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
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
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-2021-35196
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
** DISPUTED ** Manuskript through 0.12.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted settings.pickle file in a project file, because there is insecure deserialization via the pickle.load() function in settings.py. NOTE: the vendor's position is that the product is not intended fo...
CVE-2010-1433
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
Joomla! Core is prone to a vulnerability that lets attackers upload arbitrary files because the application fails to properly verify user-supplied input. An attacker can exploit this vulnerability to upload arbitrary code and run it in the context of the webserver process. This may facilitate unauth...
CVE-2010-1434
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
Joomla! Core is prone to a session fixation vulnerability. An attacker may leverage this issue to hijack an arbitrary session and gain access to sensitive information, which may help in launching further attacks. Joomla! Core versions 1.5.x ranging from 1.5.0 and up to and including 1.5.15 are vulne...
CVE-2010-1435
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
Joomla! Core is prone to a security bypass vulnerability. Exploiting this issue may allow attackers to perform otherwise restricted actions and subsequently retrieve password reset tokens from the database through an already existing SQL injection vector. Joomla! Core versions 1.5.x ranging from 1.5...
CVE-2010-0413
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Notes: none.