Reaper Botnet Dwarfs Mirai


By this point everyone and their mother has heard of the botnet dubbed ‘Mirai’, an infamous botnet infrastructure from last year that managed to take down a good chunk of the internet by attacking Dyn, a DNS provider. Well as of this September, weak passwords might have become the least of your worries if you’re like 60% of Check Point’s ThreatCloud covered corporations, and have un-patched vulnerabilities on your network.

Dubbed Reaper, or IOTroop by some, a new IoT botnet is propagating, and shows no sign of slowing down. Today, researchers have ruled out the possibility that Mirai and Reaper are connected, at least on a technical level, due to the superiority that Reaper has displayed in its intrusion and propagation techniques. Whereas Mirai was spread through the exploitation of default passwords across IoT devices, Reaper utilizes a specialized strand of malware that exploits well known vulnerabilities (such as those present in many printers and IoT toasters) to gain entry to a device, and further uses that device to spread itself to others connected.

With near exponential growth, Qihoo 360 Netlab witnessed approximately 2 million newly infected devices waiting to be processed by a C&C server, of which there are several that have thus been identified. The best thing that any concerned corporation or user can do at this point in time, would be to ensure that every machine on their network has updated firmware, and software in an attempt to limit the spread of this variable plague infecting IoT networks worldwide.

Currently, it appears as if we all might be witnessing a ‘calm before the storm’, situation, with this botnet ramping up massively in numbers and, according to Check Point, updating its capabilities on a daily basis. What else can I say but stay safe, and brace for impact, as when this thing hits, it’ll make the Dyn attack look like a birthday party.

– Kenneth Nero

Sources: Here, and Here, also Here


Encryption system used to exploit protected Wifi networks

Everyone knows that they could be a potential target for cyber-crime; as it often appears in the news almost every day. But just how vulnerable is an individual? CERT recently made a statement about how your Wifi network could be exploited if proper precautions are not taken.

On October 16th, 2017, the Computer Emergency Readiness Team made an announcement that addresses the protection of your sensitive information. In short, its advice is to update all your devices when security advancements are available. The reason for this is that a widely used encryption system used on wireless networks can lead to a breach of your credit card information, emails, passwords, etc.

Essentially, the system allows a hacker to gain access to the internet traffic that occurs between computers. Once in, the hacker can manipulate the data that is recovered. Depending on the target’s network configurations, it is even possible for the attacker to inject malware into the network. The unsettling part about this encryption system is that it has the capability of effecting a very wide range of devices including Android, Apple, Linux, and Windows.

Companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Google, and Apple have heeded this advice and have released updates that will help protect people with their devices from this issue.

– Jared Albert


New DoubleLocker Ransomware Attacks Android Devices

Security researchers have discovered a new kind of ransomware for android that both changes the affected device’s PIN code and encrypts the files. It goes by the name DoubleLocker and is reported to use code from an old banking trojan called Svpeng. This was formerly one one of the more interesting pieces of android malware. It would overlay fake banking logins, steal money from bank accounts using sms account management, change PIN codes, and encrypt user files. Fortunately the DoubleLocker ransomware doesn’t attempt to steal any banking information. At least not yet.

DoubleLocker takes a new approach to ransomware, being the first of its kind to misuse Android’s accessibility service to gain admin rights. Once it is installed, usually through a fake flash player update, the app gives requests device accessibility permissions. If the user enables these, the app is able to simulate touches on the screen so it can make itself a device administrator and set itself as the default home app. This means that whenever the user presses the home button, the malware is re-launched. The app uses its administrator rights to change the PIN code on the phone and encrypt all of the user files to .cryeye files with a random key stored at a remote location.


Once running, the app shows a ransom request for 0.013 BTC (about $70) like this one, which when paid will remotely decrypt the phone and remove the PIN lock.

There are a few ways to protect yourself from these kinds of attacks. For one, Flash Player for mobile is dead so don’t be trying to update it. More generally, however, you should

  • Only install apps from trusted sources
  • Keep the “Unknown Sources” checkbox off unless you have a very good reason to turn it on. Always turn it back off right afterwards.
  • Keep an antivirus app on your smartphone


Sources used:


~ Daniel Monteagudo

“Faceliker” Facebook Trojan Making Comeback

“Faceliker” is malware that has been around for a few years, but recently in 2017 McAfee is reporting surges in the use of Faceliker (9.8% of all new malware in Q1/Q2 are Faceliker strains). Faceliker uses JavaScript to basically hijack the users’ clicks and generates likes on Facebook. The malware is becoming increasingly common to be embedded within malicious Chrome extensions.

Why would someone want to hijack clicks from users? Well, it seems as though Faceliker is being used to promote “fake news” (*cough* propaganda), and is also used to promote advertisements and games that aren’t popular, but seem popular due to the likes accumulated by Faceliker. It also can promote fake pages of companies or users in order to make them seem real or reputable, and possibly result in possible catfishing.

McAfee is not certain, but it appears that Faceliker is only being used to promote content by spoofing likes. It is possible different Faceliker strains are being used to steal passwords or other sensitive data, but there isn’t a clear cut answer.

-Ryan Corrao

Hackers Exploit Microsoft Servers to Mine Cryptocurrency

Mining for cryptocurrency is becoming an extremely profitable investment. One of the most popular currencies, bitcoin, is skyrocketing in value. One bitcoin is currently worth $4297 U.S. dollar. These currencies are becoming more and more popular to use online for illegal activity because it’s more difficult to trace, and increasing in value so quickly.

Now to this recent attack on servers running Windows server 2003. An exploit in this software was discovered in March of this year (2017), the exploit targets the web server in Windows server 2003. Hackers have now taken to attacking servers that have not patched to the most recent update that fixes the exploit. The exploit infects the server and adds it to a botnet for the hacker to control and mine for cryptocurrency. In this attack the hackers were mining for a currency called Monero, this currency is completely untraceable and anonymous. Hackers prefer mining for Monero because it uses an algorithm called CryptoNight which works on CPUs and GPUs and unlike Bitcoin requires no special hardware to begin mining. This currency is currently significantly less valuable than bitcoin, at the time of writing 1 Monero is worth $90 U.S. dollars but, like all cryptocurrency the value fluctuates quite frequently. This attack gained the hackers $63,000 worth of Monero in 3 months. There are quite a few pieces of malware that exploit servers to mine this currency. One piece of malware called Adylkuzz uses the EternalBlue exploit, which was actually created by the NSA and released by a group called the Shadow Brokers this exploit was used in the WannaCry ransomware attack. BondNet is another form of malware that also creates a botnet to mine Monero.


– Levi Walker