Mess of vulnerabilities expose Windows, Linux servers to attack

(Image credit: Shutterstock / BeeBright)

A cryptomining malware that exploits over twenty known vulnerabilities has been dubbed the “King of Vulnerability Exploitation” by cybersecurity experts.

According to researchers at Chinese technology giant Tencent, the HolesWarm cryptomining malware, which targets both Windows and Linux servers, has been able to compromise over a thousand cloud hosts since June.

Deciphering Tencent’s Chinese advisory, Threatpost says the researchers have advised both the government and corporate sector to patch the vulnerabilities exploited by HolesWarm without delay.

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“Tencent security experts recommend that the operation and maintenance personnel of government and enterprise organizations actively repair high-risk vulnerabilities in related network components to avoid servers [becoming] a broiler controlled by hackers,” states the advisory.


Based on their analysis, the researchers note that the malware exploits well-known vulnerabilities in several software commonly found on servers, such as Apache Tomcat, Jenkins, Shiro, Spring boot, Structs2, Weblogic, and more.

Once it has broken into a server, it absorbs it to its botnet, which mines for the Monero cryptocurrency. In addition to the cryptomining activity, the researchers suggest the malware also scoops stored credentials and gives backdoor access to the compromised server to the threat actors.

Yaniv Bar-Dayan, CEO of security company Vulcan Cyber, told Threatpost that leaving unpatched vulnerabilities in internet-exposed servers is “inexcusable”.

“Organizations with exploitable known vulnerabilities should feel lucky if the worst that happens to their digital estate is a HolesWarm cryptominer deployment,” she said.

Via Threatpost

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.