The Turla espionage operation also infected Linux systems with malware

A newly identified Linux backdoor program is tied to the Turla cyberespionage campaign, researchers from Kaspersky Lab said

A newly discovered malware program designed to infect Linux systems is tied to a sophisticated cyberespionage operation of Russian origin dubbed Epic Turla, security researchers found.

The Turla campaign, also known as Snake or Uroburos, was originally uncovered in February, but goes back several years. The massive operation has infected computers at government organizations, embassies, military installations, education and research institutions and pharmaceutical companies in over 45 countries.

The newly identified Turla component for Linux was uploaded recently to a multi-engine antivirus scanning service and was described by security researchers from antivirus vendor Kaspersky Lab as "a previously unknown piece of a larger puzzle."

"So far, every single Turla sample we've encountered was designed for the Microsoft Windows family, 32 and 64 bit operating systems," the Kaspersky researchers said Monday in a blog post. "The newly discovered Turla sample is unusual in the fact that it's the first Turla sample targeting the Linux operating system that we have discovered."

The Turla Linux malware is based on an open-source backdoor program called cd00r developed in 2000. It allows attackers to execute arbitrary commands on a compromised system, but doesn't require elevated privileges or root access to function and listens to commands received via hidden TCP/UDP packets, making it stealthy.

"It can't be discovered via netstat, a commonly used administrative tool," said the Kaspersky researchers, who are still analyzing the malware's functionality.

"We suspect that this component was running for years at a victim site, but do not have concrete data to support that statement just yet," they said.

Since their blog post Monday, the Kaspersky researchers also found a second Turla Linux component that appears to be a separate malware program.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags malwarespywareintrusionkaspersky lab

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Lucian Constantin

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

TerraCycle Zero Waste Box Pens and Markers Small

Learn more >

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?