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KopiLuwak: A New JavaScript Payload from Turla

Malware Alerts - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 10:00

On 28 January 2017, John Lambert of Microsoft (@JohnLaTwC) tweeted about a malicious document that dropped a “very interesting .JS backdoor“. Since the end of November 2016, Kaspersky Lab has observed Turla using this new JavaScript payload and specific macro variant. This is a technique we’ve observed before with Turla’s ICEDCOFFEE payloads, detailed in a private report from June 2016 (available to customers of Kaspersky APT Intelligence Services). While the delivery method is somewhat similar to ICEDCOFFEE, the JavaScript differs greatly and appears to have been created mainly to avoid detection.

Targeting for this new malware is consistent with previous campaigns conducted by Turla, focusing on foreign ministries and other governmental organizations throughout Europe. Popularity of the malware, however, is much lower than ICEDCOFFEE, with victim organizations numbering in the single digits as of January 2017. We assess with high confidence this new JavaScript will be used more heavily in the future as a stage 1 delivery mechanism and victim profiler.

The malware is fairly simplistic but flexible in its functionality, running a standard batch of profiling commands on the victim and also allowing the actors to run arbitrary commands via Wscript.

Actor Profile

Turla, also known as Snake / Uroburos / Venomous Bear and KRYPTON is a Russian-speaking APT group that has been active since at least 2007. Its activity can be traced to many high-profile incidents, including the 2008 attack against the US Central Command, (see Buckshot Yankee incident) or more recently, the attack against RUAG, a Swiss military contractor. The Turla group has been known as an agile, very dynamic and innovative APT, leveraging many different families of malware, satellite-based command and control servers and malware for non-Windows OSes.

Targeting Ukraine, EU-related institutions, governments of EU countries, Ministries of Foreign Affairs globally, media companies and possibly corruption related targets in Russia, the group intensified their activity in 2014, which we described in our paper Epic Turla. During 2015 and 2016 the group diversified their activities, switching from the Epic Turla waterhole framework to the Gloog Turla framework, which is still active. They also expanded their spear phishing activities with the Skipper / WhiteAtlas attacks, which leveraged new malware. Recently, the group has intensified their satellite-based C&C registrations ten-fold compared to their 2015 average.

Technical Details

Sample MD5: 6e7991f93c53a58ba63a602b277e07f7
Name: National Day Reception (Dina Mersine Bosio Ambassador’s Secretary).doc
Author: user
LastModifiedBy: John
CreateDate: 2016:11:16 21:58:00
ModifyDate: 2016:11:24 17:42:00

Decoy document used in the attack

The lure document above shows an official letter from the Qatar Embassy in Cyprus to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in Cyprus. Based on the name of the document (National Day Reception (Dina Mersine Bosio Ambassador’s Secretary).doc, it is presumed it may have been sent from the Qatar Ambassador’s secretary to the MoFA, possibly indicating Turla already had control of at least one system within Qatar’s diplomatic network.

The document contains a malicious macro, very similar to previous macros used by Turla in the past to deliver Wipbot, Skipper, and ICEDCOFFEE. However, the macro did contain a few modifications to it, mainly the XOR routine used to decode the initial JavaScript and the use of a “marker” string to find the embedded payload in the document.

New XOR Routine

Below is a snippet of the new XOR routine used to decode the initial JavaScript payload. Turla has consistently changed the values used in this routine over the last year, presumably to avoid easy detection:

Function Q7JOhn5pIl648L6V43V(EjqtNRKMRiVtiQbSblq67() As Byte, M5wI32R3VF2g5B21EK4d As Long) As Boolean Dim THQNfU76nlSbtJ5nX8LY6 As Byte THQNfU76nlSbtJ5nX8LY6 = 45 For i = 0 To M5wI32R3VF2g5B21EK4d - 1 EjqtNRKMRiVtiQbSblq67(i) = EjqtNRKMRiVtiQbSblq67(i) Xor THQNfU76nlSbtJ5nX8LY6 THQNfU76nlSbtJ5nX8LY6 = ((THQNfU76nlSbtJ5nX8LY6 Xor 99) Xor (i Mod 254)) Next i Q7JOhn5pIl648L6V43V = True End Function

Here is a function written in Python to assist in decoding of the initial payload:

def decode(payload, length): varbyte = 45 i = 0 for byte in payload: payload[i] = byte ^ varbyte varbyte = ((varbyte ^ 99) ^ (i % 254)) i += 1

