Security Experts:

New Mirai Variant Targets Vulnerability in Comtrend Routers

A newly identified version of the Mirai Internet of Things (IoT) botnet includes an exploit for a vulnerability impacting Comtrend routers.

Initially discovered in 2016 and having its source code released online in October of the same year, Mirai has been the base of numerous distributed denial of service (DDoS) botnets, several of which emerged over the past months alone, including SORA, UNSTABLE, and Mukashi.

Each of Mirai’s variants has brought something new to the table in terms of targeted devices or intrusion techniques, and the latest detected iteration is no different.

According to Trend Micro’s security researchers, this is the first botnet version to target CVE-2020-10173, a vulnerability in the Comtrend VR-3033 routers.

The issue, an authenticated command injection vulnerability, could be exploited by remote attackers to “compromise the network managed by the router,” Trend Micro explains.

Proof-of-concept (PoC) code has been publicly released for the vulnerability, but this Mirai variant is the first malware to attempt exploiting it at large.

CVE-2020-10173, however, is only one of the vulnerabilities targeted by this malware iteration. It fact, it packs exploits for a total of nine vulnerabilities, including a relatively recent issue in Netlink GPON routers.

The security flaw, a remote code execution bug, was discovered earlier this year, but has already been added to the arsenal of the Hoaxcalls botnet.

In addition to these two vulnerabilities, the new Mirai variant targets a series of older security issues that have been abused by various other botnets in the past, including flaws affecting LG SuperSign EZ CMS, AVTECH devices, D-Link devices, MVPower DVR, Symantec Web Gateway 5.0.2.8, and ThinkPHP.

“The use of CVE-2020-10173 in this variant’s code shows how botnet developers continue to expand their arsenal to infect as many targets as possible and take advantage of the opening afforded by unpatched devices. Newly discovered vulnerabilities, in particular, offer better chances for cybercriminals. Users, not knowing that a vulnerability even exists, might be unable to patch the device before it is too late,” Trend Micro concludes.

The vulnerability impacting Comtrend routers, the researchers note, will likely be abused by other DDoS botnets, as they tend to copy techniques from one another.

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