New threat actor called Rocke distributing and executing crypto-mining malware using variously sophisticated toolkit and Git repositories to mine Monero cryptocurrency.

Malicious cryptocurrency miners are significantly increasing day by day in various form to generate revenue by various cyber criminals group and individuals.

In this case, an attacker using various distribution method including  HttpFileServers (HFS), and a myriad of different payloads, including shell scripts, JavaScript backdoors, as well as ELF and PE miners.

The initial stage of this campaign started in April 2018 when it leverages Chinese Git repositories to drop the malware to honeypot systems that were vulnerable to Apache Struts vulnerability.

Researcher learned that there are 2 Chinese repositories Gitee and GitLab is ultimately responsible for executing the cryptocurrency miner.

Also, the repository contains a collection of ELF executables, shell scripts, and text files with a lot more persistence mechanism.

This attack could be initiated by the same gang or individual cyber criminals who were exploiting an Oracle WebLogic server vulnerability (CVE-2017-10271) which is Java deserialization vulnerability in the Adobe ColdFusion platform.

Apart from this attackers keep expanding the toolset that contains browser-based miners, difficult-to-detect trojans, and the Cobalt Strike malware to compromise the various platform victims.

Crypto-mining Malware with Monero Miner

The researcher observed a Struts2  honeypot system that contains a file named “0720.bin” which is located in 118[.]24[.]150[.]172:10555.

Once they visited the IP address that contains aditional 10 files “3307.bin,” “a7,” “bashf,” “bashg,” “config.json,” “,” “pools.txt,” “,” “” and “TermsHost.exe.”

One of the files called “A7” is a shell script that helps an attacker to kill the various running process on the victim’s machine and other crypto mining malware, uninstall various Chinese antivirus.

According to Cisco Talos, A file called “Config.json” is a mining config file for XMRig, an open-source Monero miner. The file sets the mining pool as xmr[.]pool[.]MinerGate[.]com:45700 and the actor’s wallet as [email protected]. This is why we have named the actor “Rocke”

Another file called “TermsHost.exe” is later in this campaign which is PE32 Monero miner also it called as  Monero Silent Miner.

Also, this miner can be purchased online for $14 and targets malicious actors and cybercriminals advertising for the miner promotes it as offering startup registry key persistence, mining only while idle, and the ability to inject the miner into “Windows processes to bypass firewalls.” Talos said.

Attackers infecting new victims via social engineering that involved with fake Adobe Flash and Google Chrome updates.

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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.


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