New Point-and-Click Exploit Kit Appears in the Wild

Nov 18, 2015

3ROS attack tool lowers the technical bar so anyone can be an intruder.

A new chapter in the history of malware opens with the arrival of 3ROS, an exploit kit with a user-friendly GUI designed to make it easier for beginners to infect and exploit Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android victims. The tool, as described in the Virus Bulletin, resembles many admin GUIs that incorporate various tools into a simple point-and-click interface. The user can browse for an exploit or a malware payload through an easy series of menus.

According to a report in the Register, 3ROS will “… make pwning as easy as ordering pizza.” The system is believed to originate from Russia or Ukraine and appears to be the basis for the Hunter exploit kit, which is also gaining popularity as a user-friendly attack tool.

Cyberattack used to be considered a black art practiced by shady and sophisticated computer experts, or at least, hackers with mid-level command-line skills. Even the so-called “script kiddie” wannabes seemed to aspire to the expert role and loved to navigate other people's directories from a remote terminal window. Although GUI-based attack tools have existed in the past, they typically weren't particularly polished or friendly. 3ROS and Hunter might indicate the further development of the intrusion industry. Advanced attackers can now focus on development and reconnaissance and leave the nuts-and-bolts exploit and delivery to beginners.

The actual malware included in 3ROS doesn't appear to be especially current or state of the art. The disadvantage of an elaborate GUI is that it takes longer to update and adapt the system to incorporate new exploits and stay ahead of detection services. Only time will tell if 3ROS and Hunter become a model for other exploit kits, or if the industry opts for more conventional but flexible approaches.

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