The Asprox botnet is sending out more than just phishing e-mails-it is now spreading a SQL injection attack tool.
A botnet is outfitting its army of compromised computers with a SQL
injection attack tool to hack Web sites, researchers at SecureWorks have
According to SecureWorks, the Asprox botnet, once used solely to send out
phishing e-mails, is pushing the tool out to systems in its network via a
binary with the file name msscntr32.exe. The executable is installed as a
system service with the name "Microsoft Security Center Extension."
Despite the name, the file is in fact a SQL injection attack tool that when
launched searches Google for .asp pages that contain certain terms. It then launches
SQL injection attacks against the Web sites returned by the search. According
to SecureWorks, the attack is designed to inject an IFrame into the Web site
This file in turn redirects computers to a site where additional malicious
SecureWorks first reported the attacks May 14. When successful, however, the
site installs additional copies of Asprox, the password-stealing Trojan Danmec
or the SQL attack tool.
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According to a list from VirusTotal, only a handful of the major anti-virus
vendors are detecting the attack tool at this time.
"This is the first time I've seen a SQL injection tool, but certainly
other botnets have tried to spread in a similar manner, infecting Web sites
with IFrames," said Joe Stewart, director of malware research at
SecureWorks. "For instance, Storm tries to get your password if you log in
to a Web site with FTP, and will put an IFrame into the page for you."
So far, SecureWorks has found 1,000 Web sites infected by this wave of SQL
attacks. Visitors to these infected Web sites are infected with the Asprox
malware-turning them into bots-and also download some scareware.
"We've estimated [the Asprox botnet] at around 15,000 hosts, but that
was before the wave of SQL attacks," Stewart said in an interview with
Researchers are still investigating exactly what vulnerability on the Web
sites is being exploited, Stewart said. The Web sites are English-language and their
owners include law firms and midsize businesses.
A similar attack technique is currently being seen
spreading game-password-stealing Trojans from China. Whether the tool is related or only the attack syntax
is shared, it is clear that SQL injection attack activity is on the rise from
multiple sources, Stewart wrote in his blog.