Payload Offset

Another change in the macro is the use of a “marker” string to find the payload offset in the document. Instead of using hard coded offsets at the end of the document as in ICEDCOFFEE, the macro uses the below snippet to identify the start of the payload:

Set VUy5oj112fLw51h6S = CreateObject("vbscript.regexp") VUy5oj112fLw51h6S.Pattern = "MxOH8pcrlepD3SRfF5ffVTy86Xe41L2qLnqTd5d5R7Iq87mWGES55fswgG84hIRdX74dlb1SiFOkR1Hh" Set I4j833DS5SFd34L3gwYQD = VUy5oj112fLw51h6S.Execute(KqG31PcgwTc2oL47hjd7Oi)

Second Layer JavaScript

Once the marker is found, the macro will carve out “15387 + 1” bytes (hard coded) from the end of the marker and pass that byte array to the aforementioned decoding routine. The end result is a JavaScript file (mailform.js – MD5: 05d07279ed123b3a9170fa2c540d2919) written to “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\”.

mailform.js – malicious obfuscated JavaScript payload

This file is then executed using Wscript.Shell.Run() with a parameter of “NPEfpRZ4aqnh1YuGwQd0”. This parameter is an RC4 key used in the next iteration of decoding detailed below.

The only function of mailform.js is to decode the third layer payload stored in the JavaScript file as a Base64 string. This string is Base64 decoded, then decrypted using RC4 with the key supplied above as a parameter (“NPEfpRZ4aqnh1YuGwQd0”). The end result is yet another JavaScript which is passed to the eval() function and executed.

Third Layer JavaScript

The third layer payload is where the C2 beaconing and system information collection is performed. This JS will begin by copying itself to the appropriate folder location based on the version of Windows running:

  1. c:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\mailform.js

  2. c:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Local\Temp\mailform.js

  3. c:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows\mailform.js


Next, it will establish persistence on the victim by writing to the following registry key:

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\run\mailform
Value: wscript.exe /b “<PATH_TO_JS> NPEfpRZ4aqnh1YuGwQd0”


After establishing its persistence, it will then execute a series of commands on the victim system using “cmd.exe /c” and store them to a file named “~dat.tmp”, in the same folder where “mailform.js” is located:

  • systeminfo
  • net view
  • net view /domain
  • tasklist /v
  • gpresult /z
  • netstat -nao
  • ipconfig /all
  • arp -a
  • net share
  • net use
  • net user
  • net user administrator
  • net user /domain
  • net user administrator /domain
  • set
  • dir %systemdrive%\Users\*.*
  • dir %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\*.*
  • dir %userprofile%\Desktop\*.*
  • tasklist /fi “modules eq wow64.dll”
  • tasklist /fi “modules ne wow64.dll”
  • dir “%programfiles(x86)%”
  • dir “%programfiles%”
  • dir %appdata%

Once the information is collected into the temporary “~dat.tmp” file, the JavaScript reads its contents into memory, RC4 encrypts it with the key “2f532d6baec3d0ec7b1f98aed4774843”, and deletes the file after a 1 second sleep, virtually eliminating storage of victim information on disk and only having an encrypted version in memory.

Network Communications

With the victim info stored in encrypted form in memory, the JavaScript then will perform the necessary callback(s) to the C2 servers which are hard coded in the payload. The addresses seen in this payload were as follows:

  • http://soligro[.]com/wp-includes/pomo/db.php
  • http://belcollegium[.]org/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-upload-plugins-list-table.php

It should be noted that the above domains appear to have been compromised by the actor based on the locations of the PHP scripts.

Belcollegium[.]org – a legitimate website compromised and used for C2

Victim data is sent to the C2 servers in the form of a POST request. The headers of the POST request contain a unique User-Agent string that will remain the same per victim system. The User-Agent string is created by performing the following steps:

  1. Concatenate the string “KRMLT0G3PHdYjnEm” + <SYSTEM_NAME> + <USER NAME>

  2. Use the above string as input to the following function (System Name and User Name have been filled in with example data ‘Test’ and ‘Admin’):

    function EncodeUserAgent() { var out = ""; var UserAgent = 'KRMLT0G3PHdYjnEm' + 'Test' + 'Admin'; for (var i = 0; i < 16; i++) { var x = 0 for (var j = i; j < UserAgent.length - 1; j++) { x = x ^ UserAgent.charCodeAt(j); } x = (x % 10); out = out + x.toString(10); } out = out + 'KRMLT0G3PHdYjnEM'; return out; }

    The function above will produce a unique “UID” consisting of a 16-digit number with the string “KRMLT0G3PHdYjnEm” appended to the end. In the example above using the System Name “Test” and User Name “Admin”, the end result would be “2356406508689132KRMLT0G3PHdYjnEm”

  3. Prepend the string “user-agent:”, “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64); ” to the result from the last step. This will now be the unique User-Agent value for the victim callbacks. In this example, the final result will be “user-agent:”, “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64); 2356406508689132KRMLT0G3PHdYjnEm”.

