Telegram-Based SQL Injection Scanner Available for $500 on Hacking Forum

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A new tool is making the rounds on the criminal underground. Called Katyusha Scanner, this is a hybrid between a classic SQL injection (SQLi) vulnerability scanner and Anarchi Scanner, an open-source penetration testing tool.

Discovered by security researchers from Recorded Future on an underground hacking forum, the tool was put together by a Russian-speaking criminal and is meant to be installed on a web server, but also uses a Telegram channel to manage its interface, in addition to a classic web-based administration panel.

The benefit of this design choice is that Katyusha customers can access the tool from their mobile phones, just by connecting to the Telegram channel they set up during installation, and run commands to start SQLi scans or deploy web shells on sites found to be vulnerable.

Tool available for download or as a hosted service

Launched in April, the tool has become very popular, despite its high price of $500 for a one-time purchase. Because of the tool’s high demand, a month later, in May, Katyusha’s author released a “light version” for only $250 for crooks who couldn’t afford to pay for the full package.

The tool’s immense popularity was proven again in June when Katyusha’s author expanded his operation with the launch of a service where wannabe hackers can rent access to a hosted version of Katyusha for only $200 per month.

Katyusha Scanner
Katyusha option to upload a list of sites to target
Katysha Scanner
Katyusha Scanner status report
Katyusha Scanner
Katyusha Scanner reporting on new SQLi flaw
Katyusha Scanner
Katyusha data dump from an exploited server

Recorded Future expert Andrei Barysevich says the tool’s success is driven by the customer support the tool’s author provides to customers, but also by the Katyusha’s large set of features.

For example, buyers can feed a list of websites and Katyusha will go through each one and attempt to scan for various types of SQLi attacks. Once a site is detected, the tool can exploit the flaw, deliver a web shell, upload other types of files, or dump databases automatically.

Furthermore, Katyusha can also be used for login credentials brute-force attacks and supports a wide range of database systems. Below is a copy of one of the Katyusha ads, currently found in several hacking forums.

Product Specifications:

Search and export of email/password credentials
Module framework
Multi-threaded and support of concurrent sessions
Telegram messenger interface
Web interface
Automatic dumping of databases
SQLMAP reports
File upload (the list of targeted websites)
Linux/Windows support

Web Shell Module Specifications:

CMS family identification (Bitrix, WordPress, OpenCart, etc.)
Login credentials brute-forcing (concurrent with SQLi scan)
Automatic web shell upload

Scanning Options:

SQL injection (sql_injection) — Error-based detection

    SaP Max DB
    MS Access

Blind SQL injection using differential analysis (sql_injection_differential)
Blind SQL injection using timing attacks (sql_injection_timing)


While there are various ways to protect against SQLi scanners, the easiest solution is to deploy a WAF (Web Application Firewall) to protect your sites from basic exploitation attempts, such as SQLi scans, port scans, or brute-force attacks.