Vulnerabilities / Threats
3/25/2009
04:33 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

DSL Modems Becoming Botnet Zombies

Cybercriminals are using the PSYB0T botnet to take advantage of vulnerabilities in the NetComm NB5 modem-router.

Botnets -- groups of computers that have been compromised, hijacked, and coordinated for malicious purposes -- remain a significant source of online security problems. Now some of the zombie machines that constitute botnets have taken on a new form.

For the past few months, security researchers have watched a botnet being built out of embedded devices, specifically DSL modem-routers.

In a paper published in January, security researcher Terry Baume observed that vulnerabilities in the NetComm NB5, an ADSL/ADSL2+ modem-router, have become widely known and that cybercriminals have been taking advantage of these flaws to compromise the devices and, possibly, other modem-routers. He calls the botnet PSYB0T.

"This is the first botnet I've heard of that infects embedded devices," his paper says, noting that a compromised router can be used to alter DNS routing and redirect network traffic to phishing sites.

Baume says that end users aren't likely to be aware that their modem-routers have been compromised and that they could easily become confused if notified by their Internet service provider about possible malware on their computers, which might appear clean to antivirus software.

He also observes that most users leave their DSL modems on all the time. Compromised devices thus would remain active all the time, unlike compromised computers, which tend to get turned off periodically.

DroneBL, a site that monitors IP addresses for abuse, was hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack from a PSYB0T botnet for several weeks.

A blog post on the site explains that in order to be vulnerable, the device in question must be a Linux mipsel device; must have telnet, SSH, or a Web-based interface available over a WAN; and must have weak user name/password combinations or must have firmware that relies on daemons that are exploitable.

"The malware can spread itself through telnet admin interfaces of the DSL modems," a post on the Team Furry blog explains. "It also has the capability to scan for PHPMyAdmin installations and Windows SMB shares."

Devices not running MIPS, such the x86-based computers run by most consumers, are not themselves at risk, but could be affected if connected to vulnerable DSL modems.

Owners of potentially vulnerable DSL modem-routers are advised to make sure the devices have updated firmware and to verify that they're using a user name and password for the device that can't be easily guessed by a dictionary attack.


Find out how to balance technology, business intelligence, and process to reduce exposure to vulnerabilities (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Dark Reading Live EVENTS
INsecurity - For the Defenders of Enterprise Security
A Dark Reading Conference
While red team conferences focus primarily on new vulnerabilities and security researchers, INsecurity puts security execution, protection, and operations center stage. The primary speakers will be CISOs and leaders in security defense; the blue team will be the focus.
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: No, no, no! Have a Unix CRON do the pop-up reminders!
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
Enterprises are spending more of their IT budgets on cybersecurity technology. How do your organization's security plans and strategies compare to what others are doing? Here's an in-depth look.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.