A recently observed Satan ransomware variant has added exploits to its portfolio and is looking to compromise more machines by targeting additional vulnerabilities.
First observed in early 2017, the malware has received constant updates to more effectively compromise machines and maximize the attackers’ profits. One of the observed campaigns, Fortinet’s security researchers note, also employed a cryptominer.
Satan is targeting both Linux and Windows machines and attempts to propagate by exploiting a large number of vulnerabilities.
Depending on the campaign, the initial spreader can propagate either via private networks only or through both private and public networks. The Windows component of the ransomware still employs the EternalBlue exploit from the NSA-linked Equation Group.
The malware continues to exploit vulnerabilities previously targeted, including JBoss default configuration vulnerability (CVE-2010-0738), Tomcat arbitrary file upload vulnerability (CVE-2017-12615), WebLogic arbitrary file upload vulnerability (CVE-2018-2894), WebLogic WLS component vulnerability (CVE-2017-10271), Windows SMB remote code execution vulnerability (MS17-010), and Spring Data Commons remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2018-1273).
The ransomware developers decided to remove Apache Struts 2 remote code execution vulnerabilities from the list of exploits, for unknown reasons.
However, several web application remote code execution exploits were added to the list, and were implemented in both the Linux and Windows versions. These are Spring Data REST Patch Request (CVE-2017-8046), ElasticSearch (CVE-2015-1427), and ThinkPHP 5.X Remote Code Execution (no CVE).
To spread, the malware performs IP address traversal and attempts to scan and execute its entire list of exploits on every IP address, along with its corresponding hardcoded port list. The ransomware spawns a different thread for every propagation attempt for every targeted IP and port, Fortinet explains.
On private networks, the malware retrieves all possible IP addresses. The Windows variant attempts to propagate to hosts regardless of the network’s class type, while the Linux component avoids the Class A type private network.
When targeting public IPs, the spreader retrieves the list of targets from the command and control (C&C) server, then iterates through all of them. The security researchers only observed attacks on IPs located in China.
The security researchers also noticed that the ransomware attempts to scan some applications, including Drupal, XML-RPC, Adobe, and more, and that it notifies the server if an application exists. While no corresponding exploit payload was observed for these applications, the malware authors could easily implement one.
“Satan Ransomware is becoming more and more aggressive with its spreading. By expanding the number of vulnerable web services and applications it targets, it increases its chance of finding another victim and generating more profits. In addition, Satan Ransomware has also already adopted the Ransomware-as-a-Service scheme, opening it up to use by more threat actors, which means more attacks and more revenue,” Fortinet concludes.
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