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 in Techrights

Leftovers: OSS

  • Are Low-Code Platforms a Good Fit for Feds?
    Open-source code platforms — in part, because they’re often free — have long been a popular choice for digital service creation and maintenance. In recent years, however, some agencies have turned to low-code solutions for intuitive visual features such as drag-and-drop design functionality. As Forrester Research notes, low-code platforms are "application platforms that accelerate app delivery by dramatically reducing the amount of hand-coding required."
  • Crunchy Data Brings Enterprise Open Source POSTGRESQL To U.S. Government With New DISA Security Technical Implementation Guide
    Crunchy Data — a leading provider of trusted open source PostgreSQL and enterprise PostgreSQL technology, support and training — is pleased to announce the publication of a PostgreSQL Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), making PostgreSQL the first open source database with a STIG. Crunchy Data collaborated with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to evaluate open source PostgreSQL against the DoD's security requirements and developed the guide to define how open source PostgreSQL can be deployed and configured to meet security requirements for government systems.
  • Democratizing IoT design with open source development boards and communities
    The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the heart of what the World Economic Forum has identified as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an economic, technical, and cultural transformation that combines the physical, digital, and biological worlds. It is driven by such technologies as ubiquitous connectivity, big data, analytics and the cloud.

Software and today's howtos

Security and Bugs

  • Security updates for Thursday
  • Devops embraces security measures to build safer software
    Devops isn’t simply transforming how developers and operations work together to deliver better software faster, it is also changing how developers view application security. A recent survey from software automation and security company Sonatype found that devops teams are increasingly adopting security automation to create better and safer software.
  • This Xfce Bug Is Wrecking Users’ Monitors
    The Xfce desktop environment for Linux may be fast and flexible — but it’s currently affected by a very serious flaw. Users of this lightweight alternative to GNOME and KDE have reported that the choice of default wallpaper in Xfce is causing damaging to laptop displays and LCD monitors. And there’s damning photographic evidence to back the claims up.