Hand of Thief–A Trojan Horse for Linux

The numerous security problems and vulnerabilities of the Windows operating system are well known.  In the last two years, we have seen successful exploits written for the supposedly invulnerable Apple platform.  Now there is news of a Trojan horse written for the Linux operating system.  Named “Hand of Thief,” this exploit works against 15 of the most popular distributions including Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.

Most Linux users tend to be experienced, savvy,and most importantly, wary computer professionals.  But Linux is beginning to make it into the mainstream, and less savvy users might be tempted to install an unsigned application.  There is a longer article on Tech Republic if you are interested.  They gave the following advice:

It’s time to start being a bit more vigilant about how you use your Linux desktop. Here are some suggestions:

  • Do not install unsigned packages
  • Do not add unofficial repositories without investigating said repository
  • Keep your system up to date at all times
  • Keep all browser plugins up to date
  • If your distribution has SELinux, use it
  • Do not let others install software on your machines
  • Use solid passwords
  • If asked to enter root user (or sudo) password, always know why

If you are running Linux systems for servers or other critical business systems, you ought to take a look at this one.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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