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.

Endpoint Security //

Windows

// // //
9/10/2018
08:05 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb

Cryptominers Rush to Exploit Apache Struts 2 Vulnerability

The Apache Struts 2 vulnerability was revealed about two weeks ago. Now F5 Labs has found that it's being used in a Monero cryptomining exploit.

Well, that didn't take long.

 

About two weeks after the Apache Struts 2 vulnerability was revealed, F5 Labs has found evidenceof its use in a Monero (XMR) cryptomining exploit. Another such exploit was also seen last week, but differs in the details.

 

F5 has dubbed this campaign CroniX because it uses cron (for persistency) and Xhide (for launching executables with fake process names).

 

The vulnerability (CVE-2018-11776) allows attackers to inject Object-Graph Navigation Language (OGNL) expressions into an application using the Struts framework. The OGNL can contain malicious Java code that will be evaluated under several circumstances. In this case, the injection point is in the URL.

 

The attacker will send an HTTP request while injecting an OGNL expression. Once evaluated, the request executes shell commands that will cause the download and execution of a malicious file.

 

While F5 found direct evidence of Linux exploits, their investigation also found files on the command and control server that held PowerShell commands that could target Windows systems.

 

To make sure it is the only miner on the affected system, ChroniX will delete the binaries of other cryptominers that may be present on the system.

geralt via Pixabay
geralt via Pixabay

But this is done with some finesse. Since those other cryptominers may be hiding under legitimate process names, a further check is done to see if the targeted process is using more than 60% of the system resources. Only then is the process deleted.

 

Then, the attacker goes out and gets the latest versions of the malware, basically the "run" and "upd" bash scripts. Two additional binary executables -- "xmrig" and a file called "H" -- are downloaded. Each of them has an x86 and an x64 version.

 

The "xmrig" file is a miner that contains an embedded configuration (pool, username and password). The "H" file is an older XHide tool that is used for launching executables with a fake process name.

 

The attacker communicates with a Monero pool at "eu.minerpool.pw."

 

The threat actor has been previously known to F5, but it did not specify any name. However, the group notes that the "quite unique usage of 'XHide-Process Faker' made us believe that the threat actor behind the exploitation of this fresh Struts 2 vulnerability is the same one that was behind a previous campaign exploiting Jenkins servers via CVE-2017-1000353." In that instance the threat actor used a Chinese Git website to host malicious files.

 

F5 detected that the attacker is using a dedicated web server hosted in the US this time to serve the malicious files. Not only that, Palaudomain names are used in the exploit. They were found to be registered by a Russian registrant.

— Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How Machine Learning, AI & Deep Learning Improve Cybersecurity
Machine intelligence is influencing all aspects of cybersecurity. Organizations are implementing AI-based security to analyze event data using ML models that identify attack patterns and increase automation. Before security teams can take advantage of AI and ML tools, they need to know what is possible. This report covers: -How to assess the vendor's AI/ML claims -Defining success criteria for AI/ML implementations -Challenges when implementing AI
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2022-30935
PUBLISHED: 2022-09-28
An authorization bypass in b2evolution allows remote, unauthenticated attackers to predict password reset tokens for any user through the use of a bad randomness function. This allows the attacker to get valid sessions for arbitrary users, and optionally reset their password. Tested and confirmed in...
CVE-2022-32166
PUBLISHED: 2022-09-28
In ovs versions v0.90.0 through v2.5.0 are vulnerable to heap buffer over-read in flow.c. An unsafe comparison of “minimasks� function could lead access to an unmapped region of memory. This vulnerability is capable of crashing the software, memory modification...
CVE-2022-32169
PUBLISHED: 2022-09-28
The “Bytebaseâ€� application does not restrict low privilege user to access “admin issues“ for which an unauthorized user can view the “OPENâ€� and “CLOSEDâ€&...
CVE-2022-32170
PUBLISHED: 2022-09-28
The “Bytebase� application does not restrict low privilege user to access admin “projects“ for which an unauthorized user can view the “projects“ created by “Admin&ac...
CVE-2022-32168
PUBLISHED: 2022-09-28
Notepad++ versions 8.4.1 and before are vulnerable to DLL hijacking where an attacker can replace the vulnerable dll (UxTheme.dll) with his own dll and run arbitrary code in the context of Notepad++.