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

today's leftovers

  • Calamares 2.3 Installer Released
  • ANNOUNCE: libosinfo 0.3.1 released
    I am happy to announce a new release of libosinfo, version 0.3.1 is now available, signed with key DAF3 A6FD B26B 6291 2D0E 8E3F BE86 EBB4 1510 4FDF (4096R). All historical releases are available from the project download page.
  • There and Back Again: The MongoDB Cloud Story
    Before it was a database company, MongoDB was a cloud company. Founded in 2007 and originally known as 10gen, the company originally intended to build a Java cloud platform. After building a database it called MongoDB, the company realized that the infrastructure software it had built to support its product was more popular than the product itself, and the PaaS company pivoted to become a database company – eventually taking the obvious step of renaming itself to reflect its new purpose.
  • C++17: New Features Coming To 33-Year-Old Programming Language
    The C++17 standard is taking shape and adding new features to the vintage programming language. This major update aims to make C++ an easier language to work with and brings powerful technical specifications.
  • Clearing the Keystone Environment

GNU/Linux Leftovers

Red Hat Summit

  • Red Hat Summit Advocates the Power of Participation
    Red Hat hosted its annual Red Hat Summit customer event June 28-30 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with a theme of harnessing the power of participation. Once again, the DevNation developer event, which is the successor to JBoss World, was co-located with Red Hat Summit. For JBoss, 2016 is a particularly significant year as it marks 10 years since Red Hat acquired it. At DevNation, Red Hat announced the new JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 7 release, providing new cloud-enhanced capabilities for Red Hat's flagship middleware platform. JBoss is now also working to help enable Java for the container era, with the launch of the MicroProfile Project, an effort to optimize enterprise Java for a microservices architecture. Java wasn't the only focus of DevNation this year either, as Microsoft took center stage too, announcing the availability of its .NET Core for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the Red Hat Summit and DevNation 2016 events.
  • How Red Hat is tailoring OpenStack to fit … everyone
    Even though there have been no major changes announced to the OpenStack platform of late, it was still one of the most talked about subjects at this year’s Red Hat Summit. Red Hat plays a significant role in the development of the platform and is very proud of its contribution to the community.
  • New technologies foster an open-source environment
    In 2007, when 3scale, Inc. was founded, some people thought it was crazy to be investing so much time and energy into API. But Steven Willmott, CEO of 3scale, Inc., said that even at that time his team knew that the future was API-driven, and they wanted to help that happen.

Leftovers: Gaming