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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

Emerging Murofet Botnet Poses New Threat, Researchers Say

New Zeus variant is "deadly compared to previous versions," Damballa experts warn

Murofet, one of the newest of the malicious Zeus botnet variants on the Web, isn't so new -- but it could be more dangerous than initially thought, Damballa researchers said yesterday.

In a blog posted Monday, botnet experts Sean Bodmer and Marshall Vandergrift said that Murofet -- built largely through a variant of the Zeus Trojan -- has been around a few months longer than originally thought, and could be more dangerous than previous Zeus-based botnets.

"It's deadly, compared to previous versions," Bodmer says.

Data collected by Damballa's network of passive DNS monitoring sensors indicates that what Damballa believed to be a new ZeuS variant at the time of analysis was actually Murofet -- and was observed in the wild as far back as August 2010, according to the blog.

"After spending some time digging into historical data sets, we are able to positively identify Murofet's in-the-wild activity back to as early as August 11th, based on its domain generation algorithm output," the bloggers say.

Damballa has been tracking Murofet since its appearance, "but not until we completed a more detailed analysis of the domains we observed were we able to put the pieces together," the researchers say.

In addition, Damballa can attribute some victim IPs of Murofet with ZeuS bot infections prior to the date of Aug. 11, "which could indicate that the bots were redirected from one botnet to another," the blog says.

"Redirection of one botnet to another is typical criminal behavior intended to extend the life and usefulness of the victim asset and to evade detection," the Damballa researchers say.

"It's important to note that we can see that the infected IPs associated [earlier] infections were initially infected by the Jabber Zeus group -- and a few days later, the same victims started spewing Murofet," Bodmer comments. "Even though we cannot definitively say it was that group [known for making most of the new ZeuS modules], we can attribute some of the activity of the victims to that group, which indicates a level of collusion."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
FluBot Malware's Rapid Spread May Soon Hit US Phones
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/28/2021
7 Modern-Day Cybersecurity Realities
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  4/30/2021
How to Secure Employees' Home Wi-Fi Networks
Bert Kashyap, CEO and Co-Founder at SecureW2,  4/28/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05
The “Elementor Addon Elements� WordPress Plugin before 1.11.2 has several widgets that are vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) by lower-privileged users such as contributors, all via a similar method.
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05
The “Livemesh Addons for Elementor� WordPress Plugin before 6.8 has several widgets that are vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) by lower-privileged users such as contributors, all via a similar method.
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05
The “HT Mega – Absolute Addons for Elementor Page Builder� WordPress Plugin before 1.5.7 has several widgets that are vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) by ...
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05
The “WooLentor – WooCommerce Elementor Addons + Builder� WordPress Plugin before 1.8.6 has a widget that is vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) by lower-priv...
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-05
The “Elementor Addons – PowerPack Addons for Elementor� WordPress Plugin before 2.3.2 for WordPress has several widgets that are vulnerable to stored Cross-Site Scriptin...