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Malware And Hacking Forum Seized, Dozens Arrested

Malware And Hacking Forum Seized, Dozens Arrested

July 16, 2015Swati Khandelwal
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have arrested more than 70 people suspected of carrying out cyber criminal activities associated with one of the most active underground web forums known as Darkode . Darkode , also used by notorious Lizard Squad , was an online bazaar for cyber criminals looking to buy and sell hacking tools, botnet tools, zero-day exploits, ransomware programs, stolen credit cards, spam services and many illicit products and services. Darkode had been in operation since 2007 before law enforcement authorities seized it this week as part of an investigation carried out in 20 different countries. "We have dismantled a cyber-hornet's' nest...which was believed by many, including the hackers themselves, to be impenetrable," said U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton . The crackdown, which the FBI dubbed Operation Shrouded Horizon , was initiated two years ago by its counterparts in Europe, Brazil and law enforcement agencies in more
DDoS Botnet Leverages Thousands of Insecure SOHO Routers

DDoS Botnet Leverages Thousands of Insecure SOHO Routers

May 13, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Small office and home office (SOHO) routers are an increasingly common target for cybercriminals, not because of any vulnerability, but because most routers are loosely managed and often deployed with default administrator credentials. A new report suggests that hackers are using large botnet of tens of thousands of insecure home and office-based routers to launch Distributed Denial-of-Service ( DDoS ) attacks . Security researchers from DDoS protection firm Incapsula uncovered a router-based botnet, still largely active while investigating a series of DDoS attacks against its customers that have been underway since at least last December, 2014. Over the past four months, researchers have recorded malicious traffic targeting 60 of its clients came from some 40,269 IP addresses belonging to 1,600 ISPs around the world. Almost all of the infected routers that were part of the botnet appear to be ARM-based models from a California-based networking company Ubiquiti Net
Microsoft offers $250,000 reward for information of Rustock Botnet

Microsoft offers $250,000 reward for information of Rustock Botnet

July 18, 2011Mohit Kumar
Microsoft offers $250,000 reward for information of Rustock Botnet Microsoft is offering a $250,000 reward for providing information of Rustock botnet. The Rustock botnet is responsible for a great deal of cyber crime, spam (the botnet has capacity for 30 billion spam mails every day), dodgy pharmaceuticals, counterfeit stuff and pirated software. The size of the Rustock botnet has already been cut in half, but that still leaves it with hundreds of thousands of systems under its control. In order to bring down the entire botnet Microsoft is now turning to the legal system. Microsoft Declares " Today, we take our pursuit a step further. After publishing notices in two Russian newspapers last month to notify the Rustock operators of the civil lawsuit, we decided to augment our civil discovery efforts to identify those responsible for controlling the notorious Rustock botnet by issuing a monetary reward in the amount of $250,000 for new information that results in the identifi
Mozi IoT Botnet Now Also Targets Netgear, Huawei, and ZTE Network Gateways

Mozi IoT Botnet Now Also Targets Netgear, Huawei, and ZTE Network Gateways

August 20, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Mozi, a peer-to-peer (P2P) botnet known to target IoT devices, has gained new capabilities that allow it to achieve persistence on network gateways manufactured by Netgear, Huawei, and ZTE, according to latest findings. "Network gateways are a particularly juicy target for adversaries because they are ideal as initial access points to corporate networks," researchers at Microsoft Security Threat Intelligence Center and Section 52 at Azure Defender for IoT  said  in a technical write-up. "By infecting routers, they can perform man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks—via HTTP hijacking and DNS spoofing—to compromise endpoints and deploy ransomware or cause safety incidents in OT facilities." First  documented  by Netlab 360 in December 2019, Mozi has a history of infecting routers and digital video recorders in order to assemble them into an IoT botnet, which could be abused for launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, data exfiltration, and payload execut
Beware: New Matryosh DDoS Botnet Targeting Android-Based Devices

Beware: New Matryosh DDoS Botnet Targeting Android-Based Devices

February 04, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
A nascent malware campaign has been spotted co-opting Android devices into a botnet with the primary purpose of carrying out distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Called " Matryosh " by Qihoo 360's Netlab researchers, the latest threat has been found reusing the Mirai botnet framework and propagates through exposed Android Debug Bridge (ADB) interfaces to infect Android devices and ensnare them into its network. ADB is a  command-line tool  part of the Android SDK that handles communications and allows developers to install and debug apps on Android devices. While this option is turned off by default on most Android smartphones and tablets, some vendors ship with this feature enabled, thus allowing unauthenticated attackers to connect remotely via the 5555 TCP port and open the devices directly to exploitation. This is not the first time a botnet has taken advantage of ADB to infect vulnerable devices. In July 2018, open ADB ports were used to spread multip
Microsoft and Other Tech Companies Take Down TrickBot Botnet