The POST request will contain the unique User-Agent string above as one of the headers and also the Base64 encoded version of the RC4 encrypted victim data collected earlier.

The C2 will respond in one of four ways after the POST request:

  1. “good”

  2. “exit”

  3. “work”

  4. “fail”

In the case of an answer of “good”, the JavaScript will then sleep for a random amount of time, ranging from 3600-3900 seconds.

The “exit” command will cause script to exit gracefully, thus shutting down the communications to the C2 server until next startup / login from the user.

The “fail” command is for uninstalling the JavaScript and its persistence. Both the “mailform.js” file and registry key created for persistence will be deleted upon receipt of this command.

The “work” command is used to task the victim’s system to run arbitrary commands via It begins by checking to see if a file “mailform.pif” exists in the same directory as the JavaScript, and if so, it will delete it. The victim will then send a POST request to the C2 much in the same way as before with the beacon traffic, but with some slight differences. The User-Agent header will remain the same as in the beacon traffic, but the data sent to the C2 will consist of the 4-byte string “work”. If the response from the server after this acknowledgement is “200 OK”, then the system will proceed to read the response data into memory, RC4 encrypt it using the same key “2f532d6baec3d0ec7b1f98aed4774843”, then write it out to the “mailform.pif” file referenced above. The command file is run, the JavaScript will sleep for 30 seconds, and then the file is subsequently deleted.

Victims and Sinkholing

One of the domains involved in this new malware (soligro[.]com) expired in July 2016 and was was available for purchase and sinkhole at the time of the analysis. Sinkhole data shows several potential victims, with one high profile victim ( located within the Greek Parliament:

The majority of connections to the sinkhole server have been observed from IP ranges residing within Greece. This leads us to believe the main target for the specific document above was Greece, although we also have indications of targeting in Romania and Qatar based on other data.


In recent months, the Turla actors have increased their activity significantly. The addition of KopiLuwak to their already existing ICEDCOFFEE JavaScript payload indicates the group continues to evolve and deliver new tools to avoid detection by known malware signatures.

Currently, it seems the Turla actors continue to rely heavily on embedded macros in Office documents. While this may appear to be an elementary technique to use for such a sophisticated actor, they are repeatedly successful in compromising high value targets with this method. It is advised that users disable macros in their enterprise and not allow the user to enable said content unless absolutely necessary. Furthermore, using the polymorphic obfuscation technique for the macros has caused difficulties in writing signatures for detection.

DDoS attacks in Q4 2016

Malware Alerts - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 06:00

News Overview

Without doubt, 2016 was the year of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) with major disruptions in terms of technology, attack scale and impact on our daily life. In fact, the year ended with massive DDoS attacks unseen before, leveraging Mirai botnet technology, whose first appearance was covered in our last DDoS Intelligence Report.

Since then, we have published several other detailed reports dedicated to major attacks on Dyn’s Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure, on Deutsche Telekom, which knocked 900K Germans offline in November. Additionally, we tracked similar attacks on Internet service providers (ISPs) in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Liberia all leveraging IoT devices controlled by Mirai technology and partly targeting home routers in an attempt to create new botnets.

Although ‘Rise of the Machines‘, as the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) titled its analysis, sounds quite blatant, it clearly shows that stakeholders worldwide, in particular in the United States and the European Union, recognize the lack of security inherent in the functional design of IoT devices and the need to set up a common IoT security ecosystem. And not before time, as we expect to see the emergence of further Mirai botnet modifications and a general increase in IoT botnet activity in 2017.

Altogether, the DDoS attacks we have seen so far are just a starting point initiated by various actors to draw up IoT devices into the actors’ own botnets, test drive Mirai technology and develop attack vectors. The DDoS attacks on five major Russian banks in November are a very good example of this.

