Vicious malware continues to be deployed by China-based attackers. A new strain of malware, dubbed “Hidden Wasp,” which has the ability to remotely infect computers, has been discovered by a security researcher at Intezar. The malware is believed to have originated from a Chinese forensics firm; the malware is hosted by servers owned by a Hong Kong-based company.
The malware is a Trojan that targets Linux systems and, to date, has not been detected by antivirus products. It is presently being used in targeted attacks. According to Ars Technica, and without getting too technical, the basic premise is that the malware “includes a Trojan, rootkit, and initial deployment script.” According to Intezar, review of the code shows that the computers that are infected with HiddenWasp have previously been infected, and HiddenWasp is then introduced into the already-infected computers. This means that companies may already be infected and not know it.
HiddenWasp is different and more dangerous than other malware that affects Linux systems in that it has the ability to remotely control computers after it is deployed and is able to download and execute code, upload files, and implement other commands. Usually, Linux malware is used to mine cryptocurrencies or implement a denial of service attack.
According to Intezar, because detection tools are unable to detect HiddenWasp and it stays “under the radar,” the security industry needs to be aware of it and “allocate greater efforts or resources to detect these threats.” At a minimum, companies are urged to “search for “ld.so” files — if any of the files do not contain the string ‘/etc/ld.so.preload’, your system may be compromised. This is because the trojan implant will attempt to patch instances of ld.so in order to enforce the LD_PRELOAD mechanism from arbitrary locations.”