While a new variant of the dreaded Mirai botnet, so-called Wicked Mirai, emerged in the wild the operators of the Mirai Satori botnet appear very active.

Experts observed hackers using the Satori botnet to mass-scan the Internet for exposed Ethereum mining pools, they are scanning for devices with port 3333 exposed online.

The port 3333 is a port commonly used for remote management by a large number of cryptocurrency-mining equipment.

The activities were reported by several research teams, including Qihoo 360 Netlab, SANS ISC,  and GreyNoise Intelligence.

Starting from May 11, experts are observing the spike in activity of the Satori botnet.

According to the researchers at GreyNoise, threat actors are focused on equipment running the Claymore mining software, once the attackers have found a server running this software they will push instructions to force the device to join the ‘dwarfpool’ mining pool using the ETH wallet controlled by the attackers.

The experts noticed that most of the devices involved in the mass scanning are compromised GPON routers located in Mexico.

The experts monitored five botnets using the compromised GPON routers to scan for Claymore miners, one of them is the Satori botnet that is leveraging an exploit for the attack.

Interestingly, 95% of the devices scanning for port 3333 today are located in the same residential ISP in Mexico (https://t.co/BOQVwGfz7F) as the majority of the hosts affected by the GPON vulnerability disclosed earlier this week. https://t.co/Ezk1iPxVzJ

GreyNoise has observed ~13,000 compromised home routers probing the Internet for the ‘/GponForm/diag_Form’ URI over the past 96 hours, likely related to the weaponization of CVE-2018-10561. Most devices are located in the “Uninet” ISP in Mexico.

Below the details of the five botnets published by Netlab 360:

  • SatoriSatori is the infamous variant of the mirai botnet.
    • We first observed this botnet coming after the GPON vulnerable devices at 2018-05-10 05:51:18, several hours before our last publish.
    • It has quickly overtakes muhstik as the No.1 player.
  • Mettle: A malicious campaign based on IP addresses in Vietnam (C2 210.245.26.180:4441, scanner 118.70.80.143) and mettle open source control module
  • HajimeHajime pushed an update which adds the GPON’s exploits
  • imgay: This appears like a botnet that is under development. Its function is not finished yet.

“In our previous article, we mentioned since this GPON Vulnerability (CVE-2018-10561, CVE-2018-10562 ) announced, there have been at least five botnets family mettle, muhstik, mirai, hajime, satori actively exploit the vulnerability to build their zombie army in just 10 days.” reads a blog post published by Netlab 360.

“From our estimate, only 2% all GPON home router is affected, most of which located in Mexico.”

“The source of this scan is about 17k independent IP addresses, mainly from Uninet SA de CV, telmex.com, located in Mexico,”

Researchers at SANS ISC that analyzed the Satori botnet activity discovered the bot is currently exploiting the CVE-2018-1000049 remote code execution flaw that affects the Nanopool Claymore Dual Miner software.

The experts observed the availability online of proof-of-concept code for the CVE-2018-1000049 vulnerability.

“The scan is consistent with a vulnerability, CVE 2018-1000049, released in February [2]. The JSON RPC remote management API does provide a function to upload “reboot.bat”, a script that can then be executed remotely. The attacker can upload and execute an arbitrary command using this feature.” reads the analysis published by the SANS ISC.

“The port the API is listening on is specified when starting the miner, but it defaults to 3333. The feature allows for a “read-only” mode by specifying a negative port, which disables the most dangerous features. There doesn’t appear to be an option to require authentication.”

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