A recently discovered Linux malware with backdoor capabilities has flown under the radar for years, allowing attackers to harvest and exfiltrate sensitive information from compromised devices.

@ajz
42M

Here a comment : https://lobste.rs/s/vbk54i/rotajakiro_long_live_secret_backdoor

The malware masquerades as systemd by using that term in its filenames. I don’t see any indication that it is distributed with systemd (what you’d call a supply chain compromise).

@je_vv
12M

ohh, systemd then… Thanks !

@je_vv
12M

https://www.theregister.com/2021/04/29/stealthy_linux_backdoor_malware_spotted indicates the backdoor is not part of original systemd code, but some how instanced there…

@je_vv
42M

Any more info on this one? Is this actually a linux (the kernel) vulnerability, or in other components of a GNU+Linux system, like encryption algorithms, or perhaps systemd… The files shown as infected are almost all systemd and one gvfsd, but I can’t figure what one can wait to be patched for example

I don’t think it’s an exploit, it’s a backdoor. So someone who already had access drops this binary which then allows for further control by a CoC server.

@je_vv
2
edit-2
2M

this clarifies further: https://www.theregister.com/2021/04/29/stealthy_linux_backdoor_malware_spotted yeah, I was looking for what piece of SW was offering the backdoor, and if there was any attempt to remove it. It seems systemd is where the backdoor is placed, but it’s not a systemd’s vulnerability, but rather where the backdoor gets instanced. I’m still wondering how to prevent that backdoor getting instanced in the 1st place, and how come systemd was the target and not anything else like linux itself, wouldn’t that reflect some weakness, like being easier to place backdoor there, than any other piece of SW?

If you target a binary for dropping a backdoor you usually want to build a binary that runs everywhere. My guess is that they could figure out how to build a drop-in systemd that they could compile once and worked on all major distros. This would be much harder with the kernel itself.

Regarding how it is setup: Often backdoors & exploits are sold in packages and combined when attacking the victims. Depending on the group behind the specific attack, the exploit used for setup may be different on each deployment.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution (or distro for short).

Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word “Linux” in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.

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