Microsoft HTML Application
MSHTA a powerful tool to get our code Executed, compatible with JScript and VBScript. Some thing to take in consideration is that the HTA Engine is dependent to Internet Explorer since Windows Vista IE can be removed from Windows which will cause the HTA engine to stop working.
HTA has been supported since IE Version 5 to 9. Further versions still support HTA but some minor features have been turned off.
So let's see what happens when we execute an HTA File. Using a simple payload that calls a reverse shell via PowerShell:
We see our Parent Process mshta calling a child process powershell, with the Command Line used in execution while using PowerShell.
We see with SYsmon that MSHTA was executed even though we have Double CLicked the Application and following is the PowerShell Command executed:
And Process Hacker shows us as well that a Network Connection was established:
And to finalize what can we see in the Network with WireShark:
All the commands in Cleat Text being utilized.