A number of factors have emerged over the past few years that have allowed the attackers to generate handsome revenue, including the following:-
- Bundles that include adware
- Invading vulnerable Microsoft SQL servers
Here, the cybersecurity researchers at Ahnlab have claimed that the compromised devices are converted into proxies, which are then rented by the proxy services to access internet services.
When the attackers wish to steal the bandwidth of a device, they will install software known as:-
While this software functions as a proxy server on behalf of that device so that it can make use of its available internet bandwidth.
Remote users can access this software and use it in a variety of ways, including:-
- Tests and evaluations
- Collecting information for intelligence purposes
- Dissemination of content
- Insights into the market
Proxy services of this type are very popular and are commonly used by threat actors. In this way, the threat actors gain access to residential IP addresses that are still fresh and unblocked.
This is done in exchange for the device’s owner taking a percentage of any fees that are charged to customers for using the bandwidth that the device has shared.
A brand-new malware campaign has occurred that installs proxyware in order to share the network bandwidth of the victim to earn money.
As a result of setting their email address for the user, the attackers are compensated for the bandwidth that they have used. There may only be some hiccups and slowdowns in connectivity that victims notice at first.
Here, the Adware bundles and malware strains install proxyware software for services such as the following:-
If it has been deactivated, then the malware may use the “p2p_start()” function to launch the proxy client, and not only that but also verifies if the proxy client is maneuvering on the host.
Targeting MS-SQL Servers
As part of this malicious campaign and scheme, Trojans are used by malware operators as a means of generating revenue by installing Peer2Profit clients on Microsoft SQL servers which are vulnerable.
Since early June 2022, UPX-packed database files, containing a file called “sdk.mdf,” have been found to exist in most of the log files retrieved from infected systems. This file contains data that has been encrypted with UPX.
Cryptojacking, or the process of mining cryptocurrency coins to obtain their value, is one of the most common threats to Microsoft SQL servers.
In the case of proxyware clients, the reason behind their use is likely to be that they increase the chances of remaining undetected for longer periods of time.