Arbor Networks Detects ‘Athena,’ Puts under Examination

Arbor Networks says that its researchers have examined one fascinating malware sample known as 'Athena' that has the potential for use in many forms of Internet operations, especially for carrying out DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) assaults along with more.

Research Analyst Jason Jones for Arbor's Security Engineering & Response Team (ASERT) says that it's been some years that Athena's operations are visible as it seemingly reflects certain hate/love relationship depending upon the Internet-posts within different illegitimate forums. Itsecuritypro.co.uk published this, November 14, 2013.

Athena's renewed popularity can be attributed to the fact that while it first appeared through an Internet Research Chat (IRC), during 2013 former months, it was released through an HTTP medium.

As per Jones' examination of Athena's fresh version, when he first noticed the program he found it appear through one Pastebin post, which revealed somebody's IRC-log when that person was giving commands for assaults through an IRC medium.

Then Jones did some Googling followed with some search operations that showed many Athena IRC versions.

Jones notes, plenty of these versions seemingly were utilized for planting other malicious programs while not enough to execute DDoSs.

He explains that most of the C&C (command-and-control) directions related to some initial instructions within an instance of IRC-based topic for commanding own bots to stop the functioning of other bots, pull down additional malware, compromise certain websites, etc.

Incidentally, the developer of Athena called himself "_Stoner" on the Internet.

When Athena IRC's 1.X versions were running, there were many builders of the botnet; however, someone cracked all of them so the code became available online for free. A few of these exposed botnet creators had strings that disapproved Athena's quality. But, when Athena IRC's 2.X versions appeared, the particular distribution model got different such that _Stoner currently regulates the binaries' creation and distribution on behalf of his clients. Arbornetworks.com published this, November 14, 2013.

Athena's recent variant, ver.2.3.1 costs USD100 (EUR75) per build, with USD10 (EUR7.5) to update it, while an additional USD15 (EUR11) is required for service from _Stoner to assist establish the IRC that'll control the bot, states Jones. Softpedia.com published this November 15, 2013.

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