Security experts at Doctor Web discovered a new IoT botnet leveraging the Linux.ProxyM malware that is currently being used in a campaign attempting to hack websites.
Experts first analyzed the Linux.ProxyM in July, it was used to create a proxy network through SOCKS proxy server on infected devices that are used to relay malicious traffic, disguising his real source.
The Trojan has been noted since February 2017 but peaked in late May.
According to Dr. Web, the number of devices infected with Linux.ProxyM reached 10,000 units in July since its discovery in February 2017.
The malware is able to target devices based on different architectures including x86, MIPS, MIPSEL, PowerPC, ARM, Superh, Motorola 68000, and SPARC.
“The known assembly of this Trojan exists for devices possessing the following architectures: x86, MIPS, MIPSEL, PowerPC, ARM, Superh, Motorola 68000, and SPARC. It means Linux.ProxyM can infect almost any Linux device, including routers, set-top boxes, and other similar equipment.”
The campaign observed in September was abusing the botnet to send out spam emails, experts estimated that with each infected device generated around 400 messages per day in September.
Later attacks used the botnet to send out phishing emails, the messages supposedly came from DocuSign, a company that provides electronic signature technology and digital transaction management services for facilitating electronic exchanges of contracts and signed documents.
The phishing messages included a link to a fake DocuSign website that featured an authorization form, the attackers used this schema to trick victims into entering their credentials. Then the victims were being redirected to the real DocuSign authorization page.
In December, crooks started using the Linux.ProxyM’s proxy server to hack websites through various methods, including SQL injections, XSS (Cross-Site Scripting), and Local File Inclusion (LFI).
“[the hacking methods] are SQL injections (an injection of a malicious SQL code into a request to a website database), XSS (Cross-Site Scripting)—an attack method that involves adding a malicious script to a webpage, which is then executed on a computer when this page is opened, and Local File Inclusion (LFI).” continues the analysis.
“This kind of attack allows attackers to remotely read files on an attacked server using specially crafted commands. Among the attacked websites were game severs, forums and resources on other topics, including Russian websites.”
On Dec. 7, researchers at Dr. Web observed 20,000 attacks launched by the Linux.ProxyM botnet. About a month ago, the bots were launching nearly 40,000 attacks per day.
“Although Linux.ProxyM has only one function—a proxy server—cybercriminals continue finding new opportunities to use it for illegal actions and showing increasing interest in the ‘Internet of things’,” concludes Doctor Web.
(Security Affairs – Linux Malware, Linux.ProxyM)