Monero mining botnet targeting China red-flagged by researchers

14 Jun, 2019
by Alberto Arnaldo
Monero mining botnet targeting China red-flagged by researchers

Another network of bots programmed to take advantage of computer and mobile resources in order to mine cryptocurrencies has been spotted, this time apparently ready to attack Chinese users.

Trend Micro announced the finding yesterday on a blog post, which apparently was enabled by one of their honeypots. An URL spreading the botnet, which comes loaded with a Perl-scripted backdoor, was detected.

Researchers note that the techniques coincide with those used by the Outlaw hacking group in previous operations. However, unlike previous operations of the group in 2018, when they compromised more than 200,000 computers and phones worldwide, this botnet was still on a testing and development phase, according to the report.

China appears to be the country where the first infection attempts have been pinpointed. This Perl based backdoor is suited as well for enabling the launch of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on Linux and Window based platforms, with evidence for future attacks being possible for Android as well.

The 2018 attack by Outlaw hacking group was characterized by a function which allowed their attacking bots to steal mining hosts from other attackers to infect them again with their own updated version, therefore taking over the complete bot miner activity in affected devices.

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