Microsoft and Other Tech Companies Take Down TrickBot Botnet

October 13, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Days after the US Government took steps to disrupt the notorious TrickBot botnet , a group of cybersecurity and tech companies has detailed a separate coordinated effort to take down the malware's back-end infrastructure. The joint collaboration, which involved Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit , Lumen's Black Lotus Labs , ESET , Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center ( FS-ISAC ), NTT , and Broadcom's Symantec , was undertaken after their request to halt TrickBot's operations was granted by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The development comes after the US Cyber Command mounted a campaign to thwart TrickBot's spread over concerns of ransomware attacks targeting voting systems ahead of the presidential elections next month. Attempts aimed at impeding the botnet were first reported by KrebsOnSecurity early this month. Microsoft and its partners analyzed over 186,000 TrickBot samples, using it to track down the m
Malicious USB Drives Infect 35,000 Computers With Crypto-Mining Botnet

Malicious USB Drives Infect 35,000 Computers With Crypto-Mining Botnet

April 24, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers from ESET on Thursday said they took down a portion of a malware botnet comprising at least 35,000 compromised Windows systems that attackers were secretly using to mine Monero cryptocurrency. The botnet, named "VictoryGate," has been active since May 2019, with infections mainly reported in Latin America, particularly Peru accounting for 90% of the compromised devices. "The main activity of the botnet is mining Monero cryptocurrency," ESET said . "The victims include organizations in both public and private sectors, including financial institutions." ESET said it worked with dynamic DNS provider No-IP to take down the malicious command-and-control (C2) servers and that it set up fake domains (aka sinkholes) to monitor the botnet's activity. The sinkhole data shows that between 2,000 and 3,500 infected computers connected to the C2 servers on a daily basis during February and March this year. According to ESET res
Russian Hacker Pleads Guilty to Operating Kelihos Botnet

Russian Hacker Pleads Guilty to Operating Kelihos Botnet

September 13, 2018Mohit Kumar
The Russian man who was accused of operating the infamous Kelihos botnet has finally pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal court. Peter Yuryevich Levashov , 38, of St. Petersburg, Russia, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in U.S. federal court in Connecticut to computer crime, wire fraud, conspiracy and identity theft charges. Levashov, also known by many online aliases including Peter Severa, Petr Levashov, Petr Severa and Sergey Astakhov, has admitted of operating several botnets, including the Storm, Waledac and Kelihos botnets, since the late 1990s until he was arrested in April 2017 . Kelihos botnet, dated back to 2010, was a global network of tens of thousands of infected computers that were used to steal login credentials, send bulk spam emails, and infect computers with ransomware and other malware. Russian Hacker Infects 50,000 Computers With Kelihos Botnet Storm and Waledac botnets also shared Kelihos code, but kelihos was the most notorious botnet of all that alone infect
Feds Shut Down 'Longest-Running' Andromeda Botnet

Feds Shut Down 'Longest-Running' Andromeda Botnet

December 04, 2017Mohit Kumar
In a coordinated International cyber operation, Europol with the help of international law enforcement agencies has taken down what it called "one of the longest-running malware families in existence" known as Andromeda. Andromeda , also known as Win32/Gamarue, is an infamous HTTP-based modular botnet that has been around for several years now, and infecting computers with it's malicious intentions ever since. The primary goal of Andromeda bot is to distribute other malware families for mass global malware attacks. The botnet has been associated with at least 80 malware families, and in the last six months, it was detected (or blocked) on an average of more than 1 million machines per month. Last year, law enforcement agencies took down the criminal infrastructure of the infamous Avalanche botnet in a similar massive international cyber operation. Avalanche botnet was used as a delivery platform to spread other malware families, including Andromeda. While in
New Mirai Botnet Variant Found Targeting ZyXEL Devices In Argentina

New Mirai Botnet Variant Found Targeting ZyXEL Devices In Argentina

November 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
While tracking botnet activity on their honeypot traffic, security researchers at Chinese IT security firm Qihoo 360 Netlab discovered a new variant of Mirai —the well known IoT botnet malware that wreaked havoc last year. Last week, researchers noticed an increase in traffic scanning ports 2323 and 23 from hundreds of thousands of unique IP addresses from Argentina in less than a day. The targeted port scans are actively looking for vulnerable internet-connected devices manufactured by ZyXEL Communications using two default telnet credential combinations— admin/CentryL1nk and admin/QwestM0dem —to gain root privileges on the targeted devices. Researchers believe (instead "quite confident") this ongoing campaign is part of a new Mirai variant that has been upgraded to exploit a newly released vulnerability (identified as CVE-2016-10401 ) in ZyXEL PK5001Z modems. "ZyXEL PK5001Z devices have zyad5001 as the su (superuser) password, which makes it easier for rem
THOR : Another P2P Botnet in development with extra stealth features

