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

12/4/2015
04:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Leads Effort To Disrupt Dorkbot Botnet

Dorkbot's command and control servers have been sinkholed.

Microsoft researchers, working in tandem with other researchers and law enforcement officials in several countries, helped disrupt a malware family dubbed Dorkbot that is believed to have infected more than 1 million computers worldwide.

Researchers from Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center and Digital Crimes Unit teamed up with counterparts at ESET and CERT Polska in providing detailed information and telemetry on Dorkbot to law enforcement in the US, Canada, and Europe. US-CERT, the FBI, Interpol, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, all worked on the case.

Microsoft yesterday in a post announcing the Coordinated Malware Eradication (CME) campaign  offered no details on how exactly Dorkbot was disrupted. But ESET said the effort had involved sinkholing the command and control servers that threat actors were using to remotely control compromised systems.

Dorkbot is malware that first surfaced in April 2011 and has been used since then to steal passwords and personal information from people logging into sites like Facebook, Gmail, Netflix, PayPal, Twitter, and YouTube.

The malware works by disabling security software on a system and then blocking access to the security websites that update the software. Once on a system, Dorkbot connects via Internet Relay Chat to a remote command and control server and downloads other malware on to it. Compromised systems become part of large Dorkbot botnets used in denial-of-service attacks and for spam distribution purposes.

The malware spreads through removable drives, drive-by downloads, spam emails, instant messaging clients, and social networks.  Microsoft said that over the past six months, it detected an average of 100,000 Dorkbot infected systems per month, largely in India, Indonesia, and the Russian federation. A Microsoft “heat map” showing Dorkbot machine detections over the past three months shows the U.S. as having a relatively large number of infected systems as well.

“Dorkbot is an old botnet that has been reinventing itself through the years,” malware researcher Jean-Ian Boutin wrote on the ESET blog. “Dorkbot uses old tricks to compromise new systems.” 

Dorkbot’s creator or creators have made the malware available as a ready-to-use kit called NgrBot, which is available to criminals through underground forums, Microsoft said. The kit comes with a complete set of instructions on how to create a botnet and helpfully lists all the different functions that are available and how to use them. Included in the documentation are tips for command settings and IRC settings.

Microsoft’s Coordinated Malware Eradication campaign, launched in January 2014, is an effort to get security vendors, researchers and other stakeholders to pool their resources and information in coordinated, large scale anti-malware campaigns. The company has said that it is only through coordinated efforts that the industry has a chance to deter destructive malware campaigns.

According to Microsoft, security vendors can help by sharing malware data and detection methods with law enforcement. Computer emergency response teams and Internet Services Providers can help by blocking or taking down known malware sites and command and control servers, while financial services companies can help by choking off the money supply to known criminals, Microsoft says.

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
What the FedEx Logo Taught Me About Cybersecurity
Matt Shea, Head of Federal @ MixMode,  6/4/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
A View From Inside a Deception
Sara Peters, Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/2/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
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
CVE-2021-24360
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-14
The Yes/No Chart WordPress plugin before 1.0.12 did not sanitise its sid shortcode parameter before using it in a SQL statement, allowing medium privilege users (contributor+) to perform Blind SQL Injection attacks
CVE-2021-24382
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-14
The Smart Slider 3 Free and pro WordPress plugins before 3.5.0.9 did not sanitise the Project Name before outputting it back in the page, leading to a Stored Cross-Site Scripting issue. By default, only administrator users could access the affected functionality, limiting the exploitability of the v...
CVE-2021-24341
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-14
When deleting a date in the Xllentech English Islamic Calendar WordPress plugin before 2.6.8, the year_number and month_number POST parameters are not sanitised, escaped or validated before being used in a SQL statement, leading to SQL injection.
CVE-2021-24345
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-14
The page lists-management feature of the Sendit WP Newsletter WordPress plugin through 2.5.1, available to Administrator users does not sanitise, validate or escape the id_lista POST parameter before using it in SQL statement, therefore leading to Blind SQL Injection.
CVE-2021-24346
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-14
The Stock in & out WordPress plugin through 1.0.4 has a search functionality, the lowest accessible level to it being contributor. The srch POST parameter is not validated, sanitised or escaped before using it in the echo statement, leading to a reflected XSS issue