New “Goldoon” Botnet Hijacking D-Link Routers to Use for Other Attacks

Security researchers at FortiGuard Labs discovered a new botnet in April that exploits a weakness in D-Link devices.

Dubbed “Goldoon,” this botnet has been observed exploiting a nearly decade-old security flaw, CVE-2015-2051, to gain unauthorized control over affected routers and carry out malicious activities.

The CVE-2015-2051 vulnerability lies within the Home Network Administration Protocol (HNAP) interface of D-Link devices.

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It allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via a GetDeviceSettings action, which can be manipulated through a crafted HTTP request containing a malicious command.

Despite its discovery back in 2015, this vulnerability has resurfaced as a conduit for the Goldoon botnet to infiltrate network devices.

Trend Micro said that the Goldoon botnet initiates its attack by exploiting CVE-2015-2051 to deploy a “dropper” script from a malicious server.

This script is designed to be self-erasing to avoid detection and is capable of operating across various Linux system architectures.

Once the device is compromised, the dropper downloads and executes a file, setting the stage for further malicious activities.

The dropper’s primary role is to download the botnet file, which it does by employing an XOR key to decrypt specific strings and construct the full Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) for the payload.

The downloader then uses a hard-coded header to retrieve the ultimate payload, engaging in cleanup mechanisms to cover its tracks in the compromised system.

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Once established, the Goldoon malware is capable of launching a variety of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, utilizing methods such as TCP flooding, ICMP flooding, and more specialized attacks like Minecraft DDoS.

Protocol Attack Method
ICMP ICMP Flooding
TCP TCP Flooding, XMAS Attack, etc.
UDP UDP Flooding
DNS DNS Flooding
HTTP HTTP Bypass, HTTP Flooding, etc.
Other Minecraft DDoS Attack

Attack Methods

These attacks can affect both individual targets and larger networks, causing significant disruptions.

Mitigation and Prevention

The rise of the Goldoon botnet serves as a stark reminder that old, unpatched vulnerabilities remain a significant threat.

Users are urged to update their D-Link devices promptly.

Additionally, implementing network monitoring solutions, establishing strong firewall rules, and staying informed about the latest security bulletins and patches are crucial steps in staying ahead of evolving threats.

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Author: Guru baran