June 11, 2019 By David Bisson < 1 min read

Researchers observed an attack campaign exploiting CVE-2019-2725 and abusing certificate files to deliver a Monero miner.

Trend Micro discovered that the Monero miner campaign begins by exploiting CVE-2019-2725, a deserialization vulnerability that affects Oracle WebLogic Server, after arriving on a target machine. It uses this exploit to execute a command for implementing a series of routines. Among these, the attack uses a PowerShell script to download a certificate file from its command-and-control (C&C) server.

With the help of CertUtil, the campaign decodes the certificate file to ultimately reveal a PowerShell command. This resource downloads and executes another PowerShell script from memory that, in turn, downloads and executes various files. Those items include Sysupdate.exe, the payload for the Monero miner, and Update.ps1, a PowerShell script that executes every 30 seconds.

An Uptick in Cryptomining Attacks

This isn’t the only campaign involving a Monero miner in recent months. In April 2019, for instance, Trend Micro spotted a wave of attacks that leveraged EternalBlue and PowerShell to deliver a Monero cryptocurrency miner. It was less than two months after that when the company discovered BlackSquid, a new malware family capable of exploiting eight notorious vulnerabilities including EternalBlue and DoublePulsar to install the XMRig Monero-mining malware.

In May 2019, Guardicore Labs observed that the Nansh0u cryptomining campaign had successfully infected more than 50,000 servers belonging to companies in various industries.

How to Defend Against an Unwanted Monero Miner

Security teams can better avoid unwanted Monero miners by using threat feeds in tandem with a security information and event management (SIEM) tool to watch for malicious traffic that could be looking to exploit vulnerabilities. Organizations should also conduct a thorough risk assessment to measure and formulate an appropriate response to the cryptomining risks facing the network environment.

More from

Unified endpoint management for purpose-based devices

4 min read - As purpose-built devices become increasingly common, the challenges associated with their unique management and security needs are becoming clear. What are purpose-built devices? Most fall under the category of rugged IoT devices typically used outside of an office environment and which often run on a different operating system than typical office devices. Examples include ruggedized tablets and smartphones, handheld scanners and kiosks. Many different industries are utilizing purpose-built devices, including travel and transportation, retail, warehouse and distribution, manufacturing (including automotive)…

Stealthy WailingCrab Malware misuses MQTT Messaging Protocol

14 min read - This article was made possible thanks to the hard work of writer Charlotte Hammond and contributions from Ole Villadsen and Kat Metrick. IBM X-Force researchers have been tracking developments to the WailingCrab malware family, in particular, those relating to its C2 communication mechanisms, which include misusing the Internet-of-Things (IoT) messaging protocol MQTT. WailingCrab, also known as WikiLoader, is a sophisticated, multi-component malware delivered almost exclusively by an initial access broker that X-Force tracks as Hive0133, which overlaps with TA544. WailingCrab…

Operationalize cyber risk quantification for smart security

4 min read - Organizations constantly face new tactics from cyber criminals who aim to compromise their most valuable assets. Yet despite evolving techniques, many security leaders still rely on subjective terms, such as low, medium and high, to communicate and manage cyber risk. These vague terms do not convey the necessary detail or insight to produce actionable outcomes that accurately identify, measure, manage and communicate cyber risks. As a result, executives and board members remain uninformed and ill-prepared to manage organizational risk effectively.…

Pentesting vs. Pentesting as a Service: Which is better?

5 min read - In today's quickly evolving cybersecurity landscape, organizations constantly seek the most effective ways to secure their digital assets. Penetration testing (pentesting) has emerged as a leading solution for identifying potential system vulnerabilities while closing security gaps that can lead to an attack. At the same time, a newer entrant into the security arena is Pentesting as a Service (PTaaS). Although PTaaS shares some similarities with pentesting, distinct differences make them two separate solutions. This article will discuss how these methodologies…

Topic updates

Get email updates and stay ahead of the latest threats to the security landscape, thought leadership and research.
Subscribe today