[ISN] Slapper worm slowly spreading

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Sep 17 2002 - 23:51:41 PDT

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] White House Slows Cybersecurity Planning"

    By Ellen Messmer
    Network World Fusion, 09/17/02 
    The Slapper worm identified late last week is slowly but surely
    infecting thousands of vulnerable Linux Apache Web servers across the
    Internet, according to security firms monitoring its progress.
    Slapper has now infected at least 30,000 Linux Apache Web servers that
    haven't been patched to fix vulnerabilities related to the OpenSSL
    protocol detailed by The OpenSSL Group on July 30. Once infected by
    Slapper, the Linux Apache Web servers are forced to join a
    peer-to-peer network that can be used by anyone on the P2P network to
    drop any kind of application file directly into the infected servers.
    Though Slapper is so far not suspected of carrying any dangerous
    payload, it opens the path for hackers to join the insidious P2P
    network to take advantage of compromised machines.
    "We see .net, .mil and .com domains that have all been infected,"  
    commented Tony Magallanez, systems engineer at Finland-based security
    firm F-Secure. "Slapper sets up a Trojan on machines it infects and
    listens on the UDP port. You can drop files or applications right into
    the system."
    Unlike most viruses, the Slapper P2P worm, which spreads by scanning
    for new victims, delivers its own source code and comes with
    instructions on how to use it, says Magallenez. F-Secure deployed a
    Linux Apache server as a sacrificial lamb to become infected so the
    security firm could observe the worm's spread and potential activity.
    The main difficulty the Slapper worm has in spreading is that it has
    to compile itself, and "each and every binary will be a little
    different on each machine," said Magallenez. "All binaries on all
    Linux systems are a little different."
    Linux Apache Web servers using the OpenSSL protocol - which should be
    patched according to the OpenSSL group's instructions - include Red
    Hat, Caldera, Stackware, and Debian.
    Chances are that the worm is grabbing root privileges when it
    infiltrates a vulnerable Linux Apache Web server, Magallanez noted,
    adding that Slapper may have originated somewhere in eastern Europe,
    and the unknown author has included a disclaimer in good English that
    says the code is not intended for destructive use.
    To remove Slapper from infected machines it will be necessary to look
    for three files in the directory, .uubugtraq; .uubugtraq.c; and
    .bugtraq, says Magallanez. The harder job will be doing a close
    inspection of any infected machine to determine whether important
    files have been changed or destroyed by anyone exploiting the P2P
    network created by Slapper.
    ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org
    To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn'
    in the BODY of the mail.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Sep 18 2002 - 02:14:01 PDT