Outlaw Hacking group uses command injection vulnerability in IoT devices and Linux servers to distribute botnets. The threat actors compromised the FTP servers of Japanese institution and Bangladeshi government site.
Security researchers from TrendMicro uncovered the hacking operation named “Outlaw”, the hacker group used compromised servers and linked to availability cluster to host an IRC bouncer, which was used to command and control the emerging botnet.
Along with exploiting files, the attackers used hacking tools to target organizations through DoS and SSH brute force. Researchers caught the operation by placing a number of honeypots and capturing injected commands.
The botnet used is a shell botnet variant written in Perl and the script is available in Github and the same botnet was distributed before in shellshock vulnerability.
The payload used is the n3 file that runs with Perl interpreter, once the both installed on the system it continuously communicates with the C&C server if in case the internet is disconnected it will reconnect again.
Once the shellbot executed on the server the administrator of IRC can send continuous commands to perform ort scan, perform various forms of distributed denial of service (DDoS), download a file, get information about other machines, or just send the operating system (OS) information and list of certain running processes on the C&C server.
The botnet continuously scans for the following ports
“All infected hosts also showed base C&C connection in the form of PING/PONG traffic, occasionally asked for updates, and provided some host information like suspicious crontab-like records and the process identifier (PID) of the sd-pam process of the user who was running the IRC bot on the system.”
Also, researchers spotted several identities such as Luci, Lucian, Dragos, mazy, hydra, and poseidon were spotted in IRC communication channels.
“The Outlaw group here used an IRC bot, which isn’t a novel threat. The code used is available online, making it possible to build such a bot and operate it under the radar of common network security solutions.”