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Satori Botnet Plays Hidden Role in Cryptomining Scheme, Researchers Find

Several different researchers have found that recent attempts on TCP port 3333 is the work of a cryptomining scheme where the Satori botnet is playing a hidden part.

Larry Loeb

May 21, 2018

3 Min Read

If your network scans have been showing increased attempts to find an open TCP port 3333 -- you're not alone.

SANS ISC, Qihoo 360 Netlab and GreyNoise Intelligence report that someone has been looking for this port to be active for the last week or so. Netlab was the first to tweet the activity.

Port 3333 is routinely used for cryptominer's remote management.

A day later, GreyNoise confirmed the activity in a tweet and deduced it was associated with the "Claymore" dual Ethereum/Decred cryptocurrency miner. Port 3333 is the default management port for this miner.

The researchers there also found that, "Once the attacker identifies a server running the Claymore software they push instructions to reconfigure the device to join the 'dwarfpool' mining pool and use the attacker's ETH wallet."

Interestingly, researchers found that the scans were originating from Mexico, and matched those IP addresses with those that had been identified as being GPON routers affected by different compromises -- CVE-2018-10561 and CVE-2018-10562. These are about 17,000 independent IP addresses, mainly from Uninet SA de CV, telmex.com, located in Mexico.

The compromise had been weaponized and the affected home routers were under attack by five different botnets. GreyNoise made the call that it was the Satori botnet doing the malicious scans and the hijack to crypto mining.

(Source: Pixabay)

(Source: Pixabay)

Netlab confirmed the call the next day. While this variant was changed from the original Satori, there were some key elements -- key strings, domain name TXT information, email addresses -- that allowed an identification.

Looking at the ETH wallet, Netlab finds: "Satori received a total of approximately $200 in the current 6-day operation."

ISC has also confirmed the scanning, and identified the exploit as CVE-2018-1000049. This is a remote code execution flaw for the Nanopool Claymore Dual Miner.

The re-emergence of the Satori botnet as a malicious force shows how easily attacked hardware like the GPON routers can have serious consequences.

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— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

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About the Author(s)

Larry Loeb

Blogger, Informationweek

Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek. He has written a book on the Secure Electronic Transaction Internet protocol. His latest book has the commercially obligatory title of Hack Proofing XML. He's been online since uucp "bang" addressing (where the world existed relative to !decvax), serving as editor of the Macintosh Exchange on BIX and the VARBusiness Exchange. His first Mac had 128 KB of memory, which was a big step up from his first 1130, which had 4 KB, as did his first 1401. You can e-mail him at [email protected].

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