Microsoft Discovers Windows / Linux Botnet Used In DDoS Attacks

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Microsoft researchers have discovered a hybrid Windows-Linux botnet that uses a highly efficient technique to take down Minecraft servers and performs distributed denial-of-service attacks on other platforms.

Dubbed MCCrash, the botnet infects Windows machines and devices running various distributions of Linux for use in DDoS attacks. Among the commands the botnet software accepts is one called ATTACK_MCCRASH. This command populates the user name in a Minecraft server login page with ${env:random payload of specific size:-a}. The string exhausts the resources of the server and makes it crash.

Minecraft servers.”>Minecraft servers.” src=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/mccrash-tcp-payload-640×50.png” width=”640″ height=”50″ srcset=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/mccrash-tcp-payload.png 2x”> Enlarge / A packet capture showing the TCP payload for crashing Minecraft servers.

“The usage of the env variable triggers the use of Log4j 2 library, which causes abnormal consumption of system resources (not related to Log4Shell vulnerability), demonstrating a specific and highly efficient DDoS method,” Microsoft researchers wrote. “A wide range of Minecraft server versions can be affected.”

Currently, MCCrash is hardcoded to target only version 1.12.2 of the Minecraft server software. The attack technique, however, will take down servers running versions 1.7.2 through 1.18.2, which run about half of the world’s Minecraft servers. If the malware is updated to target all vulnerable versions, its reach could be much wider. A modification in Minecraft server version 1.19 prevents the attack from working.

“The wide range of at-risk

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