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thnThe Hacker NewsTHN:7305B4B98811D6F3313C3B0739824315
HistoryJan 17, 2024 - 11:14 a.m.

Feds Warn of AndroxGh0st Botnet Targeting AWS, Azure, and Office 365 Credentials

2024-01-1711:14:00
The Hacker News
thehackernews.com
94
androxgh0st botnet
aws
azure
office 365
python-based
malware
victim identification
cloud attacks
security flaws
smtp abuse
xss
php
aws key scanning
brute-force attacks

9.8 High

CVSS3

Attack Vector

NETWORK

Attack Complexity

LOW

Privileges Required

NONE

User Interaction

NONE

Scope

UNCHANGED

Confidentiality Impact

HIGH

Integrity Impact

HIGH

Availability Impact

HIGH

CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H

8 High

AI Score

Confidence

High

7.5 High

CVSS2

Access Vector

NETWORK

Access Complexity

LOW

Authentication

NONE

Confidentiality Impact

PARTIAL

Integrity Impact

PARTIAL

Availability Impact

PARTIAL

AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:P

0.975 High

EPSS

Percentile

100.0%

AndroxGh0st Botnet

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned that threat actors deploying the AndroxGh0st malware are creating a botnet for “victim identification and exploitation in target networks.”

A Python-based malware, AndroxGh0st was first documented by Lacework in December 2022, with the malware inspiring several similar tools like AlienFox, GreenBot (aka Maintance), Legion, and Predator.

The cloud attack tool is capable of infiltrating servers vulnerable to known security flaws to access Laravel environment files and steal credentials for high-profile applications such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Office 365, SendGrid, and Twilio.

Cybersecurity

Some of the notable flaws weaponized by the attackers include CVE-2017-9841 (PHPUnit), CVE-2021-41773 (Apache HTTP Server), and CVE-2018-15133 (Laravel Framework).

“AndroxGh0st has multiple features to enable SMTP abuse including scanning, exploitation of exposed creds and APIs, and even deployment of web shells,” Lacework said. “For AWS specifically, the malware scans for and parses AWS keys but also has the ability to generate keys for brute-force attacks.”

The compromised AWS credentials are subsequently used to create new users and user policies, and in several instances, set up new AWS instances for additional, malicious scanning activity.

AndroxGh0st Botnet

These features make AndroxGh0st a potent threat that can be used to download additional payloads and retain persistent access to compromised systems.

“AndroxGh0st is a consistent nuisance: we regularly see related user-agent strings in network connections scanning our honeypots,” Alex Delamotte, senior threat researcher at SentinelLabs, told The Hacker News. “It’s excellent to see CISA issuing an advisory against this type of threat, as cloud-focused malware advisories are uncommon.”

Cybersecurity

The development arrives less than a week after SentinelOne revealed a related-but-distinct tool called FBot that is being employed by attackers to breach web servers, cloud services, content management systems (CMS), and SaaS platforms.

“The cloud threat landscape will continue to borrow code from other tools and integrate them into a holistic ecosystem, which is what we see with AlienFox and Legion doing with AndroxGh0st and FBot respectively,” Delamotte said.

“As actors find new ways to monetize cloud services, we can expect to see tailored tools emerge for those services, much like how these tools focus on exploiting mail services to conduct spamming attacks.”

It also follows an alert from NETSCOUT about a significant spike in botnet scanning activity since mid-November 2023, touching a peak of nearly 1.3 million distinct devices on January 5, 2024. A majority of the source IP addresses are associated with the U.S., China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Russia.

“Analysis of the activity has uncovered a rise in the use of cheap or free cloud and hosting servers that attackers are using to create botnet launch pads,” the company said. “These servers are used via trials, free accounts, or low-cost accounts, which provide anonymity and minimal overhead to maintain.”

(The story was updated after publication to include additional comments from SentinelOne.)

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9.8 High

CVSS3

Attack Vector

NETWORK

Attack Complexity

LOW

Privileges Required

NONE

User Interaction

NONE

Scope

UNCHANGED

Confidentiality Impact

HIGH

Integrity Impact

HIGH

Availability Impact

HIGH

CVSS:3.1/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:N/S:U/C:H/I:H/A:H

8 High

AI Score

Confidence

High

7.5 High

CVSS2

Access Vector

NETWORK

Access Complexity

LOW

Authentication

NONE

Confidentiality Impact

PARTIAL

Integrity Impact

PARTIAL

Availability Impact

PARTIAL

AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:P

0.975 High

EPSS

Percentile

100.0%