Trend Micro observed notable malware activity associated with the Momentum Botnet

Pierluigi Paganini December 18, 2019

Security experts recently found notable malware activity affecting devices running Linux that is associated with the Momentum Botnet.

Malware researchers from Trend Micro recently observed notable malware activity affecting devices running Linux that is associated with the Momentum Botnet.

Experts revealed details on the tools and techniques used by the botnet to compromise Linux devices and recruit them in launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

The Momentum bot targets various Linux platforms running upon multiple CPU architectures, including ARM, MIPS, Intel, and Motorola 68020.

The bot was observed distributing the Mirai, Kaiten, and Bashlite variants, it leverages multiple exploits for routers and web services to compromise the target devices.

The Momentum bot achieves persistence by modifying the ‘ rc’ files, then connect to command and control (C&C) server and to an internet relay chat (IRC) channel called #HellRoom to register itself and accept commands. Experts pointed out that the bot mainly uses the IRC protocol to communicate with the command and control (C&C) servers.

Momentum botnet

“The distribution server (as seen above) hosts the malware executables. The other server is a C&C server for the botnet. The C&C servers were live as recently as November 18 2019.” reads the analysis published by TrendMicro.

“Once the communication lines are established, Momentum can use various commands to attack using the compromised devices.”

Momentum supports 36 different methods for DDoS attacks, including multiple reflection and amplifications attack methods that target MEMCACHE, LDAP, DNS and Valve Source Engine.

“Apart from DoS attacks, we found that Momentum is also capable of other actions: opening a proxy on a port on a specified IP, changing the nick of the client, disabling or enabling packeting from the client, and more.” concludes the analysis.

“Smart and connected devices are prone compromise because of limited security settings and protection options. The devices themselves are often manufactured with operation in mind, not security. Users should take proactive steps in securing their devices, particularly routers.”

The report published by Trend Micro includes technical details about the Momentum denial-of-service attacks and other capabilities.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Momentum Botnet, malware)

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