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

Wicked Mirai Brings New Exploits to IoT Botnets

The latest variant of the venerable Mirai botnet malware combines approaches and brings new exploits to the world of IoT security challenges.

It's hard to keep a bad bot down. That's just one of the lessons that comes with Wicked Mirai, the latest variation on the Mirai Internet of Things botnet software. In the newest version, multiple payloads are available for delivery in a package that includes at least three new exploits that demonstrate how its developers are continuing to expand its reach.

Researchers at Fortinet recently found this new variation, which they dubbed Wicked Mirai, named for a string within the code that seems to point back to the hacker responsible for the new variant. In looking at the code, they found malware that scans multiple ports on network devices, using open ports to download copies of different payloads depending on which ports are available.

The researchers note that the attack module shows evolution from the original Mirai code. The original relied on brute force attacks, using a theme and variation on "guessing" as a tactic, while the new version relies on a variety of port-related vulnerability exploits, some new and some very old, to gain access to a device.

Once on a system, Wicked Mirai contacts a C&C server from which it downloads a payload. The payload seems to include something from the Sora, Owari, and Omni Mirai variant families — the specific download appears to have shifted between the three during the time that the researchers have been monitoring the server.

"The Mirai botnet variants we have grown accustomed to seeing are typically used as a 'land and expand' exploit kit," says Dean Weber, CTO of Mocana, explaining that the code would hit a system and then pivot to infecting other devices on the network rather than immediately download malware payloads.

Wicked looks for specific vulnerabilities on a platform that the botnet can exploit. The reason for this tactical evolution is simple. "The bottom line is that this allows the botnet controllers to have a faster compromise time, which in the end, allows for the botnet to come online faster," Weber says.

Wicked has also added IoT persistence to its toolkit, making the malware part of the IoT devices it infects beyond the occasional reboot seen in IoT networks. "The ability to achieve this level of persistence, combined with the ease of infection in the first place, is another example of why DDoS attacks continue to be on the rise," says Sean Newman, director of product management at Fortinet.

Related Content:

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
A Realistic Threat Model for the Masses
Lysa Myers, Security Researcher, ESET,  10/9/2019
USB Drive Security Still Lags
Dark Reading Staff 10/9/2019
Virginia a Hot Spot For Cybersecurity Jobs
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  10/9/2019
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
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-17612
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-15
An issue was discovered in 74CMS v5.2.8. There is a SQL Injection generated by the _list method in the Common/Controller/BackendController.class.php file via the index.php?m=Admin&c=Ad&a=category sort parameter.
CVE-2019-17613
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-15
qibosoft 7 allows remote code execution because do/jf.php makes eval calls. The attacker can use the Point Introduction Management feature to supply PHP code to be evaluated. Alternatively, the attacker can access admin/index.php?lfj=jfadmin&action=addjf via CSRF, as demonstrated by a payload in...
CVE-2019-17395
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-15
In the Rapid Gator application 0.7.1 for Android, the username and password are stored in the log during authentication, and may be available to attackers via logcat.
CVE-2019-17602
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-15
An issue was discovered in Zoho ManageEngine OpManager before 12.4 build 124089. The OPMDeviceDetailsServlet servlet is prone to SQL injection. Depending on the configuration, this vulnerability could be exploited unauthenticated or authenticated.
CVE-2019-17394
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-15
In the Seesaw Parent and Family application 6.2.5 for Android, the username and password are stored in the log during authentication, and may be available to attackers via logcat.