As the entry point, they exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft Word with the help of a crafted Word document they spread via email. The same approach would work with any other exploit.
After that, they make sure that the malicious activities survive system re-boot by creating an encoded autostart registry key. To remain undetected, this key is disguised/hidden.
Decoding this key shows two new aspects: Code which makes sure the affected system has Microsoft PowerShell installed and additional code.
The additional code is a Base64-encoded PowerShell script, which calls and executes the shellcode (assembly).
As a final step, this shellcode executes a Windows binary, the payload. In the case analyzed, the binary tried to connect to hard coded IP addresses to receive further commands, but the attackers could have triggered any other action at this point.
All activities are stored in the registry. No file is ever created.
Malware that resides in the registry only – a rare and rather new approach