Russian malware writers wallop Linux

dead linuxA Russian cyber espionage group has written malware which makes turning over Linux systems a piece of Vatrushka.

Pawn Storm code is busy infecting Linux systems with a simple but effective Trojan program that doesn’t require highly privileged access.

Since 2007 Pawn Storm has targeted governmental, security and military organizations from NATO member countries, as well as defence contractors and media organizations.

According to researchers from security firm Palo Alto Networks It tends to use zero-day exploits and spear-phishing emails with malicious attachments. Its preferred weapon for Linux is a Trojan program called Fysbis.

According to a spokesman for Palo Alto Fysbis can install itself to a victim system with or without root privileges. This increases the options available to an adversary when it comes to selecting accounts for installation.”

Fysbis doesn’t try to gain control over the whole system, it can still achieve its primary goal of stealing potentially sensitive documents that the user has access to, or spying on the user’s Web browsing and other activities.

“Despite the lingering belief (and false sense of security) that Linux inherently yields higher degrees of protection from malicious actors, Linux malware and vulnerabilities do exist and are in use by advanced adversaries,” they said.