After Chinese security researcher, Lian Zhang, published a proof-of-concept exploit of an Oracle Web application server vulnerability last month, hackers were quick to take advantage of the information to make a quick buck. According to Ars Technica, the ongoing campaign targets Oracle’s PeopleSoft and WebLogic servers, leveraging the newly revealed vulnerability to mine cryptocurrencies. The report states that one of the attackers actually made off with $226,000 worth of cryptocurrency (611 Monero coins)!
Here’s an excerpt from the article explaining the ease with which these attacks have been executed, and the straightforward method administrators can use to identify a potential intrusion:
“The exploit code makes scanning for vulnerable systems simple, so the entire universe of publicly exposed, unpatched Oracle Web application servers could quickly fall victim to these and other attacks. On the bright side, some of these surreptitious mining efforts were detected relatively quickly because the script used to “drop” the mining tool also killed the “java” process on the targeted servers—essentially shutting down the application server and drawing quick attention from administrators.”
Considering the low level of scripting skills required for this type of hack, researchers were surprised to find that attackers weren’t using it to cause greater damage in the affected systems, such as exfiltration or modification of the data.