Russian Fronton Botnet Can Do Much More than Massive DDoS Attacks

Recently, Nisos published a new study describing the inner workings of the unusual Russian botnet Fronton.

Let me remind you that we also wrote that The Appearance of Cheap Russian DarkCrystal RAT Malware Worried Experts.

Fronton first emerged in 2020, when the hacktivist group Digital Revolution hacked into an FSB contractor and released white papers demonstrating the creation of a botnet on behalf of the FSB (Federal Security Service).

Media outlets went crazy. Headlines called it a tool that could be used to “turn off the Internet in a small country.” Most analyses assumed that the goal of the system was distributed denial of service (DDoS). A day later, another tranche of documents, images, and a video were released, with significantly less fanfare.researchers write.

Until recently, it was believed that the botnet was designed to carry out large-scale DDoS attacks. According to Fronton’s analysis of additional documents, DDoS attacks are only part of the botnet’s capabilities.

According to Nisos, Fronton is “a system for coordinated non-authentic behavior,” and SANA’s custom software shows that the botnet’s true goal may be the rapid and automatic spread of disinformation and propaganda.

You might also be interested to know that Darknet sites of the REvil group are working again: have the Russians released cybercriminals into the wild?

SANA consists of many features, including:

  1. News: tracks messages, trends and responses to them;
  2. Groups: manages bots;
  3. Behavior models: creates bots that impersonate social media users;
  4. Reaction models: reacts to messages and content;
  5. Dictionaries: stores phrases, words, quotes, reactions and comments for use in social networks;
  6. Albums: Stores sets of images for platform bot accounts.

SANA also allows the user to create social media accounts with generated email addresses and phone numbers, and distribute content online. In addition, the user can set a schedule for posts and adjust the number of likes, comments, and reactions that the bot should generate. The botnet operator can also specify how many “friends” the bot account should have.

The configurator also allows the operator to specify the minimum frequency of actions and the interval between them. Apparently, a machine learning system is involved, which can be turned on or off depending on the behavior of the bot in the social network.the researchers said.

Helga Smith

I was always interested in computer sciences, especially data security and the theme, which is called nowadays "data science", since my early teens. Before coming into the Virus Removal team as Editor-in-chief, I worked as a cybersecurity expert in several companies, including one of Amazon's contractors. Another experience: I have got is teaching in Arden and Reading universities.

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