Researchers from Netlab, discovered that Free-Socks.in proxy service is leveraging a huge botnet of hacked WordPress sites.
According to the experts, traffic managed by the proxy service is routed through a network of hacked WordPress sites.
Threat actors compromised the WordPress sites with highly obscured web shells and the Linux
The variant analyzed by the researchers is a Linux porting of the Win32.Ngioweb malware that was first detected in the wild in August 2018 by experts at Check Point.
“We determined that this is a Proxy Botnet, and it is a Linux version variant of the Win32.Ngioweb malware. We named it Linux.Ngioweb. It shares a lot of code with Win32.Ngioweb, except that it has DGA features.” reads the analysis of Netlab.
“In addition, we have observed that Linux.Ngioweb malware has been implanted into a large number of WordPress Web servers.”
The experts registered one of the DGA C2 domain names (
The Linux.Ngioweb Bot sample implements Back-Connect Proxy on the victim’s machine.
“The attacker builds multiple Bots into a Proxies Pool and controls it through a two-tier C2 protocol, then provides a Rotating Proxy Service.” continues the analysis.
The first stage (Stage-1) manages all the infected sites, while the second one (Stage-2) set the C&C servers. At the Stage 2, the bot establishes communication with the C2 of Stage-2 and enables the Back-Connect Proxy function. Command and Control servers of the stage-2 is specified by the CONNECT command.
Sinkholing the C2 domain experts observed connections from 2,692 WordPress compromised sites, most of which are located in the US.
Netlab plans to share the list of infected servers with other security firms and law enforcement agencies.
Relevant security and law enforcement agencies are welcomed to contact netlab[at]360.cn for a list of infected IP addresses.
“Readers are always welcomed to reach us on twitter, WeChat 360Netlab or email to netlab at 360 dot cn.” concludes the report.