Phorpiex botnet is back: Hijacking Hundreds of crypto transactions

Phorpiex, an old threat known since 2016, was initially known as a botnet that operated using IRC protocol (also known as Trik).
In 2018-2019 Phorpiex switched to modular architecture and the IRC bot was replaced with Tldr – a loader controlled through HTTP that became a key part of the Phorpiex botnet infrastructure.
In Check Point’s 2019 Phorpiex Breakdown research report, they estimated over 1,000,000 computers were infected with Tldr.

Phorpiex is mostly known for its massive sextortion spam campaigns, crypto-jacking (cryptocurrency mining infected machines), spreading ransomware, and cryptocurrency clipping.
In the summer of 2021, the activity of Phorpiex command and control servers (C&C) dropped sharply.
The C&C servers were shut down in July, and there was no activity for about two months.
On August 27 an announcement was spotted on an underground forum, allegedly from the botnet owners, that stated they were going out of business and sold off the source code.

From this announcement, it seemed that the botnet was developed and controlled by two individuals.
Check Point don’t know if the botnet was actually sold.
However, less than two weeks later, the C&C servers were back online at another IP address (185.215.113[.]66) of the same sub-network and later switched to 185.215.113[.]84

Simultaneously, the C&C servers started distributing a bot that had never seen before.
It was called “Twizt” and enables the botnet to operate successfully without active C&C servers, since it can operate in peer-to-peer mode.
This means that each of the infected computers can act as a server and send commands to other bots in a chain.
As a really large number of computers are connected to the Internet through NAT routers and don’t have an external IP address, the Twizt bot reconfigures home routers that support UPnP and sets up port mapping to receive incoming connections.
The new bot uses its own binary protocol over TCP or UDP with two layers of RC4-encryption.
It also verifies data integrity using RSA and RC6-256 hash function.

The emergence of such features suggests that the botnet may become even more stable and therefore, more dangerous.

Sign Up For Threat Alerts

Loading...
Threats Icon

Aug 11, 2022

Cisco Talos shares insights related to recent...

Initial access to the Cisco VPN was achieved via the successful compromise of a Cisco...

Threats Icon

Aug 11, 2022

Andariel deploys DTrack and Maui ransomware

The CISA published an alert, entitled, "North Korean State-Sponsored Cyber Actors Use Maui Ransomware To...

Threats Icon

Aug 09, 2022

Albanian Government Organizations Targeted By Possible Iranian...

Mandiant identified the ROADSWEEP ransomware family and a Telegram persona which targeted the Albanian government...

Threats Icon

Aug 08, 2022

BumbleBee Roasts Its Way to Domain Admin

Threat actors used BumbleBee as the initial access vector. BumbleBee is a malware loader that...

Threats Icon

Aug 08, 2022

RapperBot – new evolving malware

FortiGuard Labs has been tracking a rapidly evolving IoT malware family known as "RapperBot". This...

Threats Icon

Aug 04, 2022

Google Drive And Dropbox Used By APT29...

Cloaked Ursa (aka: APT29) has been targeting governmental entities in several countries with spear-phishing campaigns...

Threats Icon

Aug 03, 2022

Manjusaka: A Chinese sibling of Sliver and...

Cisco Talos recently discovered a new attack framework called "Manjusaka" being used in the wild...

Threats Icon

Aug 03, 2022

macOS Targeted With The CloudMensis Multi-Staged Malware

ESET researchers discovered a previously unknown macOS backdoor that spies on users of the compromised...

Threats Icon

Aug 01, 2022

Attackers Target Ukraine With GoMet Backdoor

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Ukrainians have been under a nearly constant barrage...

Threats Icon

Jul 31, 2022

Untangling KNOTWEED: European private-sector offensive actor using...

The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) and the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) found a...

Threats Icon

Jul 31, 2022

Untangling KNOTWEED: European private-sector offensive actor using...

The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) and the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) found a...

Threats Icon

Jul 26, 2022

EvilNum Targets Cryptocurrency, Forex, Commodities

Proofpoint Threat Research observed the group Proofpoint calls TA4563 targeting various European financial and investment...

Threats Icon

Jul 25, 2022

Lightning Framework: New Undetected “Swiss Army Knife”...

Lightning is a previously undocumented and undetected Linux threat. Lightning is a modular framework we...

Threats Icon

Jul 24, 2022

Redeemer Ransomware

Redeemer 2.0 Being Distributed Via Affiliate Program Cyble Research Labs has constantly been tracking emerging...

Threats Icon

Jul 21, 2022

Cobalt Strikes again: UAC-0056 continues to target...

The Malwarebytes Threat Intelligence team recently reviewed a series of cyber attacks against Ukraine that...