THOR : Another P2P Botnet in development with extra stealth features

March 05, 2012Mohit Kumar
THOR : Another P2P Botnet in development with extra stealth features The research community is now focusing on the integration of peer-to-peer (P2P) concepts as incremental improvements to distributed malicious software networks (now generically referred to as botnets). Because "botnets" can be used for illicit financial gain,they have become quite popular in recent Internet attacks. A " botnet " is a network of computers that are compromised and controlled by an attacker. Each computer is infected witha malicious program called a "bot", which actively communicates with other bots in the botnet or with several "botcontrollers" to receive commands from the botnet owner. Attackers maintain complete control of their botnets, andcan conduct Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks,email spamming, keylogging, abusing online advertisements, spreading new malware, etc. However, the first botnets that use peer-to-peer (P2P) networks for remote control of the compromised machines appeare
Abcbot — A New Evolving Wormable Botnet Malware Targeting Linux

Abcbot — A New Evolving Wormable Botnet Malware Targeting Linux

November 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Researchers from Qihoo 360's Netlab security team have released details of a new evolving botnet called " Abcbot " that has been observed in the wild with worm-like propagation features to infect Linux systems and launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against targets. While the earliest version of the botnet dates back to July 2021, new variants observed as recently as October 30 have been equipped with additional updates to strike Linux web servers with weak passwords and are susceptible to N-day vulnerabilities, including a custom implementation of DDoS functionality, indicating that the malware is under continuous development. Netlab's findings also build on a report from Trend Micro early last month, which  publicized  attacks targeting Huawei Cloud with cryptocurrency-mining and cryptojacking malware. The intrusions were also notable for the fact that the malicious shell scripts specifically disabled a process designed to monitor and scan the ser
A New Fileless P2P Botnet Malware Targeting SSH Servers Worldwide

A New Fileless P2P Botnet Malware Targeting SSH Servers Worldwide

August 19, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today took the wraps off a sophisticated, multi-functional peer-to-peer (P2P) botnet written in Golang that has been actively targeting SSH servers since January 2020. Called " FritzFrog ," the modular, multi-threaded and file-less botnet has breached more than 500 servers to date, infecting well-known universities in the US and Europe, and a railway company, according to a report released by Guardicore Labs today. "With its decentralized infrastructure, it distributes control among all its nodes," Guardicore 's Ophir Harpaz said. "In this network with no single point-of-failure, peers constantly communicate with each other to keep the network alive, resilient and up-to-date." In addition to implementing a proprietary P2P protocol that's been written from scratch, the communications are done over an encrypted channel, with the malware capable of creating a backdoor on victim systems that grants continued access fo
'Satori' IoT DDoS Botnet Operator Sentenced to 13 Months in Prison

'Satori' IoT DDoS Botnet Operator Sentenced to 13 Months in Prison

June 26, 2020Wang Wei
The United States Department of Justice yesterday sentenced a 22-year-old Washington-based hacker to 13 months in federal prison for his role in creating botnet malware, infecting a large number of systems with it, and then abusing those systems to carry out large scale distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against various online service and targets. According to court documents, Kenneth Currin Schuchman , a resident of Vancouver, and his criminal associates–Aaron Sterritt and Logan Shwydiuk–created multiple DDoS botnet malware since at least August 2017 and used them to enslave hundreds of thousands of home routers and other Internet-connected devices worldwide. Dubbed Satori, Okiru, Masuta, and Tsunami or Fbot, all these botnets were the successors of the infamous IoT malware Mirai , as they were created mainly using the source code of Mirai, with some additional features added to make them more sophisticated and effective against evolving targets. Even after the orig
Mukashi: A New Mirai IoT Botnet Variant Targeting Zyxel NAS Devices

Mukashi: A New Mirai IoT Botnet Variant Targeting Zyxel NAS Devices

March 21, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
A new version of the infamous Mirai botnet is exploiting a recently uncovered critical vulnerability in network-attached storage (NAS) devices in an attempt to remotely infect and control vulnerable machines. Called " Mukashi ," the new variant of the malware employs brute-force attacks using different combinations of default credentials to log into Zyxel NAS, UTM, ATP, and VPN firewall products to take control of the devices and add them to a network of infected bots that can be used to carry out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Multiple Zyxel NAS products running firmware versions up to 5.21 are vulnerable to the compromise, Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 global threat intelligence team said, adding they uncovered the first such exploitation of the flaw in the wild on March 12. Zyxel's Pre-Authentication Command Injection Flaw Mukashi hinges on a pre-authentication command injection vulnerability (tracked as CVE-2020-9054 ), for which a proof-
Microsoft Hijacks Necurs Botnet that Infected 9 Million PCs Worldwide

