Faux PoC for Linux Kernel Vulnerability on GitHub Exposes Researchers to Malware

Jul 13, 2023THNLinux / Vulnerability

In an indication that cybersecurity researchers proceed to be underneath the radar of wicked actors, a proof-of-concept (PoC) has been found out on GitHub, concealing a backdoor with a “crafty” endurance form.

“In this instance, the PoC is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, harboring malicious intent under the guise of a harmless learning tool,” Uptycs researchers Nischay Hegde and Siddartha Malladi mentioned. “Operating as a downloader, it silently dumps and executes a Linux bash script, all the while disguising its operations as a kernel-level process.”

The repository masquerades as a PoC for CVE-2023-35829, a lately disclosed high-severity flaw within the Linux kernel. It has since been taken ill, however no longer sooner than it was once forked 25 occasions. Some other PoC shared by means of the similar account, ChriSanders22, for CVE-2023-20871, a privilege escalation trojan horse impacting VMware Fusion, was once forked two times.

Uptypcs additionally known a 2nd GitHub profile containing a bogus PoC for CVE-2023-35829. It’s nonetheless to be had as of writing and has been forked 19 occasions. A more in-depth exam of the dedicate historical past presentations that the adjustments had been driven by means of ChriSanders22, suggesting it was once forked from the untouched repository.

Linux Kernel Vulnerability

The backdoor comes with a wide territory of features to thieve delicate information from compromised hosts in addition to permit a ultimatum actor to achieve far flung get entry to by means of including their SSH key to the .ssh/authorized_keys record.

“The PoC intends for us to run a make command that is an automation tool used to compile and build executables from source code files,” the researchers defined. “But within the Makefile resides a code snippet that builds and executes the malware. The malware names and runs a file named kworker, which adds the $HOME/.local/kworker path in $HOME/.bashrc, thereby establishing its persistence.”


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The advance comes just about a generation nearest VulnCheck found out a variety of pretend GitHub accounts posing as safety researchers to distribute malware underneath the guise of PoC exploits for prevailing instrument equivalent to Discord, Google Chrome, Microsoft Alternate Server, Sign, and WhatsApp.

Customers who’ve downloaded and performed the PoCs are really helpful to unauthorized SSH keys, delete the kworker record, erase the kworker trail from the bashrc record, and take a look at /tmp/.iCE-unix.pid for attainable warnings.

“While it can be challenging to distinguish legitimate PoCs from deceptive ones, adopting safe practices such as testing in isolated environments (e.g., virtual machines) can provide a layer of protection,” the researchers mentioned.

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