Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Rootkit Web sites fall to DDOS attack

Filed under
Security

Two prominent Web sites that specialize in remote access software known as "rootkits" have been taken offline by a large distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack. The take-down was allegedly ordered by a shadowy group of hackers and rootkit authors who took offense to criticisms of their software posted on the sites.

Rootkit.com, an established Web site run by security expert Greg Hoglund, has been offline for almost a week. Two other sites, operated by a prominent rootkit author known as "Holy Father" have also been taken down in the attacks, which are believed to be the work of a group of Bulgarian and Turkish hackers known as the SIS-Team, according to Hoglund, the chief executive officer of HBGary, Inc., an information technology software and services company.

The attack against rootkit.com began on Tuesday, April 5, after someone using the name "ATmaCA" posted an inflammatory message to one of the discussion groups on the site that advertised a number of malicious remote access software programs sold by SIS Team, including SIS-Downloader, ProAgent and SIS-IExploiter, Hoglund said.

The programs are powerful spyware tools that, when combined, enable remote attackers to secretly compromise other machines using attack Web pages. They are sold online at Web sites like www.spyinstructors.com and are popular with those behind spam campaigns, who use the tools to plant remote control programs that are then used to send out spam, Hoglund said.

The post by ATmaCA prompted curt responses from rootkit.com members, who objected to authors using the discussion forum as a venue to advertise their commercial software. Other rootkits discussed on rootkit.com are open source, and authors typically post links to their source code on the site, Hoglund said.

In the "flame war" that erupted between the SIS-Team members and the rootkit.com contributors, questions were also raised about the quality of the SIS-Team products. Some rootkit.com regulars alleged that the tools were poorly written and frequently crashed machines they ran on, Hoglund said.

Within hours of the first post from ATmaCA, the rootkit.com Web site was under attack by a network of more than 500 compromised computers, or bots, that flooded the site with about 170,000 requests a second, making it unreachable for most Internet users, he said.

Two rootkit-focused Web sites operated by Holy Father were also downed by DDOS attacks after that person posted remarks critical of ATmaCA and SIS-Team, according to an e-mail from Holy Father.

In both cases, extortion e-mail was sent to the Web site owner following the DDoS attacks saying that the Web site owners could end the attacks by posting public apologies to ATmaCA and SIS-Team on their Web sites, Hoglund and Holy Father said.

Hoglund, who is a noted security expert and author of the book "Exploiting Software," was working on Monday to bring the rootkit.com Web site back online. He expressed outrage at the attacks, which he said were instigated by a group of immature hackers, and said that he would have taken the inflammatory post about ATmaCA and SIS-Team off rootkit.com as a matter of policy.

"I find it very offensive that a public Web site that does nothing but share information is attacked by a bunch of immature children," he said. "These are hackers who can't stand on their own merits. They make claims for their software, and then can't argue about it, but just DDOS their critics off the Internet."

Rootkit.com has more than 25,000 registered users and about 30 regular contributors. Despite the reputation of rootkits as hacker tools, many of those who frequent the site are professional security experts and students who study computer security and use the rootkit source code available on the site to figure out ways to defend against rootkit programs, Hoglund said.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

The Great Debian Iceweasel/Icedove Saga Comes to an End

The hatchet is finally completely buried. Iceweasel was laid to rest a year ago with the return of Firefox to Debian. Now, Icedove gets to go gently into that good night as well, as the Thunderbird email client returns to Debian. Read more

Releases: Linux From Scratch 8.0, LEDE 17.01, 4MRescueKit 21.0

  • Linux From Scratch 8.0 and Beyond LFS 8.0 Land with GCC 6.2, GNU Binutils 2.27
    Bruce Dubbs from the LFS (Linux From Scratch) and BLFS (Beyond Linux From Scratch) projects that allow experienced users to build their own Linux-based operating systems from scratch announced the release of Linux From Scratch 8.0 and Beyond LFS 8.0. Both Linux From Scratch 8.0 and Beyond Linux From Scratch 8.0 major versions are available with and without the systemd init system, and they offer support for some of the latest GNU/Linux and Open Source components, including GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 6.2.0, GNU Binutils 2.27, and Glibc (GNU C Library) 2.24.
  • OpenWRT-Forked LEDE Releases 17.01, Presents At The Embedded Linux Conf
    This week marks the 17.01.0 final release of the Linux Embedded Development Environment (LEDE). They also presented at this week's Linux Foundation Embedded Linux Conference about their project that's a fork of OpenWRT and aims for router/embedded use-cases. LEDE 17.01.0 final was released on Wednesday and modernizes many parts of its OpenWRT stack, switches to the Linux 4.4 kernel (from Linux 3.18), updates many pieces of key software, adds additional security features, improves networking support, and has a wide variety of other improvements.
  • 4MRescueKit 21.0 Has Antivirus Live CD 21.0-0.99.2, 4MRecover and 4MParted 21.0

Linux Kernel News

  • Linux Kernels 4.9.13 and 4.4.52 LTS Bring Updated USB Drivers, Networking Fixes
  • Linux Kernel 4.10 Gets Its First Point Release, It's Now Ready for Deployment
    Well, that didn't take long, and it looks like the recently released Linux 4.10 kernel series just got its first point release today, Linux kernel 4.10.1, marking the branch as stable and ready for deployment in stable OSes. Linux kernel 4.10.1 comes only one week after the release of Linux 4.10, which is now considered the most stable and advanced kernel available for any GNU/Linux distribution that wants to adopt it for their users, so you can imagine that the changes are quite small in number. According to the appended shortlog, a total of 21 files were changed in this first point release, with 259 insertions and 52 deletions.
  • GNU Linux-libre 4.10-gnu is now available
  • GNU Linux-Libre 4.10: GPU Drivers Remain The Most Frequent Offenders
    The GNU Linux-libre 4.10 kernel was released last weekend just after the official Linux 4.10 kernel release while I hadn't noticed the de-blobbed kernel release until today. The Linux-libre folks continue to criticize the open-source GPU DRM drivers as being offenders for using binary blob firmware/microcode. GNU Linux-libre for those that don't know is the FSFLA effort to de-blob the mainline Linux kernel by removing support for loading binary-only modules as well as stripping out drivers or portions of driver code that rely upon closed-source/binary-only firmware/microcode images, which is quite common among newer hardware.
  • AMD's Ryzen Will Really Like A Newer Linux Kernel

Today in Techrights