Prolexic Technologies is looking to arm security pros with information to fight back against hackers who are using a set of Distributed Denial of Service attack tools.
A security vendor has disclosed vulnerabilities in a family
of toolkits used for distributed denial-of-service attacks to help those
looking for ways to "neutralize" attacks.
Prolexic Technologies, which has a long history in battling
DDoS attacks, revealed
in the command and control (C&C) architecture for the Dirt
Jumper toolkit family. According to the company, the idea is to allow security
pros to gain access to the command and control database backend and potentially
access server-side configuration files.
"DDoS attackers take pride in finding and exploiting
weaknesses in the architecture and code of their targets," said Scott
Hammack, chief executive officer at Prolexic, in a statement.
"With this information, it is possible to access the C&C
stop the attack
," Hammack added.
The company's research includes Dirt Jumper v.3, Pandora and
Di BoT. According to Prolexic, the Dirt
Jumper family of DDoS botnet kits was originally authored by an individual who
uses the handle 'sokol.' Various versions of Dirt Jumper were sold privately
and leaked to the public.
"Construction of a new variant of Dirt Jumper is
relatively easy, only requiring basic knowledge of Delphi, a basic
understanding of PHP and MySQL, and U.S. $5,000 to purchase the Dirt Jumper
builder source code," the company said in its paper.
"The availability of the Dirt Jumper builder source
code indicates that several authors are creating spin-off variants, yet
continue to use the basic functions of the PHP/MySQL C&C web panel without
major modifications beyond the graphical theme," the firm added in its
According to the company, the malware's authors overlooked
security for critical portions of the toolkits, with the weakest link being the
insecure coding practices used in the creation of the C&C panels.
"They are simple PHP/MySQL scripts that are pieced
together to manage the infected bots," the researchers stated in the
report. "In their review of the code for vulnerable functions, analysts
were able to identify Web application vulnerabilities within the C&C panels
in the form of weak authentication mechanisms, file inclusion vulnerabilities,
directory traversal vulnerabilities and SQL injections. These vulnerabilities
can lead to compromise of the C&C Web application, which may lead to a
complete compromise of the C&C host server."
In addition to the Dirt Jumper report, Prolexic's Security
Engineering & Response Team (PLXsert) issued a threat advisory on the Pandora
toolkit. According to the firm, Pandora is the newest member of the Dirt Jumper
family and was used in July to attack the Website of security blogger Brian
Recently, some in the security community have urged
organizations to consider taking a more aggressive approach to dealing with
attacks, including exploiting hacking tools such as the ones Prolexic mentions
in the report. However, others have cautioned that there could be dangers in
playing offense, arguing companies should leave such actions to law enforcement
and instead focus only on gathering and leveraging information about attackers.
"Part of our mission is to clean up the Internet,"
Hammack said. "It is our duty to share this vulnerability with the
security community at large."