To achieve this conversion, four nested Bash one-liners one each, per-octet are concatenated together.
While the mess of cURLs, seds, awks, and pipes is hard to make sense of at first glance, it's a fairly simple technique. To make the process a bit easier to read and to help defenders better understand such operations, here is the same process implemented in Python.
Bitcoins, blockchains, and botnets - Akamai Security Intelligence and Threat Research Blog
The API query results, at the time of this writing, are shown in Fig. Knowing this, let's look at the values of these transactions and convert them into IP address octets. The most recent transaction has a value of 6, Satoshis, converting this integer value into its hexadecimal representation results in the value 0x1b2d. Taking the first byte 0x1b and converting it into an integer results in the number 45 -- this will be the 3rd octet of our final IP address.
Taking the second byte 0x2d and converting it into an integer results in the number 27, which will become the 4th octet in our final IP address. The same process is done with the second transaction to obtain the first and second octets of the C2 IP address. In this case, the value of the second transaction is 36, Satoshis. This value converted to its hexadecimal representation results in the hex value of 0x8dd1.
The first byte 0x8d , and the second byte 0xd1 , are then converted into integers. This results in the decimal numbers and which are the second and first octets of the C2 IP address respectively. Putting the four generated octets together in their respective order results in the final C2 IP address of The resulting IP address served as a backup piece of infrastructure throughout this campaign in recent months.
Initially, the IP address was generated, but only used if the primary server timed out or responded with any HTTP status code, besides or , during the infection process. This means that recovery could be achieved in roughly 30 minutes. In more recent campaigns, the RCE isn't being leveraged for kicking off mining, killing off competitors, or even compromising the machine itself. The RCE has been modified to create a Redis scanning and compromising bot. The same wallet and technique are used, but they're used to craft a series of commands that are launched against Redis servers with weak passwords.
This, in turn, converts the Redis servers into miners and scanners as well. The Redis scanning and infection campaign first begins by building a file named. Once the.
Risk Management Framework: Learn from NIST
These scans also target LAN IP address ranges and move laterally into Redis servers across the local network that may not be Internet-accessible. When the script identifies a host it thinks is running Redis, it attempts a series of connections using the redis-cli tool with weak passwords. This technique opens up the potential for disruption campaigns.
Because they're using the two newest transactions seen in a wallet that anyone can send funds to likely because they don't control the wallet , sending values to the wallet causes their system to start generating invalid IP addresses. If a single transaction for a single Satoshi is sent to the wallet, the single Satoshi is processed and results in a mangled IP address of This mangled IP address will be recognized as an attempt to resolve an invalid domain name and kill attempts to successfully fetch infection payloads.
This type of disruption can be recovered from by the operators by simply sending two more transactions to the wallet. However, it's important we realize the cost involved. These amounts will fluctuate along with the price of Bitcoin and the IP address that needs encoding, but it will always work in favor of the disruptor over the operator.
Knowing what we know, it's possible to figure out what values need to be sent to the wallet in order to cause new infections to calculate a new C2 IP address that we control. In this example, we're using The script encodes any IP address into the proper BTC values that can then be sent to the wallet using two transactions in order to sinkhole the botnet. Sending these values to the wallet will cause new infections to calculate the IP address we provided and use it as their new C2 IP address.
In the above example, encoding the IP address If these values were sent to the wallet, newly re infected machines would decode their C2 IP address into To verif y this, we will attempt to decode the two BTC values we got from encoding our IP address and will end up with The decoder. It then decodes these values into the C2 IP address that would be calculated by the malware. The price once again fluctuates based on the IP address used; for example, pointing the IP address to As highlighted previously, the backup C2 IP address is only leveraged when the primary C2 fails to establish a connection or receives HTTP status codes besides or If sinkhole operators successfully sinkhole the primary infrastructure for these infections, they only need to respond with a status code for all incoming requests to prevent the existing infection from failing over to using the BTC backup IP address.
This campaign uses a previously unseen means of effectively hiding its infrastructure configuration details on the Bitcoin blockchain. Figure Visiting eleethub[. The most notable ones are in the main rootkit directory, in the setup file Figure 14 , and in the information from the botnet operators undead[ ]los[.
Bitcoins, blockchains, and botnets
However, it is unlikely that the attackers are actually part of this criminal organization. The new Perl shell-based botnet uses libraries such as libprocesshider. In addition, the attackers use a specially crafted rootkit to hide the mining operation from discovery. The Perl programming language is popular in malware for its wide compatibility across many Unix-based systems, such as Linux servers, PCs, and even IoT devices. Perl is a scripting language and does not need to be compiled for every different CPU architecture or firmware version.
Another advantage of using Perl scripts is the wide range of libraries that can easily be implemented. This type of botnet takes advantage of the computing power of compromised devices to do various tasks such as coin mining and launching DDoS attacks. Palo Alto Networks customers are protected from the Perl shell botnet by the following platforms:.
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Figure 2. Figure 3. Installing rootkit Figure 4. Process hiding Connecting to the Botnet Once the infected device has downloaded all the files in the rootkit Figure 5 and has started running the malicious scripts, it will connect to an IRC server by sending an assigned nickname that starts with dark followed by a random integer number between 0 and Figure 6. Figure 5. Installation of the rootkit Figure 6.
How cryptojacking works
Figure 7. Figure 8. Figure 9. Channels found manually Figure Available attacks Figure User related to los[.
WildFire identifies and blocks Perl shell botnets. Palo Alto Networks IoT Security detects attacks such as IRC botnets targeting IoT devices Indicators of Compromise Samples 7ed8fc4addab6afc26a2b4d4cabe2d2b33fbeade3c6 dbef55cc0e62ef9afedfdbcfebd04c31c1dccf89a44acdee8ef6 daa2ddb3e77bf5dbaaef2d34ca4f1a8fe4 14cd76c4ebca30d65ed94df19b0bbdab7a73bd 6d1fe6ab3cd04ca5d1abee2bbcaf3bece0cc9b C2 servers eleethub[.