theft. Based on the above analysis we have observed both the payloads responsible for stealing credentials from several password authentication services like FTP accounts and browsers. Additionally, one version of Pony Loader tries to retrieve credentials from cryptocurrency wallets and also perform brute-force activity of the user accounts. With increased attention in cryptocurrency and the presence of data theft trojans like Pony Loader, users must pay close attention to the social engineering tactics used by threat actors, and avoid opening any suspicious emails and attachments.

General Recommendations

Netskope recommends the following to combat cloud malware and threats:

  • Detect and remediate cloud threats using a threat-aware CASB solution like Netskope and enforce policy on usage of unsanctioned services as well as unsanctioned instances of sanctioned cloud services
  • Sample policies to enforce:
    • Scan all uploads from unmanaged devices to sanctioned cloud applications for malware
    • Scan all uploads from remote devices to sanctioned cloud applications for malware
    • Scan all downloads from unsanctioned cloud applications for malware
    • Scan all downloads from unsanctioned instances of sanctioned cloud applications for malware
    • Enforce quarantine/block actions on malware detection to reduce user impact
    • Block unsanctioned instances of sanctioned/well known cloud apps, to prevent attackers from exploiting user trust in cloud. While this may seem a little restrictive, it significantly reduces the risk of malware infiltration attempts via cloud
  • Enforce DLP policies to control files and data en route to or from your corporate environment and employees
  • Regularly back up and turn on versioning for critical content in cloud services
  • Enable the “View known file extensions” option on Windows machines
  • Warn users to avoid executing unsigned macros and macros from an untrusted source, unless they are very sure that they are benign, if unsure, have them work with the proper security department to prevent further ploys and damages
  • Whenever you receive a hyperlink, hover over it with your mouse over it to ensure it’s legitimate
  • Enterprise users should always keep their systems and antivirus updated with the latest releases and patches
  • Administrators can also consider Improving credential protection for Microsoft Windows at a company-wide level
  • Warn users to avoid executing any file unless they are very sure that they are benign or have them work with the correct security department if they are unsure
  • Warn users against opening untrusted attachments, regardless of their extensions, filenames, or who it appears to be received from
  • Keep all systems and antivirus updated with the latest releases and patches
author image
Ashwin Vamshi
Ashwin Vamshi is a Security Researcher with innate interest in targeted attacks and malwares using cloud services. He is primarily focusing in identifying new attack vectors and malwares, campaigns and threat actors using ‘cloud as an attack vector.’

Stay informed!

Subscribe for the latest from the Netskope Blog