Agent Tesla:
Advanced tactics

Explore the advanced tactics of Agent Tesla, a formidable infostealer, known for its Excel exploitation, stealthy data exfiltration, and enhanced obfuscation.

Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) is critical for organizations to have proactive security, but security teams should know how to build unique threat intelligence that fits perfectly to their specific needs and challenges

In this chapter, we embark on an exploration of the evolving tactics exhibited by Agent Tesla, a significant and persistent infostealer. This malware strain has displayed remarkable advancements in recent years, making it a noteworthy adversary in the cybersecurity landscape.

Excel Exploitation:

One of the standout features of Agent Tesla’s tactics is its reliance on Excel exploitation. This means that the malware spreads through specially crafted Excel documents, taking advantage of well-established vulnerabilities, such as CVE-2017-11822 and CVE-2018-0802. 

These vulnerabilities have been known for some time, yet the effectiveness of this technique highlights a crucial lesson in cybersecurity. It underscores the importance of regular patching and system updates. Neglecting these vital practices can leave organizations susceptible to not just Agent Tesla but a range of threats that exploit known vulnerabilities.

Stealthy Exfiltration:

Another notable aspect of Agent Tesla is its stealthy data exfiltration techniques. The malware uses a variety of communication channels for this purpose, including HTTP(S), SMTP, FTP, and, intriguingly, even Telegram. This diversification in exfiltration channels speaks to Agent Tesla’s adaptability. Such adaptability complicates the task of detecting and responding to the malware.

 Organizations must be aware that threats like Agent Tesla are not limited to one specific mode of operation; they can pivot to different communication methods, making their actions more challenging to trace and thwart.

Stepping into Ransomware Territory: A Shift in Focus

RedLine’s evolution isn’t limited to information theft. It’s increasingly venturing into ransomware deployment. This transformation underscores the critical risk posed by ransomware and the dire consequences it holds for organizations, adding a new dimension to the cybersecurity landscape.

Enhanced Obfuscation:

Agent Tesla further enhances its complexity through the use of sophisticated obfuscation tactics. Steganography, a technique that embeds data within seemingly innocuous files, is part of the malware’s toolbox. Moreover, it employs process injection, which allows it to run its code within legitimate processes, camouflaging its activities. 

This level of obfuscation adds an extra layer of difficulty for cybersecurity experts when analyzing and detecting the threat. It’s like Agent Tesla is wearing a cloak of invisibility, making it challenging to identify and mitigate its impact.

In conclusion, the constantly evolving tactics of Agent Tesla serve as a stark reminder of the pressing need for advanced defense strategies and heightened cybersecurity awareness. The dynamic nature of modern threats, like Agent Tesla, demands a proactive approach to cybersecurity. Organizations must stay vigilant and continuously adapt their security measures to address the evolving landscape of infostealers and other malicious actors.

Building reliable threat intelligence against infostealer threats

Chapter 5: 
Building a Unified Front Against Infostealers

Table of Contents

See VMRay in action.
Build reliable and relevant threat intelligence against the evolving malware and phishing threats.

Further resources


Build the most reliable and actionable Threat Intelligence.


Watch our webinar from at SANS Cyber Seolutions Fest 2023


Cultivate Intelligence on Targeted and Previously Unseen Threats

Welcome to the playground.

Explore what you can do with VMRay.

Click on the yellow dots to check the report formats, see the overview, explore the network connections of the sample, malicious behavior, and relevant files, map the threat on MITRE ATT&CK Framework, analyze and download IOCs and artifacts.

The analysis report tabs are available both for VMRayDeepResponse and VMRayTotalInsight. The bundle of VMRay FinalVerdict and VMRayDeepResponse also offers access to the analysis report tabs.

We’re sorry. 

The interactive tour is not available on mobile devices.

Unveiling the power:
See our experts showcasing VMRay’s capabilities.

Analysis of a malicious file

Join Fatih Akar from the VMRay team as he provides a detailed walkthrough of a malicious LNK file, a prevalent attack vector since Microsoft’s Office macros block.

Gain valuable insights into each tab of our comprehensive analysis report and get a sneak peek into what you’ll be exploring.

Analysis of a malicious URL

Join Andrey Voitenko, an expert in advanced malware and phishing analysis from the VMRay team, as he demonstrates how to submit emails and URLs to the VMRay platform using built-in connectors.

Discover the capabilities of our new Automation Dashboard, enabling one-click automation with your existing EDR, SOAR, SIEM, and TIP tools. Monitor analysis data seamlessly from your VMRay dashboard and unlock new levels of efficiency in your security operations.

Integrating with existing tools

Watch Michael Bourton showcasing the seamless integration of VMRay platform with your existing security stacks.

Discover how effortlessly you can leverage unparalleled detection and analysis capabilities by utilizing dedicated connectors or our Rest API.

Experience VMRay in Action:
Explore Real-world Malware Analysis Reports

Get a firsthand look at the power and capabilities of the VMRay platform by delving into our sample malware and phishing analysis reports.

Immerse yourself in a range of report formats, providing comprehensive insights.

Dive into the overview, explore intricate network connections, analyze malicious behavior in detail, and map threats using the MITRE ATT&CK Framework. See the possibilities to download clear IOCs.

Uncover the capabilities that await you.

Calculate how much malware false positives are costing your organization:
Malware False Positive Cost Calculator