Pushdo SSL DDoS Attacks

Notification Type: IBM Internet Security Systems Protection Alert
Notification Date: February 02, 2010
Notification Version: 1.0

Pushdo SSL DDoS Attacks

Public disclosure/
In the wild date:
January 29, 2010

Cutwail, Pandex


malware, ddos


Pushdo is a botnet primarily used for spamming. Recently it has been observed launching Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against certain SSL-enabled websites. The Pushdo malware is also known as Pandex and some components are known as Cutwail.

Analysis provided by: Jonathan Larimer, IBM X-Force


ISS Coverage

Product Content Version
Proventia Network IDS
Proventia Network IPS
Proventia Network MFS
Proventia Server (Linux)
RealSecure Network
RealSecure Server Sensor
Proventia Desktop
Proventia Server IPS (Windows)
Propagation Techniques ISS Protection Available

see references below



Detection Techniques ISS Protection Available

Network bot detection

Protection from SSL DDoS traffic


SSL_Hello_Msg_DoS (default block)

Jan 12, 2010

Apr 13, 2004

Detailed Description

Business Impact:

Endpoints are the target of this malware.   Infection means complete compromise of the target system, which may lead to exposure of confidential information, loss of productivity, and further network compromise.  Pushdo is a botnet primarily used for spamming. Recently it has been observed launching Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against certain well-known SSL-enabled websites.

General Description:

Pushdo contains a downloader component and is able to readily update itself and download new components. Command and Control (C&C) traffic generated by a Pushdo malware infection is detected as Trojan_Pushdo by Proventia. The recent SSL DDoS attacks are detected as SSL_Hello_Msg_DoS. The DDoS attack involves sending thousands of malformed SSL requests to the target hosts in an attempt to use up resources.


Pushdo DDoS attack details: http://www.shadowserver.org/wiki/pmwiki.php/Calendar/20100129
More Pushdo DDoS attack details: http://isc.sans.org/diary.html?storyid=8131
Pushdo analysis:


Revision History

1.0 Initial publication.

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