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
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
Oldest First  |  Newest 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.
Florida Town Pays $600K to Ransomware Operators
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/20/2019
Pledges to Not Pay Ransomware Hit Reality
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  6/21/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
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-2019-12960
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
LiveZilla Server before 8.0.1.1 is vulnerable to SQL Injection in functions.internal.build.inc.php via the parameter p_dt_s_d.
CVE-2019-12961
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
LiveZilla Server before 8.0.1.1 is vulnerable to CSV Injection in the Export Function.
CVE-2019-12962
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
LiveZilla Server before 8.0.1.1 is vulnerable to XSS in mobile/index.php via the Accept-Language HTTP header.
CVE-2019-12963
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
LiveZilla Server before 8.0.1.1 is vulnerable to XSS in the chat.php Create Ticket Action.
CVE-2019-12964
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-25
LiveZilla Server before 8.0.1.1 is vulnerable to XSS in the ticket.php Subject.