First, they demonstrate once again that financial services like the bitcoin trading and blockchain platforms CoinSecure of India and BTC-e of Bulgaria, or William Hill, one of Britain’s biggest betting sites, which took days to come back to full service, were at the highest risk in the fourth quarter and are likely to remain so throughout 2017.

Second, cybercriminals have learnt to manage and launch very sophisticated, carefully planned, and constantly changing multi-vector DDoS attacks adapted to the mitigation policy and capacity of the attacked organization. As per our analysis, the cybercriminals in several other cases we tracked in 2016 started with a combination of various attack vectors gradually checking out a bank’s network and web services to find a point of service failure. Once DDoS mitigation and other countermeasures were initiated, the attack vectors changed over a period of several days.

Overall, these attacks show that the DDoS landscape entered the next stage of its evolution in 2016 with new technology, massive attack power, as well as highly skilled and professional cybercriminals. Unfortunately, this tendency has not yet found its way into the cybersecurity policies of many organizations that are still not ready or are unclear about the necessary investments in DDoS protection services.

Four main trends of the year

In 2016, the DDoS attack market saw a number of significant changes and developments. We have identified the four major trends:

  1. The demise of amplification-type attacks. These attacks have been around for a while and the methods for combating them are well-known and have been perfected over time. They remained quite popular in the first half of 2016, but it was clear their number and volume were gradually declining. By the end of 2016, cybercriminals had almost completely given up using malicious amplification-type attacks, ending a downward trend that had lasted several years. First of all, this is the result of countermeasures being developed for these attacks. It’s also down to a reduction in the number of vulnerable amplification hosts available to the attackers (DNS Amplification attacks are the best illustration of this) as their owners react to the performance problems and losses associated with these attacks and look for ways to patch vulnerabilities.

  2. Rising popularity of attacks on applications and the growth in their use of encryption. For the last few years UDP-based amplification attacks have remained the undisputed leader on the DDoS attack market, while attacks on applications have been relatively rare. In the second half of the year, and particularly in Q4, there was a dramatic increase in the popularity of attacks on applications, which gradually filled the niche previously occupied by amplification attacks. To organize such attacks, time-tested tools (Pandora, Drive, LOIC/HOIC) and new developments are used. Along with the growing popularity of attacks on applications, the number of these attacks using encryption is also growing. The use of encryption in most cases dramatically increases the efficiency of attacks and makes filtering them more difficult. In addition, cybercriminals continue to use an integrated approach, masking a small but effective attack on applications behind a simultaneous large-scale attack, for example, an attack involving a large number of short network packets (short-packet TCP flood).

  3. The rise in popularity of WordPress Pingback attacks. WordPress Pingback-type attacks, which were extremely rare at the start of 2016, had by the fourth quarter occupied a substantial amount of the DDoS attack market. This is currently one of the most popular attack methods targeting applications, and we consider them separately from the overall mass of attacks at the application level. Relatively simple to organize, the “fingerprint” of these attacks is very specific, and the corresponding traffic can be easily separated from the general traffic flow. However, carrying out such an attack using encryption (something that was observed by Kaspersky Lab experts in Q4 2016) greatly complicates filtering and increases the malicious potential of this type of attack.

  4. Use of IoT botnets to carry out DDoS attacks. After the publication of code on the GitHub resource on 24 October, Kaspersky Lab experts noticed a surge in interest in IoT devices among criminals, especially their use in botnets to perform DDoS attacks. The concepts and methods demonstrated by the creators of the Mirai botnet were used as the basis for a large number of new malicious codes and botnets consisting of IoT devices. These kinds of botnets were used in numerous attacks on Russian banks in Q4 2016. Unlike classic botnets, IoT-based botnets are huge in terms of both their volume and potential, something that was proved by the high-profile attack on the DNS DYN provider, which indirectly affected the work of many major web resources (e.g., Twitter, Airbnb, CNN and many others).

Statistics for botnet-assisted DDoS attacks Methodology

Kaspersky Lab has extensive experience in combating cyber threats, including DDoS attacks of various types and levels of complexity. The company’s experts monitor botnet activity with the help of the DDoS Intelligence system.

DDoS Intelligence (part of Kaspersky DDoS Protection) is designed to intercept and analyze commands sent to bots from command and control (C&C) servers, and does not have to wait until user devices are infected or cybercriminal commands are executed in order to gather data.

This report contains the DDoS Intelligence statistics for the fourth quarter of 2016.

