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MassMiner Attacks Web Servers With Multiple Exploits

A recently discovered crypto-currency mining malware family is using multiple exploits in an attempt to increase its chances of successfully compromising web servers, AlienVault has discovered.

A recently discovered crypto-currency mining malware family is using multiple exploits in an attempt to increase its chances of successfully compromising web servers, AlienVault has discovered.

Dubbed MassMiner, the malware includes a fork of internet scanning tool MassScan, which in this case passes a list of private and public IP ranges to scan during execution. After compromising a target, the malware first attempts to spread to other hosts on the local network, and then attempts propagation over the Internet.

AlienVault observed multiple versions of MassMiner and says the malware continues to spread. The security firm identified compromised systems in Asia, Latin America, and Europe, but hasn’t established yet the full extent of the infection.

After leveraging MassScan for reconnaissance, the malware attempts to exploit vulnerable systems using the CVE-2017-10271 WebServer Exploit, the CVE-2017-0143 NSA-linked SMB Exploit (EternalBlue, used to install DoublePulsar), and the CVE-2017-5638 Apache Struts Exploit. It also attempts to brute force Microsoft SQL Servers using SQLck.

Once a Microsoft SQL server has been compromised, a script that installs MassMiner is executed, followed by a 1000+ line SQL script that disables important security features on the server, such as anti-virus protections.

On the Weblogic servers, the MassMiner malware is downloaded using a PowerShell script, and a VisualBasic script deploys the malware onto Apache Struts servers.

After being deployed, the malware achieves persistence, schedules tasks to execute its components, modifies access control list (ACL) to grant full access to certain files in the system, and kills the Windows Firewall.

MassMiner downloads a configuration file from a remote server. This file contains information on the server to download updates from, the executable to infect other machines with, and the Monero wallet and mining pool to send mined currency to.

“However, if the http request for the config file is never responded, the malware is capable of successfully running the Miner with its default configuration,” Alien Vault notes.

In addition to the crypto-miner, the malware also attempts to install the classic Gh0st backdoor onto the infected machines. This suggests that the malware operators might be setting up for further attacks, the same as the recently detailed PyRoMine malware did.

AlienVault has identified two Monero wallets belonging to the MassMiner operators.

Related: PyRoMine Crypto-Miner Spreads via NSA-Linked Exploit

Related: One Year Later, Hackers Still Target Apache Struts Flaw

Related: Oracle WebLogic Server Flaw Exploited to Deliver Crypto-Miners

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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