What Is QBOT Malware – An HTML Smuggling Technique

QBot, also known as Quackbot, is a banking Trojan that was discovered for the first time in 2007. Qbot has emerged as one of the most dangerous banking Trojans in the world today and continues to pose a severe and persistent threat to enterprises. Its initial methods for delivering payloads, such as employing VBA macros, Excel 4 macros, VBS files, etc., have altered over time. The new method that QBot employs in its assault is the “HTML Smuggling assault” method.

What Is An HTML Smuggling Assault?


An attack method known as HTML Smuggling involves the attacker smuggling a specially encoded malware or payload. It carries out its function by utilizing JavaScript and HTML 5. This strategy can be used in a variety of ways to attack. Some typical methods include:

Anchor Tag Usage

A page-to-page link is defined by the HTML anchor tag, which is “.” It may make a link to any URL, including other web pages, files, and locations. Additionally, we may use an anchor tag to download any file housed on any server.

JavaScript Blob Usage

Blobs in JavaScript are objects that are a group of bytes containing data that is saved in a file. Data from blobs is kept in the user’s memory. Where a real file would have been utilized, this group of bytes is used instead.

Embed Element Usage

In an HTML document, it is used to embed other applications, most often multimedia assets like audio or video. It serves as a container for plug-ins like flash animations that are embedded.

Why Is This Method Employed?


The victim decodes any embedded files when they are opened by the HTML attachment and saves them locally. Cybercriminals are increasingly using this attack strategy because it avoids network filters and firewalls because no bad stuff can flow through due to encoded patterns. It was discovered that the “document.createElement” method had produced an embedded HTML element.

This tag was used by attackers to deploy payloads inside zip archives. The user is tricked into thinking they are downloading a zip file when actually the zip is already embedded in the HTML file. The disc image file, which again comprises a number of files, is what we obtain after extracting the zip file.

What Can We Do To Protect Our PC?

This issue can be resolved if we prevent Javascript but it is generally not possible to disable JavaScript because so many legitimate systems and web applications depend on it. Additionally, in order to reduce file sizes and speed up web applications, several respectable JavaScript frameworks use obfuscation techniques.

So banning JavaScript that has been disguised is not a viable approach. Instead, we can ensure that we have a real-time Antivirus on our PC that can detect malware the moment it enters our PC.

Bonus Tip – Use A Real-Time Antivirus Like T9 Antivirus

T9 Antivirus

T9 Antivirus is one of the state-of-the-art Antivirus applications that offer real-time protection on your PC. This rare feature is not available with most Antivirus applications across the globe. With enhanced security shields, T9 Antivirus keeps a constant watch on your PC and identifies the malware the moment it enters your computer. Here are some of its features:

Malware And Exploit Protection

The system is kept safe from malware, viruses, zero-day threats, PUPs, Trojans, and adware thanks to this defense layer.

Real-Time Defense

Discover and stop malware before it infects your device and makes you a victim of identity theft, data breaches, or other similar security violations.

Delete Any Potentially Unwanted Startup Components

Avoid becoming a victim of unidentified applications that run in the background and jeopardize the security of your system and data by quickly identifying and removing dangerous starting items.

Web Protection

A shield called Web Protection is intended to safeguard users from potentially harmful websites. It warns visitors and stops them from visiting harmful or shady websites.

Firewall Defense

Block dangerous programs or attackers from accessing the network and data before any potential harm is done.

Turn Off All Ads

Nobody likes seeing those unwanted and intrusive advertisements while online. Block these annoying advertisements with the Stop All Ads browser plugin.

Optimizer & Shredder For PC

To achieve faster load times, delete unnecessary and unused files from your computer. For complete privacy and protection, use Shredder to completely wipe sensitive data and render it unrecoverable.

Updating Definitions Frequently

Antivirus software requires periodic upgrades in order to identify and eliminate these threats as malware threats constantly change and crooks get more vicious. Therefore, T9 Antivirus installs fresh database definition updates on a regular basis to keep you safe against the most recent threats. This aids in preventing security flaws from being exploited by hackers and keeps them patched.

The Final Word On What Is QBOT – HTML Smuggling Technique And How To Protect Your PC?

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