In the context of this report, a single (separate) DDoS attack is defined as an incident during which any break in botnet activity lasts less than 24 hours. If the same web resource was attacked by the same botnet after a break of more than 24 hours, this is regarded as a separate DDoS attack. Attacks on the same web resource from two different botnets are also regarded as separate attacks.

The geographic distribution of DDoS victims and C&C servers is determined according to their IP addresses. In this report, the number of DDoS targets is calculated based on the number of unique IP addresses reported in the quarterly statistics.

It is important to note that DDoS Intelligence statistics are limited to those botnets detected and analyzed by Kaspersky Lab. It should also be noted that botnets are just one of the tools used to carry out DDoS attacks; therefore, the data presented in this report does not cover every DDoS attack that has occurred within the specified time period.

Q4 Summary
  • Resources in 80 countries (vs. 67 in Q3) were targeted by DDoS attacks in Q4 2016.
  • 71.6% of targeted resources were located in China.
  • South Korea, China and the US remained leaders in terms of both the number of targets and number of detected C&C servers.
  • The longest DDoS attack in Q4 2016 lasted for 292 hours (or 12.2 days) – significantly longer than the previous quarter’s maximum (184 hours, or 7.7 days) and set a record for 2016.
  • SYN DDoS, TCP DDoS and HTTP DDoS remain the most common DDoS attack scenarios. The proportion of attacks using the SYN DDoS method decreased by 5.7 p.p., while the shares of both TCP DDoS and HTTP DDoS grew considerably.
  • In Q4 2016, the percentage of attacks launched from Linux botnets decreased slightly and accounted for 76.7% of all detected attacks.
Geography of attacks

In Q4 2016, the geography of DDoS attacks expanded to 80 countries, with China accounting for 76.97% (4.4 p.p. more than the previous quarter). The US (7.3%) and South Korea (7%) were once again second and third respectively.

The Top 10 most targeted countries accounted for 96.9% of all attacks. Canada (0.8%) appeared in the rating, replacing Italy. Russia (1.75%) moved from fifth to fourth thanks to a 0.6 p.p. decline in Vietnam’s share.

Distribution of DDoS attacks by country, Q3 2016 vs. Q4 2016

Statistics for the fourth quarter show that the 10 most targeted countries accounted for 96.3% of all DDoS attacks.

Distribution of unique DDoS attack targets by country, Q3 2016 vs. Q4 2016

71.6% of attacks targeted resources located in China, which was 9 p.p. more than the previous quarter. There was a small increase in the number of targets in South Korea (+0.7 p.p.). The US rounded off the top three, even though its share decreased by 9.7 p.p. (9% vs.18.7% in Q3).

The shares of the other countries in the Top 10 remained almost unchanged, with the exception of Japan which saw a fall of 1 p.p. Italy and the Netherlands left the rating and were replaced by Germany (0.56%) and Canada (0.77%).

Changes in DDoS attack numbers

The distribution of DDoS activity was relatively even throughout Q4, with the exception of a sharp peak registered on 5 November when the largest number of attacks in 2016 – 1,915 – was recorded. The quietest day of Q4 was 23 November (90 attacks). However, by 25 November cybercriminal activity had increased to 981 attacks.

Number of DDoS attacks over time* in Q4 2016

*DDoS attacks may last for several days. In this timeline, the same attack may be counted several times, i.e. one time for each day of its duration.

Saturday was the busiest day of the week in Q4 for DDoS attacks (18.2% of attacks), followed by Friday 1.7 p.p. behind. Monday became the quietest day of the week for DDoS attacks (11.6%).

Distribution of DDoS attack numbers by day of the week, Q3 and Q4 2016

Types and duration of DDoS attacks

The SYN DDoS method remained the most popular: its share accounted for 75.3% of attacks, although this figure is 5.7 p.p. less than in the previous quarter. The figures for other attack types increased slightly – TCP DDoS (from 8.2% to 10.7%) and ICMP DDoS (from 1.7% to 2.2%). UDP’s contribution remained almost unchanged.

Distribution of DDoS attacks by type, Q3 and Q4 2016

Distribution of DDoS attacks by duration (hours) in Q4 2016 was distinctly uneven. While the share of attacks that lasted no more than four hours remained almost the same as the previous quarter (it decreased by just 1.56 p.p.), the figures for the other time periods changed significantly.

