Prowli Malware

The new malware campaign, dubbed Operation Prowli, infecting number of industries such as finance, education, and government. The Prowli malware has compromised more than 40,000 machines and 9,000 companies around the world.

Prowli malware uses various attack techniques such as brute-forcing, exploits, and weak configurations. It targets CMS hosting servers, backup servers, HP Data Protector, DSL modems and IoT devices.

Security researchers from Guardicore uncovered the malware operation, it uses quiet common techniques for monetization cryptocurrency mining and redirecting users to malicious sites.

Prowli Malware Infection

Cybercriminals behind Prowli compromised a huge number of IPs and domain running different services that exposed to the Internet.

Operation Prowli targeted a number of organizations regardless of their size and distribution. It compromised different services that are vulnerable to remote pre-authentication attacks or brute-force.

Targeted Services

Drupal CMS websites – brute-force
WordPress sites – brute-force
DSL modems – brute-force
Joomla – CVE-2018-7482
Servers with Open SSH port – brute-force
Vulnerable IoT devices – brute-force
Servers exposing HP Data Protector software – over port 5555 – CVE-2014-2623
servers with exposed SMB ports – brute-force
PhpMyAdmin installations – brute-force

Monetization Methods

Guardicore says the attackers the attackers primarily focused on making money and they have employed two common revenue methods.

Cryptocurrency mining
Traffic monetization

Once they have servers compromised the attackers Prowli operation infects the server or IoT device with Monero miner and with the self-propagating r2r2 worm that brute-force SSH logins.

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Prowli group sells traffic via roi777, who pays for traffic sent through them. Attackers used webshells “WSO Web Shell” to host malicious scripts in the website and to redirect the legitimate website traffic to scam sites.

Guardicore published a detailed report along with Indicators of Compromise and other details.

The operation targeted multiple vulnerabilities and brute-force, to prevent this attacks server should be patched against the known vulnerabilities and should use strong credentials.