Malicious LNK Files

LNK files are special files on Windows that link to another resource. These are commonly used for shortcuts, toolbars, and recently used folders.

Malware often abuses LNK files to masquerade as legitimate files and maintaining persistence. A popular location for LNK files to be placed for persistence purposes is in Startup Folders.

LNK files binary format documentation can be found here:

This PowerShell script will parse and display LNK files in human-readable format:

Function Get-LNKInfo {
    param ([string]$Path)

    $sh = New-Object -ComObject "WScript.Shell"
    if ($Path -eq "") { $Path = "." }
    $lnks = Get-ChildItem -Path $Path -Filter "*.lnk" -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue -Force
    $lnks | ForEach-Object { $sh.Createshortcut($_.FullName) }

# Example:
# Get-LNKInfo C:\Users\ | Where-Object {$_.TargetPath -match "cmd"}

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