Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Cryptojacker Campaign Hits MikroTik Routers

More than 200,000 routers hit with a sophisticated cryptomining attack that appears to be spreading.

In March, routers from Latvian manufacturer MikroTik were hit by an advanced threat dubbed Operation Slingshot. The company patched for the threat, but now a new cryptomining attack has hit MikroTik routers and appears to be spreading rapidly.

The original Operation Slingshot campaign was spyware that was able to gather screenshots, keyboard data, network data, passwords, various desktop activity, the clipboard, and more without ever using a zero-day exploit. Instead, the attack took advantage of two modules that were able to implant themselves in a targeted router. Those modules were accompanied by very sophisticated detection evasion techniques that included shutting down the attack if certain forensic activities were detected. Nevertheless, the attack was discovered and countered.

This time around, researchers have found a new MikroTik-targeting cryptojacking campaign that began with routers in Brazil and is now spreading beyond those borders. The campaign, which injects cryptomining software into traffic transiting an infected MikroTik router, was so successful that the performance hit was what drew attention to the attack; the threat actor then shifted strategies to only inject the miner through router-based error pages.

According to researchers at Trustwave, the attack has now hit more than 200,000 routers, with the number still growing as of this writing. Further, tens of thousands of those routers are outside Brazil, indicating that any initial geographic targeting is no longer in effect.

"Everyone with a MikroTik router should be worried that they will be targeted no matter where they reside," says Karl Sigler, threat intelligence manager at Trustwave. Fortunately, those same global users have a meaningful response possible for the attack.

"Hopefully with enough coverage, users of MikroTik routers will patch their devices, Sigler adds. "A single patch [available since April] is enough to stop this exploitation in its tracks."

This is not the first time MikroTik owners have been urged to patch and reboot their routers. MikroTik equipment was specifically mentioned in the FBI's May 2018 call for router reboots, and even the March attack was effective only against routers that were not up to date with software patches.

Related Content:

 

 

 

Black Hat USA returns to Las Vegas with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Microsoft Patches Wormable RCE Vulns in Remote Desktop Services
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/13/2019
The Mainframe Is Seeing a Resurgence. Is Security Keeping Pace?
Ray Overby, Co-Founder & President at Key Resources, Inc.,  8/15/2019
GitHub Named in Capital One Breach Lawsuit
Dark Reading Staff 8/14/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-15150
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
In the OAuth2 Client extension before 0.4 for MediaWiki, a CSRF vulnerability exists due to the OAuth2 state parameter not being checked in the callback function.
CVE-2017-18550
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
An issue was discovered in drivers/scsi/aacraid/commctrl.c in the Linux kernel before 4.13. There is potential exposure of kernel stack memory because aac_get_hba_info does not initialize the hbainfo structure.
CVE-2017-18551
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
An issue was discovered in drivers/i2c/i2c-core-smbus.c in the Linux kernel before 4.14.15. There is an out of bounds write in the function i2c_smbus_xfer_emulated.
CVE-2017-18552
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
An issue was discovered in net/rds/af_rds.c in the Linux kernel before 4.11. There is an out of bounds write and read in the function rds_recv_track_latency.
CVE-2018-20976
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
An issue was discovered in fs/xfs/xfs_super.c in the Linux kernel before 4.18. A use after free exists, related to xfs_fs_fill_super failure.