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Unusual HTTP POST traffic from

Posted April 16, 2018 by shaun

I had a server get some weird HTTP POST requests, and decided to post about it here for Google food. If you recognize the traffic pattern, please let me know.

  • Source IP, not currently reported in common OSINT abuse/netflow logs

  • Requests were made to the target server's IP, not to a hostname

  • Plain HTTP on port 80

  • 48 requests exactly 120 seconds apart (with apparent ~1 second latency)

  • Post data lengths between 356 and 440 bytes, always an even number

  • The data encoding resembles base64, with some payloads ending in = or ==, but doesn't decode to anything text-based

Here's a sample request. (I masked the target IP and added newlines to the payload.)

Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko
Host: 314.15.92.65
Content-Length: 432
Cache-Control: no-cache


The target server is running Apache but there's nothing there, just an "It works!" page, and it's seen no other unusual traffic. There were a total of 48 requests, but I only noticed in time to get a tcpdump capture of the last 18.

Update, April 26 2018. The same server received another round of similar POST requests from This time, the traffic (tcpdump capture) was immediately preceded by a single request with the verb set to "\xaf": - - [26/Apr/2018:09:44:10 -0500] "\xaf" 400 226 - "-" "-"

POST traffic began immediately afterward, and followed the same pattern as before, one request every two minutes with a small encoded payload in each.

According to nmap and Shodan, the originating host is running a web server on port 443 that answers with the banner "mini_httpd 1.19/bhoc 23sep2004". This signature has been spotted on Arris 5268AC U-Verse modems, which are known to have several vulnerabilities. I wonder if this traffic is part of a router/gateway CPE botnet?

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