Feeds

Linux worm nobbles Nasa Web site

Ramen on the rampage

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

Ramen, the Red Hat Linux-based Internet worm, has spread into the wild and defaced the Web sites of several different organisation, including a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) lab.

Russian anti-virus expert Kaspersky Labs said that Ramen is the first malicious code for Linux to be detected in the wild.

Web sites run by Nasa, Texas A&M University, and Taiwan-based computer hardware maker Supermicro have fallen victim to the worm, causing their sites to become sprayed with electronic graffiti. On each Web server Ramen infects, the main page is replaced with the message: "Hackers looooooooooooove noodles," signed by the "RameN Crew."

The worm's defacement of the site of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is mirrored on attrition and can be seen here.

Susan Reichley, a spokeswoman at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told The Register that the site had been broken into, but stressed that the problem was fixed in the same day. She said she was unable to answer other questions on the matter for security reasons.

As previously reported, Ramen is a combination of pre-existing scripts which has the ability to spread via the Internet. It penetrates systems running Red Hat Linux versions 6.2 and 7.0. In order to gain access to a computer, the worm exploits three known security loopholes in these particular operating systems. These breaches enable Ramen to take over the root access rights and thereafter execute code on target systems.

These security holes were discovered more than a year ago and Red Hat issued patches. Affected sites had failed to apply the patches - leaving them vulnerable. Information on the patches is available here.

Denis Zenkin, a spokesperson for Kaspersky, said: "The fact that Ramen penetrated into several respected organisations, including Nasa, shows that even the most professional network engineers don't pay enough attention to timely installation of security patches in order to protect their systems. This worries us most, as neglecting basic enterprise security rules can stimulate hackers to develop malicious code for Linux."

Jack Clark, of Network Associates, agreed with this advice but downplayed the overall serious of the worm; his anti-virus firm had received few calls about Ramen infections, he said.

During the eight years or so since Linux was first developed, only around 50 malicious programs affecting the operating system have been discovered, and, until Ramen, none of them spread to damage users' systems. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.