Barracuda Networks, a provider of cloud-enabled security solutions, highlights the threat landscape in the month of June 2020. The brand researchers have identified a new variant of the crypto miner malware ‘Golang’ targeting both Windows and Linux machines.

The new malware variant is aiming at mining the Monero cryptocurrency using a known miner, XMRig, the company mentioned in its official release.

While the volume is still low, Barracuda researchers have recognized only seven IP addresses linked to this new malware variant so far, all based out of China.

It has also been noticed that the Golang malware focuses on attacking web application frameworks, application servers, and non-HTTP services such as Redis and MSSQL, instead of targeting the end-users.

Barracuda mentioned that although the previous variants of the malware have targeted only Linux machines, the Golang variation is also attacking Windows machines using a new pool of exploits like Oracle WebLogic, ElasticSearch, Drupal, Hadoop, and IoT devices. For example, some of the exploits the malware includes are targeting the ThinkPHP web application framework, which is popular in China. As in other families of malware, it is safe to assume that this malware will keep evolving, employing more and more exploits, Barracuda noted.

The company further revealed that once the Golang malware infects a machine, it downloads the files like an Init/update script, a miner, a watchdog, a scanner, and a config file for the crypto miner, based on the platform it is attacking. For Windows machines, the malware also adds a backdoor user.

Speaking on the threat highlight, Fleming Shi, CTO at Barracuda Networks, commented: “Malicious actors are once again turning to Golang as a malware language since it is not commonly tracked by antivirus software. As it targets vulnerable servers, it is still a top threat vector that cybercriminals look to exploit.”

He added: We can defend organizations against this malware by monitoring the endpoints for suspicious activity as well as the surge in CPU usage, which is associated with most crypto miners. The threat of any future cryptojacking attack can be minimized by setting up vigorous, regularly tested incident response plans.”

How can you protect your server?

Organizations should have a web application firewall in place and adequately configure as the new Golang malware spreads by scanning the internet for vulnerable machines.

As cybercriminals are always scanning for vulnerabilities to exploit, businesses should be well informed with security patches and updates to stay ahead of these threats.

Being aware of how this malware variant works can help organizations monitor their Windows and Linux servers for such type of malicious activity and take quick actions. For that, they should have a solution in place and a trained security team to identify the warning signs.

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