Threat Management, Malware

Versatile botnet malware Proteus shows its many ugly sides

Like a Swiss Army knife, a newly discovered botnet malware called Proteus has been found to serve an eclectic variety of functions, including mining digital currency, keylogging, checking infected machines for e-commerce merchant accounts, creating unauthorized proxies and dropping additional malware.

“All of this in one botnet may be even more harmful than one might first think, as it could download anything and execute it in the infected host,” warned a blog post on Monday from cybersecurity company Fortinet, whose researchers discovered the malware.

The multifaceted malware is delivered via the Andromeda botnet, according to Fortinet, and arrives in obfuscated form, dropping a copy of itself in the %AppData% folder as chrome.exe and then executing a copy. Proteus communicates with its command-and-control server using symmetrical encryption, conveying the affected machine's attributes including processor, BIOS and baseboard information in order to create a distinct fingerprint for the device.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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