Satori, the widespread botnet that has been linked to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks as well as cryptomining schemes, has resurfaced and is currently targeting certain D-Link routers in an effort to expand its network, according to a new analysis.
This time, Radware researchers found the Satori botnet at work when "thousands" of IPs attempted to infect the company's honeypots, according to a research note released June 19.
The Satori botnet is actually based on the publicly available source code of another notorious bot -- Mirai. Researchers from China's Qihoo 360 Netlab were the first to discover the existence of Satori about a year ago and have been analyzing it since, including a blog post published earlier this month.
In addition, SANS ISC, Qihoo 360 Netlab and GreyNoise Intelligence recently linked Satori to a cryptomining scheme that targeted vulnerable home routers. (See Satori Botnet Plays Hidden Role in Cryptomining Scheme, Researchers Find.)
In the incident Radware found, the group behind Satori appeared to have targeted D-Link DSL-2750B, a combination router and modem device that Verizon and others use to provide Internet access to homes and small businesses. The botnet also seems to have targeted routers made by Chinese vendor XiongMai.
Researchers found the botnet was exploiting a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability in the D-Link router, which had been disclosed about two years ago, but appears to have not been patched. Here, Satori used the vulnerability to launch a wget command -- a program that retrieves data from web servers -- which then downloads a remote script on a web server: 126.96.36.199.
As the Radware researchers described it:
Radware's deception network detected an upsurge of malicious activity scanning and infecting a variety of IoT devices to take advantage of recently discovered device exploits. The payload, previously unseen, is delivered by the infamous Satori botnet, this time leveraging a worm style propagation manner. Radware observed an exponential increase in the number of attack sources spread all over the world and peaking at over 2500 attackers in a 24-hour period.
The largest concentration of this attack appears to have been in Brazil, followed by South Korea, Italy, the US and Russia.
Over the last several months, attackers of different kinds have been exploiting vulnerabilities in these consumer-grade routers to launch DDoS attacks or execute other types of cyberattacks. The most well-known is the VPNFilter, which was discovered by Cisco Talos and other security firms, and seems to have infected some 500,000 routers globally before being shut down by the FBI. (See FBI Knocks Out VPNFilter Malware That Infected 500K Routers.)
Tals researchers recently warned VPNFilter could surface again. (See Talos: VPNFilter Malware Still Stands at the Ready.)