The Undercover Network: Socks5Systemz Botnet

Estimated read time 2 min read

Have you heard about this new botnet that’s been lurking in the shadows?

Let me paint you a picture. Imagine a digital hydra–you cut off one head, two more sprout. That’s the Socks5Systemz botnet for you. It’s a sprawling web of about 10,000 systems, all intertwined to serve as a covert alley for proxy services.

Think of it as a shadow network where cyber crooks can funnel their traffic through, effectively masking their real identity. It’s a cloak-and-dagger scenario in cyberspace, and it’s been going on right under our noses since 2016.

A Closer Look at Socks5Systemz

Now, let’s dive in a bit deeper. BitSight stumbled upon this botnet, and it’s quite the setup. We’re talking about a double-whammy of malware loaders—PrivateLoader and Amadey. They’re the puppet masters pulling the strings, infecting systems and morphing them into proxy-servers to relay data traffic. It’s a pay-to-play scheme; users shell out anywhere from 1 to 140 bucks a day for the privilege of anonymity provided by this network.

Where’s the Control Coming From?

The nerve center, or the command & control (C&C) structure of this botnet, spreads its tentacles across the EU. We’ve got servers in France taking the lead, but don’t overlook the ones in Bulgaria, Sweden, and the Netherlands. They all play their part in the Socks5Systemz saga.

BitSight’s sleuthing over the last month has unveiled about 10,000 individual attempts to connect with servers tied to this botnet. That’s how they pegged the number of systems caught in this net. And the reach? It’s global. Impacted countries include Argentina, South Korea, Brazil, Colombia, India, Nigeria, and the United States.

Remember, in the world of cybersecurity, nothing is ever as it seems, and threats like these are always evolving. So, next time you’re online, remember the tale of the Socks5Systemz botnet—it’s a ghost story that’s all too real in the digital age.

Reza Rafati

Reza Rafati, based in the Netherlands, is the founder of An industry professional providing insightful commentary on infosec, cybercrime, cyberwar, and threat intelligence, Reza dedicates his work to bolster digital defenses and promote cyber awareness.

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