Microsoft Hijacks Necurs Botnet that Infected 9 Million PCs Worldwide

March 10, 2020Wang Wei
Microsoft today announced that it has successfully disrupted the botnet network of the Necurs malware, which has infected more than 9 million computers globally, and also hijacked the majority of its infrastructure. The latest botnet takedown was the result of a coordinated operation involving international police and private tech companies across 35 countries. The operation was conducted successfully after researchers successfully broke the domain generation algorithm (DGA) implemented by the Necurs malware, which helped it remain resilient for a long time. DGA is basically a technique to unpredictably generate new domain names at regular intervals, helping malware authors to continuously switch the location of C&C servers and maintain undisrupted digital communication with the infected machines. "We were then able to accurately predict over six million unique domains that would be created in the next 25 months. Microsoft reported these domains to their respective r
Mirai Botnet Creators Helping FBI Fight Cybercrime to Stay Out of Jail

Mirai Botnet Creators Helping FBI Fight Cybercrime to Stay Out of Jail

September 19, 2018Mohit Kumar
Three young hackers who were sentenced late last year for creating and spreading the notorious Mirai botnet are now helping the FBI to investigate other "complex" cybercrime cases in return to avoid their lengthy prison terms. Paras Jha, 21 from New Jersey, Josiah White, 20 from Washington, and Dalton Norman, 21 from Louisiana, plead guilty in December 2017 to multiple charges for their role in creating and hijacking hundreds of thousands IoT devices to make them part of a notorious botnet network dubbed Mirai . Mirai malware scanned for insecure routers, cameras, DVRs, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices which were using their default passwords and then made them part of a botnet network . The trio developed the Mirai botnet to attack rival Minecraft video gaming hosts, but after realizing that their invention was powerful enough to launch record-breaking DDoS attacks against targets like OVH hosting website, they released the source code of Mirai . The
Mirai Botnet Itself is Flawed; Hacking Back IoTs Could Mitigate DDoS Attacks

Mirai Botnet Itself is Flawed; Hacking Back IoTs Could Mitigate DDoS Attacks

October 29, 2016Mohit Kumar
The infamous botnet that was used in the recent massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the popular DNS provider Dyn, causing vast internet outage  last Friday, itself is flawed. Yes, Mirai malware, which has already enslaved millions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices across 164 countries, contains several vulnerabilities that might be used against it in order to destroy botnet's DDoS capabilities and mitigate future attacks. Early October, the developer of the malware publically released the source code of Mirai , which is designed to scan for IoT devices – mostly routers, cameras, and DVRs – that are still using their default passwords and then enslaves them into a botnet, which is then used to launch DDoS attacks. However, after a close look at the source code, a researcher discovered three vulnerabilities, one of which could be used to shut down Mirai's ability to flood targets with HTTP requests. A stack buffer overflow vulnerability wa
Over 17000 Mac Machines Affected by 'iWorm' Botnet Malware

Over 17000 Mac Machines Affected by 'iWorm' Botnet Malware

October 06, 2014Swati Khandelwal
A newly discovered zombie network that exclusively targets Apple computers running Mac OS X across the globe has compromised roughly 17,000 machines so far, giving hackers backdoor access to infected computers, researchers at Russian antivirus firm Dr.Web warned. According to a survey of traffic conducted in September by researchers at Dr. Web, over 17,000 Macs globally are part of the Mac.BackDoor.iWorm botnet , which creates a backdoor on machines running OS X. Researchers say almost a quarter of iWorm botnet are located in the US. The most interesting thing to notice about this botnet is that it uses a special method of spreading via a search service of Reddit posts to a Minecraft server list subreddit to collect the IP addresses for its command and control (CnC) network. The user who had posted that subreddit data has now been shut down though the malware creators are likely to form another server list. " It is worth mentioning that in order to acquire a control server add
Pony Botnet steals $220,000 from multiple Digital Wallets

Pony Botnet steals $220,000 from multiple Digital Wallets

February 25, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Are you the one of the Digital Currency Holder? PONY is after You.  A Group of cyber criminals has used hundreds of thousands of infected computers of the digital currency holders to filch approximately $220,000 worth of Bitcoins and other virtual currencies. The researchers at the security firm, Trustwave have uncovered the Bitcoin Heist that was accomplished by the computers infected with a new class of malware that has been dubbed as ' Pony ', a very powerful type of Spying Keylogger Malware with very dangerous features that was last time found two months ago. Pony, for those who have not yet heard about it, is a bot controller much like any other, with the capability to capture all kinds of confidential information and access passwords. It contains a control panel, user management, logging features, a database to manage all the data and, of course, the statistics. It can see the passwords and login credentials of infected users when they access applications and
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