Fronton Botnet Tracks Online Activity and More

  • By Patrick Ryan
  • May 25, 2022

A botnet referred to as Fronton tracks activity on the internet and conducts illegal operations. The IoT botnet aims to steal information, disinform, and wreak general havoc on the web. Let’s take a closer look at what the Fronton botnet is really all about and highlight why updating your digital defenses is so important as new threats emerge.

What Does the Fronton Botnet Do?

Fronton botnet does more than transmit denial of service attacks. The botnet is also capable of tracking activity and trends on social media. In fact, the botnet is advanced to the point that it can even transmit information considered to be propaganda. The recent analysis of the botnet makes it quite clear that this highly advanced tool for digital criminal activity is much more advanced than investigators first assumed.  

If digital security specialists with Nisos are correct, the Fronton malware is now capable of delivering attacks beyond those of the DDoS variety. The malware can now generate a considerable number of faux social media accounts that can be used to alter the social media landscape as desired. In general, the Fronton botnet is respected by those in the digital security industry as it represents a full-fledged system for the coordination of digital attacks on a sizable scale.

When Did the Botnet First Emerge?

The Fronton botnet hit the scene in the spring of 2020. At that time, a hacktivist group insisted it acquired documents that were allegedly from a contractor with the Russian Federal Security Service that was supposedly related to the digital offensive. Today, Fronton’s botnet functions as a backend infrastructure for social media disinformation.  

The malware consists of IoT devices that execute DDoS offensives and campaigns aimed to disinform. The system uses SANA, an internet-based dashboard that empowers users to develop and deploy events trending on social media. The system generates such events it calls newsbreaks, using the botnet as transport of sorts.

SANA ultimately shapes public perception of the news and other matters by generating phony social media accounts with phone numbers and email addresses that seem real. The faux content is then transmitted across a litany of social media networks, forums, blogs, and other avenues on the web. The platform is even advanced to the point that it can change the number of reactions, comments, and likes for its users. 

What are Response Models?

Response models are specifically created to conduct specific actions after one of the aforementioned newsbreaks is mentioned. A response model empowers the bot group to react to the news in question, either neutrally, negatively, or positively. The operator then specifies the responses to the post in question, even plucking comments from dictionary lists, all in an attempt to manipulate other users of social media platforms.  

However, there is still some question about how effective such online attacks can really be when employed on a mass scale. Though digital researchers and social media experts are quick to point out the potential for social media to be manipulated, no one is quite sure to the extent to which the activity of others on social media shapes the public’s perception of current issues and events.
 

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