Security Experts:

DDoS Toolkit Being Used in Synchronized Attacks Against Banking, Hosting and Energy Firms

The denial-of-service toolkit used against financial institutions late last year has also been used against hosting and energy companies, DDoS protection firm Prolexic said in an advisory Thursday.

The “itsoknoproblembro” toolkit was behind the distributed denial-of-service attacks that dogged several banks in the United States last fall. The attacks against the banks were massive, with some peaking at 70 Gbps and more than 30 million pps. The toolkit has a two-tier command mode that can launch multiple high-bandwidth attack types simultaneously and has been used in coordinated campaigns against the energy, hosting provider, and banking industries, Scott Hammack, CEO of Prolexic, said in a statement.


Prolexic did not identify the specific companies that have been targeted.

“This toolkit, which was dangerous to begin with, has been evolving rapidly over the past year," Hammack said.

The itsoknoproblemro toolkit poses a very effective, multi-level threat, Prolexic said. The toolkit targets known vulnerabilities in Web content management systems, including Joomla and WordPress, to infect Web servers with malicious PHP scripts, Prolexic said. It also relies on various attack vectors, including POST, GET, TCP, and UDP floods. A Kamikaze GET flood script repeatedly re-launches automated attacks.

Based on chatter in the hacker underground, Prolexic expects itsoknoproblembro DDoS campaigns to "grow in frequency." The company did not say whether it expected attackers to expand to other industries or stick with the current three.

Past attacks relied on compromised servers in data centers. The itsoknoproblembro toolkit itself does not compromise the servers, as they are infected using other methods. Once the machines are under the attacker's control, then the itsoknoproblembro kit launches simultaneous attacks.

The threat advisory included 11 different attack signatures and detailed SNORT rules organizations can use to mitigate potential DDoS attacks. Along with the threat advisory, Prolexic also released a suite of detection and mitigation rules and a log analysis tool.

The detection rules identify infected Web servers (bRobots) within the organization that has been commandeered into taking part in the DDoS attacks. The log analysis tool (BroLog) pinpoints which scripts were access, by what IP address, for what target. Organizations can use the information to sanitize infected servers and prevent them from being used in the attacks.

“We want to support the security community by sharing our knowledge, so we can help eradicate this threat and remove these malicious scripts from infected machines before they do even more damage,” Hammack said.

Related: Recent Bank Cyber Attacks Originated From Hacked Data Centers, Not Large Botnet

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Fahmida Y. Rashid is a Senior Contributing Writer for SecurityWeek. She has experience writing and reviewing security, core Internet infrastructure, open source, networking, and storage. Before setting out her journalism shingle, she spent nine years as a help-desk technician, software and Web application developer, network administrator, and technology consultant.