Security researcher warn of hackers compromised thousands of Windows boxes using leaked NSA hack tools DOUBLEPULSAR and ETERNALBLUE
Security expert Dan Tentler, the founder of security shop Phobos Group, has observed a significant increase in the number of Windows boxes exposed on the Internet that has been hacked with DOUBLEPULSAR backdoor. The compromised windows boxes have been used for several criminal purposes such as delivering malware or used in spam campaigns.
The DOUBLEPULSAR backdoor allows attackers to inject and execute malicious code on a target system, it is installed by leveraging the ETERNALBLUE, an SMBv1 (Server Message Block 1.0) exploit that could trigger an RCE in older versions of Windows (Windows XP to Server 2008 R2).
Every Window machine running an old vulnerable version that exposes an SMB service is at risk of hack.
The DOUBLEPULSAR and ETERNALBLUE are now available for anyone after the archive of NSA tools was leaked online.
Recently Microsoft patched the SMB Server vulnerability (MS17-010) exploited by ETERNALBLUE, the security updates were released for Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, and Server Core.
According to Tentler, who scanned the Internet for vulnerable Windows boxes, 15,196 systems have been already compromised, most of them in the US.
The expert also observed that the number of infections continues to increase.
Windows boxes compromised with the DOUBLEPULSAR implant could be easily identified observing the response to a special ping to port 445.
“I’m hopeful this is the wakeup moment for people over patching Windows machines.” said Tentler.
According to Tentler on Easter weekend, script kiddies worldwide launched a massive attack leveraging the DOUBLEPULSAR exploit.
The experts have no doubt, the number of DOUBLEPULSAR attacks could continue to increase in the coming week.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.