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

4/4/2019
08:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Python-Based Bot Scanner Gorging on Recon Intel

Discovered by AT&T Alien Labs, new malware Xwo seeking default creds and misconfigurations in MySQL and MongoDB, among other services

A new Python-based bot scanner is snaking its way through Internet resources, seeking out exposed Web services and default passwords on critical network resources. The information grab doesn't yet appear to be weaponized, but researchers believe it's forboding for administrators of misconfigured databases and servers.

"The general use and potential it holds can be damaging for networks around the globe," warns Tom Hegel of AT&T Alien Labs, which identified the malware his team dubbed Xwo. 

This new malware family looks to have some relation to malware families Xbash and MongoLock. But unlike the coinmining and ransomware capabilities of these previous malicious packages, this one is still laying low with a focus only on reconnaissance at the moment. 

"Both Xwo and MongoLock use similar Python-based code, command and control (C2) domain naming, and have an overlap in C2 infrastructure," Hegel wrote in a blog post on the research. "Unlike MongoLock, Xwo does not have any ransomware or exploitation capabilities, but rather sends stolen credentials and service access back to the C2 infrastructure."

Xwo prods scanned systems to pick up a wide range of information about them. This includes looking for default credentials in FTP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Redis, Memcached, and Tomcat. It also includes seeking out misconfiguration and other details like default SVN and Git paths, www backup paths, and PhpMyAdmin details.

Even though Xwo backs off of the malicious features in Xbash and MongoLock, AT&T Alien Labs researchers believe that the richness of information being dug up by the new malware indicates attackers are using it as step one in a "advancing capability" that could do a lot of harm to networks worldwide.  

"Since the attackers are collecting information about valid credentials to access systems, they could use this to launch attacks in the future," says Jaime Blasco, chief scientist at AT&T AlienLabs.

"These could include compromising the systems to mine cryptocurrency, install ransomware—(a) likely scenario since we have found a relationship with a previous piece of malware called MongoLock that was likely used by the same threat actors, steal data from those systems, or even sell the credentials in the black market," Blasco says.

Related Content:

 

 

 

 

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two cybersecurity summits at Interop 2019. Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the Interop agenda here.

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Susanto
50%
50%
Susanto,
User Rank: Author
4/26/2019 | 12:25:42 AM
Yet another attack based on default credentials
For the attackers, default credential is one of the easiest ways to get in. Most devices and open source software have the default credentials widely available in public domain.

With pluralities of IoT devices and services, securely managing access control manually across all these nodes is a huge task - virtually impossible. Security practices, design consideration, training, and automation tools are required to securely manage access control.
For Cybersecurity to Be Proactive, Terrains Must Be Mapped
Craig Harber, Chief Technology Officer at Fidelis Cybersecurity,  10/8/2019
A Realistic Threat Model for the Masses
Lysa Myers, Security Researcher, ESET,  10/9/2019
USB Drive Security Still Lags
Dark Reading Staff 10/9/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
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-2019-17545
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
GDAL through 3.0.1 has a poolDestroy double free in OGRExpatRealloc in ogr/ogr_expat.cpp when the 10MB threshold is exceeded.
CVE-2019-17546
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
tif_getimage.c in LibTIFF through 4.0.10, as used in GDAL through 3.0.1 and other products, has an integer overflow that potentially causes a heap-based buffer overflow via a crafted RGBA image, related to a "Negative-size-param" condition.
CVE-2019-17547
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
In ImageMagick before 7.0.8-62, TraceBezier in MagickCore/draw.c has a use-after-free.
CVE-2019-17501
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
Centreon 19.04 allows attackers to execute arbitrary OS commands via the Command Line field of main.php?p=60807&type=4 (aka the Configuration > Commands > Discovery screen).
CVE-2019-17539
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-14
In FFmpeg before 4.2, avcodec_open2 in libavcodec/utils.c allows a NULL pointer dereference and possibly unspecified other impact when there is no valid close function pointer.