Our HoneyPoint deployments have been picking up a recently added (August 08) scan signature from Morfeus, the bot-based web scanner, that has been around for a long time. The new scans were first detected on our consumer grade DSL/Cable segments in late August and have now also been seen on our Corporate environment sensors as well.
The scans check for “soapCaller.bs” and then “/user/soapCaller.bs”. Returning a 200 result code did not bring any additional traffic or attacks from the original source within 96 hours of the initial scans. In fact, returning the 200 did not seem to cause any change in behavior of the scans or any additional attacks from any source. Likely, this means that vulnerable hosts are being cataloged for later mass exploitation.
Morfeus scans are quite prevalent and can include searches for a number of common PHP and other web application vulnerabilities. Google searches on “morfeus” return about 259,000 results, including quite a few mentions of ongoing scans from the bot-net.
Here is a blog post that discusses using .htaccess rules to block scans with the morfeus user agent.
Morfeus has shown itself to be quite adaptive and seems to be updated pretty frequently by the bot-masters with new application attack signatures. The scanning is very widespread and can be observed on a regular basis across platforms and ISP types.
The soapCaller.bs page is a file often associated with Drupal content management system. There have been a number of vulnerabilities identified in this package in the past, including during our recent content manager testing project. Users of Drupal should be vigilant in patching the systems and in performing application assessments.