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SubjectRe: Wiretapping Linux?
linux-os (Dick Johnson) wrote:

>On Thu, 18 May 2006, Helge Hafting wrote:
>
>
>
>>Chase Venters wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>Yeah, so to wrap this malware conversation up -- the most effective
>>>way to implant malicious code in Linux is to crack into developer
>>>machines and sneak the changes in.
>>>
>>>And hope that someone doesn't notice.
>>>
>>>
>>The maintainer will. Over and over, we see maintainers tell developers
>>to fix their patch - often the problem is something as small as
>>"bad withespace" or "stupid name for a variable".
>>
>>Now try to get a backdoor in, and see the maintainer get a fit over
>>the changes that are clearly unrelated to the problem mentioned
>>in the changelog.
>>
>>And if you succeed with the spyware anyway, then someone will notice
>>the strange packets going out. That you cannot prevent, and it will then
>>be tracked down. Or you get a backdoor in? It will be found as soon as
>>it sees some use, or likely earlier with all the more or less automated
>>vulnerability chacking going on.
>>
>>Helge Haftinjg
>>
>>
>
>Remember this back door?
>
>
>
[attack snipped]

># exit
>logout
>Connection closed by foreign host.
>LINUX> exit
>
>Script done on Thu 18 May 2006 07:39:27 AM EDT
>
>Early sendmail went years with the wizard back-door and the
>code wasn't obscured in any way.
>
>
Not a linux kernel backdoor.
There sure are lots of software systems running on linux, some of them
may be easy to mess up like that. If you worry about that, go for
sw with a good security record. qmail for your mail, perhaps?

Also, a nice thing with these application backdoors is that not
everybody have them. There are many mail packages to choose
from, and there are many systems with none at all even. The same applies
to almost every other app. You probably find "bash" on just about every
linux though.

Helge Hafting
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