Rootkit unearthed in network security software
Hidden process developer linked to Sony USB fiasco
Researchers have unearthed rootkit-like functionality in an enterprise security product.
Network security software from a Chinese developer includes processes deliberately hidden from a user and, even worse, a hidden directory, Trend Micro reports. Files in the hidden directory could exist below the radar of antivirus scanners, potentially creating a stealthy hiding place for computer viruses that their creators might seek to exploit.
Trend Micro has written to the software developers involved in what looks like a case of misguided software design, rather than anything worse. Pending a fix from software developers, Trend Micro has slapped a "hacking tool" warning on the rootkit-like component of the network security tool (called HKTL-BRUDEVIC).
It doesn't name the developers except to say they are the same firm which bundles rootkit-like software with USB storage devices featuring fingerprint authentication.
Sony got a further black eye from issues with its MicroVault USM-F fingerprint reader software last year, which emerged a little over two years after its thorough mauling for including rootkit functionality on its music CDs. The feature, designed to stop fans ripping music tracks, created a security hole exploited by a number of Trojans. ®
Rootkit on the Buntu (Mike)
"it was built specifically (Ubuntu/Open Office) for a novice use and was assured to be 'invulnrable' from viruses (meaning malware), but oddly enough was turned into a spam relay that didn't have any mail relaying processes listed during a ps listing, nor anything in the startup, the files were invisible until you booted off a (in this case) USB Linux boot disk."
That my dear sir means there has been some incredibly sloppy sysadmining going on...
And it smells suspiciously like lame (at best, so-so) problem fixing, too.
Not that Linux (or any OS, for that matter) is immune to that kind of things, but I wouldn't write "very vulnerable" either.
Why is a rootkit called a rootkit?
Because it first appeared on UNIX style systems (the "root" part of rootkit..... geddit?).
Not only is Linux/UNIX very vulnerable to this sort of malware, it started there, as KarlTh hints at, the only sure-fire way of detecting one is to mount the hard drive on a system that wasn't booted from it.
I fixed a Linux PC about four months ago that got rooted, it was built specifically (Ubuntu/Open Office) for a novice use and was assured to be 'invulnrable' from viruses (meaning malware), but oddly enough was turned into a spam relay that didn't have any mail relaying processes listed during a ps listing, nor anything in the startup, the files were invisible until you booted off a (in this case) USB Linux boot disk.
There are thousands of pieces of malware (virus/trojan/worm) for Linux/UNIX, if it ever became popular for the home market, which it isn't, then it will be targeted more agressively, more importantly if a single flavour (Ubuntu?) became more popular (like OSX) then then a common set of predictable interfaces (like Win32 has) would mean easier spread.
"BRUDEVIC" -> The Broodwich?
The alien... to honor the mooninites.