Analyzing the unique fingerprints left behind by different booter botnets

The immense firepower behind commercial booter services stems from vast networks of malware-enslaved machine botnets. While varying by size and capabilities, these booter-fueling botnets leave distinct code remnants, traffic patterns, and behaviors constituting recognizable fingerprints for investigators and defenders analyzing attacks.

Mirai botnet

how to use a stresser? The Mirai botnet marks one of the most widespread and disruptive botnet strains employed by booter services today. Targeting Linux servers and IoT devices using Telnet/SSH credential exploits plus a slew of remote code execution flaws, Mirai’s attack traffic presents high volumes of pure malicious TCP, UDP, and ACK floods from devices lacking sophisticated spoof masking. Mirai’s central C2 infrastructure also leaves FIRM’s malware fingerprints.

Qbot botnet

While smaller than Mirai-derived legions, Qbot botnets built using the Qbot banker Trojan provide booter operators access to credentials-hijacked Windows systems capable of executing more advanced application layer attacks. Qbot booter traffic exhibits unusual spikes in GET and POST requests from corporate data center IP ranges indicative of app-level strikes. Qbot’s P2P coordination also avoids C2 exposure.

Torrentlocker botnet

The TorrentLocker ransomware Trojan previously enslaved countless machines later weaponized as DDoS bots when idle through its integrated Lakber bootkit component for owners monetizing infections in multiple ways. TorrentLocker botnet traffic stands out through mismatched location origins combined with SSL negation flood fingerprints tied to the Lakber DDoS module coded characteristics.

Xmrig botnet

Certain booter botnets hijack computing resources for crypto mining when not bombarding targets. XMRig infections exhibit voracious Monero coin mining background activity through elevated CPU usage. When attacking, the Monero miner binaries get killed allowing full system resources towards enabling TCP and UDP traffic floods at magnitudes leaving cryptomining signatures.

RDP brute force botnets

Booter botmasters increasingly exploit weak remote desktop protocol (RDP) passwords to breach Windows systems offering footholds deeper within target networks prized for internal penetration pivoting. RDP botnets launch unusual combinations of internal network scans, SQL injection probes, and domain admin credential theft attempts surrounding the moments of high inbound TCP traffic signifying truer insider threats.

Iotroop botnet 

The multi-functional IoTroop botnet pioneered infection techniques targeting vulnerabilities in Linux and IoT firmware to assemble swarms of CCTV cameras, DVRs, and routers to power booter DDoS wagons. IoTroop bots expose themselves through Telnet access port 23 activities filled with 823 error codes indicating the compromised device operating system underlying the attack node origins.

 Dark nexus botnet

One scattered botnet dubbed Dark Nexus conducts silent password-sniffing and keylogging on compromised systems when idle, reporting credentials back to drop-point servers between activation orders for device participation in amplifier attacks. This split-purpose Dark Nexus footprint helps attribute the botnet when used for large attacks.

 Demonbot botnet

DemonBot helps booter services conduct application layer assaults using compromised servers to overwhelm sockets through SYN flood bursts. On victim traffic traces, DemonBot footprints surface via anomalous SYN+ACK responses with invalid ACK values crushed through misfiring spoof attempts revealing the botnet’s scattershot command approach.

 Muhstik botnet

The Muhstik IoT botnet built around customized versions of the Mirai Tsunami code leaked in 2018 exhibits attack patterns characterized by intense bursts across GRE IP, TCP, and UDP floods cyclically with intermittent lulls as the botnet controller server reboots itself. Muhstik’s self-induced traffic outages paint unique attack waveforms.