June 13, 2024
By Research and Developement

Commando Cat's Cunning Crypto Jacking Campaign Exploits Docker Vulnerabilities

The saying "Don't poke the bear" would aptly serve as a cautionary warning to organizations in this situation about the Commando Cat threat group, whose relentless pursuit of weakly secured Docker instances has led to a widespread crypto jacking operation.

The Hack:

The Commando Cat adversaries have been targeting misconfigured Docker remote API servers, deploying a malicious Docker image called cmd.cat/chattr. This image is then used to spin up a container, break free of its constraints using the chroot command, and gain access to the underlying host system.

The Process:

The attackers exploit vulnerabilities in Docker configurations to deploy their crypto jacking scripts, which allow them to surreptitiously siphon computational resources for financial gain while evading detection by security solutions.

The Tools:

·       Malicious Docker Image - The attackers deploy a Docker image named "cmd.cat/chattr"on misconfigured Docker remote API servers.

·       Container Breakout Technique - The group uses the chroot command to break out of the container's confines and gain access to the host operating system.

·       Malicious Miner Binary - The final payload retrieved from the command-and-control (C2)server is suspected to be the open-source IRC bot "ZiggyStarTux", which is based on the Kaiten (aka Tsunami) malware.

·       C2Infrastructure - The malicious miner binary is downloaded from a C2 server at the URL "leetdbs. anondns[.]net/z".

·       Retrieval Methods - The attackers use standard commands like curl or wget to download the malicious miner binary from the C2 server.

The Commando Cat group leverages a combination of all these tools to deploy their crypto jacking scripts on compromised systems.

The Targets:

The Commando Cat group appears to cast a wide net, targeting any organization or individual with misconfigured Docker instances that can be leveraged for their illicit crypto mining activities.

Why is this a problem to your organizations?

Imagine a secure storage container designed to hold specific items. In this analogy, Docker containers hold specific applications or processes. "Commando Cat" attackers exploit weaknesses in how these containers are accessed (remote API) to sneak in a malicious program ("cmd.cat/chattr"). This program then breaks free from its intended limitations and gains access to everything inside the container (like sensitive data) and potentially the entire storage room (the underlying host system) containing other critical systems and data.


Here 's how Cybervergent can help you mitigate "Commando Cat" risks and secure your Docker environment:

•       Vulnerability Assessments & Hardening: Our experts will conduct a thorough security audit to identify and address misconfigurations in your Docker environment, ensuring remote API access is properly secured. This proactive approach eliminates the entry point exploited by "Commando Cat" attackers.

•       Advanced Threat & Monitoring: Cybervergent SOC leverages advanced security tools and threat intelligence to continuously monitor your Docker environment for suspicious activity. We implement runtime security controls and monitoring specifically designed to detect and prevent unauthorized container breakouts and attempts to gain Host-level access. This advanced monitoring goes beyond just standard resource utilization, actively looking for anomalies that might indicate malicious activity like crypto jacking malware.

•       Security Awareness Training: In addition to technical solutions, Cybervergent offers security awareness training programs specifically designed for your IT team. These programs educate your staff on the security implications of container technologies and best practices for hardening Docker environments. Empowering your team with this knowledge strengthens your overall security posture.