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Hackers Attacking Linux Cloud Servers To Gain Complete Control

Hackers Attacking Linux Cloud Servers To Gain Complete Control

Malware storage, distribution, and command and control (C2) operations are increasingly being used to leverage cloud services for recent cybersecurity threats. 

But, this complicates the detection process and all the prevention efforts. 

Security researchers at FortiGuard Labs have recently observed that the botnets like UNSTABLE and Condi have been actively exploiting the Linux cloud platforms to gain control and storage. 

Hackers Attacking Linux Servers

Moreover, threat actors are also targeting various devices and systems, including JAWS webservers, Dasan GPON and Huawei HG532 routers, TP-Link Archer AX21, and Ivanti Connect Secure, by exploiting multiple vulnerabilities to strengthen their attacks.

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JAWS Webserver RCE vulnerability (CVE-2016-20016) is the starting access point of UNSTABLE Botnet, which is a Mirai variant that downloads downloader script from a particular IP.

Attack flow (Source – Fortinet)

The botnet contains three main modules: scanner, DDoS attack, and exploitation. It scans for several vulnerabilities and brute-forces using hard-coded credentials; it also has nine methods to attack using DDoS techniques.

This botnet’s configuration is XOR-encoded, and it supports thirteen architectures.

The choice of attack techniques is determined by the commands issued by the C2 server, which helps demonstrate how versatile the botnet is and its potential impact.

Infecting devices to distribute malware from trembolone.zapto.org (45.128.232.90) by the Condi DDoS botnet result from CVE-2023-1389 being exploited.

FortiGuard Labs revealed two main IP addresses, 45.128.232.229 (attack source and C2 server) and 209.141.35.56 (malware storage). There are various DoS tools in use by the botnet for different Linux architectures.

The script connects to the C2 server, collects information on running processes, and transmits it back.

It seems that during this setup, separate malware storage was used in the cloud-based C2 infrastructure to check if a device could be infected before proceeding further with the infection stages.

Skibidi malware is based on two vulnerabilities, “CVE-2023-1389 in TP-Link Archer AX21″ and “CVE-2024-21887 in Ivanti Connect Secure.” It utilizes a script that pulls the right architecture for Linux to be attacked.

The malware sidesteps detection by employing tactics like process forking, string encoding, and process name manipulation.

The malware connects with the Command & Control (C2) server, watches system events occurring on it as well as sends itself reports back.

With this new breed of malware exploiting cloud services for its operations, it is clear that organizations need to step up their defenses against cloud-based threats.

To prevent such sophisticated cyber threats, multi-layered security mechanisms consisting of regular patches and network segmentation must be implemented.

IoCs

C2:-

  • 45[.]128[.]232[.]15
  • 45[.]128[.]232[.]90
  • 45[.]128[.]232[.]229
  • 45[.]128[.]232[.]234

URLs:-

  • hxxp://45[.]128[.]232[.]15
  • hxxp://45[.]128[.]232[.]90
  • hxxp://45[.]128[.]232[.]229
  • hxxp://209[.]141[.]35[.]56/getters
  • hxxp://45[.]128[.]232[.]234

Files:-

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Author: Tushar Subhra Dutta