WireX DDoS botnet takedown shows the best side of the security industry

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   Aug 29, 2017

It is easy to be cynical about the security industry and its tendency to make ever bigger mountains out of molehills, but behind a thin layer of marketing, there are a great many people who really care about making the world a more secure place.

We have seen many examples of researchers from competitor companies working together in botnet takedowns, law enforcement actions against malicious actors, and the writing of more secure standards. The latest example of such a collaboration is the combined effort that led to the takedown of the WireX Android DDoS botnet.

wirex_unique_ips.png

The number of unique IP addresses active in the WireX botnet every hour.

 

As DDoS botnets go, WireX wasn't particularly powerful, though still powerful enough to make many a website unavailable, thus making the associated ransom notes rather credible. It also wasn't particularly hard to detect, since it used random 26-character strings for the User-Agent header. Of course, this is something that could easily have been changed.

What made WireX rather unique though, was that it ran on Android devices and was made up of some 300 apps available on Google's official Play Store. These apps have since been removed both from the Play Store and from all infected devices.

The takedown effort was a combined effort from several companies, four of which — Akamai, Cloudflare, Flashpoint and RiskIQ — published the very same post-mortem blog post earlier this week. This is really the security industry at its best.

Virus Bulletin is always happy to help facilitate industry-wide collaboration, for example during the upcoming VB2017 conference. Don't hesitate to contact me (martijn.grooten@virusbulletin.com) if you think we can be of help! And don't forget to register for the conference for a chance to meet with other researchers and build the connections that are essential for a more secure world!

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

Paper: Alternative communication channel over NTP

In a new paper published today, independent researcher Nikolaos Tsapakis writes about the possibilities of malware using NTP as a covert communication channel and how to stop this.

VB2019 conference programme announced

VB is excited to reveal the details of an interesting and diverse programme for VB2019, the 29th Virus Bulletin International Conference, which takes place 2-4 October in London, UK.

VB2018 paper: Under the hood - the automotive challenge

Car hacking has become a hot subject in recent years, and at VB2018 in Montreal, Argus Cyber Security's Inbar Raz presented a paper that provides an introduction to the subject, looking at the complex problem, examples of car hacks, and the…

VB2018 paper and video: Android app deobfuscation using static-dynamic cooperation

Static analysis and dynamic analysis each have their shortcomings as methods for analysing potentially malicious files. Today, we publish a VB2018 paper by Check Point researchers Yoni Moses and Yaniv Mordekhay, in which they describe a method that…

VB2019 call for papers closes this weekend

The call for papers for VB2019 closes on 17 March, and while we've already received many great submissions, we still want more!

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.