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SubjectRe: [masq] 1st virus in Linux :( (fwd)
First: see the linux-security list if you're really interested in this.

rra@cs.stanford.edu (Russ Allbery) wrote on 08.02.97 in <qumhgjn1g4c.fsf@cyclone.stanford.edu>:

> Ambrose Au <achau@wwonline.com> writes:
>
> > In case you do not notice, there is a new destructive virus called Bliss
> > which infects Linux executables.
>
> > Its target is users who play games such as doom over the Internet with
> > root access.
>
> > Details at Mcafee's website: http://www.mcafee.com/corp/press/020597.html
>
> This is not a virus in the way the term is used for operating systems
> without memory protection.

This turns out not to be the case.

It's a virus in the old sense all right.

It's a little atypical in that (according to linux-security) it contains
its own remover, if you execute a binary with some weird option in the GNU
long option style, and in that if creates a log of its activities.

But the presence or absence of memory protection has nothing to do with
it, except that it can slow the infection.

> as root. All this is is a simple Trojan Horse, based on the idea of

Nope. It doesn't meet the definition of a Trojan Horse. At least, no more
than any other virus.

Actually, I fail to understand the need of people to relabel a virus as a
trojan.

From linux-security:

--- snip ---
> It's behaviour is as follows.
> For each directory in your $PATH, whip through it randomly picking
> excecutable files (not just binaries) and prepend the 'bliss' binary to
> them. Then when they are execed, the same thing happends.
>
>
> /bin/ls got hit fairly early on, so it spread pretty fast, doing about 10-20
> binaries a minute.
>
> The files 'infected' ;
> a) grow by 17892 bytes
> b) lose all of there original functionality
> c) retain date/time stamp data
> d) retain file permissions
> e) are logged to /tmp/.bliss
>
> Links are destroyed.
>
>
> The 'rsh' part it pretty basic. The routine is titled 'do_worm_stuff', but
> that would appear to be a solid case of self aggrandisement, as all it
> does (worm wise) is go through the hosts.equiv and .rhosts and try to
> 'rsh' to each of those machines as each of the users in /etc/passwd.
> A pretty unlikely scenario as nobody in their right mind is going to
> use hosts.equiv nowadays.
--- snip ---

Another one:
--- snip ---
> It seems that bliss can uninfect files that it infects if you run an
> infected program with the --bliss-uninfect-files-please argument.
> First:
> ------------------
> infecting: ls, 25604 bytes
> infect() returning success
> ------------------
> And then, when told to disinfect: (./ls --bliss-uninfect-files-please)
> ------------------
> /home/virtest/ls, ver 10002, at Tue Feb 4 16:21:54 1997
> disinfecting: /home/virtest/ls
> read 25604 bytes
> successfully (i hope) disinfected /home/virtest/ls
> ------------------
> It seems to work fine... a diff of this file and the original shows no
> changes at all.
> BTW, remember that if you're going to play around with this, make a
> special user to do it with :)
--- snip ---

> getting stupid people to run unknown binaries as root, with an interesting
> side twist of modifying other system binaries when it runs. McAfee's
> statements about this are, at best, misleading. To quote from their web
> site:
>
> McAfee (Nasdaq: MCAF), the world's leading vendor of anti-virus
> software, today announced that its virus researchers have discovered
> the first computer virus capable of infecting the Linux operating
> system.

Oh yeah. This does seem to conflict with what I read on linux-security,
which is that someone there told his friend (who works for McAfee) about
the virus. Or at least that indicates that McAfee's definition of
"discover" seems to be slightly different.

Another excerpt:
--- snip ---
> I've forwarded your message and the reply by Todd to
> the Chief AV Researcher at McAfee Associates (the
> premier PC Anti-virus company).
> Jimmy is a friend of mine (I used to be the sysadmin
> there) and has assured me that he will look into it
> first thing in the morning (he's here at my house now).
>
> This would be the first "live and in-the-wild" Linux
> virus that I've ever heard of -- have I been missing
> something?
>
> In any event -- McAfee may be able to add this to
> their existing uvscan product. uvscan scan Linux
> filesystems for DOS and Windows (including Word Macro)
> viruses. It may be possible for the AV team to
> simply add bliss' signature to the next release -- and
> it may even be possible for them to create a remover.
--- snip ---

No surprises, though. Remember how Compuserve claimed to have invented
PNG?

> McAfee just flushed all respect I had for them down the toilet.

Well, you certainly didn't portray yourself as an authority in this area
either - at least not successfully.

MfG Kai


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