The share of attacks that lasted 5-9 hours increased from 14.49% to 19.28%. Attacks lasting 10-19 hours fell by 1.3 p.p., while the proportion of attacks that lasted 20-49 hours fell by even more – minus 3.35 p.p. The percentage of even longer attacks decreased considerably – the share of attacks lasting 50–99 hours accounted for 0.94%, compared to 3.46% in the previous quarter. The share of attacks that lasted 100-150 hours grew and reached 2.2%, which meant that Q4 saw twice as many of these attacks than those lasting 50-99 hours. There were very few cases of attacks lasting longer than 150 hours.

The longest DDoS attack in the fourth quarter lasted for 292 hours, 8 hours longer than the Q3 maximum. This was also the longest attack of 2016.

Distribution of DDoS attacks by duration (hours), Q3 and Q4 2016

C&C servers and botnet types

In Q4, the highest number of C&C servers (59.06%) was detected in South Korea. Although the country’s contribution increased by 13.3 p.p. from the previous quarter, it is much less than in Q2 2016 (69.6%). The top three countries hosting the most C&C servers remained unchanged – South Korea, China (8.72%) and the US (8.39%). Their total share accounted for 76.1%, which is an increase of 8.4 p.p. compared to Q3.

In the fourth quarter, three Western European countries – the Netherlands (7.4%), the UK (1.3%), and France (1.7%) – remained in the Top 10 after entering it back in Q3. Among the newcomers to the C&C rating were Bulgaria (6%) and Japan (1.3%).

Distribution of botnet C&C servers by country in Q4 2016

When it came to the distribution of operating systems in Q4, Linux-based DDoS bots remained the clear leader, although their share decreased by 2.2 p.p., accounting for 76.7%. This correlates with the decline in popularity of SYN DDoS for which Linux bots are the most appropriate tool.

The growing popularity of IoT devices used for DDoS attacks suggests that in 2017 the balance will shift further towards Linux, since most Internet-connected devices are based on this operating system.

Correlation between attacks launched from Windows and Linux botnets, Q3 and Q4 2016

The majority of attacks – 99.7% – were carried out by bots belonging to a single family. Cybercriminals launched attacks using bots from two different families in just 0.3% of cases.

Conclusions and forecasts

We expect the share of amplification-type attacks in 2017 to continue to decrease, especially the most popular types (DNS, NTP). However, considering the simplicity and low organizational costs, the technique may be used in some less popular protocols suitable for amplification (RIP, SSDP, LDAP and so on), though it is unlikely that such attacks will be very effective.

The number and complexity of attacks on applications will continue to grow. Considering the renewed interest in this type of attack among cybercriminals and the stagnation in this segment over the last few years, we can assume that older botnets will gradually fall out of use and something new will appear, for example, botnets capable of more sophisticated attacks. The trend for encryption in attacks on applications will remain.

WordPress Pingback attacks will remain popular. Although in the newer versions of the WordPress CMS the vulnerability used for organizing such attacks (namely, the default Pingback function in older CMS versions) has long since been patched by the developers, there are still many vulnerable hosts on the Internet. Of course, their number will decline over time, reducing the number and power of WordPress Pingback attacks. But the relative simplicity and low cost of organizing such attacks, as well as the possibility of using encryption, makes WordPress Pingback-type attacks attractive to unpretentious cybercriminals.

Botnets based on IoT devices will continue to grow. This is largely due to both the novelty of the IoT concept in general and exploitation of IoT devices by cybercriminals. We can assume that in the fourth quarter of 2016 we only saw the emergence of this new market segment, and in 2017 it will continue to grow and develop. The potential growth is difficult to estimate: until now IoT-device manufacturers were not particularly concerned about protecting their products. Even if we assume that all new IoT devices entering the market are perfectly protected from malicious attacks (which in itself is quite doubtful), the current volume of vulnerable IoT devices with Internet access is considerable. Just a few months after the initial appearance of the concept, attackers were able to demonstrate the use of botnets of unprecedented size and conduct attacks whose power was previously only considered possible in theory. Moreover, these devices have the potential to launch attacks of any complexity – the current trend is attacks on applications, including the use of encryption. Considering the highly effective nature and huge potential of IoT-based attacks, we can predict an increase in the number of such attacks as well as their volume and complexity in 2017.

Browse With Encryption

SANS Tip of the Day - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 00:00
When browsing online, encrypting your online activities is one of the best ways to protect yourself. Make sure your online connection is encrypted by making sure HTTPS is in the website address and that there is a green lock next to it.