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

5/4/2017
01:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

New 'Bondnet' Botnet Mines Cryptocurrencies

The botnet has infected more than 15,000 machines at major institutions, including high-profile companies, universities, and city councils.

A newly detected botnet, made up of thousands of compromised servers, has infected more than 15,000 machines since it became active in December 2016. "Bondnet" is currently used to mine cryptocurrencies, primarily the open-source Monero.

It was discovered in January 2017 by the Guardicore Global Sensor Network (GGSN) at Guardicore Labs, which was unveiled April 24. The GGSN, a network of deception servers in data centers around the world, streams threat information to detect and analyze new attacks.

"The straight-forward goal is money," says Ofri Ziv, VP of research and head of GuardiCore Labs, describing Bondnet. Its attacker, operating under the alias Bond007.01, manages and controls the botnet remotely to earn the equivalent of one thousand dollars in Monero coins each day.

"In addition to this, given the attacker's technical infrastructure, he could easily pivot to deploying ransomware on thousands of servers immediately, or creating a high-bandwidth DDoS botnet," Ziv continues.

Renting the botnet is also not out of the question. He notes how Bondnet has reached some "interesting" organizations, large companies, universities, and government networks. "If he decides to pivot to selling access, we can imagine plenty of organizations that would be interested in a foothold inside these networks," Ziv explains.

The attacker uses a mix of old vulnerabilities and username/password combinations to attack mostly Windows Server machines, researchers found. New victims are found using a TCP port scanner called WinEggDrop, which gives an updated list of IPs with open ports. The attacker targets victims with a variety of public exploits and installs a Windows Management Interface (WMI) back door on each one. WMI enables communication with a C&C server, which enables the attacker to fully control the servers and take data, hold it for ransom, and use the server to launch more attacks.

Researchers discovered 2,000 machines report to the C&C server each day. About 500 new machines are added to the attacker's network on a daily basis, and about the same number is delisted.

"Businesses with infected servers are at a double risk," Ziv explains. "Foremost is that the attacker has created two pathways in which he can control the infected server (via the WMI RAT and the back door user), with which he can do practically anything."

The back door user is also easy to test remotely, he continues, noting that it lets other attackers search online for victimized servers and connect to them. Infected organizations are open to several types of attacks, from Bond007.01 and others, ranging "from ransomware demands to full-blown compromise."

Businesses looking to protect themselves should monitor all services, particularly Internet-facing ones, for resource usage spikes and unexpected network connections. Network-based monitoring systems can also alert organizations to known malware and suspicious activity.

Internet-facing services should be locked down, says Ziv. For example, MySQL servers are Bondnet's most common victims. Locking down MySQL to prevent running random SQL commands would have protected the infection vector for this attack.

"In addition, regular monitoring of all WMI activity and all user accounts is important," he continues. "Monitoring modifications such as changing user passwords would have quickly alerted the relevant security team, which could investigate the incident."

Related Content

 

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Sodinokibi Ransomware: Where Attackers' Money Goes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  10/15/2019
Data Privacy Protections for the Most Vulnerable -- Children
Dimitri Sirota, Founder & CEO of BigID,  10/17/2019
7 SMB Security Tips That Will Keep Your Company Safe
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  10/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: The old using of sock puppets for Shoulder Surfing technique. 
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
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-17513
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-18
An issue was discovered in Ratpack before 1.7.5. Due to a misuse of the Netty library class DefaultHttpHeaders, there is no validation that headers lack HTTP control characters. Thus, if untrusted data is used to construct HTTP headers with Ratpack, HTTP Response Splitting can occur.
CVE-2019-8216
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-17
Adobe Acrobat and Reader versions , 2019.012.20040 and earlier, 2017.011.30148 and earlier, 2017.011.30148 and earlier, 2015.006.30503 and earlier, and 2015.006.30503 and earlier have an out-of-bounds read vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to information disclosure .
CVE-2019-8217
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-17
Adobe Acrobat and Reader versions , 2019.012.20040 and earlier, 2017.011.30148 and earlier, 2017.011.30148 and earlier, 2015.006.30503 and earlier, and 2015.006.30503 and earlier have an use after free vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to arbitrary code execution .
CVE-2019-8218
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-17
Adobe Acrobat and Reader versions , 2019.012.20040 and earlier, 2017.011.30148 and earlier, 2017.011.30148 and earlier, 2015.006.30503 and earlier, and 2015.006.30503 and earlier have an out-of-bounds read vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to information disclosure .
CVE-2019-8219
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-17
Adobe Acrobat and Reader versions , 2019.012.20040 and earlier, 2017.011.30148 and earlier, 2017.011.30148 and earlier, 2015.006.30503 and earlier, and 2015.006.30503 and earlier have an use after free vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to arbitrary code execution .