Eleethub: A Cryptocurrency Mining Botnet with Rootkit for Self-Hiding

Unit 42 researchers uncovered a new botnet campaign using Perl Shellbot, intended to mine Bitcoin, while avoiding detection using a specially crafted rootkit.

The bot is propagated by sending a malicious shell script to a compromised device that then downloads other scripts. After the victim device executes the downloaded scripts, it starts waiting for commands from its Command and Control (C2) server. While the Perl programming language is popular in malware for its wide compatibility, this botnet can potentially affect not only Unix-based systems but also Windows 10 systems that use a Linux subsystem.

This new campaign uses a shared library called libprocesshider.so to hide the mining processes on the infected device and a specially crafted rootkit to avoid detection. The malicious actors use the name “Los Zetas”, which is an allusion to a Mexican criminal organization regarded as one of the most dangerous drug cartels in the country. Despite that, it is unlikely that the attackers are actually part of this criminal organization.

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Source: Palo Alto