Malware Mayhem: How Scanning Attacks are Hijacking Hosts and Hiding Hackers

Beware, cyber sleuths: malware is now the puppeteer of scanning attacks, sneakily hijacking devices to dance the vulnerability tango. Stay safe with Palo Alto’s digital shield! #MalwareMasterminds 🕵️‍♂️🛡️💻

Hot Take:

Malware with a side of covert ops, anyone? The latest trend in cyber shenanigans involves malware-infected devices playing Marco Polo across networks to find vulnerabilities, all while the puppet-master attackers kick back, sip on their virtual martinis, and plot their next move. It’s like a high-tech game of hide-and-seek where the seeker is your own compromised toaster. Palo Alto Networks is on the case, though, dishing out cybersecurity recipes to keep those malicious scans from turning your network into burnt toast.

Key Points:

  • Threat actors now prefer malware-infected hosts for scanning, basically turning your gadgets into double agents.
  • These digital ninjas cover their tracks, sneak past defenses, and expand their botnets like a Silicon Valley startup on venture capital.
  • Signatures of known threats and new patterns of scanning behavior are the bouncers at this unwanted network party.
  • Palo Alto Networks has a suite of cyber-gadgets to shield customers from these scanning shenanigans.
  • If you’re feeling exposed, Unit 42 Incident Response is essentially the cybersecurity equivalent of calling in the Avengers.
Cve id: CVE-2023-34362
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: mitre
Cve date updated: 06/23/2023
Cve description: In Progress MOVEit Transfer before 2021.0.6 (13.0.6), 2021.1.4 (13.1.4), 2022.0.4 (14.0.4), 2022.1.5 (14.1.5), and 2023.0.1 (15.0.1), a SQL injection vulnerability has been found in the MOVEit Transfer web application that could allow an unauthenticated attacker to gain access to MOVEit Transfer's database. Depending on the database engine being used (MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, or Azure SQL), an attacker may be able to infer information about the structure and contents of the database, and execute SQL statements that alter or delete database elements. NOTE: this is exploited in the wild in May and June 2023; exploitation of unpatched systems can occur via HTTP or HTTPS. All versions (e.g., 2020.0 and 2019x) before the five explicitly mentioned versions are affected, including older unsupported versions.

Cve id: CVE-2023-46805
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: hackerone
Cve date updated: 01/12/2024
Cve description: An authentication bypass vulnerability in the web component of Ivanti ICS 9.x, 22.x and Ivanti Policy Secure allows a remote attacker to access restricted resources by bypassing control checks.

Cve id: CVE-2024-21893
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: hackerone
Cve date updated: 01/31/2024
Cve description: A server-side request forgery vulnerability in the SAML component of Ivanti Connect Secure (9.x, 22.x) and Ivanti Policy Secure (9.x, 22.x) and Ivanti Neurons for ZTA allows an attacker to access certain restricted resources without authentication.

Cve id: CVE-2024-21887
Cve state: PUBLISHED
Cve assigner short name: hackerone
Cve date updated: 01/12/2024
Cve description: A command injection vulnerability in web components of Ivanti Connect Secure (9.x, 22.x) and Ivanti Policy Secure (9.x, 22.x) allows an authenticated administrator to send specially crafted requests and execute arbitrary commands on the appliance.

Need to know more?

The Art of Cyber Camouflage

The modern hacker has evolved from a lone wolf into a stealthy creature that uses malware to do the dirty work. By compromising innocent devices, they're throwing a masquerade ball where every guest could be a spy. These devices then scan for weak spots in other systems, allowing attackers to play it cool and avoid getting caught. It's cyber espionage at its finest, folks.

The Cyber Sleuths Strike Back

Palo Alto Networks is like the Sherlock Holmes of the digital age, using its keen eye to spot the tell-tale signs of scanning misbehavior. They've got a whole arsenal of tools, like Advanced URL Filtering and DNS Security, which are the digital equivalents of a magnifying glass and a trusty sidekick. And for those operating in the cloud? The Prisma Cloud WAAS module is like having a virtual umbrella in a storm of scans.

Spotting the Red Flags in a Sea of Data

Imagine scanning attacks as the annoying pop-up ads of the cyber world—except instead of selling you something, they're trying to break into your digital home. Palo Alto Networks is on a mission to spot these cyber trespassers by flagging high volumes of requests and suspicious URLs. It's like having a neighborhood watch for your network, only with more algorithms and fewer nosy neighbors.

Malware's Puppet Show

Malware has turned infected devices into puppets, and the puppeteers are the hackers who pull the strings, commanding their digital minions to scan around and find new victims. It's a twisted performance where every act could lead to a security breach, and no one's clapping at the end.

Botnets on Tour

Meanwhile, Mirai botnets are like the rock stars of the malware world, touring networks and leaving chaos in their wake. They keep updating their setlist with new tricks to break into systems, because who doesn't love an encore of destruction? Palo Alto Networks is the diligent venue security, checking for fake passes and keeping the riff-raff out.

After the Vulnerability Gold Rush

When a new vulnerability hits the news, it's like a starting pistol for a cybercriminal race. Hackers rush to exploit it before patches can be applied, turning it into a week-long festival of scanning—a Coachella for crooks, if you will. It's a rush to see who can hit the most targets, and the numbers are more inflated than a tech CEO's ego.

Router Rodeo

And let's not forget routers—the favorite playground for digital desperados. They love to ride these electronic steeds into the sunset, leaving compromised security in their dust. It's like a rodeo out there, and your router is the bull everyone's trying to hang onto.

The Proactive Protectors

Palo Alto Networks doesn't just sit around waiting for bad things to happen. They're the proactive neighborhood watch, the ones who actually know how to use the defibrillator hanging in the community center. With their suite of security services, they're keeping an eye out for the digital miscreants before they can even knock on your virtual door.

Joining Forces Against Digital Villains

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Tags: botnet expansion, malicious URLs, malware-based scanning, Network Security, Threat Prevention, URL filtering, Vulnerability Detection