Researchers have discovered a never-before-seen backdoor for Linux that’s being used by a threat actor linked to the Chinese government.
The new backdoor originates from a Windows backdoor named Trochilus, which was first seen in 2015 by researchers from Arbor Networks, now known as Netscout. They said that Trochilus executed and ran only in memory, and the final payload never appeared on disks in most cases. That made the malware difficult to detect. Researchers from NHS Digital in the UK have said Trochilus was developed by APT10, an advanced persistent threat group linked to the Chinese government that also goes by the names Stone Panda and MenuPass.
Other groups eventually used it, and its source code has been available on GitHub for more than six years. Trochilus has been seen being used in campaigns that used a separate piece of malware known as RedLeaves.
In June, researchers from security firm Trend Micro found an encrypted binary file on a server known to be used by a group they had been tracking since 2021. By searching VirusTotal for the file name, libmonitor.so.2, the researchers located an executable Linux file named “mkmon.” This executable contained credentials that could be used to decrypt the libmonitor.so.2 file and recover its original payload, leading the researchers to conclude that “mkmon” is an installation file that delivered and decrypted libmonitor.so.2.
The Linux malware ported several functions found in Trochilus and combined them with a new Socket Secure (SOCKS) implementation. The Trend Micro researchers eventually named their discovery SprySOCKS, with “spry” denoting its swift behavior and the added SOCKS component. More..
If you’ve received a message from a company saying your data has been caught up in a breach, you might be unsure what to do next. We’ve put together some tips which should help you when the (more or less) inevitable happens. More…
The dangers of cryptocurrency phishing are back in the news, after tech investor Mark Cuban was reported to have lost around $870k via a phishing link. Cuban lost a combination of coin types as asset movement flagged up after months of inactivity from his wallet.
Cuban discovered some of the transactions taking place and was able to save about $2.5m of tokens by logging in and sending what remained to a safe location.
As for the specifics of the phishing tactic deployed, Cuban is reported as saying he may have downloaded a bogus wallet tool via a search engine query. Accidentally falling victim to rogue downloads in search engine results is an ancient technique, but as we can see here, it paid off big time for the scammers.
Fake tools and websites for cryptocurrency are common. You’ll see them in search engines, download portals, even promoted on social media. More…