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

8/24/2012
02:45 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Some 'Operation Ghost Click' IP Addresses Back From The Dead

In advance of court proceedings, RIPE reallocates some IP address blocks that had been used by crime gang in DNSChanger malware scheme

If a legitimate business purchases one of the former DNSChanger IP addresses that RIPE unexpectedly reallocated earlier this month, it may find its IP traffic blacklisted in many places. If an unsavory operator gets one of those IP addresses, then it could gain control of some of the 200,000 to 300,000 machines still infected with the malware.

The move this month by regional Internet registry RIPE to reallocate the tainted IP addresses caught the DNS Changer Working Group (DCWG) and others in the industry by surprise. The DCWG -- an ad hoc group made up of members from Georgia Tech, Internet Systems Consortium, Mandiant, National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance, Neustar, Spamhaus, Team Cymru, Trend Micro, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and other organizations -- helped run the temporary DNS servers that replaced the malicious Rove Digital ones used in the DNSChanger operation.

The FBI, via the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), controlled those formerly malicious IP addresses from November 2011, after the takedown and arrest of the operators, until July 9, when the FBI shut down the temporary DNS servers that were meant as a stopgap until as many victims as possible had been alerted and remediated.

The FBI's "Operation Ghost Click" last year dismantled the scheme and indicted six Estonians and one Russian allegedly involved in infecting users and redirecting their computers to phony websites in a click-fraud scam. There were initially millions of infected machines, and the malware has been around for several years -- initially targeting home routers.

Paul Vixie, chairman and founder of the Internet Security Consortium (ISC), says RIPE should have held onto the IP addresses a minimum of 12 months before they reallocated them. They won't be much use to the recipients, anyway, because they remain "widely blackholed," he says.

There's another risk, as well, according to Barry Greene, a volunteer with the DNS Changer Working Group: "Of course, there are still 200,000 to 300,000 computers still infected, and they could all be reacquired if someone says, 'Hey, give me those blocks of IP addresses'" and abuses them for nefarious purposes of their own, he says.

"But we are monitoring that to see if any criminals do that," Greene says.

Greene says he's still unclear on just why RIPE decided to reallocate the IP addresses: The organization has a court proceeding scheduled for late November after requesting clarification of Dutch authorities' orders to lock down registration of those IP addresses.

RIPE issued a statement on its decision last week: "After receiving independent legal advice that the police order had no sufficient legal grounds to force the RIPE NCC to execute the order, the RIPE NCC unlocked the blocks of IPv4 address space on 10 January 2012," the statement said, in part. "Two of the four address blocks included in the police order (93.188.160.0/21 and 85.255.112/20) were reallocated after the contractual relationship with the member holding the address space was terminated. The member's account was closed and the space was deregistered ... The address space was quarantined for six weeks before being returned to the RIPE NCC's available pool of IPv4 address space. It was then randomly reallocated to a new resource holder according to normal allocation procedures."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
AI Is Everywhere, but Don't Ignore the Basics
Howie Xu, Vice President of AI and Machine Learning at Zscaler,  9/10/2019
Fed Kaspersky Ban Made Permanent by New Rules
Dark Reading Staff 9/11/2019
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
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-2019-16317
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-14
In Pimcore before 5.7.1, an attacker with limited privileges can trigger execution of a .phar file via a phar:// URL in a filename parameter, because PHAR uploads are not blocked and are reachable within the phar://../../../../../../../../var/www/html/web/var/assets/ directory, a different vulnerabi...
CVE-2019-16318
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-14
In Pimcore before 5.7.1, an attacker with limited privileges can bypass file-extension restrictions via a 256-character filename, as demonstrated by the failure of automatic renaming of .php to .php.txt for long filenames, a different vulnerability than CVE-2019-10867 and CVE-2019-16317.
CVE-2019-16307
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-14
A Reflected Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the webEx module in webExMeetingLogin.jsp and deleteWebExMeetingCheck.jsp in Fuji Xerox DocuShare through 7.0.0.C1.609 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the handle parameter (webExMeetingLogin.jsp) and meetingKe...
CVE-2019-16294
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-14
SciLexer.dll in Scintilla in Notepad++ (x64) before 7.7 allows remote code execution or denial of service via Unicode characters in a crafted .ml file.
CVE-2019-16309
PUBLISHED: 2019-09-14
FlameCMS 3.3.5 has SQL injection in account/login.php via accountName.