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.

IoT/Embedded Security //

Botnet

2/16/2018
10:35 AM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
50%
50%

DoubleDoor IoT Botnet Is a Harbinger of Exploits to Come

NewSky researchers are looking into DoubleDoor, a new type of IoT botnet that combines two exploits together. It also shows what kind of security challenges lie ahead for the enterprise.

Ankit Anubhav, a principal researcher at NewSky Security, has written about the firm's discovery of a new Internet of Things (IoT) botnet that will -- for the first time -- bypass enterprise firewalls by bundling two exploits together.

Dubbed DoubleDoor in the February 13 report, the malware will incorporate two well-known backdoor exploits to avoid the two levels of authentication that may be placed between a device and the Internet.

This kind of double-layered attack is the first to be seen in botnet-based exploits. Typically, they are usually associated with Windows-based attacks.

First, the bonnet uses CVE-2015–7755 -- also known as the Juniper Networks SmartScreen OS exploit -- to get past firewall authentication. Once this is done, it then takes advantage of CVE-2016–10401 -- the ZyXEL modem backdoor exploit -- to gain control of the device.

It was when this previously unknown botnet exploited these vulnerabilities within NewSky's honeypots that researchers began to look deeper at the malware.

The firewall exploit is a backdoor in Juniper Networks' ScreenOS software. The software is what powers the company's Netscreen firewalls. An attacker will grab onto the telnet and SSH daemons by the use of a hardcoded password that is inside the Juniper device.

This will allow any user name an attacker may supply to get through the ScreenOS software as being authenticated.

The same method is used for the ZyXEL PK5001Z devices. A known password is used to gain access. Once the bot is in the network as a regular user, a privilege access escalation exploit is performed in order to gain "superuser" status.

It then performs an unusual trick of trying to validate its escalated privilege by invoking the shell with some sort of invalid command. If this command is a static string value, it allows for an easier detection of the malware activity.

However, DoubleDoor uses a randomized string for this activity. Although it is always eight characters in length, it will vary in each confirmation attempt. This will make static- and behavioral-based detection harder to do.


The fundamentals of network security are being redefined -- don't get left in the dark by a DDoS attack! Join us in Austin from May 14-16 at the fifth-annual Big Communications Event. There's still time to register and communications service providers get in free!

The attack has not yet found to be widespread. NewSky found that scans and exploitation attempts for this botnet were spotted between January 18 and January 27, and all of them originated from South Korean IP addresses.

The structure of the targets of the attack are similar to those found in corporate networks. While DoubleDoor may be a work in progress, what it attempts to achieve indicates what that work is ultimately concentrating on. It points to a different way to breach enterprise networks.

Perhaps the same layering methods can be used to attack other embedded devices by using other exploits. If nothing else, it can serve as an example to other IoT botnet creators of a new and different method that they may adopt for their own nefarious purposes.

Related posts:

— 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
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/2/2020
Ripple20 Threatens Increasingly Connected Medical Devices
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/30/2020
DDoS Attacks Jump 542% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020
Dark Reading Staff 6/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9498
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
Apache Guacamole 1.1.0 and older may mishandle pointers involved inprocessing data received via RDP static virtual channels. If a userconnects to a malicious or compromised RDP server, a series ofspecially-crafted PDUs could result in memory corruption, possiblyallowing arbitrary code to be executed...
CVE-2020-3282
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition, Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM & Presence Service, and Cisco Unity Connection could allow an unauthenticated, remote attack...
CVE-2020-5909
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, when users run the command displayed in NGINX Controller user interface (UI) to fetch the agent installer, the server TLS certificate is not verified.
CVE-2020-5910
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the Neural Autonomic Transport System (NATS) messaging services in use by the NGINX Controller do not require any form of authentication, so any successful connection would be authorized.
CVE-2020-5911
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the NGINX Controller installer starts the download of Kubernetes packages from an HTTP URL On Debian/Ubuntu system.