A new hacking group called Outlaw distributing powerful botnet in order to perform the network scanning crypto-mining operation, a brute-force attack on vulnerable systems.
This new threat discovered in IoT Honeypot system and it uses a specially crafted tool called haiduc that helps attackers to search the vulnerable system on the internet using command injection vulnerability.
So for researchers discovered over 180,000 compromised hosts and 20,000 newly compromised hosts that includes various systems IoT devices, cloud VPS and Windows server that already compromised.
The botnet infects Android-based mobile devices and performs mining only if it gets root access on the targeted Android device.
Outlaw hacking group initially build their infrastructure that capable of performing a DDoS attack on the targeted network later they have added the capability of performing brute forcing the SSH and start the crypto mining operation.
Outlaw’s Malicious Variants and its Operation
Researchers from TrendMicro spotted two variants of activities from Outlaw, The first version has two functionality the miner and Haiduc-based dropper, the second variant distributed by the bot for brute force and others exploits.
The first variant is capable of mining the Monero cryptocurrency from both Android and Linux system.
Before starting the mining process it checks the system for other running mining scripts, if it finds then it kills them and starts its own binary which means that it has capable of destroying the other mining scripts.
Once the miner started it checks whether other miners are running or not, if not then it downloads the malicious scripts and restarts the mining process.
According to Trend Micro, This process allows the attacker to steal the already compromised mining hosts from other attackers and reinfect already “owned” hosts with an updated version of the miner, thus continuing the operation even after the attackers’ XMR wallets have been hijacked and report back to attackers.
In another part, it uses the haiduc tool to brute force vulnerable hosts running an SSH service and once it successful then it runs a command to spread the bot.
Later its scan the various targets and results sent back to attackers via hardcoded email also it exploit more websites over PHP vulnerabilities to get new C&C or content delivery servers.
haiduc Toolkit also used to perform some other operations that include finding the system for the presence of running Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) or cPanel for future exploitation.
Using Shodan would reveal hundreds, if not thousands, of servers with open RDP ports publicly seen on the internet. once its compromise, an attacker can gain access to another subnet of the network that is not available on the internet in order to steal sensitive information, spy on individuals, and control industrial system.