Who’s Behind the Botnet-Primarily based Service BHProxies? – Krebs on Safety


A safety agency has found {that a} six-year-old artful botnet often known as Mylobot seems to be powering a residential proxy service referred to as BHProxies, which gives paying clients the power to route their net site visitors anonymously by means of compromised computer systems. Right here’s a more in-depth have a look at Mylobot, and a deep dive into who could also be liable for working the BHProxies service.

The BHProxies web site.

First recognized in 2017 by the safety agency Deep Intuition, Mylobot employs a variety of pretty subtle strategies to stay undetected on contaminated hosts, akin to operating solely within the pc’s momentary reminiscence, and ready 14 days earlier than trying to contact the botnet’s command and management servers.

Final yr, researchers at Minerva Labs noticed the botnet getting used to blast out sextortion scams. However in keeping with a brand new report from BitSight, the Mylobot botnet’s major performance has all the time been about remodeling the contaminated system right into a proxy.

The Mylobot malware consists of greater than 1,000 hard-coded and encrypted domains, any one in all which may be registered and used as management networks for the contaminated hosts. BitSight researchers discovered vital overlap within the Web addresses utilized by these domains and a site referred to as BHproxies[.]com.

BHProxies sells entry to “residential proxy” networks, which permit somebody to lease a residential IP handle to make use of as a relay for his or her Web communications, offering anonymity and the benefit of being perceived as a residential person browsing the net. The service is at present promoting entry to greater than 150,000 units globally.

“At this level, we can’t show that BHProxies is linked to Mylobot, however now we have a powerful suspicion,” wrote BitSight’s Stanislas Arnoud.

To check their speculation, BitSight obtained 50 proxies from BHProxies. The researchers had been ready to make use of 48 of these 50 proxies to browse to a web site they managed — permitting them to document the true IP addresses of every proxy system.

“Amongst these 48 recovered residential proxies IP addresses, 28 (58.3%) of these had been already current in our sinkhole methods, related to the Mylobot malware household,” Arnoud continued. “This quantity might be increased, however we don’t have a full visibility of the botnet. This gave us clear proof that Mylobot contaminated computer systems are utilized by the BHProxies service.”

BitSight mentioned it’s at present seeing greater than 50,000 distinctive Mylobot contaminated methods on daily basis, and that India seems to be essentially the most focused nation, adopted by the USA, Indonesia and Iran.

“We consider we’re solely seeing a part of the total botnet, which can result in greater than 150,000 contaminated computer systems as marketed by BHProxies’ operators,” Arnoud wrote.


The web site BHProxies[.]com has been marketed for almost a decade on the discussion board Black Hat World by the person BHProxies. BHProxies has authored 129 posts on Black Hat World since 2012, and their final publish on the discussion board was in December 2022.

BHProxies initially was pretty lively on Black Hat World between Might and November 2012, after which it instantly ceased all exercise. The account didn’t resume posting on the discussion board till April 2014.

In keeping with cyber intelligence agency Intel 471, the person BHProxies additionally used the deal with “hassan_isabad_subar” and marketed numerous software program instruments, together with “Subar’s free e mail creator” and “Subar’s free proxy scraper.”

Intel 471’s knowledge reveals that hassan_isabad_subar registered on the discussion board utilizing the e-mail handle jesus.fn.christ@gmail.com. In a June 2012 personal message trade with a web site developer on Black Hat World, hassan_isabad_subar confided that they had been working on the time to develop two web sites, together with the now-defunct customscrabblejewelry.com.

DomainTools.com reviews that customscrabblejewelry.com was registered in 2012 to a Teresa Shotliff in Chesterland, Ohio. A search on jesus.fn.christ@gmail.com at Constella Intelligence, an organization that tracks compromised databases, reveals this e mail handle is tied to an account on the fundraising platform omaze.com, for a Brian Shotliff from Chesterland, Ohio.

Reached through LinkedIn, Mr. Shotliff mentioned he bought his BHProxies account to a different Black Hat World discussion board person from Egypt again in 2014. Shotliff shared an April 2014 password reset e mail from Black Hat World, which reveals he forwarded the plaintext password to the e-mail handle legendboy2050@yahoo.com. He additionally shared a PayPal receipt and snippets of Fb Messenger logs exhibiting conversations in March 2014 with legendboy2050@yahoo.com.

Constella Intelligence confirmed that legendboy2050@yahoo.com was certainly one other e mail handle tied to the hassan_isabad_subar/BHProxies id on Black Hat World. Constella additionally connects legendboy2050 to Fb and Instagram accounts for one Abdala Tawfik from Cairo. This person’s Fb web page says Tawfik additionally makes use of the title Abdalla Khafagy.

Tawfik’s Instagram account says he’s a former operations supervisor on the social media community TikTok, in addition to a former director at Crypto.com.

Abdalla Khafagy’s LinkedIn profile says he was “international director of group” at Crypto.com for a few yr ending in January 2022. Earlier than that, the resume says he was operations supervisor of TikTok’s Center East and North Africa area for roughly seven months ending in April 2020.

Khafagy’s LinkedIn profile says he’s at present founding father of LewkLabs, a Dubai-based “blockchain-powered, SocialFi content material monetization platform” that final yr reported funding of $3.26 million from personal traders.

The one expertise listed for Khafagy previous to the TikTok job is labeled “Advertising” at “Confidential,” from February 2014 to October 2019.

Reached through LinkedIn, Mr. Khafagy advised KrebsOnSecurity that he had a Black Hat World account in some unspecified time in the future, however that he didn’t recall ever having used an account by the title BHProxies or hassan_isabad_subar. Khafagy mentioned he couldn’t bear in mind the title of the account he had on the discussion board.

“I had an account that was merely hacked from me shortly after and I by no means bothered about it as a result of it wasn’t mine within the first place,” he defined.

Khafagy declined to elaborate on the five-year stint in his resume marked “Confidential.” When requested straight whether or not he had ever been related to the BHProxies service, Mr. Khafagy mentioned no.

That Confidential job itemizing is fascinating as a result of its begin date traces up with the creation of BHproxies[.]com. Archive.org listed its first copy of BHProxies[.]com on Mar. 5, 2014, however historic DNS information present BHproxies[.]com first got here on-line Feb. 25, 2014.

Shortly after that dialog with Mr. Khafagy, Mr. Shotliff shared a Fb/Meta message he obtained that indicated Mr. Khafagy wished him to help the declare that the BHProxies account had in some way gone lacking.

“Hey mate, it’s been a very long time. Hope you’re doing properly. Somebody from Krebs on Safety reached out to me in regards to the account I received from you on BHW,” Khafagy’s Meta account wrote. “Didn’t we attempt to retrieve this account? I bear in mind mentioning to you that it received stolen and I used to be by no means in a position to retrieve it.”

Mr. Shotliff mentioned Khafagy’s sudden message this week was the primary time he’d heard that declare.

“He purchased the account,” Shotliff mentioned. “He may need misplaced the account or had it stolen, however it’s not one thing I bear in mind.”

In the event you appreciated this story, you may additionally get pleasure from these different investigations into botnet-based proxy companies:

A Deep Dive Into the Residential Proxy Service ‘911’
911 Proxy Service Implodes After Disclosing Breach
Meet the Directors of the RSOCKS Proxy Botnet
The Hyperlink Between AWM Proxy & the Glupteba Botnet
15-12 months-Outdated Malware Proxy Community VIP72 Goes Darkish
Who’s Behind the TDSS Botnet?